Alumni Update: Kelly Damon Caiazzo (MA/BA, ’05)

The History Department was delighted to receive an update from Kelly Damon Caiazzo, a 2005 graduate. Read Kelly’s update below:

“When I graduated from Emory’s History program, I had a great appreciation for history but hadn’t taken much part in it myself. Almost 2 decades later, I find that my background in history has helped me look for meaningful ways to contribute as I live through it. During the PPE shortage in the early phases of Covid-19,  my community mobilized to sew cloth PPE for essential workers, then family and friends. I have never felt as close to the women who inspired Rosie the Riveter as I did bent over my sewing machine late at night wondering if my work could save a life. Cars pulled in and out of my driveway as people picked up sewing kits I created, or dropped off fabric donations.

Masks that Kelley sewed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

We were part of history, contributing what we could as we worried about the world. Our background in history provides us with context for how things have been achieved in the past. It can empower us with ideas for how to spark change and remind us that that the small actions of many individuals create movements that are necessary for progress. In the time since I’ve graduated, I’ve knocked on doors and written letters to encourage voter turnout, called senators, volunteered for a rape crisis hotline, and created a dinner and documentary series to promote environmental activism in my town. I’ve led efforts that brought speakers on anti-racism and LGBTQUIA+ inclusion to my children’s school and served on the board of several non-profits. I do this in part because I learned from my professors at Emory how important we all are. We are all part of history. We are bystanders, witnesses, activists, writers and teachers. From Bowden Hall out into the world, we can use what we’ve learned to make progress.”

Are you an Emory History alumnus? Please send us updates on your life and work!

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