RVF Alumna Spotlight: Caroline Kubzansky
This interview spotlights Caroline Kubzansky, a senior at Washington DC’s Edmund Burke School and an alumna of the 2015-2016 cohort of JWA's Rising Voices Fellowship. She was interviewed by fellow RVF alumna, Abby Richmond.
Abby Richmond: What have you been up to this year?
Caroline Kubzansky: So, the biggest thing is that I got into college (University of Chicago)!
I'm still leading my school's social justice club (Justice League). We're raising money for a wonderful local organization called Courtney's house, which works on underage human trafficking.
I'm also leading my school's Feminist Cooperative (FemCo), which just finished an initiative for the National Women's Law Center. FemCo met a huge goal of ours this year: to have a more intersectional club.
And I'm editing my school newspaper, the Cageliner, which I restarted. We had a really wonderful front page piece last issue about the Day Without a Woman, and another about the "talkback" that the school musical held to discuss race, private schools, and West Side Story.
I'm reading a lot of Joan Didion at the moment, and I'm also on a huge Willa Cather kick.
AR: Can you tell me about your new job as a “political watchdog” with JWA’s Jewesses with Attitude blog? What have you written about so far?
CK: So, like everyone else, I was absolutely horrified by the election and what it said about the American people's priorities.
The most recent piece I wrote focused on climate change. My first piece focused on the loss of potential due to Trump’s immigration ban. The immigration freeze was the first tangible thing to come out of the administration, I think, and that piece started in November as a more big-picture warning against such things. I updated it following the actual travel ban. After talking with JWA, we then decided to pull the focus out from immigration (which of course the whole world is talking about) and add in the piece about the budget.
What motivated me to write that blog post was an old letter that I've kept around for some time now, from my aunt to my grandfather.
I started taking it around with me after the election because what scares me most about the administration is that a generation's worth of people aren't going to get the same opportunities that my family members did, and if we don't remember where we come from, with our iPhones and nail polish and spring vacations to wherever, then we risk shutting out the next wave of American potential.
Because that's where most people in this country came from, yours truly included — immigrant backgrounds. It freaks me out that we're betraying people who, in another generation, were our families. We need empathy.
So that was the premise of that particular piece; it was something that I felt really strongly about.
For my position with JWA overall, I'll be focusing on the same scary thing (loss of potential for this generation) in different ways. A phrase that my dad throws around is, "systems thinking," and I think that if we consider this issue from a bunch of different angles, then we have a higher probability of getting more people to consider the problem as a whole.
My posts are going to look at the loss of American potential via different topics, whether that's the budget, the constitution, the environment, whatever is current and pressing and doesn't get enough attention.
This piece was written as part of JWA’s Rising Voices Fellowship.
How to cite this page
Richmond, Abby. "RVF Alumna Spotlight: Caroline Kubzansky ." 5 May 2017. Jewish Women's Archive. (Viewed on May 19, 2019) <https://jwa.org/blog/risingvoices/rvf-alumna-spotlight-caroline-kubzansky>.