Local Women: Jeanne Gazel

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Jeanne Gazel is an individual who thrives on creating unity and a diverse environment. This passion led her to collaborate with Dr. Richard Thomas and create MRULE (Multi Racial Unity Living Experience). She is an advocate for equal rights for all and is a professor at Michigan State University as well. If you wish to learn more about MRULE go to www.mrule.msu.edu. Q: TELL US ABOUT MRULE. A: MRULE is a student-run organization at MSU focused on developing community on an increasingly diverse campus. We operate through four main components: weekly roundtable discussions, socials, community service and activism and community building trips. These activities are designed to challenge the notion of only liking people who are like you, and to create an environment where difference is the norm. Q: TELL US ABOUT YOUR WORK IN SOUTH AFRICA AND WITH VVOCF. A: In 2007, MRULE began a partnership with VVOCF (Our Children’s Future Vumundzuku-bya Vana) and they run a children’s center in Zonkizizwe. Our relationship has strengthened immensely over the years. Originally, we sent letters and funds, but since then we have developed a study abroad program and send interns to work for their organization. This alliance gives our students the opportunity to see first-hand many of the issues we discuss in our meetings — education inequality, HIV/AIDS, and race/gender. It often times is a life altering experience for our students and long-lasting relationships are formed. Q: WHAT IS THE MOST REWARDING THING ABOUT YOUR WORK? A: The world is becoming more interconnected each day. We need to have students who not only consider themselves American citizens, but citizens of the globe. We need to widen the circle of our families and as an educator it is very rewarding to play a part in that.
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