In honoring the memory of Matthew Freeman, the eldest son of Dr. Joshua Freeman and Dr. Catherine Kallal, the Mansfield Institute for Social Justice presents an annual Matthew Freeman Lecture and Social Justice Award. Thanks to the support of his parents, we are able to gather and pay tribute to Matthew’s memory, the social justice struggles, and values that he carried forward in the world. Nominations for the Social Justice Award is opened every spring.
Students may self-nominate or nominate fellow students. Faculty and staff may nominate students. Nominations will open again in early spring.
Stacy understands the importance of having basic necessities to succeed academically. She has worked with the Habitat for Humanity Homeownership Committee. Through this work, she has witnessed the impact of having a stable home. Stacey Garcia Flores was born in Chicago and raised in Kansas City, Missouri. As, a first-generation Latina college student she has faced many obstacles, and through her experiences, she gained insight to the importance of being committed to social justice work. Her own commitment can be seen in her ongoing work and the path she is carving for her future. Following graduation, Ms. Garcia Flores plans to pursue a JD/PhD program.
Philip has a B.A. in International Relations and Spanish from the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. Through different community outreach programs, Philip worked with both English and Spanish-speaking communities to advocate for access to healthcare and education for people throughout Alabama. At Roosevelt University, Philip is the President of the RU Public Administration Group/ONE organization where he has been able to continue his advocacy work by collecting letters of support for different international initiatives and delivering those letters directly to the offices of Illinois congress members. After graduation Philip plans to find a job within the healthcare field and prepare to apply to PhD programs, focusing on Public Health or Public Policy.
Beckett had been a research assistant to Dr. David Kjar; a math and writing tutor in the Learning Commons, and he has also served as a congressional intern for Congressman Mike Quigley of Illinois’ 5th district, and a leader at Women Employed’s Summer Leadership Program. He was selected as one of 35 young leaders in the Chicago area to take part in the Obama Foundation Community Leadership Corps. As an Obama fellow, Beckett invited two other Roosevelt students, Britt Harvey, and Ryan Huck, to join together to create, The Healing Purr, an organization that aims to provide an open and honest space to hold discussions about LGBT+ mental health and the healing power of pets. Learn more about Beckett Costello.
Sean moved to Chicago shortly after graduating from Baldwin Wallace Conservatory of Music (BWU) in Cleveland, OH. Through that program, Sean was inspired to experiment with musical work as a form of social advocacy. In Chicago, he became the artistic director of Merula Swedish Choir and continued to use music performance to deliver social justice agendas. This included a concert that musically mapped the journey of Syrian refugees to Sweden. At Roosevelt University he pursued multiple projects that engaged the community including an ongoing collaborative music project meant to bridge disparate perspectives regarding refugees living in Sweden. Sean created a series of short operas calling for more diverse representation within the opera canon, and a concert series calling for civic action in aiding the growing foster care population in the United States.
Brittney served as president of the Black Student Union (BSU) and organized monthly food drives for the homeless. Brittany also spearheaded discussions toward alleviating food deserts on the west and south sides of Chicago. She served as a member of the Student Committee for the American Dream Conference at Roosevelt University, and also co-hosted her own radio show, “Know Justice, Know Peace” which aired on Roosevelt’s student radio station, WRBC: The Blaze. Brittany's future plans were to work in underrepresented communities that experience health disparities and hoped to provide more healthcare opportunities for those who are unable to afford quality healthcare.
Jessica's brother, Mikey Santini, died from a heroin overdose in 2015 after which she turned tragedy into action by becoming a substance use and overdose educator with Live4Lali, and a survivor advocate for the National Safety Council. Jessica's overall goal is to break the stigma of substance use disorder and mental illness. She has a passion for children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder and currently practices ABA therapy with Impacting Autism LLC. She feels that it is important to do whatever is necessary to help a child reach his or her full potential to learn and maximize independence.
Ashanti served as a Peer Mentor in the Academic Success Center, a Black Student Union as a member, as well as, Secretary, Vice President, and President. Ashanti has also been a recipient of the Dempsey J. Travis Scholarship for three consecutive years. Through an internship with Professor Sisco for ACP 250 Youth Violence and Prevention class, Ashanti found her love for working with trauma survivors. Ashanti graduated in December 2016, with a degree in Psychology. She plans to get her Masters in Psychology and possibly a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology. Ashanti also plans to work with trauma survivors of cancers and sexual assault, as well as people with disabilities.
Michael completed a Master’s of Music degree in viola performance, studying with Igor Fedotov, in the spring of 2016. Active in the Chicago arts community, Michael worked with performers, audiences, and composers to find ways to develop the interaction between the arts and community. Performing in a variety of venues and genres, Michael strived to create thoughtful programs that bring history and culture to the foreground of performance. Michael was a Program Assistant with Sharing Notes, a local non-profit that brings music into multiple Chicago hospitals, where he works with musician volunteers and hospital staff to share the therapeutic nature of acoustic music.
Danielle was a Social Justice studies major involved in several social justice projects including CEASE FIRE, the Northside Learning Center. Danielle helped create a “Reclaiming the American Dream” Readers’ Theater.
Richard was a labor activist with Chicago Workers Collective and the founder of the Roosevelt chapter of the Stop Mass Incarceration Network. He comes from a legacy of social justice as the stepson of deceased Black Panther and community activist Mike Smith. Wallace began rapping about those same issues as one-third of the defunct hip-hop group BBU, which toured Chicago venues and festivals like Lollapalooza in the late-2000s. He released his first solo album, #OPRAH. He marched with more than 100 students and faculty members from Roosevelt for a rally at Daley Plaza in Chicago where he spoke during a national day of protest against the mistreatment of Black Americans, most notably Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri; Eric Garner in Staten Island, New York; and Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Florida.
Jenine is a Palestinian, born in a refugee camp in Lebanon and lived in a refugee camp in Syria until the age of 6. Following her arrival to Chicago, she spent a great deal of time with her mother at work as an organizer in the Arab communities on the southwest side. When she was old enough became a youth leader and then youth organizer she worked to build solidarity across struggles. She worked as the Education Justice Coordinator at the Illinois Safe Schools Alliance where her work centered on creating equitable access to education for all students, but especially LGBTQ students of color. Along with many community partners and organizations, Jenine worked on moving forward state-wide legislation that would reform school discipline policies in Illinois. She hopes of preventing students from being pushed out of their classrooms and into the prison pipeline. She received her bachelors from the University of Illinois at Chicago in Criminology, Law and Justice, and a graduate degree from Roosevelt University’s Elementary Education program.
Nathan spent a year volunteering with UNITE HERE Local 1, a service workers union. He walked picket lines, recruited volunteers, and helped organize campaigns in Chicago and across the Midwest. He is one of the founding members of RISE, a Roosevelt student group promoting activism around social justice issues important to the student body. He has led the “Choose Counselors, Not Cops” campaign on campus, recruiting fellow Roosevelt students and RISE members to assist in his efforts to reallocate federal funds for school safety. Under Nathan’s leadership, hundreds of signatures were gathered urging Illinois Senators Dick Durbin and Mark Kirk to vote for funds to be allocated to hiring more counselors—rather than police officers—in schools.
Bailey developed an orientation and syllabus for JumpStart tutors at the Cook Country Juvenile Courts. She was responsible for the organization of the volunteers, checking in with teachers, and supporting tutors practically and emotionally. Bailey is trained in restorative justice and has helped bring this approach to the Chicago Public Schools through her work as a Peace Circle Keeper. She serves as an after-school mentor for 4th and 5th graders and is the social chair of Delta Gamma Pi (multicultural sorority). Motivated by promoting a message of social justice to her peers, Bailey believes that not only is speaking out about social justice important but that scholar-activists must lead by example and act on behalf of social justice. After graduation, Bailey plans to pursue a graduate degree in urban sustainability and hopes to combine urban sustainability with youth leadership development.
Daniel has overcome mental and developmental challenges in order to give voice to marginalized groups.
Sarah created a program at Jones College Prep to guide undocumented students through the college planning process.