Lilith Winkler-Schor, the School of Liberal Arts graduation speaker, Truman Scholar, and Gordon Summer Fellow, personifies the interdisciplinary virtuosity of a liberal arts education.
“Liberal arts for me is really about the flexibility to execute my passion,” says Winkler-Schor, who received a bachelor’s degree in political science and social policy and practice, and a bachelor of fine arts degree in glass and sculpture, as well a minor in SISE.
Winkler-Schor, who was born in Germany, now hails from Seattle, Washington. She co-founded Roots of Renewal, an organization that trains formerly incarcerated young adults in construction and connects them with work thereafter.
She speaks eloquently on the interconnectedness of her art and social policy work, reflecting on how the School of Liberal Arts made both possible. “Being able to combine these two fields has been hugely important for me and something that I've loved. And how they’ve helped me think about the opposite field as well has been really interesting.”
Lilith states that her passion is creating equitable cities, although she realizes that doing so will take a two-pronged approach requiring both creativity and practicality. “I think we need to change the systems that are inequitable. But I think we also need people to buy into the fact that they need to be changed. And I think that that’s where policy and art come together. Art is often the catalyst to get people to think about how systems aren’t equitable in the first place or why we need to change things or just provoke thought to begin with.”
Winkler-Schor has been awarded the prestigious Truman Scholarship, a graduate school scholarship rewarding demonstrative leadership in public service. She plans to defer graduate school to work on Roots of Renewal, and she ultimately hopes to pursue urban planning or urban design.
This summer, as a recipient of the Gordon Summer Fellowship, she will travel to nine cities to study and compare social practice art and social impact design.
“I think the role of future Tulane graduates is constantly to be thinking outside of our own neighborhood,” she says. “We must understand where we are and what our responsibilities and opportunities are in order to make sure that we’re thinking beyond ourselves.”
View all SLA student awards here.
Learn more about Roots of Renewal.