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SECF Staff Highlight: Olivia Murray


SECF's spring 2020 intern, Olivia Murray, came to our offices already armed with plenty of knowledge on the issues Southern philanthropy works to address. What she hopes to gain in the weeks ahead, she says, is perspective on the role foundations play in promoting equity and opportunity.

"I was drawn to SECF through my interest in nonprofit organizations as a vessel for social and economic progress," she says. "I wanted to learn more about how foundations choose which organizations to fund and how these funds impact the communities closest to me. SECF provided the perfect opportunity to educate myself in these areas, as well as take part in serving foundations that provide much-needed support around the Southeast."

Olivia, a senior at Georgia State University, has already worked with staff on this week's Philanthropy Essentials program and assisted with research in preparation for next month's Foundations on the Hill. She expects to continue focusing on public policy in the weeks ahead – an area that aligns well with her major, political science.

Olivia also has a strong interest in how states in the Southeast handle criminal justice issues. An earlier internship at the Southern Center for Human Rights, she says, reaffirmed her commitment to practicing civil rights law at a career.

"I see so much potential for growth in the South, and I am encouraged by the countless people committed to ensuring fair and equal justice for all," she says. "I look forward to starting my career in the South and taking part in the great work being done here."

Olivia will begin her path to legal work not long after her SECF internship ends. She's currently weighing offers to attend law school, which she will begin this fall.

"I hope to use my law degree to serve indigent populations in the Southeast," she says. "Ultimately, I would like to open my own non-profit legal organization with focus on appealing overly harsh sentences."

A native of Tampa, Florida, Olivia serves on GSU's Student Judicial Board and leads academic development work for the legal fraternity Phi Alpha Delta. In her free time, she enjoys checking out the Atlanta food scene with her friends and family.

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