Francis (Eliana) Perozo, a third year student majoring in International and Global Studies and concentrating in Creative Writing, has worked in various leadership roles addressing the situation of marginalized groups on the campus of the University of the South and in its surrounding Appalachian communities. During her junior year, she was the first woman of color to be chosen as the Editor-in-chief of the Mountain Goat, Sewanee's student literary magazine. She used that position to work with the Sewanee Review to bring poet Tiana Clark, a woman of color, to give a reading on campus. Drawing a crowd of over one hundred, this event brought students, faculty and staff together to listen to the poetry of a woman of color, fulfilling Eliana's goal of using her voice and position to help the University create welcoming spaces for the wide range of students interested in creative writing. In addition, Eliana was the site-leader in a local after-school enrichment program working with students in the poorest county of Tennessee, and has spent this semester abroad in SIT's IHP Human Rights program in order to develop multiple ways to understand human rights issues and engage in effective social activism.
I can't say I am committed to one single facet of social justice. I can't say I care only for homeless youth because I was one, or people of color because I am one, or mental illness issues because I suffer from this. I can tell you that wherever I go, be it South Beach, Miami or Riverton, Jamaica while on civic engagement trips, marginalized people exist and some part of their identity is always tied to mine.
I was the first woman of color Editor-in-chief of The Mountain Goat to bring a woman of color poet to Sewanee. I was a cofounding member of The Writing House, a themed house created for artistic outcasts. I was on a board of homeless students that met with Secretary of Education John B. King, to create policy change within the FAFSA application process. I led a vigil service after the 2016 presidential election for members of my community that were afraid. I apply to be a part of our outdoors orientation program every year. All these things I do not because I want to, but because I never want those who have been or might feel marginalized to be alone.