Anna Schupack, a junior at Bard College, has been an active leader in the Hudson Valley community (where Bard is located), the Capital Region (where she’s originally from), and even in Kenya (where she spends her summers). Anna works to mobilize her peers and her neighbors alike, through diverse social justice issues such as disability rights and enrichment, immigration rights, and food insecurity. Anna is the true embodiment of Bard being a private college working for the public good. She doesn’t limit herself to one issue or community partner, but rather stitches together an intricate tapestry of activism where she is.
Empathy has always been at the root of my interests and activities. I am involved in civic engagement on my campus at Bard, in my home community in Albany, and in Kakamega, Kenya, where I visit yearly. On campus, I strive to build networks and opportunities for students to engage meaningfully with the community. At home, the first rally I organized was to call attention to the atrocities happening in Sudan. Experiences like this reaffirm my desire to connect with people who are rarely recognized or heard. Leading the food distribution program at the South End Children’s Cafe has given me the opportunity to facilitate respectful community building between volunteers and families facing food insecurity. Each year at the Kakamega Care center, I assist with their grassroots programming. Most importantly, however, I have made deep connections with people from across the world. I am proud of my ability to connect with people who come from different backgrounds. Whether it be relationships across the globe or in my home city, I believe at the root of making change is an ability to listen deeply and empathetically to others, even those who do not share the same identities or experiences.