Inswé: Organization aims to raise awareness of education inequality

Inswé, which stands for Intellectual Swagger, is a nonprofit organization seeking to connect two seemingly unrelated subjects: education and fashion.

“It is our belief that true swagger requires intellect, and more specifically requires education,” said Jeff Badu, sophomore in Business and chief financial officer of Inswé. “We look to promote this perception through fashion sales and world service, focusing on establishing, amending and transcending educational policies.”

Therefore, Inswé does something that may sound a bit unorthodox: It uses a materialistic luxury of fashion to inform others about the serious topic of unequal education. Each culture then promotes the other to produce a unique yet effective dichotomy.

“(Inswé is meant to) raise awareness about the unequal education rights of children throughout the globe,” said Britney Boyde, senior in Business and public representative of the organization.

The organization has been officially registered for about one year. While it is currently based here on the University’s campus, the administrators are working to branch out to national and international companies in the future.

Currently, Boyde, Badu and the other administrators are interested in focusing on education in Kenya and informing students about the academic disparities there.

To do this, they raise money through fashion programs and social events at the University. In the past, they have done events like the 4.0 program and the Juke Bowl, both sponsored by the Phi Rho Eta Fraternity, Inc. The nonprofit also had a golf clinic, creating ties with this “business-oriented game,” and the business aspects of the company itself.

“As far as organizations on campus, there really aren’t any social enterprises of this caliber where the goal is not only to bring about the promotion of respecting yourself on campus educationally, but also looking to benefit global education,” said Bennett Kohler, sophomore in Media and spokesperson for Inswé.

Presently, the nonprofit is looking to raise awareness and spread its reputation as widely as possible. In the long run, the goal is to connect with other similar organizations. As company spokesperson, Kohler has begun reaching out to CHOICE Humanitarian, a Utah-based group which has direct connections to Kenya. This way, Inswé will be able to form crucial connections and underscore its credibility.

There are four people on the administrative board of the company: Boyde, Badu, Kohler, and Clarence McCray, the founder and CEO of Inswé. In addition, there are around 30 people on the street team.

Inswé is trying to get the word out around campus through their Facebook page and Twitter account (@Inswe4all). Further, McCray and Badu also took part in a radio interview for Legend Talk Radio to discuss the company.

“I think for me, it was just the fact that these were young college-age kids who could see themselves making a change in the world,” Boyde said. “And Inswé is a great organization I think … to allow awareness globally for education for kids.”

Of the profits collected through Inswé’s fashion side, 50 percent will be used directly for educational help in disadvantaged areas: constructing school buildings, creating scholarships, giving books, funding summer camps and several other relevant undertakings.

In the long run, the main goal is threefold: Inswé aims to raise awareness about unequal education in certain areas, promote fashion on campus and elsewhere, and ultimately better children’s lives in the process.