Fighter for rights

February 4, 2021


By Cheryl Spain

“Ever since I was a little kid, I wanted to help change the world,” said Mary Morgan, ’11.

That lifelong fervent desire landed Morgan in the unlikeliest of places: Beirut, Lebanon, working for the British government during the Syrian civil war.

After graduation, Morgan was working at global public affairs firm Qorvis Communications in Washington, D.C., handling the firm’s media relations and communications for the Syrian opposition. During peace talks in 2016, her expertise caught the eye of the UK Special Envoy. Three weeks after a job offer, she arrived in Beirut working for the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

“I've always been quite passionate about how we can make the world better by coming together and fighting for freedoms and rights for everyone,” she said. “That’s what first took me toward Syria.”

It was also the driving force behind her departure as she looked to use her personal experience to start conversations around rape culture and “the lack of body autonomy that our society grants women.” Morgan, a survivor of a 2016 rape, looked to “reclaim the narrative” and ultimately eradicate sexual assault from our society.

Morgan is now based in London and focuses her efforts on body politics and pushing for social change through a combination of writing, research, and visual arts. In August 2020, she released a short art film, This Is Not for You, in which she addresses her attacker for the first time. She also has a body politics website and newsletter, and is writing a book about these issues.

“I've always known the world was unjust … and the more frank we are with the reality of what things are, the more likely we are to change them,” Morgan said. “We need to actively fight for a society that is free and equal for all, not just for some. I am unapologetic in my fight to change culture for the better.”