Ginsberg Is...Tori Berels

When I first interviewed with the Ginsberg Center, I knew it had something to do with Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Ginsberg had provided a session about respectfully entering, engaging, and exiting communities for one of my classes, and they had also provided workshops for my sorority.


As I looked for on-campus jobs this fall, I stumbled across a posting for a marketing assistant for Ginsberg. The job looked like it matched my skill set, and the idea of working for an organization pursuing social justice appealed to me. To me, social justice means pursuing opportunities that promote equity. We can’t do much to change the circumstances we’re born into, but we can work to make opportunities more accessible.


After interviewing, I could tell there would be a lot of hands-on, tangible work that I could do for Ginsberg. One of my first tasks was simply to learn about the work we do. As a student, I had always known that Ginsberg housed programs (Alternative Spring Break, America Reads)—what I didn’t know was all of the other ways it works with the community, faculty, and student groups.


Ginsberg is, at its core, a connector. It connects community organizations with University of Michigan resources. It works on community-identified needs and helps these organizations reach their goals. I quickly saw an opportunity for one of my own student groups to meet with Ginsberg. In my free time, I volunteer for Camp Kesem, a completely student-run organization that sends children affected by a parent’s cancer to a free week of summer camp. We need volunteers, campers, nurses, and mental health professionals. After seeing opportunities to diversify our volunteer base, outreach to potential camper families, as well as potentially qualify for grants, I knew partnering with Ginsberg would be immensely beneficial to our organization.


It feels like a really reciprocal situation--I’m developing my skills in marketing through my job and I also get to form connections between Camp Kesem and Ginsberg. As a senior, I’m a little late to the game in learning about Ginsberg, but I’m glad I’ve become involved and learned of Ginsberg’s vast resources to help causes students are passionate about and help them to better the community we learn in. It turns out that whether you’re a freshman or a senior, Ginsberg is a valuable campus resource for all students.