Viewpoint #12

“I am an active person of color on campus.”

I stand at the lonely intersections of different worlds. I can never fully be a member of either one. I am a traveler, one with no home or community to return to. I do not know where to go so I keep moving forward and adapting to whatever place I find myself in. Fitting in means losing your individuality for the community, a sacrifice I am not willing to make. I am a person on campus, but I am treated better than other people of color because of my involvement in the school. I work hard and share my voice and am therefore tokenized. This makes the ones left behind see me as being different. Those who tokenize me do so for the growth of their own status and will never actually consider me one of their own. This results in isolation from both communities save for the part-time invitation into these communities when I can be of use to them. I am lonely and exhausted from code-switching but must continue being the person this has made me become because I can never reintegrate into any community. This is both a curse and a blessing. Because I am an outsider I am able to observe and interact with both the people of color and white community on campus. This has allowed me several privileges, for example, I am able to help increase awareness in the white community about how people of color feel. In addition, I have been able to dispel several myths about persons of color. On the flip side of that, I speak to POC and gather feedback and am able to help make changes to make their experience here at HWS better. I will continue doing what I can to address the ignorance and racism of HWS while supporting my fellow POC. I believe that all POC must support each other and help one another. To this end, I encourage everyone that reads this to be active in reaching out to other people of color so that none of us feels alone. Invite others to dinner or movie nights or parties or whatever is going on to continue to build a community where no one is isolated and if something happens to one of us we know that there are people that are there to support us. Life is tough and HWS can be a tough place for POC but there is no reason that you have to go through everything alone.

From,

Me

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