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UrbEd Member Highlight: Risa Garg

Risa Garg is UrbEd’s Campaign and Advocacy Manager. She started working with UrbEd in fall of 2021 as a part of the fellowship program. Risa is a senior at Central High School planning to attend University of Pennsylvania in fall of 2023 studying Sociology and Cultural Anthropology.

Risa is an extraordinary member of UrbEd. She started her time with UrbEd as a fellow. UrbEd fellows work together to address an issue(s) plaguing urban education. Fellows have the opportunity to hear from expert speakers, policymakers, and other education leaders on ways to address the issue. Risa loved the experience, finding it provided her with access to knowledge and conversations she wouldn't have otherwise had, while gaining skills to change the school district for the better.

Risa first got involved with activism in Philadelphia after first hand experience. She grew up not feeling represented in the district specifically as an Asian American student. As she got older and got more exposure to the issues within the district and Philadelphia more broadly, she wanted to make a change. Risa joined UrbEd because she feels UrbEd provides a space for students to access resources and the skills necessary for advocacy.

Currently, Risa focuses on getting to students directly. She works to provide students a way and place to speak their minds about issues they are facing in the district. She aims to provide transparency about the district and its action, giving students control over their education. Risa is currently leading UrbEd’s movement towards in-school programming.

Risa has also been helping lead UrbEd’s Empowering Student Representatives campaign. This campaign advocates for voting rights for the school board’s student representatives along with other policy changes to give students true power in the decision making process. Get involved and learn more about this campaign here. Risa also testified at the November monthly school board meeting which you can watch here. To get involved like Risa you can sign up to testify for a school board meeting here and get speaker guides and updates on our instagram @UrbedAdvocates or on our website.

Going forward in UrbEd, Risa hopes to build more direct connections with students in the district specifically through in person programming. She also hopes to make genuine change through the empower student representatives campaign.

To stay up to date with all the amazing work Risa and other previous UrbEd fellows have done sign up for our listserv or follow us on instagram @UrbedAdvocates

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