Director of Student Achievement Services
What creates empathy and sympathy…is having that exposure. I consider myself a Feminist because of my mother. Being exposed to my mother and some of the things I know she had to go through. My mother was the first black elementary school teacher in her school in the seventies. Hearing some of the things she had to go through…those are experiences that I now have…around women’s rights and women equality because of that exposure to my mother and what she went through. It is the same thing with diversity and inclusion. You may not be able to live in the shoes of a person who’s in the LGBTQ+ community…but maybe you can go to an event, or workshop…or seminar or speaker, where you get a new perspective.
Like many of our incoming first-year, first-generation students of color, I struggled academically. The social life took over and I fell into the usual traps; first time away from home and I have all of this freedom. I was in my room playing video games and going to house parties, doing everything but studying and going to class. So, in my first couple of years, I struggled academically. When I finally realized what I was doing…I failed a couple of classes, and I missed assignments, and I was like, I am going to fail out of school. It sounds corny, but I felt like I was going to let my family down. And, that was all the motivation that I needed. I eventually reached out for help… I had reached out to the department that I am overseeing now.