This fall, SPP welcomed Brandi Slaughter as associate clinical professor and program director of the The Karabelle Pizzigati Fellows Initiative in Advocacy for Children, Youth and Families. Slaughter comes to the School with an extensive background in the nonprofit sector and lobbying and advocacy roles. She brings a passion for supporting at-risk children, amplifying marginalized voices, and implementing the policy change required to make an impact for those communities.
Slaughter will combine her passions and experience as program director for The Karabelle Pizzigati Fellows Initiative in Advocacy for Children, Youth and Families. The Initiative recently received a $3 million gift from the supporters of Karabelle’s vision that will further expand opportunities for University of Maryland students who want to build careers in child and family advocacy.
We connected with Slaughter to learn more about why she came to SPP, her current projects and her approach in the classroom.
What is your approach to teaching in the classroom?
Recognizing that a good education is an equalizer and a poor one can perpetuate endless cycles of poverty, I endeavor to provide students with a learning atmosphere which is student centered and embraces and celebrates diversity—beyond race, gender, age or disability, also to include diversity of opinion, perspective, and background.
What are you most looking forward to accomplishing at the School?
I look forward to building future leaders in children's advocacy. Senior citizens have a strong lobby in the AARP, gun enthusiasts in the NRA, children deserve skilled advocates. In this role, I get to support students with the tools they will need to shape policy which will impact children and their families. Kids are 100% of our future and through this work I can ensure that there are strong advocates in their corner.
What does working at a policy school mean to you, and by extension, your work?
Policy impacts people. I view my work as an educator as supporting students to become change agents for children. Working in the school of public policy allows me to contribute to the next generation of champions for children, champions who have the "know how" to improve systems and advance meaningful public policy—policy which will make sure that kids are provided for and successful.
- Social Policy