In her role as Coordinator of Advocacy at the Center for Social Inclusion (www.thecsi.org), Simran is responsible for policy research and analysis, cultivating and maintaining relationships with grassroots and national allies and working closely with the data-based research team for advocacy strategy and tool development.
Prior to joining the Center for Social Inclusion, Simran served as Program Manager at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation where she worked with the Food, Health & Well-being, Racial Equity and Civic & Community Engagement portfolios. She also served as Program Assistant at the Annie E. Casey Foundation where she supported the Policy Research and KIDS COUNT teams. Simran is deeply committed to youth development, having worked in organizational development and as frontline staff for the Holistic Life Foundation, a Baltimore-based yoga and mindfulness program, and as a language arts and community engagement teacher for middle school students through the Middle Grades Partnership.
Simran holds a dual bachelor’s degree in American Studies and Political Science from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and a dual master’s degree in Public Administration and Social Policy from the University of Pennsylvania.
“The Social Policy program at SP2 was an excellent training ground for my current position as Coordinator of Advocacy at the Center for Social Inclusion. During my time at Penn, I was able to both refine my policy analysis and development skills and gain a deep and extensive knowledge about the history of social policy and programs and intersections with and implications for race, class, and gender dynamics in the U.S. My current role requires me to think strategically about policy opportunity and leverage. By gaining policy development knowledge and skills like outlining key elements of legislation, utilizing Thomas (The Library of Congress site) and basic statistical and applied research methods and conducting stakeholder analyses during my time at SP2, I am much more effective in my current position.
“Professors like Dr. Freeman, Iverson and Spigner also introduced the roots of social policy legislation and implementation. By learning the history of when and why programs were created and the ideologies that have guided policy making since (and in some cases prior) to The New Deal Era, I was equipped with the kind of information I need to succeed. Since much of our policy history repeats itself and much of the foundational ideology has not shifted, I am also keenly aware of the dynamics in which today’s elected and administrative officials are operating. And courses like Critical Race Theory not only reinforced knowledge about systems thinking and the need for systemic change but also re-ignited my passion to work in social and racial justice for a lifetime.
“Another very important piece of my Social Policy experience was relationship building with fellow students and faculty and through outside enrichment experiences like guest speakers and visits to Washington D.C. Fellow students were and continue to be excellent thought partners in terms of career and life development. Faculty were and continue to be resources and key advisers. External relationships and enrichment activities simply demonstrated how central relationship development is to all things but particularly to move policy.
“All in all, SP2 allowed for a deeply enriching and engaging experience that left me more knowledgeable and well rounded to truly become a social change agent.”