By Nicole Distinto on June 19, 2020
Hi! My name is Nicole Distinto and I am a rising senior at Swarthmore College. I am majoring in Peace and Conflict Studies, and double minoring in Global and Environmental Studies, which is a mouthful. I am interested in human rights law and its intersections with environmental justice, and how the US government works domestically and internationally, which I tried to combine all together for my areas of study!
I grew up in DC so I have been around politics and politically active people my whole life. At a young age, I noticed how many protests and movements were constantly happening downtown and how passionate people seemed which inspired me. The high school I went to, Woodrow Wilson HS, was also pretty politically active and I began learning more about DC’s lack of representation, as well as the lack of female and diverse representation in our government.
This summer I am looking forward to learning from and alongside women who are also passionate about equality and equity during my outreach and advocacy internship. A lot of my work has focused on environmental issues but I have always been most intrigued by the policies in place that lead to environmental injustices, and how that affects so many lower-income American families. It has become more and more apparent to me that so many policy problems in the US could be mitigated if there were more voices from different perspectives and backgrounds.
It is difficult to work with a system to ameliorate other issues when you do not see yourself clearly represented in that system. I would love to see more women, especially with diverse backgrounds, fighting for women’s rights and equality. Swarthmore’s campus can be fairly political at times, and with this I have learned the importance of interacting with local elected officials and challenging people in positions of power to make a difference. I am so excited to be working for an organization that works towards empowering women and getting more women in office.
When I’m not reading through instagram threads, I love hiking, listening to music, and watching crime documentaries on Netflix. I played Varsity Lacrosse at Swarthmore my first two years of college, but I enjoy playing soccer the most, and watching the Washington Wizards in my freetime. I am really looking forward to enjoying the outdoors without worrying about masks and gloves after quarantine!