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Sarah Nicita: On Service

Sarah Nicita Discusses the meaning of activism in a text-based Interview

In 2020, Sarah Nicita Graduated from the Brown - RiSD Dual Degree Program.

She Received a Scb in Cognitive Neuroscience and a BFA IN TEXTILES.


How do you define activism?

I think activism consists of efforts to bring critical positive change to a community; it strives to be both a catalyst for social justice and a unifying force - it does not sleep, it does not rest, it must by definition remain “active,” constantly renewed, because its work is never done.

What brought you to your work/service?

Before starting High School, I was interested in trauma-informed approaches to arts education; when I found out about ARTS, a grassroots non-profit in the South Bay region of San Diego, I immediately applied to volunteer. The team at ARTS was committed to creating an inclusive space for creative youth development, and provided a series of trauma-informed programs that focused on arts education, civic engagement, and career readiness. I stayed with the organization for 4 years, and I knew that when I came to college hill, being involved with a group that encouraged community healing and education would be really important to me.

At Brown, I directed outreach for StandUp, a student led group that focused on supporting survivors and bystanders of sexual assault. Through marches and workshop series sponsored by CASARA (Coalition Against Sexual Assault and Relationship Abuse), SHEEC (Sexual Health Education and Empowerment Council), SAPE(Sexual Assault Peer Education) and others, our group focused on mobilizing the broader campus community. Being a part of the StandUp team was one of my most formative experiences on campus, and I know I will be involved with similar work outside of Brown for the rest of my life.

Lastly, I spent time doing fieldwork on gender and labor related issues through the support of the Linda Pei Research Award and the Guiliano Global Fellowship at Brown; I was brought to this work through content from my classes and insightful conversations with my peers.

What is most fulfilling about your service?

It’s fulfilling to see how your work translates to tangible, positive change within a community; whether it's a successful fundraiser, research project, or community march, I’ve found facilitating different ways to build community capacity very rewarding.

What can others do to engage?

Others can donate, volunteer, and look for opportunities within their local community to support initiatives that foster community education and healing.


You can learn more about Sarah's work in an article Brown University published here.

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