Ian Murakami, a junior at Georgetown University, is a student leader committed to building meaningful community and bringing people together to advocate for equity and justice.
As Vice President of Georgetown’s Native American Student Council, a student representative on the University Provost’s Diversity Council, and a student leader for Georgetown’s ESCAPE retreat program, which facilitates reflective retreats for students, Ian is dedicated to having a positive impact on each of the organizations in which he participates, and ensuring that students are able to have meaningful service and advocacy experiences during their time on campus.
One remarkable example of this commitment is his passion for Georgetown’s Alternative Breaks Program, of which he serves as a member of the board. Through his leadership, Ian enables hundreds of Georgetown students to serve and engage in advocacy and justice work. Ian demonstrates a long-standing passion for public service—rooted in his connection to his home community in Hawai’i and supported by his academic work in Justice and Peace Studies—and has interned for U.S. Senator Brian Schatz as both a high school student and undergraduate.
When I think about my reasons to pursue public service, the most influential factor has always been my home. Hawai‘i instilled in me a deep passion for people and their stories. Being born and raised in a multigenerational family in Honolulu meant I was always around people. Seeing friends or neighbors was my opportunity to “talk story,” or share experiences to empathize and connect with others: I developed a love for its ability to motivate, energize, and advocate.
I carried my passion to Georgetown, where my work as Vice President of the Native American Student Council and the Community Engagement Co-Chair of the Alternative Breaks Program has helped me connect with communities on the ground. This work allows me to advocate for indigenous communities on and off campus and encourage others to consider their own path to social justice through global immersion programs. I am fascinated with how our institutions of power can be used to advance social change and fight for vulnerable communities that lack representation in our legal system. Public service allows me to access the incredible power in our societal margins to fulfill the ideals our laws aim to uphold.