Zoë Welsh is a sophomore at Saint Joseph’s University (SJU) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. With a Sociology major and minors in Spanish and Managing Human Capital, Zoë is passionate about social change leadership and civil rights advocacy. With a desire to inspire and be a model of social change, Zoë leads her peers both on and off campus in a variety of civic engagement leadership positions. For example, as a SJU University Student Senate Inclusion and Equity Chair, Zoë works directly on issues of diversity, equity and inclusion at the student and administrative levels. She has co-created a "Be Civil Campaign" – a call to action with a campus-wide pledge and workshop series to promote and normalize dialogue about inclusion and diversity. Beyond her role in Student Senate, Zoë also serves as the Community Partner Coordinator with the Prison Literacy Program where she organizes opportunities for students to participate in a weekly prison literacy book club with incarcerated men at a local state correctional facility. Through these and other roles, Zoë is an effective and passionate civic-minded leader.
My passion for social change is tied to leadership and my drive for civil rights advocacy.
In the journey of finding my voice, what is most impactful is my Weekly Service with Men’s PA State Correctional Institution-Phoenix through the Prison Literacy Book Club. The ability to serve with and for the men has been humbling and has allowed me to profoundly recognize their human dignity. While I am personally removed from the criminal justice system, as a Black woman, I feel the weight of injustice in this country. Being Black at my university means I face bias, but I have developed tools to create ways to deal with those issues. My involvement, specifically as the President of Bridging The Gap, a member of SJU University Student Senate’s Inclusion and Equity Council, and a Community Partner Coordinator helps me grow in my ability to effectively lead and learn how to inspire change. I aspire to be an advocate for change, but unless that change is radical, the systems and institutions of oppression will not shift. Civic engagement has ignited a fire that calls me to advocate for civil rights, not only for the men of Phoenix, but for all.