When Inclusion and Access Converge: Imagining a College Space Where the Work Actually Happens – by Chelsea Osademe, IRT ’19
I was scrolling through Facebook, a few weeks ago, when I came across a reposted TED Talk titled “On Diversity: Access Ain’t Inclusion” by Dr. Anthony Jack. Dr. Jack argues that, “getting in [college] is only half the battle. Colleges and Institutions invest millions into diversity and equity recruitment, but don’t think about what to do once [students] get there. Access ain’t inclusion”. During his talk he addressed what it means to be a first-generation student navigating the politics and unspoken rules of college, what it means to truly feel included, and how exclusion can impact an individual’s ability to achieve success and college matriculation. As a first-generation Nigerian-American and first-generation college graduate, Jack’s interest in what it means to feel and be included on college campuses, in the midst of access to a college education, as well as the resources these institutions provide, really stuck with me. Dr. Jack’s talk affirmed my own experience as a minoritized individual traversing college campuses, as well as the current mundane battles I’ve faced as a prior student, now staff member, at a predominately white institution (PWI).