Sadé Ratliff '23 joins 212 students from 39 states, Washington, D.C., and Mexico to form the 2021-2022 cohort of Newman Civic Fellow, a program sponsored by Campus Compact, a Boston-based non-profit working to advance the public purposes of higher education.

Fellowship students are campus leaders committed to finding solutions for challenges facing communities locally, nationally, and internationally. In his statement in support of Ratliff’s application, President John Denning, C.S.C. wrote: 

“Sadé is firmly committed to problem-solving and civic engagement, while speaking out passionately about social and racial justice. Her zeal for advocacy, human rights, and equity is evident in her efforts to create change on campus. The depth of her engagement in her short time at Stonehill is remarkable.”

In the last year alone:

  • Ratliff received a Community Engagement Award, presented to individuals who have demonstrated a strong commitment to community service. 
  • Beyond her academic studies in Political Science and International Studies, she has been deeply involved in the founding of a new student leadership group, Students In Action, which focuses on racial inclusion and equity. As a member of this group, Sadé volunteered to host racial justice virtual processing spaces for students and community members of color, in collaboration with the Office of Intercultural Affairs.
  • Sadé was also integral in the implementation of a sit-in, drawing more than 500 members of the Stonehill community, calling for greater racial diversity, inclusion, and equity at the College and beyond. 
  • She also organized a panel and served as a panelist following a showing of the movie Pushout: The Criminalization of Black Girls in Schools.

In her personal statement, Ratliff explained her commitment to addressing public problems:

"As a young activist I am asked all the time why I do what I do. And I always muster up an eloquent answer, but truth be told the only reason I continue to sacrifice my time and energy to make the world more equitable is because I know what it feels like to be subject to inequity. 

"As a young black woman who spent most of her life bouncing between parents, I have experienced countless roadblocks on my journey. I have had to scale the walls of homelessness, abuse, lack of access to opportunity and more. 

"My only mission in life is to prevent those roadblocks from pushing girls and women of color away from their dreams. My hope in my activism is that through my work young women of color will see that they too can pursue whatever goals they set forth. 

"We all know that representation matters, but it is my goal to ensure that representation is created and sustained to produce a more equitable world for people that look like me."

Campus Compact provides Fellows with a variety of learning and networking opportunities that emphasize personal, professional, and civic growth. Fellows participate in numerous virtual training and networking opportunities to help provide them with the skills and connections they need to create large-scale positive change. 

The cornerstone of the fellowship is the Annual Convening of Fellows, which offers intensive skill-building and networking over the course of two days. The fellowship also provides fellows with pathways to apply for exclusive scholarship and post-graduate opportunities.

The fellowship is named for the late Frank Newman, one of Campus Compact’s founders, who was a tireless advocate for civic engagement in higher education. In the spirit his leadership, Campus Compact member presidents and chancellors nominate student leaders to be Newman Civic Fellows.

Learn more through Campus Compact.