Master of Public Policy and Administration programs department chair Sandra Song, Ph.D., has received a grant from the Foundation for Educational Exchange Between Canada and the United States (Fulbright Canada) to create a community leadership project in Vancouver.
The five-month project, set to begin in January, is a direct response to the murder of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Iranian Kurdish woman by the “morality police” of Iran, and in solidarity of those risking their lives to protest human rights abuses to women in Iran.
Dr. Song said the idea came as she saw a need for the Adler community, especially its Iranian students, to create a space to grieve and truly express their frustration, anger, and sadness.
“It’s about finding a way to release that, and I believe in the transformative power of coming together in healing,” said Dr. Song, an alumnus of Fulbright Canada, a bi-national, treaty-based, not-for-profit organization that provides support to students, scholars, teachers, and independent researchers through a variety of programs. The $8,000 grant is the third Dr. Song has received from the organization.
With the community leadership project, Dr. Song said she plans to partner with two organizations in Vancouver focused on the local and global understanding of human rights, discrimination, and racism. In addition, working with Keturah Welton, Ph.D., Master of Counselling Psychology: Art Therapy program director, in creating an art component to the program.
“I’m not an art therapist, but I’ve always found it amazing when you can transform those emotions of sadness and anger into something beautiful and positive,” Dr. Song said. “I’m hopeful this will create a healing space for our students and faculty.”
Dr. Song plans to spend the next few weeks finalizing project ideas and partnerships. The project is expected to wrap up at the end of May.
“I’m excited about this because this is part of my sense of service,” she said. “It’s a small grant, but it can make a big impact.”