Aric Hamilton is an undergraduate student, majoring in education at Saint Louis University. He is both a Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Scholar and an Excellence and Equity in Education Scholar at SLU. Aric is actively involved in addressing issues of racial and economic justice, as well as community wellness. Aric has played a key role in the planning and operations of an inclusive student-led winter shelter that provides a safe place for unhoused individuals. He developed a volunteer training focused on best practices for serving unhoused individuals, de-escalation strategies, and cultural fluency. Aric has been a Student Government Association Senator since his first semester at SLU. He co-chairs the Wellness Committee which promotes the betterment of the mind, body, and spirit of the student body. Aric also serves as a Residential Advisor for the Leadership and Social Change Learning Community in Housing and Residence Life.
As a future educator, I believe that every child deserves to and needs to feel seen, heard, valued, and, most importantly, loved by their school community. It is my duty to affirm and uplift the lives and dreams of all children, especially Black and Brown children, Queer and Trans children, children across the gender spectrum, children with disabilities, children who are undocumented, children who were formerly incarcerated, and children of lower socioeconomic statuses. I am committed to recognizing and dismantling the structures that perpetuate inherently racist and oppressive policies and practices and commit to partner with community stakeholders to do the “work” to accomplish just that. We must ensure our children living at the margins may one day live to see the “dream” Dr. King had at the Lincoln Memorial in 1963. Our shared interest in humanity and belief in our future commands us to do so. My goal as a Newman Civic Fellow is to assist in advancing equity within the American school system through transformative institutional change by the following: promoting inclusive dialogue and compelling action, policy, and practice to decrease equity gaps and ensure the success of students of historically oppressed marginalized, and disenfranchised backgrounds.