Meet Sidni Smith, GASP Legal Intern
Sidni E. Smith
What is your major and why did you choose it?
I am a dual-degree JD/MPH student at Cumberland School of Law and the University of Alabama at Birmingham. I pursued this pathway to learn how the legal world works so that I can effectively implement policies that positively impact people’s health and our environment. I see law as a great tool to advance public health initiatives!
What do you hope to do after you graduate?
Go on vacation! Between present-day quarantine and the 90-day Bar exam preparation that awaits post-graduation, I want to spend two weeks out of the country (maybe in Australia) to relax, rest, and reset myself. To answer the real question, I have no idea and I am fine with that. I am a planner at heart funny enough, but I find myself allowing everything to fall into place these days.
What is your dream job?
I wouldn’t call it a job. Whatever I do will be ministry for whoever I am supposed to reach. I want a platform that allows me to share the love of Jesus and speak up for those who are unable to speak for themselves. I want to ensure that vulnerable populations obtain justice, especially as it concerns public health and environmental issues. Ministry, social justice and policy work, and advocacy pretty much sums up what I envision!
What do you hope to learn while interning with GASP?
I enjoy non-profit work! Seeing how another organization effectuates change in the community provides me with tons of insight and inspiration. I want to learn how to help my community from this angle, so as an intern I am able to obtain a different perspective on how to connect with communities and serve them well. Most importantly, I want to see how law and public health work together at the non-profit level while I gain essential research, writing, service, and advocacy skills in the process.
Why is our mission to reduce air pollution important to you?
There is something about knowing that the very communities affected by toxic air and polluted environments are my very own. As an African American female in Birmingham, I understand adversity on several levels. I am totally empathetic to individuals who feel like systems do not consider them and society makes them targets. Everyone deserves access to clean air to ensure a more quality, healthier life. While I am heavily grieved by what communities like North Birmingham are facing, I am also grieved that it only represents a snapshot of what many communities around the world experience. Our leaders, community members, and each of us individually… WE must do better and be better about caring for one another! GASP’s mission to reduce air pollution is one of the many ways to help, serve, and protect our communities and the people in them.
What is your favorite food?
Starch! Meals that incorporate potatoes, rice, and pastas are always a go-to.
What are your hobbies?
Fitness, hiking, fishing, sleeping, cooking, organizing, volunteering, writing poetry, and shopping (yes, even online shopping)!
Who or what are your influences?
My faith in God and my family. Knowing that God has a calling on my life and also having a loving and supportive family are reminders enough to keep going, to love hard, to be grateful, to serve, and to be a blessing to others at all times!
What are some other fun facts about yourself?
- I am five feet tall.
- I love heavy lifting and weight training.
- I enjoy fishing.
- I love candles and scents that smell really good.
- I do not watch much TV, but when I finally do, I end up binge-watching shows for way too long. Haha!
GASP is a nonprofit health advocacy organization based in Birmingham, Ala. Our mission is to reduce air pollution, to educate the public on the health risks associated with dirty air, and to encourage community leaders to serve as role models for clean air and clean energy production.