Personal tools
You are here: Home ›› Blog and Discussion ›› Movement Building Intern: Chandani Wiersba

Movement Building Intern: Chandani Wiersba

Posted by Jamee Greer at Jul 19, 2017 11:28 PM |

Chandani is a Movement Building Intern at Western States Center over summer 2017, working on AMP! (Activists Mobilizing for Power), providing support for various events, and curriculum formatting. Learn more about her and her first few days at the Center in this blog update!

Chandani Wiersba is a Movement Building Intern at Western States Center over summer 2017, working on AMP! (Activists Mobilizing for Power), providing support for various events, and curriculum formatting. Learn more about her and her first few days at the Center in this blog update!

She is currently a student at the University of Michigan, studying Public Policy with a minor in both Intergroup Relations Education and Women’s Studies: Gender, Race, and Nation. After she graduates in the spring of 2018, she plans to pursue a Master of Arts in Higher Education.

Chandani spends her time on campus engaged in multiple students of color and social justice groups, and working as a student program assistant for the U-M MLK Symposium. She is president of Yoni Ki Baat, a social justice organization on campus for self-identifying women of color that hosts dialogues, open mic nights, and an annual monologue show. Chandani likes to write monologue pieces as a way to reflect and decompress. At previous Yoni Ki Baat shows, she has performed and written pieces on self-love, biracial identity, and exploring queer sexuality.

When she’s not on campus and has time to spare, she enjoys baking and eating desserts, cooking, and practicing (or hoping to practice) Bharatanatyam dance.

 

Less than twenty-four hours after I landed in Portland, I attended a discussion on LGBTQIA + Two Spirit Youth with my Western States Center supervisor, Se-ah-dom Edmo. Being a queer non-Native woman, I was excited to attend with Se-ah-dom, and was greeted with a lot of warmth from the discussion leaders and group. That night, I reflected on the discussion and made some notes for myself to take back home to the University of Michigan’s campus and the organizations I’m involved in--ones that don’t yet have space or much recognition of Two-Spirit members of the campus.

The next morning, I attended a joint event hosted by Western States Center and Unite Oregon as a participant. That morning I took four pages of notes on Eric Ward’s and Scot Nakagawa’s words! I was so impressed by their distinction of “white supremacy” and “white nationalism,” the exact history of Oregon’s racism (of which I’m unfamiliar, being a non-resident), the faults I need to fix as an activist on a college campus, and next steps. I had been in Portland for less than two days and already had multiple ideas to bring to U of M’s campus!

It has now been three weeks since I started interning at Western States Center, and I’ve gained so much: ideas for workshops and retreat activities (from reading the We are BRAVE Toolkit), new perspectives into white supremacy and racism, an idea of how activism works outside a college campus, and skills preparing for a multi-day event hosting hundreds of activists and dozens of workshops. There’s only three weeks until the AMP! (Activists Mobilizing for Power) conference and four weeks until I’m back home in Michigan. I’m happy to be here at the Center and excited for the coming weeks of social justice activism!

Facebook Like Box
 
powered by Plone | site by Groundwire Consulting and served with clean energy