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Student Spotlight

Gail Parson

After more than  a decade of working on social and economic justice campaigns for community based organizations, I was drawn to studying history at the graduate level in order to improve my writing and analytical thinking skills. Through DePaul's program, I have actively sought opportunities to follow my particular passion: to analyze the history of social movements from a variety of perspectives. 

For example, I have researched the Irish Catholic Associations organizing methods that led to the Catholic Relief Act of 1829; the lack of agency attributed to Native Americans and slaves respectively in the historiography of the Indian Removal Act of 1830, and the Haitian Revolution of 1791-1804; and how Italian immigrants viewed the services of Hull House in Chicago in conjunction with their participation American society. I am interested in ways that social history can incorporate the perspectives of those ultimately impacted by social policy into the historical narrative.

In addition to my part-time work as a graduate student, I work full time at a national non-profit which focuses on tax policy for the low and moderate income and have an internship with the Global FoodBanking Network, an international organization dedicated to creating and strengthening food banks and national food bank networks. 

As part of the internship, I will both write a history of the foodbanking movement, and conduct oral histories of key players in the movement. I am currently working with Professor Amy Tyson on an independent study focused on the history of feeding assistance policy in the United States with a focus on the 1960s.