October 1, 2012
Introducing: Kalem Leonard, Public Policy Intern
>By Public Policy Intern Kalem Leonard
My name is Kalem, and I’m on my way to receiving a B.A. in World Literature and Cultural Studies at UC Santa Cruz. I’m spending my last quarter as a public policy intern at GLSEN, while taking a journalism seminar at University of California’s UCDC campus.
I’ve always been interested in civil and human rights issues. In the majority of my literature classes I wrote about the power relationships engendering from models of imperialism. Towards the end of my studies I figured out that this relationship model also applied to many of the social injustices and inequity problems of our society.
In my studies, however, I began to understand that solely writing papers limits the avenues for affecting social change, and that if I were to continue literature studies through grad school, my audience would be narrow.
I guess one could say that my approach to LGBT issues is theoretical. I became interested in GLSEN’s public policy internship because I wanted to understand how to affect these issues politically rather than theoretically.
Interning with GLSEN is proving to be a substantive experience, and I look forward to learning more about the educational policies and human rights issues GLSEN champions.