Article written by CORC student worker, Sophia Sheinfeld F11
Like many other Hampshire students, Sarah Jenny 01F started out studying one thing and ended up in a whole other arena—in her case, from journalism and law to a Div III in cultural studies and studio art. Her primary interest, both at the time and to this day, is sex workers rights. However, she has always been deeply passionate about HIV/AIDS, reproductive justice, and racial justice, as well as access to technology, education, healthcare and housing. Thus it makes perfect sense why Sarah would be so attracted to Hampshire, as it allowed her to revise her focus but still learn and evolve through every step of the process: “Hampshire provided the opportunity to expand both my understanding of context and analysis around a number of issues I care about”… more particularly to “garner a deeper understanding of intersecting forms of oppression.” Sarah is grateful for having been a part of a community she describes as “incredibly brilliant, talented, passionate and radical.”
Sarah’s extracurricular highlights at Hampshire include completing an internship in new media at Women Make Movies (http://www.wmm.com), T.A.ing for a computer programming class, and interning with $pread Magazine (http://www.spreadmag.org), where later she became the New Media Director. She found her internships to generally be rewarding experiences, letting her get hands-on in fields of interest and sample a career path before committing. She encourages all Hampshire students to explore these opportunities and not to shy away from anything that might seem somewhat challenging or boring—“You never know – you may fall in love with it.” Just as she did at Hampshire, Sarah continues to organize sex workers in the United States as well as form alliances and coalitions with sex worker advocacy groups around the world.
Post-college, Sarah continued her work as a community organizer for sex workers by co-founding the Sex Workers Outreach Project – New York City Chapter (http://www.swop-nyc.org). She then worked as a freelance new media producer and developer before eventually returning to school for a masters degree in interactive telecommunications at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. There she focused on mobile technology, youth, and sexual health, her thesis being a mobile web app that provided factual, non-judgmental sexual health information for youth of all genders and sexualities. Of course she could not have done it without Hampshire, which she feels was great prep for grad school due to the Division III program. After grad school, Sarah landed a job in online marketing at the ACLU, working to help keep ACLU members informed and engaged in taking action on civil liberties across the United States.
Sarah ranks Hampshire as one of the most influential experiences in her life, preparing her to “advocate for [herself], to feel prepared and confident in a number of ways – both academically and otherwise. Hampshire teaches thinkers how to develop an acute analysis and, well, to question everything.” When asked for any advice for current Hampshire students, Sarah urges enjoying every moment of it, but also to remember to “commit some time to self-care – enjoy all that the pioneer valley has to offer from nature to culture to art.” These are wise words indeed.
For Hampshire students interested in getting involved with the ACLU or anyone with a question for Sarah, they are welcome to reach out to her by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.