Converge Conference

In the 250 years of Browns existence, students have always expressed interest in community engagement through scholarships, student groups, and centers such as the Third World Center and Swearer Center. These centers provide students with leadership and volunteer opportunities to engage with Brown and the greater Providence community. In addition, through research, internship opportunities, and entrepreneurship, students find their own ways of engaging with social justice issues. Building on this rich and extensive legacy, Ben hopes to provide the space for students, alumni, faculty, and community members to share skills and continue this historical relationship. The Converge conference, which took place in the spring of 2014, was a three-day space that provided Brown students with resources, skills, and connections to be able to critically engage with issues of social justice. Primarily, the weekend consisted of panels, discussion breakout sessions, and skill-building sessions. Through informal dinners and social events, the event built community amongst Brown University student activists. Each day focused on a different aspect of social justice: the first on identity and personal stories, because sharing our personal experiences drives social justice work; the second on relationship building, because communication skills and networking is important for connecting social justice issues to one another; and the last day culminated in skill-building and organizing tactics so conference attendees could leave with concrete action steps to take into whatever they do.

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