Meet the 2017 to 2018 Team

Marian Gardner

An image of Marian Gardner

Marian Gardner recently graduated from Brandeis University with a double major in International Global Studies and Health: Science, Society, and Policy and a minor in Legal Studies. Marian’s activism work at Brandeis began when she became president of Brandeis Immigration Education Initiative (BIEI) to work to create a platform for undocumented students. Her passion for advocating for marginalized communities at Brandeis led her to participate in Ford Hall 2015 and inspired her to apply to the Archive assistant Student Liaison position in the summer of 2017. Once hired, Marian, working closely with Maggie McNeely, carried out preliminary research that engaged the Brandeis community. Faculty, staff, alumni and current students were interviewed regarding the sensitivities surrounding a project that documents Black activism at Brandeis. Additionally, she spent the summer researching by going through Ford Hall 1969 archival material, which created the framework for Ford Hall 1969 timeline. Throughout the academic year of 2017 and 2018, she worked closely with Wil Jones and Maggie McNeely to execute the release of Black Space Portal.

Wil Jones

An Image of Wil Jones

I graduated from Brandeis with dual degrees in Politics and African & Afro-American Studies. My interests lie within Urban Planning – particularly at the intersection of socioeconomics and race and how they contribute to the forming and maintenance of underprivileged communities. As I enter the profession, I am looking for opportunities that allow me to merge theories from my studies with urban resilience frameworks to create interventions that engage urban development, wage gaps, racial equity and social cohesion, individual and collective trauma, critical infrastructure, and community governance. My primary research interests explore Black statehood and sovereignty- for which Haiti, Israel (Zionism), and the emerging study of runaway slave “maroon” societies serve as primary sites of reference.
Though unrelated to public policy and political affairs, my experience IT as an technician has peaked my interests in the tech industry. I continue to explore ways in which I can use technology in conjunction with urban development, education, and public policy; to make the field as well as the work done within it more accessible to under-served and underprivileged communities. While at Brandeis, I served as the Undergraduate Representative to the Board of Trustees, the University Archives Student Assistant and Liaison, and the class of 2018’s Commencement Speaker.

Eternally representing Queens, New York, I owe my upbringing to two resilient women; my mother Tina Smith, and my caretaker Sharon “Safta” Engle. My passion for social justice and coalition building between American-Jewish and Black communities is a direct result of their nurturing. I am an American-African male, and my pronouns are He, Him, His.

Maggie McNeely

Photo of University Archivist Maggie McNeely

Maggie McNeely earned her master’s degree with a concentration in Archives Management in December 2004 from Simmons College, and has worked at Brandeis University since 2005. In her time at Brandeis she has assisted researchers, taught classes, created exhibits, digitized materials, and acquired and managed archival collections for the Robert D. Farber University Archives & Special Collections at Brandeis University. Her participation in what would become the BBAC project was inspired by the Ford Hall 2015 student movement. One of her primary objectives for this project is working toward creating a truly inclusive archive which accurately represents the history of the Brandeis community.