The Okrent Memorial Grant for Social Justice
(OMG for Social Justice)

Alex Okrent '05             ALEX OKRENT '05 VIA TWITTER

The Okrent Memorial Grant for Social Justice
(aka The OMG for Social Justice Grant) has been established in loving memory of Alex S. Okrent, a 2005 graduate of Wesleyan University. Alex was dedicated to social change and tirelessly fought injustice during his time at Wesleyan and throughout his career. Alex did not just stick to the popular, easy causes, but took on the tough fights: raised in the Jewish tradition, he fought for peace and justice for both Palestinians and Israelis; while straight, he was at the forefront of the fight to protect the rights of LGBT folks; and, as a junior in college, Alex made the decision to take a semester off from Wesleyan to work for a small unknown state senator named Barack Obama. Alex died suddenly and unexpectedly in July of 2012. This grant is designed to help continue Alex’s legacy of fighting for the common good, for working relentlessly for social justice, and inspiring all with general chutzpah and compassion. The OMG Fund will support a Wesleyan student to work, volunteer, or intern for an organization or on an independently designed project meant to further social justice. It will support at least one student’s activities or experiences over the summer per year, and will be awarded by a committee of professors, many of whom had the pleasure of teaching and working with Alex, and administrators. The OMG Fund will be   administered by the Career Center. 

We've received over $120,000 in gifts in Alex's memory to fund this grant, including $85,000 from the Obama campaign. This contribution from the campaign represented a portion of ticket sales from the staff inaugural ball, all donated in memory of Alex. Click here to see a video of President Obama's speech at the 2013 Inaugural Staff Ball during which he talks about Alex around the 10 minute mark.

These awards will be handled through the Summer Experience Grant application process.