Elam Boockvar-Klein, a junior majoring in Sociology with a minor in Spanish, is a passionate community-engaged leader at Colorado College. Hailing from New York City, Elam came to CC with experience in youth mentorship and a passion for community building. As a first-year student, he started CC's J-Street Chapter, in which he brings students together to discuss, spread awareness, and plan tangible actions around the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Elam has dedicated extensive effort to connect with the Colorado Springs community. In his role in the Public Achievement Program, Elam served as a mentor for Colorado Springs youth, creating a space for reflection and community dialogue, and helping them develop a project of their choosing. Through his work with the Community Engaged Leaders program, Elam has served as a mentor and facilitator, providing middle school students with the opportunities to learn about community organizing work.
Elam is an innovative, visionary leader. He builds community through intentional partnership and dialogue. He values intergenerational and cross-cultural grassroots efforts to foster lasting change. Elam has the special talent of leaning into conflict, helping diverse stakeholders to emerge with mutual respect and a sense of deeper connection.
I am working towards effecting structural change on both a global and local scale. I first became involved in political advocacy around the Israeli-Palestinian conflict during my freshman year. After learning about the systems in place that perpetuate egregious human rights violations within Israel/Palestine - along with my complicity as a self-identifying Jewish person - I decided to take action. In the past two years, I have helped develop sustained engagement to put an end to the Israeli occupation through event-organizing, phone drives, and petitions. However, I also understand that one can often be much more impactful within one's own community simply due to proximity to the on-the-ground realities and issues. As such, I also co-lead an afterschool program in an underserved middle school in which students develop community organizing skills, culminating in a community-based project. Due to my experiences working on issues of both foreign policy and local educational inequality, I have been able to see the obvious connections between localized and globalized systems of oppression; they operate in a similar manner. The key to effecting community-level change is to first understand the big-picture policy and economic structures at play, and I am grateful to be able to work on both scales.