Addison R. Cox ’23 is an exceptional student leader with a passion for serving underrepresented communities. Her deep record of service includes supporting the Special Olympics, addressing the problem of sickle cell disease, and community clean-ups. She is part of a team of students who recently were awarded a grant for a public education campaign on incarceration, an area she hopes to continue to work on while serving as a Newman Civic Fellow. She is part of our prestigious Stockdale Fellows service and leadership program, as well as Vice President of Alpha Lambda Delta. She has served on a strategic planning Steering Committee for our college, as well as a Resident Assistant and Orientation Leader. An outstanding student (and English Major), she also has served her peers as a First-Generation Peer Mentor, First-Year Mentor, and Writing Center Tutor.
As a young biracial woman, I have become increasingly aware of the societal limitations that impact not only myself but those in the plethora of communities that are systematically violated, extorted, and abused daily. My attention thus far has been drawn to the plight of incarcerated individuals, primarily because these individuals often fall into multiple intersections of oppressed identities that further contribute to their dehumanization. I firmly believe that those incarcerated are often exiled from the communal consciousness and denied many of what I see as fundamental human rights- specifically, the right to higher education. My goal is to increase awareness surrounding these injustices within my local campus community. I have begun working with the Illinois Coalition for Higher Education in Prisons to further my own knowledge and to organize events that will support incarcerated individuals. As I currently serve as a member of the Stockdale Fellows and the Vice President of Alpha Lambda Delta, I hope to include these service-based groups in my endeavors. My hope is to initiate support within my community for those incarcerated and their families, but I primarily aim to encourage advocacy for prison reformation within my community.