Armonté Butler (C’17) receives Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship

Armonté Butler

By Katie Kenerly

Executive Staff

This semester, Armonté Butler (C’17) will take his many talents and beautiful spirit to Argentina as a recipient of the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship; according to the International and Global Studies department’s website, this scholarship program reviewed “nearly 2,900 applications for approximately 850 awards,” making it clear that Butler outshone many of his competitors. With the Gilman, Butler will spend the next 15 weeks participating in the School for International Training’s (SIT) Social Movements and Human Rights program located in Buenos Aires. During this time, Butler will be attending classes, held entirely in Spanish, at the Centro de Estudios de Estado Sociedad (CEDES) and participating in a six-week homestay in a neighborhood known as Flores. Butler explained that his main areas of focus include “Argentina’s political and social history, human rights and the Photo courtesy of Armonté Butler (center) struggle for justice, the theory and practice of social movements, memory, and memorialization and the International System of Human Rights Protection.”

In addition to taking a full course load, Butler will be participating in a four-week Independent Study Project (ISP) during which he has the opportunity to conduct original research on topics such as women’s rights, issues of identity, and reproductive justice. This program will also allow him to travel to Patagonia, in the northwest region of Argentina, as well as the Bolivian border during three weeks of community service oriented educational field excursions. As an International and Global Studies (IGS) and Women’s and Gender Studies (WGS) double major, Butler feels that his courses at Sewanee (CLPP). Under this program I interned at two social justice organizations have prepared him for this experience and helped him recognize exactly what it is he’s passionate about. He went on to explain: “This summer I also prepared for this experience after interning as a Reproductive Rights Activist Service Corps (RRASC) intern, an opportunity provided to me by Hampshire College’s Civil Liberties and Public Policy Program a regional Queer Liberation organization made in Atlanta, GA, at SPARK Reproductive Justice Now, an organization that organizes Black women and LGBTQQ youth of color to ensure their ability to make empowered decisions about their bodies, identities, sexualities, and families. The second organization that I interned at was Southerners On New Ground (SONG), up of people of color, immigrants, undocumented people, people with disabilities, working class and rural and small town, LGBTQ people in the South.”

Anyone who meets Monty Butler can see that he is destined to do great things in this world, and thanks to the Gilman Scholarship, he is able to help make Argentina a better place. Butler would also like to extend a thank you to those who helped make this experience possible. “I am forever grateful to the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and the Institute of International Education, Hannah Helmick (the Program Associate of the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program), and several Sewanee and Posse Foundation faces that include Dr. Paige Schneider, Ms. Barbara Banks, Akash Tharani, Sam Limson, Dr. Donna Murdock, Dr. Betsy Sandlin, Dr. Julie Berebitsky, Dr. Mila Dragojevic, Dean Jones, Donna Parker, and Shawnee Scissom.”