Elke Zuern and Adela Weigel ’18

Liberal Arts for the Public’s Defense

Adela Weigel ’18 began at Sarah Lawrence College with a passion for politics and a desire to enter law school to help create a more just system.

Politics faculty member Elke Zuern recognized Adela’s passion and Adela was drawn to Elke’s rigorous study of systems of inequality. Together, they researched these systems in the hopes of understanding their source.

Combating Systems of Inequality with Understanding

After witnessing the harsh and punitive gang policies during her internship in a public defender’s office, Adela turned to Elke to help craft a project that examines the source of gang formation. She argues that policy makers would be more successful in curbing gang violence if they focused on the systems of inequality that create and perpetuate gang activity, rather than solely on ridiculing and punishing gang members.