Motivated by Nobel Laureate and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel and the human rights' challenges her own family has experienced, Gloria Pappaterra seeks an end to hatred and bigotry. For much of her young life, she has spoken out and took actions that confronted racism, sexism, ableism, heterosexism and classism. Ms. Pappaterra has been a NCCJ Anytown program counselor for five years, and she has been an active leader in Wright State University's Office of Latinx, Asian, and Native American Affairs since 2017. Out in the community, she works with the League of United Latin American Citizens and Advocates for Basic Legal Equality. At Wright State, Ms. Pappaterra majors in Political Science and participates in our Model UN program where she hopes to learn how to change "institutional oppression." In her application for the Newman Civic Fellowship she wrote, "I believe this work (human rights) is so important that I am dedicating my life to it....the best way to grow is to grow in the very things that make us uncomfortable, to push each other with equitability in all respects. In doing so, we better ourselves, our families, our communities and the world that we live in."
My mother is from Cuba and my father is from Puerto Rico. Both fostered empathy and reaffirmed the notion that every person has a unique story that should be respected and heard. I first became involved in addressing social issues at the Anytown program through NCCJ (The National Conference for Community and Justice of Greater Dayton). This planted the seed that has since blossomed into a passion for people and making this world more just and equitable. I began seeing life through the eyes of other people and have felt the calling to validate those experiences and eliminate bias, bigotry and discrimination in all aspects of life. On campus, I worked on the Social Justice Task Force, developing recommendations for the administration based on student, staff and faculty feedback to make campus feel safer and more inclusive. I am also a part of the LANA (Latin, Asian and Native American) office. I dip my feet into wherever I can be useful on campus or in the community and have found myself fundraising, speaking, and leading in different capacities in the last few years. I grew up learning the value of people, of kindness and compassion. Now, I am simply applying it.