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HDS has a lot of cool events that take place every year, and I would like to highlight one of them. The Charity Ball, or HDS Prom, as some of the sassier members of our community call it, is an annual tradition at Harvard Divinity School that happens toward the end of Spring Semester. The event is sponsored by the HDS Student Association (HDSSA), which means that they pay for everything so that all the money from ticket sales goes directly to charity.

I was on the Charity Ball planning committee this year, and we decided that we wanted the charity we chose to reflect dialogues that had taken place on campus this year. Two salient topics emerged throughout the year in conversations across campus: trans* justice and immigration issues. The HDSSA Events Coordinator came up with some great organizations that spoke to those two topics, and as a committee we chose to give the proceeds to MassEquality, which does a lot of work with the trans* community, and the Political Asylum/Immigration Representation (PAIR) Project, which offers pro bono legal assistance to people seeking asylum in the US as well as people who have been illegally detained. We chose these organizations because they work on issues that we feel are important to the HDS community. (You can find out more about them at http://www.massequality.org/ and http://www.pairproject.org/.)

At the Charity Ball, we had a DJ (you may have heard of him, DJ Zeke, he’s big in Belgium, I think), a photo booth, the finest wine and beer you can acquire on a very limited budget, and a delicious spread of food catered by Whole Foods. We also had a late night pizza delivery, which was very successful and should be standard at all parties thrown in the future, anywhere, ever.

The Charity Ball 2014 was a huge success, and we raised $2,800 to donate to MassEquality & the PAIR Project. We got to see our colleagues looking snazzy and breaking it down on the dance floor to the smooth stylings of DJ Zeke, who ended the evening on the perfect note by playing Savage Garden’s “Truly Madly Deeply” as everyone swayed and sang along together. HDS has lots of ways of supporting local mission-driven organizations—and this is a particularly excellent one. I hope to see you there in the future!

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