Winter 2017| Posse Miami Quarterly

  

Posse Alumna Begins Career on Capitol Hill

Courtney J. Brunson graduated from Mount Holyoke College in 2016 and moved immediately to Washington, D.C., to be a staff assistant in the office of Senator Elizabeth Warren.

Courtney says, "For almost my entire life, I have been told that I could be a great politician one day. And when I look around me, I see people who look like me already doing it, and doing it well—black women at all levels of government like Senator Kamala Harris, Congresswoman Barbara Lee, and City Councilor Ayanna Pressley. Their examples give me the drive and the determination that one day I could follow in their footsteps and form my own path in advancing the interests of minority and marginalized communities. One of my priorities in starting that journey was working under a progressive who I was ideologically aligned with and thought was making a positive impact. Elizabeth Warren was that Senator. And I am thankful every day that I have the opportunity to work for her and make a difference."

At Mount Holyoke, Courtney’s campus involvement helped prepare her to serve Senator Warren and her constituents. She was a dorm senator, chair of the senate and, later, president of the student government’s executive board. She was also president of the debate society, a member of the secretariat of the Five College Model United Nations conference, and served on the committees on constitutional bylaws, event programming, diversity and inclusion policies and the college’s strategic plan.

Last summer Courtney was a Humanity in Action (HIA) Fellow, undergoing training in Athens and Berlin with representatives from political, nonprofit and educational organizations to promote human rights in multicultural and multi-religious societies.

“The fellowship allowed me to see the real life implications of things I’d studied at Mount Holyoke,” says Courtney, who majored in international relations with a concentration in international peace and security. “The Syrian refugee crisis demonstrates how regional and international organizations attempt to enforce collective responsibility as well as the bureaucratic and societal difficulties ethnic minorities and refugees continue to face in assimilating into other societies.” 

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