In June of 2018, Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen became the face of a Trump-Pence administration policy resulting in the separation of children from their families at the US-Mexico border. As an alum of Nielsen's high school, Berkeley Preparatory School in Tampa, FL, I gathered with a small group of young alumni to organize a campaign calling on our alma mater's headmaster, Joseph Seivold, to condemn Nielsen's involvement.
As part of the campaign, I wrote an open letter with the assistance of a friend and peer, Richard Stull '12. Within a few days of delivering the letter to Headmaster Seivold, the letter had garnered over 700 signatures from alumni, former faculty, current students & faculty, and even a former headmaster. To put this number in perspective: There were 120 students in my graduating class, and around 80 in Nielsen's.
We raised over $13,000 for RAICES — or a semester of tuition at Berkeley Prep — and drove a successful media campaign that only stalled when Trump announced the end of the separation of children and families.
Clips — Interviewed
Teen Vogue — Alums from Kirstjen Nielsen's High School Wrote An Open Letter Denouncing Her DHS Work
Broadly — Alums of Kirstjen Nielsen's High School Speak Out Against Her En Masse
ReWire — Alumni Ask Nielsen’s High School to Condemn DHS Chief and Policy to Separate Families
PBS NewsHour — Alumni of DHS head Nielsen’s high school raise money for immigrant legal aid
Tampa Bay Times — Tampa’s Berkeley Prep grads lead revolt against one of their own: Kirstjen Nielsen
Clips — Other organizers interviewed