Ricardo Jaramillo, a sophomore at Brown University intending to double- concentrate in Ethnic and Education Studies, is a student leader and activist engaged in immigrant and refugee education and men's health. As a student co-coordinator of Brown Refugee Youth Tutoring and Enrichment (BRYTE), Ricardo co-leads the largest community service program on campus, working with 130 pairs of undergraduate tutors and refugee tutees. He has re-imagined BRYTE by recruiting a tutoring class with the most people of color in the program's history; creating an Advisory Board comprised entirely of high-school students who are former members of the program; and building an online curriculum-sharing platform for tutors. Last summer, as a teaching fellow and the writing department head for the Breakthrough Collaborative in Philadelphia, Ricardo developed and adapted curriculum on race, gender, immigration and power in America. Ricardo is also a co-founder of the Men's Story Project at Brown, which provides male-identifying Brown students with spaces to reflect on the roles of masculinity and patriarchy. In addition to his remarkable leadership abilities, Ricardo possesses an unflinching commitment to providing literacy and dignity to marginalized people and an abiding belief in the power of love.
In the Brown Refugee Youth Tutoring and Enrichment (BRYTE) program, the largest community service program at Brown that I co-coordinate along with five other students, we have a Feminist leadership structure. In my mind, our choice to do so is our rejection of the idea that an organization or a movement needs a sole male figure at its center. We center our work around the labor that our students, our volunteers, and our coordinators do together-honest difficult work rooted in our belief in the humanity of our students. While I am honored to be considered for this fellowship, I want to acknowledge the labor of my colleagues, many Women of Color, who struggle with me to work toward a common vision of the liberation of individuals and communities.
I have always rooted my work in the radical love that I have cultivated for others and the world. While this intention is not original, it bears unique significance amidst a vast array of service groups that organize themselves in ways that perpetuate the very problems they set out to fight.
I have worked with over a hundred young students, particularly many young men of color who come from immigrant backgrounds. Recently, I have expanded my service work to my own campus, helping facilitate spaces for male-identifying Brown students to reflect on patriarchy and Feminist thought in their lives. I would use this fellowship as a platform to cultivate my skills and beliefs, while advocating for what I already know to be true: community service work must be political work centered on the liberation of marginalized peoples, structured in ways that give power to the least of those.