Ellis Maxwell ’20 Honored as 2019 Newman Civic Fellow
The English major is one of 262 students from 39 states, three countries, and Washington, D.C., who are part of the 2019 cohort of the fellowship, which provides a year of learning and networking opportunities emphasizing personal, professional, and civic growth.
Ellis Maxwell ’20 has received a Newman Civic Fellowship, which recognizes and supports student leaders who are invested in finding solutions for challenges facing communities around the globe. Maxwell, an English major from New York City, was recognized for work in Haverford’s peer-led Customs program and as a leader of campus club Rethink Incarceration, which advocates for and works in solidarity with those who are imprisoned in the United States and advocates for prison abolition.
The yearlong program, which is run by Campus Compact, a Boston-based nonprofit that works to advance the public purposes of higher education, provides a variety of learning and networking opportunities for fellows, emphasizing personal, professional, and civic growth. Additionally, the fellows are invited to a national conference of Newman Civic Fellows in partnership with the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate.
These opportunities for partnership and cooperation are of particular interest to Maxwell.
“I am always interested in meeting other people working on similar and related issues at other campuses,” they said. (Maxwell uses they/them pronouns.) “Rethink Incarceration seeks out opportunities for collaboration, and I’m hoping this fellowship will open up new possibilities.”
Maxwell has spent three years at Haverford deeply involved in creating a shared sense of campus community. In several roles with the Customs Program, which supports first-year students’ transition to college life, they have helped acclimatize the newest Fords by living alongside them in residence halls, helping them navigate academic requirements, and holding leadership positions that train and plan the program itself. (They were Customs Person co-head with Joie Ling ’20 last year.) Maxwell’s three years of work with Rethink Incarceration—they are currently the group’s co-head with Alicia Lopez-Torres ’20—engages with communities beyond the College, but is similarly driven by desire for real-world impact.
“Ellis Maxwell is a facilitative leader who takes a community-centered approach to public problem solving, bringing people together across real or perceived differences, and creating exemplary civil, civic discourse” wrote President Kim Benston in his nomination letter of support. “Ellis’ curiosity about and respect of various perspectives, evident in all [their] work, demonstrates an ethical approach to social change work.”
Maxwell is one of 262 students from 39 states, Washington, D.C., Greece, and Mexico who are part of the 2019 cohort of the fellowship.
“The stories of this year’s Newman Civic Fellows make clear that they are committed to finding solutions to pressing problems in their communities and beyond,” said Campus Compact President Andrew Seligsohn. “That is what Campus Compact is about, and it’s what our country and our world desperately need.”
Learn more at compact.org/newman-civic-fellowship.