So, who has been behind our Tumblr, Twitter, FaceBook, Instagram, and Google+ accounts?
Check out this interview with our Social Media Intern, Shannon Quinn, to learn more about her.
Q: Where are you from?
A: I’m from a small town in Connecticut called Cromwell. I lived there my entire life until I moved to DC for college.
Q: What activism are you engaged in now?
A: Aside from my social media activism at UNRWA USA, I’m currently co-chair of a Rape Culture Awareness campaign at GW. I’m huge into both feminist issues and international human rights issues, so I try to be as intersectional as possible with my activism. I’m excited for the fall to come so I can continue educating about rape culture, and I plan to bring both Palestine and global issues into the mix of it all.
Q: How and when did you get introduced to the plight of Palestine refugees?
A: I studied abroad in the West Bank at Birzeit University last summer. I originally went just to get better at my Arabic, but I fell in love with everything about Palestine; the people, the culture, the beauty of the land. Ever since then I’ve wanted to do everything possible from the US side to provide support to the Palestinian people and stand in solidarity.
Q: Why did you choose to intern with UNRWA USA?
A: I knew that it was important to educate the American public about Palestine since there’s so much misinformation and propoganda floating around out there, and that’s the mindset that I had when I came back from studying at Birzeit. Even though I was doing my own activism on social media and engaging my peers from student organizations in the conversation, I wanted to do more. So when I saw Laila’s post for this internship on GW SJP’s Facebook page, I applied without even thinking twice.
Q: What role do you think social media plays in UNRWA USA’s work?
A: Social media is hugely important, especially for the advocacy part of our mission. It’s a way to communicate with our audience in a reliable and daily way, but it also gives us the potential to grow our supporters in a way that wouldn’t be possible through more “traditional” forms of communications. For example, I went state by state reaching out to Palestinian and other progressive groups to let them know about us, and it upped our followers and engagement as an organization. It’s a convenient way to grow community partnerships and give information to people in a relevant manner that they might actually pay attention to!
Q: What do you find to be most challenging about the important work you do with UNRWA?
A: Social media is a great tool, but it can also be challenging to fit what you’re trying to say in 140 characters or less (especially for me as a person that can write pages on what could probably be said in two sentences). I also find fundraising challenging in general–trying to find different ways to say “please donate to help the kids who need it!” takes some creativity. But being able to push myself to find different ways to frame things has been one of the most valuable challenges that I’ve taken on here.
Q: What has the highlight of your internship been?
A: Definitely being able to work with the UNRWA USA team. The office is so passionate and tight-knit, and even though the work can be depressing in many ways, their vision for change and progress is so inspiring to me. I never dreaded coming to work and I was glad when I stayed on from the spring semester into the summer–as my first substantial internship, I learned so much from everyone here and they served as such incredible mentors for me. I’ll never forget my time here with this amazing staff!
If you are interested in learning more about our internships, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.