June 21st, 2012
Over the coming days, the Humanities Blog will be featuring remarks given by six different students at the Humanities Commencement on May 20th 2012. These remarks were made by Tamar Brown. Tamar is a Posse Scholar who has majored in Philosophy and minored in Legal Studies. Last summer, under a McNair Research Fellowship at the University of New Hampshire, Tamar explored the philosophical underpinnings of Teach For America. After graduation, she will begin fulfilling her desire to improve the New York public schools by serving as a New York City Teaching Fellow while earning a Master’s degree in Education.
Congratulations to the Class of 2012!
In 1961, President Kennedy set an ambitious goal to “land a man on the moon and return him safely before the end of the decade.” By 1969, Neil Armstrong met that challenge, and spoke from the moon: “that’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind”. As I stand before you today, drawing to a close my four year journey at Brandeis University, I am reminded of Armstrong’s remarkable legacy!For a young immigrant woman of color, living in Brooklyn, NY, attending a prestigious University was only a dream, an inspiring goal. Today, I too can say that my “one small step” has led me to a far greater attainment of a bold and audacious goal.
I was introduced to Philosophy in 2007, a high school senior working effortlessly to complete my International Baccalaureate (IB) Theory of Knowledge term paper requirement. Fast-forward to four years later, and today I am a firm advocate for making philosophy and other subjects of the humanities more easily accessible and readily available to young urban youths. In an effort to engage them in a discipline, that as Philosopher Paulo Freire acknowledges: will help the disenfranchised and subordinate class to “understand the world in which they live in…that will prepare them to work for social change”, turning dissonant voices into celebrated scholars, and diversifying the discipline. Entering Brandeis as one of those young urban youths, I saw philosophy as a necessary tool, one that would mold me into an ambitious intellectual and humanitarian.
Upon graduation, I will pursue pedagogy at a New York City public high school where I undoubtedly plan to develop curriculum that exposes and engages my urban students to the richness and complexities of philosophy. That Brandeis, will be my “giant leap for mankind.”