I support diversity and defend inclusion in higher education. As a Holmes Scholar, a lifetime title given to me by the Homes Foundation back in 2005, I breathe diversity. Even though I have been privileged by the conditions that my parents had in south America, I understand the struggles that many kids in this country have, especially African American students. I have worked as an interim department chair of a HBCU in my career which has given me first hand experience with issues of multiculturalism, diversity and the need for inclusion.
I’ve seen the struggles that urban kids have —- lack of funding for mobility, little access to private loans due to low credit, domestic violence, and gang activity to name a few. Issues of social class and sexual orientation among African Americans is also something that I bring to this candidacy because I had to deal with such issues at Jackson State University (JSU) in Mississippi.
In Mississippi, there is still a lot of racial oppression, sexism, homophobia and I’ve dealt with that for two years of my life. I had to protect our kids from discriminatory attacks in Jackson, counsel student’s families about police shooting, and calm down students on campus against the many attacks they experienced in a satellite campus in Madison, MS.
In my career, I have served as an implicit bias facilitator who trained many non-minority faculty and students on how to deal with issues of racism. I can bring the former as a value added to my candidacy in any university.
Despite so many challenges, my students at JSU won (graduated and many found jobs) despite the struggles they faced while pursuing a college education. I’m proud to state that I was a small part of that victory in their lives. You may find another candidate who is as passionate about diversity and inclusion as I am but not more.
I care for all.