The Labor of Diversification of Higher Education | Gabby Diaz | TEDxBucknellUniversity

The Labor of Diversification of Higher Education | Gabby Diaz | TEDxBucknellUniversity

Gabby's Experiences as a Latina Student Leader

  • Gabby, a Latina student leader at a predominantly white university, reflects on her experiences and challenges.
  • She describes an incident where she was singled out and questioned about her support for anti-blackness demands, leading to isolation and a panic attack.
  • Gabby highlights the emotional labor and expectations placed on students of color to educate peers, advocate for diversity, and navigate racial trauma.

The Need for Support and Community

  • Gabby emphasizes the need for support and community for students of color in predominantly white institutions.
  • She discusses the importance of self-care and setting boundaries to avoid burnout.
  • Gabby resigned from student government due to the organization's lack of support and tokenization of her identity.

Finding Solace and Support

  • Gabby found solace and support in friendships and spaces like the Women's Resource Center and the diversity and inclusion lounge.
  • She expanded her community and circles of support to cope with the challenges of being a student of color in a predominantly white environment.

Challenges Faced by Students of Color

  • Being one of the few members of color in a predominantly white space comes with hypervisibility, tokenization, and dehumanization.
  • Many black and brown students feel uncomfortable in certain locations on predominantly white campuses but find support in counter spaces where they can connect with others from similar backgrounds.
  • Predominantly white universities often embody and reproduce whiteness and white supremacy in their demographics, climate, curriculum, and traditions.
  • Marginalized students must find or create safe spaces where they feel they belong, often with the help of the few faculty and staff of color.

The Importance of Activism and Community

  • Activism is empowering but also grueling, leading to burnout and exhaustion.
  • Finding a community that allows for healing, joy, and simply being is essential for black and brown students.
  • Solidarity and community are crucial for moving forward and resisting oppression.
  • Self-care and reaching back to one's roots are important for maintaining strength and motivation.
  • Caring for oneself is an act of political warfare, as Audre Lorde said.

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