Asha Jeffers, an African-Caribbean-Canadian student, offered this article, originally written for a college magazine, that highlights her experiences as a person of color in a predominantly white institution and shares advice for tackling the associated challenges.
Each section of the post offers up some advice for students of color who attend a predominantly white institution (PWI).
- If you don’t want to answer a question, then don’t.
- You can speak any language you damn well please. Any time you please.
- There is nothing wrong with wanting to hang out with other people of color.
- That said…befriending people you identify with ethnically is easy; having a more diverse group of friends takes work (but it’s totally worth it!)
- You are not the spokesperson for your ethnicity.
- Exoticization is just no fun.
- When you are away from school, stock up on culturally specific food/stuff, because it’s likely a lot of it won’t be available where you are.
- It’s not your job to educate everyone, but if you want to, go for it.