Raised by radicals, now a Rhodes scholar
Chesa Boudin, a 22-year-old Yale senior and activist who speaks widely on the problems of children with incarcerated parents, was among the 32 American college students selected Sunday for Rhodes scholarships.
Chesa Boudin is a second-generation activist; his mother is a former leader of the 1960s radical group the Weather Underground. She and his father, David Gilbert, are in prison for their roles in a 1981 armored car robbery in New York that left a security guard and two police officers dead.
Since his parents’ arrests, Boudin has become part of the family of two other former Weathermen, Bill Ayers, now an education professor at the University of Illinois in Chicago, and Bernadine Dohrn, director of the Legal Clinic’s Children and Family Justice Center at Northwestern University.
Boudin often is invited to speak at conferences, to prison officials and other groups as an advocate for children whose parents are imprisoned. He also is member of Yale Coalition for Peace, helping organize protests against military action in Iraq. He hopes to pursue a career fighting for human rights and social justice issues in developing countries in Latin America.
“I feel very lucky to have grown up in a household where people care, where people are interested in the way that our system works,” Boudin said.