The University of Massachusetts Amherst

Behind the Leader: Nathalie Amazan '20

Nathalie AmazanNathalie Amazan / photo and video by Ebru Kardan
Tuesday, March 6, 2018

We caught up with Nathalie Amazan '20 to talk about the work she does on campus in a leadership capacity. Nathalie is a political science and legal studies major, the newly elected Vice President of the UMass Amherst Student Government Association, the co-founder of the UMass Prison Abolition Collective, and works at the Stonewall Center where she does trainings around queer and trans identities and terminologies. She is also a member of the SBS Academic Fellows program and works at theCenter for Education Policy & Advocacy (CEPA).

Nathalie, originally a computer science major, quickly realized that her true passion was in politics and law after taking a women's studies class. "We studied a lot about politics and how law affects women and different reproductive issues. So that's kind of where I found my "in" with political science."

She co-founded the Prison Abolition Collective in November 2016 after the Racial Justice Coalition gave a screening of the 13th documentary, which explores the "intersection of race, justice and mass incarceration in the United States." The film is titled after the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which freed the slaves and prohibited slavery. "We decided that we should make a group and be the educative body and the advocates on campus, too," Nathalie told us. The Collective will be holding teach-ins in March and April going over different aspects of prison abolition.

In the future, Nathalie plans to attend law school and continue her social justice work, particularly with communities of color within the prison system. "Maybe a future in politics and running for office one day," she adds. Nathalie will also be completing an internship in Washington DC this summer as one of the inaugural fellows in the SBS in DC program.

We'd like to congratulate Nathalie on her new appointment as Vice President of the UMass SGA! The SGA is also looking for cabinet members, and interested students can apply online