Lulu Nestor discovered her passion for peace and justice work at MSU through her focus on sociocultural anthropology and peace and justice studies. During her first year, Nestor learned about the work of the Lansing violence de-escalation and unarmed civilian accompaniment nonprofit, Meta Peace Team (MPT), in Dr. Elizabeth Drexler’s Peace and Justice Studies class. This organization trains people in violence de-escalation and sends out teams of trained civilians to keep peace at potentially violent situations, such as protests. Nestor interned with MPT, serving as a board member and part of several committees including MPT’s international committee, which places unarmed civilian accompaniment internationally. During the pandemic, she was also involved in developing the MPT de-escalation training for MSU students and staff tasked with upholding Covid prevention protocols.
Nestor’s interests in social justice issues have guided her research activities. Working with Dr. Stephen Gasteyer of the Sociology Department, Nestor was engaged in a research project that examined the ways in which communities are currently using alternatives to policing. In this research, she worked with community leaders and carried out interviews, participant observation, and an extensive literature review. Nestor has conducted several additional research projects over her undergraduate career at MSU, including an ethnography of a sanctuary church.
Nestor received the College of Social Science’s Outstanding Senior Award for Anthropology, which is an honor presented to graduating seniors who have demonstrated exemplary academic and extracurricular successes, and a strong sense of leadership, commitment, and dedication to MSU. After graduating this past spring with her major in Anthropology and minors in Peace and Justice Studies and Leadership of Organizations, she accepted a fulltime position managing fundraising at Meta Peace Team. She is excited to continue furthering this organization’s efforts in teaching methods of nonviolence for a more peaceful world.
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