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Points of Departure: I Found My Activism Here

Ariana Katz (CGS’10, CAS’12) and Sarah Merriman (CAS’12)


As Sarah Merriman and Ariana Katz talk about their involvement with the BU Center for Gender, Sexuality, and Activism—Merriman is the organization’s events coordinator and Katz is codirector—Merriman draws a blank about when the two became friends..

“We don’t really know the story,” says Merriman (CAS’12). “In the end, we just became friends. And now we wrestle a lot.”

With a shared passion for activism, family, culture, and food, psychology major Merriman says that despite her foggy memories of how she and Katz became friends, the two made a “quick ascent to best friendship” during junior year, after spending many nights in Katz’s apartment making dinner and discussing politics. “We do a lot of protesting,” says Merriman. “We did Occupy together, which was fun.”

“Being politically aligned makes friendship a lot easier, and it can be a fun thing,” says Katz (CGS’10, CAS’12), a sociology major. “I found my activism here, and I found my anarcho-feminist voice here. A large part of that was through the center.”

After graduation, the two plan to stay in Boston and share a house with several close friends, which they say will ease their transition into post-BU life. Katz will be teaching at a temple in Brookline, while Merriman hopes to “work in feminism.”

“It feels like the end of school, but it feels less scary,” says Katz. “I’m not scared, and I think it is because of the folks I’m involved with in the community that I’m in.

“It feels very safe. It feels like I’m grounded in Boston and with my people.”

Additional editing by Alex Stout (COM’13).

Alan Wong

Alan Wong can be reached at alanwong@bu.edu.

7 Comments on Points of Departure: I Found My Activism Here

  • gillian on 05.15.2012 at 7:44 am


  • AP on 05.15.2012 at 10:11 am

    “I found my anarcho-feminist voice here.”

    I’m sure anarcho-feminism is an excellent use of BU’s funds. Instead of, you know, renovating some of the older dorms or improving the course offerings in the humanities departments. Anarcho-feminism it is!

    • Kitty on 05.15.2012 at 11:15 am

      I totally agree, AP. I suspect those who speak with the anarcho-feminist voice were actually demonstrating against spending “their” funds for the purposes you cite, and for the cancelation of their student loans at the expense of taxpayers who have paid our own college loans off.

    • S on 05.15.2012 at 12:06 pm

      actually, the recent development of the BU crisis center was a direct result of the BU CGSA’s actions. wouldn’t you say that is an excellent use of BU’s funds?

  • L. on 05.15.2012 at 11:29 am

    One of my favorite PoD videos so far! Well done, Sarah and Ariana.

    Perhaps somewhat off-topic, but the photograph used as the freeze image for the video is a beautiful photograph. Major props to the photographer.

  • Leslie on 05.15.2012 at 11:58 am

    I’ve had the pleasure of working with Sarah and Ariana several times and always walked away from the Center proud to know they were there. You two have incredible passion, energy, and spirit. I look forward to seeing where that carries you in the future.

  • Kareem on 05.16.2012 at 3:40 am

    Ari and Sarah are two amazing people on our campus who I am really going to miss!

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