Today is July 7, 2016, and as I sit and try to craft a catchy, politically-correct bio or “About Me” post, I am disheartened and angered by the news of the murder of yet another Black man by a police officer. Philando Castille was murdered during a traffic stop in front of his daughter and girlfriend.
“This has absolutely nothing to do with my new website geared toward underrepresented students and professionals” I think to myself, but after trying to write about my degrees and my professional experience for over an hour, I realize that this murder has everything to do with why I am creating this site.
I was unemployed and border-line depressed several years ago for what seemed like forever but was actually a little less than a year. Right before my year of unemployment was closing in, I received my first full-time job offer in nearly 12 months. This new job was bringing me into familiar terrain as it was a position in higher education. Now I had a great deal of experience working in higher education as a student, but none as a college graduate. Truthfully, I hadn’t really thought about a career in higher education until a couple years out of graduate school, but I always knew that I missed the higher ed environment. After graduating with my Masters, I realized how valuable my college support system (professors, advisors, etc.) was. I wanted to be this person for others especially those who could relate to my background as a first-generation college student.
Weeks before starting my new job, Mike Brown was murdered at the hands of a police officer. I was in shock. Call me sheltered or naiive, but I couldn’t understand how an officer of the law could take the life of a young man who was not threatening his own. I was hurt. I felt personally attacked and hated. It was too much for me. The only way I was able to leave my room was to think of how in just two weeks, I would be able to help my community. Mike Brown was supposed to leave for college the day after he was murdered. He didn’t make it, but maybe I could help those of us who would. Those who encountered the same prejudices, hate, and fear, so that they can gain an education and hopefully, go on to make the world a little better for those coming behind them through obtaining positions of power, owning businesses, and controlling their own narrative.
Today, as I sit at my desk trying to walk a little farther in my purpose, I am afraid. I am afraid for my brother, my sister, my father, my mother, my partner. I am afraid for the world. There seems to be an abundance of hate, and abundance of fear. UR Pathways is my way of loving up on you in the way I know best. We all need love. I hope that this site helps you along your journey, and that you help someone else. Love each other. We need it.