Changemaker of the Week: Kerlyne Jean-Baptiste ’16

unnamedKerlyne Jean-Baptiste ’16 runs the Wynn Project, a fashion show that aims to deconstruct traditional runway body types and create a space for inclusion. She also works with Students of Caribbean Ancestry, the Coalition Against Sexual Assault and Relationship Abuse, the Sexual Assault Policy Task Force, and Generation Citizen.

Kerlyne is being featured as part of the Social Innovation Initiative’s series, “Changemaker of the Week,” which highlights student changemakers at or from Brown. Check the Swearer Center blog or the Social Innovation Initiative newsletter each week for the newest Changemaker of the Week!


Q: What venture are you currently working on, and how did it get started?
A: What started as a conversation in the Blue Room with my best friend (Jasmine Bala ’16) about standards of beauty and fashion turned into a full scale venture to celebrate a spectrum of body types, shades of Brown, and backgrounds in a space that doesn’t actively incorporate that in their purpose. The Wynn Project Fashion Show has become my “baby” in the past month and I’ve become enamored with the idea of expanding it to newer heights in the future. I also LOVE Generation Citizen and can’t imagine how I didn’t hear about it or join my freshman year! It’s been an incredible learning experience to go into a high school classroom and actively engage students to create a change in their communities.

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Changemaker of the Week: Phoebe Stein ’14.5

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Phoebe Stein ’14.5 is a co-chair of SEEED at Brown, the student group behind the annual SEEED Summit (April 25-26), planned in collaboration with Social Enterprise Greenhouse, Worldways Social Marketing, and the Social Innovation Initiative

Phoebe is being featured as part of the Social Innovation Initiative’s series, “Changemaker of the Week,” which highlights student changemakers at or from Brown. Check the Swearer Center blog or the Social Innovation Initiative newsletter each week for the newest Changemaker of the Week!


Q: What is your current involvement with social innovation?
A: I work with a bunch of wicked cool students in a group called SEEED at Brown. Partnered with Social Enterprise Greenhouse (a Providence-based social venture incubator), Worldways (a professional marketing firm), and the Social Innovation Initiative, we help to organize an annual conference that convenes social entrepreneurs, policymakers, academics, impact investors, and anyone else interested and engaged in social enterprise. The idea is that in order for us to strengthen the social enterprise “ecosystem,” we’re going to need all stakeholders at the table!
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Gaining Others’ Insights of the World

“In our discussions, we do not strive for mutual agreement. Rather, with challenge, respect, and energy, we each strive to understand why people believe what they believe, even if it is completely different from our own perspectives.”

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Divya Bhatia ’15 is a junior at Brown studying Health and Human Biology – Global Health. This is her third year as a co-coordinator of the Interfaith Exchange, a community service mentorship program for Providence high school students. Below, she reflects on her meaningful work with the Interfaith Exchange Fellows. 

“I’ve learned that one person can actually make a big difference,” said Rayaan Faizan, a 15-year-old Interfaith Exchange Fellow speaking about his year long service project that included canvassing, interviews with the homeless and providers of resources for the homeless, advocacy for homelessness rights, and filming a documentary about homelessness in Rhode Island. The Interfaith Exchange Fellowship is a program for high school students rooted in the belief that social responsibility is the strongest bond linking distinctive faith communities. Through Interfaith Exchange, we embark on a year-long journey to engage in respectful discourse about world affairs in the realm of religion, grounded in religious literacy and with the ultimate goal of cultivating a sustained commitment to social justice.

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Changemaker of the Week: Fiora MacPherson ’16

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Fiora MacPherson ’16 is a strong believer in the power of productive dialogue in critical social issues. At Brown, she has gotten involved in social change as a $ocial Classmates facilitator, a democracy coach for Generation Citizen, and the Director of Expansion for the Student Language Exchange

Fiora is being featured as part of the Social Innovation Initiative’s series, “Changemaker of the Week,” which highlights student changemakers at or from Brown. Check the Swearer Center blog or the Social Innovation Initiative newsletter each week for the newest Changemaker of the Week!


Q: What is your current involvement with social innovation?
A: I work as Director of Expansion at the Student Language Exchange. We are closing the nation’s language gap to graduate college students who are culturally aware and globally engaged.
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Demanding Change

“HOPE knows that you can’t expect change, you have to demand it, and the only way we can do that is by taking political action, in solidarity with the community.”

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HOPE at a rally at the Rhode Island State House

Jana Foxe is a Community Fellow for Housing Opportunities for People Everywhere (HOPE). Below, she reflects about her work with HOPE and how its model redefines community service as an entity that incorporates advocacy. 

Over the course of the past four semesters, I have spent a good deal of my time working in a local soup kitchen and walking with our street outreach team, and my fellow ‘HOPEsters’ have done much, similar work.

We’ve been feeding the hungry, and directing street homeless to shelters, and it has given us great understanding of the homeless community and their needs. Yet we know that there are limits to the traditional notions of ‘serving the homeless’. When we serve a plate of hot food for someone who cannot afford it himself, we do not solve the problem of hunger. When we get someone off a freezing winter street and into a shelter for the night, we do not solve the problem of homelessness. We may be helping people, and our work has sometimes proven to be life-saving, but without a more substantial element to our work other than direct service, we are merely maintaining broken, band-aid solutions for the much deeper problems of poverty.

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Changemaker of the Week: Stanley Stewart ’16

Stanley Stewart ’16 is a Swearer Center regular – as a Social Innovation Fellow, a College Access Scholar, and a former iProv intern, he is dedicated to social change. His current venture, 1vyG, aims to strengthen and empower a network of first-generation college students.

Stanley is being featured as part of the Social Innovation Initiative’s series, “Changemaker of the Week,” which highlights student changemakers at or from Brown. Check the Swearer Center blog or the Social Innovation Initiative newsletter each week for the newest Changemaker of the Week!


Q: What is your social venture, and how did it start?
A: I work with my two other partners, Manuel Contreras ’16 and Jessica Brown ’16, on a social venture called 1vyG, which aims to build a pan-Ivy network of support for first-generation college students.
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