Inspire 2018 Finalists
"Immi is an intuitive form-filler for immigration papers. It is designed to guide displaced people through applications for asylum, visas, and citizenship. We believe in breaking bureaucratic barriers to make our world more accessible, and we do this by deconstructing forms into their base parts and reordering, grouping, and explaining these parts into a translated question flow that avoids confusion, provides examples, and warns of risk. We are building Immi with built-in empathy, meaning that we plan to anticipate any questions an applicant may have and provide an answer or the necessary guidance to answer those questions sufficiently. Once an applicant finishes our simplified questionnaire, the program then fills out and provides them with their completed form to mail or hand-copy."
"LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer) individuals in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) fields confront the challenges of underrepresentation, negative workplace experiences, and a perceived or actual need to conceal their identity. oSTEM@Brown proposes a You Are Welcome Here campaign – an initiative that asks faculty, staff, and students in STEM fields and beyond at Brown to visibly commit to providing leadership in improving the climate of diversity, inclusion, and empowerment of their LGBTQ colleagues. This campaign is simple – faculty, staff, and students will be encouraged to visibly post a “You Are Welcome Here” sign designed by oSTEM@Brown in their workspaces that demonstrate the individual’s commitment to: the belief that Brown’s campus and, in particular STEM fields, are enriched by the visibility, inclusion, and empowerment of LGBTQ people, actively confronting explicit and implicit homophobia and transphobia, and using inclusive language when addressing students and colleagues, especially through the use of preferred gender identity pronouns and taking measures to avoid heterosexism in both personal and professional actions."
"We plan to form a Brown University chapter of the organization “Students for Prison Education and Reform” (SPEAR), which originated at Princeton University in 2012. Brown’s SPEAR chapter will aim, through advocacy, to educate the Brown community on the merits of having the University change its policies toward and interactions with the incarcerated and formerly incarcerated community. Our group will explore Brown’s role in the Prison Industrial Complex (PIC), an extension of the system of chattel slavery, and share our findings with the community. We will advocate for Brown to invest in prison education as a way of giving back to this disenfranchised community by giving them access to a post-secondary degree. We will advocate for the University to change certain policies such hiring policies that exclude people with records. As Brown is one of the largest employers within RI, such policies have a significant impact. In addition, to such long term projects, we will plan educational events, bringing in speakers and facilitating workshops, so that the Brown community can to learn about, discuss, and organize around our role within the PIC at large. As numerous Brown teachers and students already teach and tutor within RI and MA prisons, we know that there is mobilization around such issues. We believe SPEAR will allow people to join together and organize in a unified manner and that, through publicity and funding, the Inspire grant will help SPEAR do so."
"Over the summer (June & July months) Wearable Kouture will be offering free consultations, and tailoring of clothing for people with diverse physical and physiological needs. Many people that have disabilities or health conditions that impact their clothing comment that the financial barrier is the main reason they don't have items tailored. So through gaining some visibility in this target audience, and providing a service we're passionate about, we hope to partner with a variety of community based entities to advertise pop-up events for free tailoring services. The end of April for the Fashion@Brown Spring Showcase/Fashion Show our student start up, Wearable Kouture, is hoping to showcase a line of fashionable apparel that is inclusive to a diversity of physical disabilities. This showcase is a very fun visible launch of our student venture that I started a few years ago through interviewing and designing a few items for people with scoliosis, wheel chair users etc. I have another student, Emma Butler, that will be helping me design and sew clothing for the show, and two students from RISD involved in marketing, and research project for Wearable Kouture. For the summer we want to take our passion to the people rather than just a display of items we've made. Offering free customization to clothing people already own, allows people to rediscover what they love about certain pieces, but improving the functionality of the garment, while removing the number one cited barrier."
IT'S ON US
It’s On Us – Brown University was created based on the Whitehouse Taskforce to End Sexual Assault led by Vice President Biden. This club intends to implement the Taskforce’s goals on Brown’s campus by leading grassroots movements to change the culture of consent. In light of the new administration’s rollback of Title IX advancements, the work that It’s On Us intends to do is more necessary than ever. If It’s On Us were granted the funds to support this project, we could likely engage populations that are not otherwise involved in creating a culture of consent by incentivizing participation in the Carnival through prizes and food. Subsequently, we could begin ingraining the standards of consent and encourage bystander intervention. If BSA invests in It’s On Us, it is investing in the safety and protection of Brown students. We need to normalize affirmative consent, the fact that coercion is criminal, and that if someone is intoxicated they cannot consent. We need to normalize and empower bystander intervention, and we can successfully begin the consent culture revolution at Brown with BSA funding.
We are asking everyone to commit to creating an environment—be it a dorm, a fraternity or sorority, a club or a bar, a locker room or Brown’s entire college campus—where sexual assault is unacceptable.