Alumna Wins Campus Change Award

Alumna Wins Campus Change Award

Soteria ReidSoteria Reid’s activism touched many corners of the campus.

School of Education and Social Policy alumna Soteria Reid (BS21) was one of four Northwestern University winners of the Jazzy Johnson Waw-jashk Student Award, which recognizes outstanding contributions to sustainable campus change and growth.

Given annually by Northwestern’s Campus Inclusion and Community (CIC) in the Division of Student Affairs, the Jazzy Johnson Waw-jashk called for nominations from faculty, staff and students based commitment, courage, care, service and humility.

In addition to Reid, Karina Aguilar, Inna Ito, and Chloe Wong received the 2021 award. Previous SESP winners include Kimani Isaac (BS20) and Adam Davies (BS20).

Reid, who studied learning and organizational change, filled “so many titles and roles” because of her deep commitment to equity and creating more just processes, said her nominator Qiu Fogarty, assistant director of social justice education.

Fogarty said Reid brought an abundance of creativity, courage, empathy, and criticality to spaces and constantly lifted voices higher than her own. She challenged her communities to think about what they wanted and valued.

Reid’s activism touched many corners of the campus including in Delta and the National Pan-Hellenic Council Chapter, Campus Inclusion and Community, the Summer Academic Workshop, and the Associated Student Government. She also served as the lead undergraduate student coordinator of Social Justice Education’s Peer Inclusion Education where she designed, facilitated, and coordinated student workshops and trainings.

Reid, described as “too humble” by Fogarty, said she didn’t mean to get involved in activism on campus — it happened naturally out of a desire to learn and grow with others.

“My passion for social justice is rooted in a devotion to creating space for people to be their full selves,” Reid said. “There is no belonging, feeling welcome or ability to be authentically yourself without the pursuit of justice and equity."

While at Northwestern, Reid said she learned that understanding why people are drawn to the work of creating an equitable society is just as important as the work that is done. " It's impossible to sustain this commitment without knowing why you are committed to it," she said. "I am grateful to have been able to meet the community of learners and resisters.”

“Waw-jashk” translates to the small, humble and tenacious “muskrat” from the Citizen Potawatomi Nation and the Pokagon Potawatomi Nation — a creature whose attributes and name are now associated with the annual award.

Winners of the award, which comes with the approval and blessing of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation and the Pokagon Potawatomi Nation, receive a hand-crafted birch medicine box engraved with the award and the recipient’s name.

The box contains four sacred medicines, including tobacco, sage, cedar, and sweet grass, as well as information on the benefits and uses of each medicine. These teachings come from the Anishinaabe people of the Great Lakes Region and were provided to Campus Inclusion and Community by the American Indian Health Services of Chicago.

Learn more about the 2021 winners.

By Lila Reynolds
Last Modified: 10/22/21