2021 Move for America Fellow
Service Site: Camdentown Minneapolis
Hey everyone, my name is Sam Brainin. I'm originally from Chicago, Illinois, growing up mostly in Amherst, Massachusetts. I was raised on a steady diet of 60's and 70's tunes from Stevie Wonder to The Mamas & the Papas, coin & stamp collecting, and learning how to enjoy long walks on the trails of western Massachusetts, even with some really soaked-through socks. I became involved in bridging divides during my junior year of high school through a dialogue that aimed to create respect and understanding—with the end goal being a strengthened sense of community—between groups from Massachusetts and Kentucky. This project opened my eyes in many ways to the preconceived notions and biases through which we divide our society, frequently permitting our stereotypes to dictate the people with whom we surround ourselves. The perpetuation of these stereotypes only solidifies racial, socioeconomic, political, gender, and religious divides and disparities, and holding conversations to create community bonds--and subsequent action—is inevitably the foundation to creating a more just and equitable society, while simultaneously acknowledging the healing from the oppression that countless groups have faced for centuries.