Colorism in Academia

Not only has COVID-19 kind of shook us all in terms of preparedness and our education but our lives also. We were told to watch a live distributed by the CUNY Graduate Center, and it really made me sad thinking about it and watching the recording of the live because our realities are actually being addressed. Ever since the pandemic sprouted, I remember how I was so excited school was going to end early and everything would be online and would be much easier. When we got the email we were ecstatic, and by “we” I mean my fellow QC peers and friends. However, in less than two weeks I was kicked out of the dorms, my only form of shelter right now since I was homeless and was forced to move into my fiancé parents house which I mentioned feels like a burden. My job also, as I was an essential worker, felt honestly terrrible working because I made less than those on unemployment. Like I remember during the pandemic, I was working almost full time, and made $3k by the time non essential business opened but my friends made $15k. ARE YOU SERIOUS? Academia changed vastly too and though last semester was fairly easy this semester as informal as it may sound is trash!

Throughout my college career, I have yet to have a black professor. In fact, most of my professors have been white in which some depended on their longevity working under the CUNY system. It saddens me because after watching that live it made me realize my prospective POV’s or the information I was educated with came from one source which were white people. The inequality not only in the hiring process but the staff is clearly presented with this factoid. So imagine, I go out into the world and how uneducated or how misled I might be on certain topics. I mean being Gen Z it is my responsibility to educate myself which is how I plan on giving back to the community. However, we do not need to rely on others to educate us. We do not need to limit our selves just to pure education but WE NEED TO ACT! We need to participate and inject our support in BLM activism, protests and conversations. We need to be able to call out certain discrimination we see within the system and not be afraid to bring it up to the board attention. I personally feel as college students a lot is going against us but if we change our course of direction, we would have a lot going for us.

One thought on “Colorism in Academia

  1. Kaysi Holman

    You covered a lot of topics in this blog post! The way that the pandemic has impacted you has been tremendous! Essential workers should absolutely be paid better and respected more in our society. Your work is, by its very name, essential. Housing instability has been one of the most terrifying parts of this pandemic for so many people in New York.

    I am interested in why you find your classes now so disappointing compared to before the pandemic? Is it because there is less interaction and less requirements? Is it the informality of it, or something else?

    And, you are absolutely right in saying that BIPOC folks are less represented in higher education. It’s concerning that any student can say that they haven’t had a Black professor, let alone that that’s probably most students’ experience!

    Even though it doesn’t always feel like it, student voices can be powerful in academia. Your voice is powerful. Being able to speak out on the inequality you see, and working to change the structures and cultures that create that inequality, will push all of us to a better system, a better world to live in. Keep it up!

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