Name: Christine Ramkarran
Year: Spring 2018
Why QC: “Because of its affordability and incredible liberal arts program. Many of my teachers in high school are graduates of QC and only had great things to say about their experience at the college.”
“I’ve had to deal with two different cultures that place women on very different playing fields, but either playing field isn’t equal to that of a man in America.”
– Christine Ramkarran
Fully aware that growing up in the United States has afforded her far more of a voice in determining what she can do with her life than she would have experienced in the more conservative culture of her native Guyana, Christine Ramkarran focuses her energies on the issue of gender equality.
Despite the opportunities she’s enjoyed growing up in the U.S., she notes, “I’ve had to deal with two different cultures that place women on very different playing fields, but either playing field isn’t equal to that of a man in America.”
“A film I worked on consistently for a month was Pervert Park,” she notes. “It’s about a community in Florida that houses individuals who have committed sexual offenses.” In the overwhelmingly male population in this housing facility, there were only two women, and nothing was being done to accommodate them any differently—despite the fact that most female sex offenders report being sexually abused. “This led me to believe that a separate facility should be created for them,” Ramkarran says.
In her nine weeks with “POV,” Ramkarran also screened uncut versions of documentaries under consideration for broadcast during the program’s upcoming thirtieth season. She contributed her thoughts as to whether the films were appropriate for PBS and got their point across without being one-sided. She also was involved in community outreach efforts to provide organizations with films and free educational materials to help them create a local event around the issue highlighted in the film.
For the moment, however, she appreciates the significant takeaway from her first Watson placement. “This definitely solidified my passion about working with communities for social change,” she says. “The thing about ‘POV’ I really enjoyed was that I was able to call people and talk with them about these issues on a daily basis. I like people to know that a human person is at the other end of the line who really cares about the work that they’re doing.
Favorite Book: My favorite book is Fig by Sarah Elizabeth Schantz, which follows a young girl named Fig and her experience growing up with a schizophrenic mother.
Surprising Fact: I really enjoy watching shows and documentaries about the paranormal.