Saffiyah Coker

Tufts University

Saffiyah is a second-year International Relations and Economics major at Tufts University who is committed to social justice and is passionate about advocating for and advancing all marginalized communities. As a member of the Tisch Scholars program - a leadership development program for exemplary students who seek to create social change, Saffiyah is deeply engaged in civic engagement work in Tufts' partner communities. Through her work with Massachusetts Voter Table, she seeks to understand barriers to voting and voter education in BIPOC communities. She collaborates with partner organizations on field programming tactics such as mapping, canvassing, and phone banking. Saffiyah has strategized with coalition partners and contributed to voting education efforts. She is currently creating detailed voting guides in five key cities with historically low voter turnout, and supporting a data equity campaign to promote a bill to expand equitable representation. Additionally, Saffiyah holds leadership positions on campus in a variety of organizations focused on a range of issues, including racial and gender equity and empowerment. For Saffiyah, civic engagement means actively working to rectify the injustices she sees in the world and working as an active force of change – which she currently does both on and off campus.

Anthony P. Monaco
Tufts University

Personal Statement

My neighborhood of Dorchester, Massachusetts, and my Black community have molded me into a person capable of envisioning small acts of radical change in my community. I first became involved in community building when my dad began buying umbrellas to hand out to people during rainy days. His small acts showed me the strength of implementing good into communities to create a larger change. As I matured, I began to witness the disparities between my neighborhood and where I went to school. I resolved to study and unravel the systems of oppression that result in disparities between BIPOC and white neighborhoods. On-campus, I am the Co-coordinator of the Tufts Black Women’s Empowerment Conference to cultivate community with other young Black women and to resist the discrimination that we often face. I work for the Massachusetts Voter Table through the Tisch College Scholars Program to connect community organizers with the tools and resources to advocate for legislation to benefit the community.

Saffiyah Coker
International Relations & Economics: Class of May 2024
written 2022

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