I have been supporting diversity and defending inclusion in higher education for a number of years. As a Holmes Scholar, a lifetime title granted from a minority organization based in Washington, DC because of my LatinX ethnicity, I breathe inclusion, access and the need for racial justice. Even though, I have been privileged by my parents’ condition in South America, I am aware of the trauma and the struggles that many urban youth in America experience due to primary data, qualitative encounters and much emphatic listening.
I have leadership experience in two Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU’s), one of which, I am at currently. This has given me first hand experience on topics relating to multiculturalism, diversity and the pressing need to support the inclusion agenda in institutions of higher learning in the United States. Where I am at now, Talladega College (HBCU), I am the Department Chair of Mass Media Studies, where one of my academic duties is to assist minority faculty and students to dream high and mentor them. I include them in decision making.
I now recruit and train mostly African-American at-risk youth in an attempt to include them in my pool of students who get jobs right after graduation. It is one of my metrics for advancing equity in the department — Helping students from a wide variety of racial backgrounds with much caring attention.
I also bring a strong understanding about the challenges experienced by minority faculty, LatinX populations and first generation college students seeking a college education for advancement. Solutions to the lack of funds for mobility, little access to private loans, credit issues, domestic violence, systematic racism, and gang activity as a means for survival are some of the topics I am comfortable speaking with at-risk students.
In Mississippi and Tennessee, there is a sizable amount of racial oppression, sexism, and homophobia. While living in these two states, I have defended a number of my students from discriminatory attacks, as well as a professor of music in Tennessee. I have been there for my students and colleagues against the evils of injustice.
I bring a solid background in diversity and inclusion as a value added to any university. I plan to advance equity, inclusion and diversity until I am physically not able to. I plan to contribute to the agenda of equity by recruiting students of color and potentially hiring additional minority faculty members to work in tenure-track lines for the school.
I breathe diversity.