Cynthia Sebian-Lander, MS ’11

Alumni Q&A

Why did you choose Antioch’s Advocacy program?
“It really had everything I was looking for, and at the time I didn’t even know what I was looking for. I knew I wanted to go back to school and do something for making change and organizing but all I saw were policy programs. When I saw Antioch’s program I was really excited about it and knew that I needed to get into this school.”

What did you like most about your time in the program?
“I think that the opportunity to do so many hands on projects, you know the first thing we did in a class with Steve was working out in the community, doing election work and teaching folks who the candidates were. Through the practicums and clinics there were just so many opportunities to work with nonprofits and get real hands on experience.”

What valuable skills do you think you learned in this program?
“I think there are a lot of things I learned while at Antioch, definitely a deeper understanding and appreciation for the advocacy world and the history of movement building. One of my favorite classes was Diversity and Coalition Building, it was just really amazing, it really dug deep into how to build bridges across differences and forming coalitions with people who were unlikely allies. It was really great, that entire semester.”

What is your current work and what other jobs have you had since graduation?
“I have had a lot of jobs since graduation; I am currently a Field Director for a Congressional Campaign in VA. I worked for Planned Parenthood and the Affordable Care Act, I worked for president Obama’s re-election campaign in 2012, I worked for Chesapeake Climate Action Network, an environmental non-profit working to get a wind energy bill passed in MD, I worked for a children’s Non-profit called children matters. I also have worked with low -income mothers and women and labor unions doing organizing in both Florida and Wisconsin. I have done a lot since graduating in 2010.”

How did Antioch’s Advocacy program help you get there?
“So I think that in many different ways, for one just expanding my idea of what organizing was and my understanding of how different movements are connected. I never would have considered being a labor union organizer before going to Antioch. The program just did a really good job at giving different opportunities to me and my cohort to be involved in diverse campaigns and nonprofits; it helped me be open to opportunities and be willing to work hard for whatever group or cause I am with at the moment.”

Is there anything else you want to add that I didn’t ask?
“I think that the time I spent there really did shape who I am today, as far as what my values and passions are. It was just such a great experience and a wonderful atmosphere to have been a part of, to develop a better understanding of the place we live in.”

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