Seiko Shastri, Washington University in St. Louis
Seiko Shastri, a junior at Washington University in St. Louis, is passionate about building diverse and inclusive communities through intercultural dialogue. She is the Director of the campus Social Justice Center where she coordinates programs and community partnerships that aim to increase student awareness of social justice issues. She contributed to the development of a center for diversity and inclusion on her campus by co-chairing a university taskforce that collected perspectives from students, faculty, and staff, and wrote a report to senior administrators making recommendations on the center’s structure and core values. She spent a summer working with Youth Leadership St. Louis, a program run by the nonprofit FOCUS St. Louis, where she developed a participatory research action project for 160 students from 30 schools across the St. Louis region. Her desire to increase the number of confident, civically minded future leaders also led her to direct Exploring Leadership for Women, a pre-orientation program for incoming freshmen that cultivates skills and knowledge of inclusive leadership. Seiko is dedicated to pursuing a career as an activist academic, and hopes to develop research on the connections between identity, community, and intercultural communication in order to inform the creation of more inclusive communities.