BSU Chosen Advocate Carrie Provost

Out of the 9,000+ plus students on Bridgewater State Universities (BSU’s) campus, one is chosen every year to focus on and perfect techniques of social justice and civic engagements by being named the Newman Civic Fellow. This year, Carrie Provost (she/they), a criminal justice and English major, was given the honor.

At the end of Spring 2022 semester, Provost was nominated to a national organization called Campus Compact by President Fred Clark as the 2022-2023 academic year Newman Civic Fellow. This program allows a single student per campus to be named as a Newman Civic Fellow, which provides support to the student in learning ways to become a change maker, as well as supporting them in social justice initiatives.

Provost explained that, though there was confusion when she received the title, she has since gained confidence within the position.

“I was…kind of confused, in a way, because this was around the time that I was just joining the institute, so I was just kind of figuring out what social justice meant and civic engagement is and all these other things,” Provost explained, “so I was…confused, but now I have a side ground of what everything is, and I understand.”

The Newman Fellow at BSU is expected to have a specific project or initiative, and Provost is no exception. Her work has a focus on advocating and educating on issues for the Native American community, specifically “issues regarding missing and murdered Indigenous women, or MMIW, and I do so closely with Joyce [Rain Anderson]. We just kind of do different projects and talk together.”

Provost is also the Vice President of the Indigenous Cultural and Ally Association or ICAA and recently revived the organization. Provost was happy to explain the process, as well as the need, for the revival of the organization.

“Well, to be honest, whenever I first came here, it was just a new experience for me.” I’m from a reservation in South Dakota, so it’s just like a big change coming from a very small town to this, what I consider a big campus. I didn’t really have anybody else other than Joyce, who was my point of contact. If I had any questions, I’d just kind of go to her. But other than that, I didn’t really have a way I felt like I like belonged on campus. … I feel like I wanted to give Indigenous people on campus people who are interested in Indigenous culture a space where we can collectively, just hang out and just talk about anything.”

When looking at her experiences on campus with leadership and social justice, Provost believes that she has learned much about other cultures and communities. They have had numerous meetings with the President, and enjoys attending events that are organized by other multicultural groups.

They also elaborated on their networking abilities, stating that “I think one major thing is connections. I went to this conference, I think it was a couple of weeks ago. I met a lot of amazing people and…we just connected and…discussed what we’re doing on campus and how we’re engaging with our communities on campus.”

Reflecting on her time in the program Provost had final thanks to give.

“I feel like I wouldn’t say this to Laura [Mulvey] just because it’s a bit embarrassing, but she gave me so many opportunities and I truly feel, like, I’m so happy. With where I am…in my academic and in my career was just because of all the support that Laura and the institute gave me.”

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