Preston Public Interest Career Fund Recipient
My family is heavily grounded in Ghanaian culture. As a first-generation Ghanaian- American, they have often shielded me from the full extent of American racism. Along with our traditional cuisines, my parents fed me the notion that being Ghanaian, let alone African, exempted me from the subjugation imposed upon black America. They believed that if I simply abided by the law and maintained a neutral demeanor, I would not suffer the oppression endured by black people in America. When considering the fact that racism is virtually nonexistent in Ghana, I understand their sentiments. Nonetheless, it was a rude awakening when I discovered that my ethnicity did not shield me from racism. These experiences of racism, however, opened the door to a potential career in criminal law. I am interested in gaining nuanced insight on the interaction of race and the law. Therefore, I am seeking grant funding for the unpaid Strategic Initiatives Research internship at the Innocence Project.
My philosophy coursework has intellectually prepared me for the necessary skills of this internship. The Strategic Initiatives internship requires critical thinking skills to analyze legislation regarding criminal law. Through my coursework, I have developed an objective outlook on the issues of race and the law, while developing critical thinking skills. Moreover, I have acquired strong written and verbal communication skills through my extracurricular involvements. My involvement with the Bowdoin College Orient has enabled me to hone my writing skills, while engaging with issues of race and its intersections. Furthermore, through my participation with the Bowdoin Office of Communications, I have collaborated on several writing projects centered around the awareness and sensitivity of underrepresented populations.
Furthermore, an internship at the Innocence Project would allow me to harness my academic experience in Africana studies and research. Through my coursework, I have been able to develop research and analytical skills that I have augmented over the course of an independent research project. As a sophomore, I am currently enrolled in an advanced senior seminar, in which I am conducting an extensive research project on the manifestations of African-American social power over the course of history. This experience has lent itself to the acquirement of knowledge pertaining to African-American history and an awareness of racial bias within the United States. Moreover, I have gained perspective while challenging my personal misconceptions of race.
Over the course of this journey, I have realized that the law is not designed to protect everyone. As a student intent on pursuing a career in criminal law, my enthusiasm for challenging, analytical, and impactful work draws me to the Innocence Project. I want to acquire a greater awareness of racial issues and how they relate to injustice. I find the opportunity to engage with the laws of our justice system, while researching the trends within the criminal injustice to be truly motivating. I believe that this opportunity will provide a jumpstart to a future career in criminal law.
- Date October 18, 2017
- Tags 2017, Law, Preston, Sophomore, USA