Profile: Suzie Kassouf

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Bailey Armstrong

By Bailey Armstrong

Suzie Kassouf is a new student teacher working with teacher Blaire Hennessy in her social studies classes. Kassouf hopes to bring what she learns from being an activist to the Lincoln community.

Throughout the year Kassouf will be taking over a handful of the history classes.

“Right now I am mostly just observing,” said Kassouf, “then I will be taking over this class [6th period U.S. history]. And then in the spring, I will be taking over three more classes.”

Kassouf has many reasons that inspired her to become an educator.

“Education is at the core of building a just and liberating world. Everyone has the capacity to be compassionate, loving and caring,” said Kassouf.

This is Kassouf’s second year in the Lincoln community. Last year she observed in both Mr. Reed’s and Ms. Hennessy’s classes as part of her teacher education program.

This year she has new goals.

She hopes to“create a sense of care in the classroom. I want us all to feel like a community together and like our voice matters but also have the humility to learn,” said Kassouf.

In addition to being a teacher and a student, Kassouf is also an activist. Kassouf became an activist after learning that UN scientists published a document stating that we have until 2030 to cut our global emissions in half.

“At first I just got really depressed,” said Kassouf, “ but then I just thought you know, I am not going to give up.”

Kassouf works with Sunrise pdx (a non-profit organization) where she co-coordinates their actions and strategy team.

“We have been showing up to the Metro 20/20 task force meetings,” Kassouf said.

At these meetings, she has been “pressuring them not to expand freeways and do things that will make for more fossil fuel infrastructure, but instead to really invest in public transit and safe biking and walking.”

Kassouf has learned a lot through her work as an activist that she wishes to bring to the classroom.

“We are so much more powerful than the powers that be want us to believe … but when we join together we can make anything happen.”