Zosia Busé likes to keep herself busy on campus. She’s a community advisor with the Department of Community Living. She serves as a student union representative to the Board of Trustees. She is an undergraduate departmental representative for the Peace, Conflict and Coexistence Studies Program. She has participated in the Brandeis National Committee student ambassadors program.
But her heart and soul lies with one particular activity: Her work with ‘deis Impact, the annual festival for social justice at Brandeis.
Each year the festival features dozens of events and projects centered around social justice, all brought together by a team of students.
“I’m from Shenandoah, Virginia, it’s this small rural area and these types of opportunities weren’t available for me,” Busé said. “The festival has allowed me to engage with so many topics related to social justice. Being able to not only learn about these topics, but to organize initiatives around them has been so meaningful.”
She learned about ‘deis Impact during her first semester at Brandeis during the whirlwind that is the involvement fair, a twice-annual event that helps students find clubs and organizations to get involved with.
“It was this cliché first-year moment when I stumbled into it. Once I started to get into it, I just fell head over heels,” she said.
Busé started off as an “impacter” – the name for the core student organizers of the festival — and then served as Vice Chair her sophomore year. She served as the Chair of the committee this year. Her favorite festival moment so far was the keynote speech in 2018 by Nadia Alawa founder of the humanitarian relief organization NuDay Syria.
“It was so incredible. It wasn’t some super-famous person, she is someone in our community doing really incredible work,” she said. “Students got engaged with it, and when that happens, it becomes real. That was pretty beautiful.”
For this year’s festival, she coordinated and hosted one of the keynote programs, “From Protest to Politics: The Ferguson Uprising as Challenging Longstanding Injustices, with Cori Bush.” The event focused on issues of race, and specifically the struggles that black and brown individuals in our country face.
“Cori sparked an interest in these types of conversations and set a precedence that we can have these conversations at Brandeis,” Busé said. “Being able to coordinate this programming was so meaningful to me because it brought this important, timely, and very necessary topic to campus.”
Her work with the festival has had a big influence on her work in the classroom, too – Busé is focusing her studies on social policy by majoring in international global studies with a minor in peace, conflict and coexistence.
Busé doesn’t know what direction ‘deis Impact will take in coming years, but she is looking forward to finding out.
“I’m going to keep being involved with ‘deis Impact. I can’t wait to see how it grows,” she said.