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Stuck in Santa Cruz

Antoine M. is a junior studying world languages. He was awarded a Maguire and Irby Family Foundation Public Service Fellowship for summer 2017 from the Cary M. Maguire Center for Ethics and Public Responsibility at SMU. He is spending the summer volunteering with Parque Ambue Ari, a wildlife center in Santa Cruz, Bolivia.

August 22nd, 2017|Antoine in Bolivia|

Farewell, New Hope Garden

Finishing up my last week here at Austin Street is bittersweet. I feel privileged to have met so many interesting people, from the dedicated employees, to the selfless volunteers, to the guests themselves. People like Laura and Doris, who manage the front intake desk several days a week, and whose only response to those irate guests are warm smiles and helping hands. Volunteers like Jessica, who has been volunteering at the shelter for years, and due to that dedication has swayed her employer into offering all of the employees a [...]

August 22nd, 2017|Lex in Dallas|

What does justice really look like?

An update from M.B.A. student Diane S.: It’s 6 a.m. on a humid summer morning, and I’m standing in a commuter lot at SMU anxiously awaiting our departure to one of the most unique opportunities to date that I’ve ever had. We were about to hop on a bus and start our tour through the South for our “death row” trip. Yes, you read that right. Fifteen of us were going to spend 12 days visiting death row facilities and [...]

August 22nd, 2017|Human Rights - Facing Death Row|


An update from law student Brenda B.: How do we treat our prisoners, and what does that say about us as a society? Despite being condemned, are prisoners entitled to civil rights (those given to us by a nation because of our citizenship) and human rights (those given to us because we are human)? For the obvious reasons, vulnerable women and children are more likable victims. But in the words of Dr. Rick Halperin, director of the SMU Embrey Human Rights [...]

August 15th, 2017|Human Rights - Facing Death Row|

Learning to See

If you were given a box of crayons and asked to draw a scene from nature, you would probably first start with the green and brown crayons, maybe adding a swath of blue for the sky and a round yellow ball in the sky as your sun. When you start to look closely at the world, though, you realize that there is a lot more detail than you can capture with four crayons. We took the campers on a “color [...]

August 15th, 2017|Megan, Maguire Fellow in Dallas|

Engaged Research

I volunteered with the Hive Mutual Support Network because of its close fit with my anthropological focus – grassroots alternatives to the mental health system. And while I’ve shared how my own experiences with psychiatry connect to this work in previous posts, my final week here saw the personal, political and academic (e)merge more clearly. For the Hive’s August potluck, I presented and facilitated a discussion on Survivor-Controlled Research, a form of participatory research done by those who’ve experienced mental [...]

August 15th, 2017|Jordan, Maguire Fellow in Vermont|

Different Kinds of Misery

An update from Jennifer M., doctoral candidate studying prison reform: Andersonville, Georgia Standing in a muggy, buggy Georgia field, we tried to imagine Andersonville Prison as it was during the Civil War. Established as a Confederate prison to house Union soldiers, it was originally intended for 8,000–10,000 men.  At its most heavily populated in the summer of 1864, it held 33,000 men. Of the 45,000 who passed through Andersonville, 13,000 died, mostly of diarrhea, scurvy, and dysentery.  The prison closed [...]

August 13th, 2017|Human Rights - Facing Death Row|

Do I Believe in the Death Penalty?

An update from Bettye H., a graduate student: As a native Texan, I have always known about the prison in Huntsville. We drove past it time and time again on our way from Houston to visit my grandparents in Dallas. I have vivid memories of riding in the back seat of our family Chrysler and staring at the shiny metal fences surrounding the concrete buildings for what seemed like miles – my dad always reminding the family to never stop [...]

August 12th, 2017|Human Rights - Facing Death Row|
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