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Meet Our Scholars

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Jo Lew

Southern Methodist University

Political Science, Public Policy, and Human Rights



Jo grew up in Coppell, Texas and they immediately knew that they were different. Their experiences as a minority were formative in their youth and they began to advocate for different issues such as racial equality and climate change at the age of five. Jo publicly came out as bisexual on June 26, 2015, after gay marriage was legalized, and they soon became an LGBTQIA+ advocate within their community. They became more involved in human rights and social justice advocacy which eventually led them to attend Southern Methodist University (SMU). Jo is majoring in Political Science, Public Policy, and Human Rights with minors in History and International Studies. During their time at SMU, Jo has been involved in numerous extracurricular campus activities. They served as SMU’s Queer Senator from 2019 to 2021 and as the 2021-2022 Student Senate Chief of Staff. They also served as the Vice President of three organizations on campus: East Asian Student Association, Armstrong Commons Council, and First Generation Association. In 2021, Jo will be serving as SMU’s Human Rights Council’s Finance Director and as a student representative to numerous advisory boards like Dedman College’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion initiative. Jo is the founder of the Unity Coalition @ SMU, which unites minority students in the fight against white supremacy, both on campus and in the greater Dallas area, through education and community service. In the spring of 2023, Jo will graduate from SMU and they hope to represent marginalized communities across the country through politics.  

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