My name is Lindsey, and I am a peer educator at a community college and a graduate student at a university in California. I straddle both worlds as a professional educator and as a student and because of that, I have a really unique, critical lens toward higher ed. I started reading Inside Higher Ed as the pandemic began because some of my professional development colleagues and friends were using some articles to teach educators about the current state of things for higher education (as well as some tips on how we could be using technology and taking care of our well-being, etc.). I’ve become quite the fan of Inside Higher Ed.
As a student, one of the things that I’ve been worrying about a lot is how institutions are pivoting in this crucial moment toward anti-racist work. As an undergraduate, I saw a lot of blind spots and gaps in the curriculum where diversity (truly, of any kind) was lacking. Considering my undergraduate degree was about human development, I felt really hopeless. I also felt like all the pressure was on me to learn about diverse populations’ development by myself. Which I do, ecstatically, because I know the intrinsic importance of doing so. But the question for me remains: should I really have to do it by myself because my institution won’t? In this day and age when institutions have access to an ungodly amount of research, hoarded in those expensive databases the general public doesn’t have access to?
I say all of this to say that your highlight on the Black experience (“The Black Experience in Higher Education”) is incredibly meaningful to me, and I hope that this series continues with a lot of positive response. I know that it will help me get a sense for what some Black folx might be facing as they enter higher education, and so that, as a future college counselor, I can add this to my understanding of the Black experience in various contexts.
Thank you — for producing this series and providing a platform for Black folx to talk about what actually happens in higher education.