Daniel Marks, SOC/BA ‘16
Daniel Marks broadened his perspective of racial justice while attending American University as a Frederick Douglass Distinguished Scholar (FDDS). Now a legal assistant at the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), he strives to impact societal change with racial justice as a framework.
The FDDS program allowed him to graduate debt free and presented transformative opportunities like meeting thought leaders in DC, studying abroad in London and Kenya, and being a part of a community he will never forget. “I found the smartest, brightest, kindest people I've ever met in my life,” Marks said.
A public relations major, Marks interned with the national public affairs firm, The Raben Group, and was a PPIA Fellow at the University of California-Berkeley. He said the skills he learned while at AU helped him approach and expose injustices, and he wants to become a thought leader for racial injustice and LGBT rights.
Marks credits an FDDS trip to South Africa for changing his life and career trajectory. It introduced him to Bette Dickerson, AU sociology associate professor and the faculty mentor who taught him what advocacy and leadership look like. It also inspired him to lead two AU Alternative Break trips to South Africa, where he learned leadership and administrative skills that helped him take the next step in his career. “It allowed me to take every theory, every concept I learned within the sociology department and apply it to real-world settings and learn from people on the ground,” Marks said.