The Okrent Memorial Grant for Social Justice (aka “OMG for Social Justice”) is being established in loving memory of Alex S. Okrent, a 2005 graduate of Wesleyan. Alex was dedicated to social change and tirelessly fought injustice during his time at Wesleyan and throughout his career. Alex didn’t stick to the popular, easy causes, but took on the tough fights: raised in the Jewish tradition, he fought for peace and justice for both Palestinians and Israelis; while straight, he was at the forefront of the fight to protect the rights of LGBT folks; and, as a junior in college, Alex made the decision to take a semester off from Wesleyan to work for a small unknown state senator named Barack Obama.
This scholarship is designed to help continue Alex’s legacy of fighting for the small guys, for working tirelessly for social justice, and inspiring all with general chutzpah and compassion.
Once established, it will support a Wesleyan student to work, volunteer, or intern for an organization or on an independently designed project meant to further social justice. While the grant is still very much in its nascent stages, it is anticipated that it will support at least one student’s activities for one semester per year and that students will be selected by a panel of professors, all of whom had the pleasure of teaching and working with Alex.
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