Finding Answers To Big Issues

Anthony Steed

Anthony Steed, RWU Class of 2024

Major:  Anthropology + Sociology

What interests you the most about Anthropology + Sociology?

Anthropology + Sociology gives me answers to questions about society and culture. I am interested in issues like colorism, socio-economic status, and inequality. All of these issues often feel ‘too big’ to answer. Anthropology + Sociology gives me tools and research to help me come up with answers on these big issues on my own. This major helps you break down any part of society to see how things are the way they are, and then work backwards – to help contribute to fixing these bigger issues, like inequality, from the ground up.

Favorite Class:

This is a tough one. I really liked Cities and Societies because I am so interested in gentrification. I also really liked Fashion and Art, which helped me examine who sets fashions trends and how they are adopted, and Qualitative Methods, which was the first time I was able to develop a research project the way I wanted. After completing the methods class, I felt that I could write about anything.

Internship Experience:

I have had two internships. My first internship was over two months at Family Resources in Central New Jersey. I contributed by helping with event planning and administrative work. My second internship was this past summer. I was a Research Intern at Mystic Seaport Museum for the Reimagining New England History Program. I worked in the Education Department. This was by far one of the best work experiences I have had. I partnered with an intern who is an Education Major at Brown University. We worked together to create after school programs based on BIPOC maritime history. I learned so much. We created a Sailors Valentines Lesson – around the origin story that Black women in Barbados made valentines for sailors so they could earn extra income. We also developed programs centering on indigenous history in New England, focusing on canoes, river herbs and remedies for both cooking and healing. By the end of the internship, we had developed 13 lesson plans. Additionally, we developed community wide events that community members could help lead. This internship showed me that the museum is for everyone, and community partners are essential in this process.

Thoughts on your upcoming required senior thesis?

There are three projects I am thinking about. Food deserts, accessibility and food insecurity interest me. I am also interested in the ‘hidden truths’ of different music genres. How come some history’s and ‘firsts’ in music are not known in the mainstream?

What else are you doing at RWU? 

I am an RA in the Almedia Apartments, I am the Vice President of the Barbershop, a BIPOC men’s group that promotes unity and empowerment, and I have worked at the Intercultural Center for three years as a work study student. Besides a major in Anthropology + Sociology, I have two minors: Business Administration and Political Science.

Any ideas about life after RWU?

I am waiting on grad school. I want to build up my career skills first. I would like to continue to work in museums and in other venues where I can make change. I am really interested in the changes that museums can bring. Not all museums are neutral – as some museums accept funding from a variety of sources and have ‘agendas’ and I am interested in how I can better understand that concept. In terms of future work, I am thinking about how I can help create a better system of education and limit corruption within different educational fields.

What is your advice for incoming students?

Open yourself to new experiences! Keep focus on what you are interested in. Classes will open your eyes. Whether it is out loud or to yourself – question. And do not procrastinate – the work gets harder.