Hampshire College Box 6
893 West Street
Amherst, MA 01002
March 3, 2009
Dr. Maya Valern, Director
National Conference for Community and Justice
Connecticut/Western Massachusetts Region
780 Prospect Hill Road
Windsor, CT 06095
Dear Dr. Valern:
My professor, Helen Gregory, recommended that I contact you. I am graduating from Hampshire College in May of 2005 and am very interested in doing advocacy work for individuals and communities who have been consistently targeted by oppression. I have visited the NCCJ website and am excited by your organization's commitment to increasing understanding and celebrating diversity through education and conflict resolution. Your experience in this field has led me to seek your advice about a career in this field.
Since the spring of 2002, I have led an educational/dialogue group for White Students Against Racism. Three other women and I who studied with Kathy Simon in her Psychology of Racism course founded the group. Through that course and another, Intergroup Dialogue, I gained an understanding of how institutionalized racism functions within our society, and discovered how I, as a white ally, could actively work for change from a position of power. After learning the methods of informed dialogue and active listening, I gained experience analyzing and resolving conflict issues in a group setting. Working at a small neighborhood non-profit association taught me about the effectiveness of compromise when an organization is attempting to simultaneously improve a district and satisfy the needs of a diverse group of community stakeholders. The enjoyment and knowledge I gained from these experiences influenced my decision to pursue anti-racist advocacy
as a career.
I hope that you might find some time to meet with me to discuss careers in anti-racism with a focus on community advocacy. I would greatly appreciate any advice you could give me. I have enclosed my resume to give you a better idea of my background thus far. I will be calling you within the next week to ask about the possibility of setting up a time for us to talk in person.