Change- Let’s Talk About Inclusion

As I grow older, I think more about what I can do to contribute to a better society. Growing up I dreamed of graduating from college and having a successful career. I imagined my career to be fulfilling and worth bragging about. I wanted to wake up every morning excited about my job.

After over 25 years of commuting to downtown Chicago from the far south suburbs, I realized that every person pursuing any sort of dream, should be passionate about their chosen career. Over the years, I’ve met lots of people riding Metra’s train to downtown. Listening to stories of work and family life has a common theme. Everyone take the long commute primarily because the city pays more money. People rarely talk of loving their jobs and/or brag about accomplishments.  It’s just a job to get bills paid. Me too!

By all means, I’m grateful for my journey and feel that everything happens for a reason. My experiences working in corporate environments were so fast paced, I barely remember any details. In the past 10 years, I’ve been working in an educational institution. Although dramatically different working environments, both experiences have a distinct pattern of struggling with inclusion.

I recently decided to contribute to establishing a more inclusive campus experience. I’ve been accepted in Change Makers Cohort at Northwestern.

The cohort’s primary goals are:

  • “To heighten and deepen understanding around social identities and privilege.

  • “To build a cohort of individuals who share a commitment to establishing an inclusive campus across identities.”

  • “To develop a set of skills and techniques to address individual and structural power and privilege challenges at Northwestern.”

  • “To empower a cohort of people to act and make change at Northwestern and beyond.”  [Source:  Northwestern Change Makers]

I found the following poem by Langston Hughes incredibly interesting. It was published in the 1920’s.

As I Grew Older

by Langston Hughes

“It was a long time ago.
I have almost forgotten my dream.
But it was there then,
In front of me,
Bright like a sun—
My dream.
And then the wall rose,
Rose slowly,
Slowly,
Between me and my dream.
Rose until it touched the sky—
The wall.
Shadow.
I am black.
I lie down in the shadow.
No longer the light of my dream before me,
Above me.
Only the thick wall.
Only the shadow.
My hands!
My dark hands!
Break through the wall!
Find my dream!
Help me to shatter this darkness,
To smash this night,
To break this shadow
Into a thousand lights of sun,
Into a thousand whirling dreams
Of sun!”

My interpretation from a woman’s perspective:

Little Black Girls Dream

By Crystal Tousana

I’m a girl

I’m black

Some call it double negative

I call it double strong

My mother told me so

My dreams are real

I protect my dreams

I built a wall to protect my fall

I get back up

I never crawl

I stand tall

I grow strong

I’m a woman

My identity is my own

I want to be included

Black woman strong

My attitude is just my passion

I dream of inclusion

Share your university experience!

Crystal

Follow crystal on Twitter @ TousanaC

 

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: