This year’s Building Bridges conference, “Uprooting Injustice: Fostering the Growth of Grassroots Movements” was put together by a group of individuals including this week’s Gustie of the Week and Co-Chair of Building Bridges, Elizabeth “Liza” Long.
Junior political science and gender women’s and sexuality studies major, Liza currently soaks up an experience with Building Bridges.
“I have had the opportunity to meet amazing people and build a community on campus with people who are equally as committed to social justice as I am. It has been an incredible opportunity to gain confidence and new ideas and skills,” Liza said.
While also involved in the Womyn’s Awareness Center, Arb Scouts, and volunteering with NARAL Pro-Choice MN, Liza still has time to relax outside and hammock, stargaze, and hike.
“Liza’s involvement within her extracurricular activities are great examples of how she lives out her passion for social justice in service to her immediate community at Gustavus and to the national and global community,” Liza’s professor Kate Knutson said.
Liza is from Appleton, Wisconsin, and her dream job is traveling around the world researching social justice struggles and diversifying herself with different communities. She has already given herself a head start by studying abroad.
“Liza is willing to stand up for what she believes in and people who have less power than she does no matter the cost she faces personally.” — Kate Knutson
“I spent last fall semester in Bangalore, India with the Justice, Peace, and Sustainable Communities program, and it’s the best thing I’ve ever done at Gustavus,” Liza said. “We travelled all around India on field visits, and I had the opportunity to spend my mid-semester break in the foothills of the Himalayas. The program was focused on understanding how the policies of the United States are felt worldwide, and how direct and harmful their impact has been, as well as learning about the myriad of cultures that exist in India.”
Martin Lang, Liza’s supervisor describes Long in three words: Insightful, resilient, and prescient.
“Liza has an uncanny ability to confront challenges (often many at the same time) and bounce back with optimism and energy even when confronted with the disappointments we all inevitably face,” Lang said. “Whenever Liza and I discuss possible solutions to a problem, she always brings both new and helpful perspectives to the conversation. I rely on her heavily to help me see new and inventive ways forward on a variety of topics.”
Knutson admires Liza’s selflessness towards her causes and contributions in the classroom.
“Liza is willing to stand up for what she believes in and people who have less power than she does no matter the cost she faces personally. She is very smart and perceptive, loyal to her friends and family, and always brings a unique perspective to class discussions and assignments,” Knutson said.
Liza’s last year is approaching soon, and she anticipates what her life will look like after Gustavus.
“After college, I hope to work for either a nonprofit or policy institute in the Twin Cities or Washington, DC. I aspire to work within marginalized communities and advocate for policies that support economic and racial justice,” Liza said.