Joshua Aiken, Washington University
Joshua Aiken, a junior at Washington University in St. Louis, is passionate about fighting to end domestic and international poverty. He is the Advocacy Chair of the campus Social Justice Center where he organized a hunger awareness week and a SNAP challenge designed to raise consciousness around issues of federal assistance programs. He spent a summer in Washington D.C. working as an intern for Congressman Russ Carnahan, where he worked on legislation related to domestic and international food aid. He has volunteered with Missouri Jobs for Justice, an economic justice organization, where he canvassed signatures for a ballot initiative against predatory lenders. His desire to understand how poverty looks led him to travel to Embera Peru, Panama to work with an indigenous community on sustainable agricultural practices-agriculture being the communities’ primary form of income. Aiken is a spoken word poet and has performed, held workshops, and hosted slams for local elementary, middle, and high schools in the St. Louis community. He is committed to a career in public service and plans to use both public policy and the law to alter the cyclical and discriminatory nature of poverty in the world.