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Ashley Burnside

University of Michigan

Social Theory & Practice



Ashley was born with cerebral palsy, and much of her youth involved adapting to her disability. Later, after realizing she also identified as a lesbian, she had to once again face the feeling of being different from her peers. During high school in Ann Arbor, Michigan, through her involvement in a program called Riot Youth, Ashley presented to school boards and to the Michigan House of Representatives on creating a statewide anti-bullying policy with enumeration. She also facilitated workshops with hundreds of students in schools throughout Michigan on how to be allies to LGBTQ youth and how to prevent bullying. Ashley attended the University of Michigan where she majored in Social Theory and Practice and minored in Community Action and Social Change. While Ashley was in college, she interned with Congressman Daniel Kildee through the Victory Fund Congressional Internship Program, at the Human Rights Campaign and at a Detroit racial justice organization called Focus: HOPE. She also volunteered at a local teen center and raised money for children with disabilities to attend pediatric therapies their families could otherwise not afford through a program called Dance Marathon. Ashley graduated Phi Beta Kappa with high honors in the Spring of 2016. Shortly after, she became a Bill Emerson National Hunger Fellow with the Congressional Hunger Center, where she worked on anti-hunger and anti-poverty policy solutions. Now, she lives in Washington, D.C. and is a Policy Analyst with the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP).

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