“PULSE itself is intentional about knowing the community in Pittsburgh that you are a part of .”
A graduate of Swarthmore College, Anna Weber majored in English and minored in Gender/Sexuality Studies and Peace/Conflict Studies. She was heavily involved in service during her time at Swarthmore. Anna worked with the Petey Greene Program where she tutored students in a correctional facility, worked on proposals to help improve gender support services for incarcerated women, and founded a think tank. Her passion for social issues has been demonstrated through her research on a variety of global gender and minority topics as well as her active support for sexual assault survivors and policy reform within her school. Anna’s hobbies include working on digital design projects and exploring bookstores. Anna is a part of the East End cohort and serves at POWER. Anna was interviewed by Kiersten Jones.
Kiersten: How has PULSE inspired you to live/think/act differently?
Anna: It has inspired me to act a lot more communally. Learning to deal with something like a communal food budget was a huge challenge. We initially tried doing an individual budget, but we found that our budget works better by making community meals. It creates less stress overall and we are able to provide equally for each other. PULSE itself is intentional about knowing the community in Pittsburgh that you are a part of.
Kiersten: What have you enjoyed most about living in community? How have you and your housemates pushed/encouraged one another?
Anna: I think that there are a lot of strengths that other PULSErs have that I get to learn from just by being in the same house, whether that is from their nonprofits or just their interests. I also get to learn about their struggles, getting to come home and hear about other people’s experiences in their nonprofits. That doesn’t mean there aren’t challenges. PULSE has definitely pushed me to have conversations about equitable responsibilities and how much space people take up, as well as being considerate of other people’s boundaries and capacities.
Kiersten: What have you enjoyed most about your nonprofit partnership?
Anna: I’ve enjoyed the supportive environment of an all-women organization, whether that’s cracking jokes about uncomfortable bras or talking about hot flashes. There is a consistent question that is asked at POWER which is, “What do you need?” That has pushed me. It has also pushed me intellectually to lead curriculum groups on women’s empowerment and learn about the gendered experiences of drug and alcohol addiction.
Kiersten: What’s your favorite “family meal” recipe for the house?
Anna: Chickpea Shakshuka.
Kiersten: How do you like to spend your morning and evening commute?
Anna: Podcasts; it changes daily!
Kiersten: What is the most interesting/fun adventure you’ve had in Pittsburgh so far?
Anna: Seeing the unique events that happen at the Union Project where I work.
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