Scholarship:Community Based Initiative Scholars
Jacqueline Ramsey’s interest in community change began in her hometown of Detroit, Michigan. “I grew up wondering about the history of Detroit, even as a child. I wanted to know the strengths and challenges that the city faced. As I grew older, I would become aware of the systemic issues that plagued Detroit, and ultimately wanted a say so in the path of my city.”
After graduating from Central Michigan University in Mount Pleasant, MI with a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology: Concentration in Social & Criminal Justice, Jacqueline accepted a 1-year internship with the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History. During her internship, Jacqueline coordinated political justice programs that empowered young adults to become active in the midterm 2018 elections. It was in this role that Jacqueline realized the importance of political engagement, especially at the local and state levels.
When considering next steps, Jacqueline decided to apply to U-M’s School of Social Work because of the action-oriented and systems approach to macro social work. The Community Based Initiative (CBI) scholarship appealed mostly to Jacqueline given it’s significant connection to Detroit and Detroit leaders. Jacqueline was able to secure a field placement is with Detroit City Council Member Raquel Castañeda-López with the help of faculty and staff from U-M’s school of social work. In addition to the financial resources offered by the CBI scholarship, Jacqueline secured a position with the School of Social Work’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Office as a graduate student staff assistant.
“The U-M’s School of Social Work provided me with a variety of skills and opportunities to grow as a community change advocate. I was first introduced to Political Social Work through U-M’s School of Social Work. Being placed at Detroit’s City Council under Council Member Raquel Castañeda-López, I am witnessing first hand how to be people/community focused when doing policy work. In addition to my experiences with Detroit’s City Council, I work as a student staff assistant in the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Office. Within this position, I had the opportunity to help form Common Roots, a collective of students of color, student identity-based organizations, and supporting offices from the SSW. IIn this role, I am able to establish space and a sense of belonging for students of color within our School of Social Work.”
Jacqueline has a vigorous goal of advocating for and creating equitable policies while also creating spaces for groups that experience systematic oppression to have their voices heard and their challenges resolved on a macro level.