So it’s been a couple of weeks since my last post. I just haven’t had the inspiration or felt like there was anything I needed to say. With all of the things going on in the world including Baltimore, there is a lot on my mind and in my heart. #BlackLivesMatter is extremely important to me because I am tired of the systemic racism going on in our country as well as the erasure of the black experience with #AllLivesMatter. I’ve made several facebook posts about this, but the #BlackLivesMatter hashtag and movement is not to say that black lives matter more than other lives. It is a declaration that they matter as much as every other life in a society that is constantly telling us that they don’t.
I have a lot of feelings about this and it definitely leads to why I want to do the work that I will do. I want to educate students and others on college campuses on how to recognize, discuss and combat social injustices in the world. There was a quote I saw on a sign that really spoke to me. It said “Privilege is when you think something is not a problem because it’s not a problem for you personally.” I want everyone I interact with to understand that. Everyone has to work together in order to combat social injustices. And just because an issue don’t affect you does not mean that it won’t affect others. People have to recognize that everyone has multiple identities. If a person has multiple oppressed identities, they cannot and should not have to choose between which issues affect them more. All people should be allies to all movements because if they are not, they are leaving out people within their respective group.
I am extremely blessed to have had the opportunities I have had. I have the ability to say that I have a college degree and will be returning to school to pursue my master’s degree. With this comes privilege. I know that and I plan on using my privilege to help others, provide support and to advocate for those who did not have the opportunities I have had. Recently, I registered for my first semester of grad school. That is a huge deal. I also found out where I will be living/working for the next year. I am super excited, but I am also terrified. I am about to be someone’s supervisor. While I know that I can be successful in my role, there are a lot of questions and “what ifs” going through my mind. What if my staff doesn’t like me? What if my students don’t like me? What if fail at supporting my students and providing a place where they safe and welcomed? I know that some of these are farfetched. I know who I am and what I can do, but it’s a very different role from every other role I’ve had. I’m super excited for the challenge and I am confident that I will have the support necessary to excel.
Throughout this past year, I have had people tell me that I’ve inspired them in various ways. While this is ultimately my goal in life, it feels weird. The first time I heard it was in relation to my pursuit of graduate study for a second time after feeling rejection the previous year. In my mind, I was simply pursuing a goal and wasn’t going to let anything deter that goal. Another time I was told that I was inspiring was recently when I commented about the occurrence in Baltimore. I was simply speaking from my heart. I’ve never been one to look for recognition. I have never been the award winner or the person everyone knows does these great things. And I don’t have to be to get joy out of life. If I can impact a few people I encounter, then I can say that I did something with my life.
I want to inspire people. I want someone to look at me and say “because of you, I didn’t give up!”
I am anxiously awaiting the day I leave for Oxford to work towards my goals. I also am awaiting the day when systemic oppression is a thing of the past. Until then there is a lot of work to be done.