MHC junior Sarah Hwang is spending her summer on an internship with the Civil Liberties and Public Policy Program (CLPP) Reproductive Rights Activist Service Corps (RRASC), following her passion and working for reproductive and social justice:
This summer, I am working at A Better Balance: The Work and Family Legal Center (ABB), which is a NYC legal team that advocates for workers the time and flexibility they need to care for their families. ABB advocates for policies that help families, such as sick leave, paid family leave, flex time, pay equity, antidiscrimination, and other issues that value family care. This advocacy organization is one of the 54 social justice host organizations that is part of the RRASC paid summer internship through the Civil Liberties and Public Policy program at Hampshire College. I am one of the selected students to participate in this program, joining a national corps of interns for reproductive and social justice.
I discovered my passion for reproductive justice and women’s rights after taking a gender studies class my first-year at Mount Holyoke. This passion has also led me to declare a special interdisciplinary major in Art and Public Policy, which combines my interests in an array of disciplines, such as art history, politics, and international relations. I am interested in studying, researching, and implementing images and art, in public policy and politics.
This internship opportunity has been one of the most inspirational experiences to my academic and professional career. My work with ABB allows me to explore the public policy, political, and legal side of my special major. I have been working on story collection and outreach, as well as conducting research and writing on public policy and legislation. From keeping up-to-date with paid parental leave policies to attending workshops for breastfeeding rights in the workplace, my internship has affirmed my passion in reproductive justice. Furthermore, having had the chance to explore the legal side, this experience has influenced my current post-graduation goals of attending law school.
My MHC education fostered my work and has given me the confidence to become a changemaker and a leader. During the past 3 years of my college career, all of my professors have inspired and encouraged my plethora of academic interests and passions. From guest professors, such as Professor Bettina Judd, who introduced me to the importance of the gender studies framework, to my advisor Professor Vinnie Ferraro, who encouraged me to boldly pursue all of my interests by designing my own major and to question the world around me, I grew academically in an environment where I was not afraid to speak out and to lead. Thus, due to my MHC education, where I am always encouraged to voice my opinions and to challenge the status quo, I know that I am prepared to be a leader in reproductive justice and to take initiative for social change.