People and the academic system will at times make you feel “othered” because they misunderstand, devalue, or are prejudiced against your identities. A natural response to these experiences may be to minimize or suppress your identities to fit in and decrease the number of negative instances. Though this might be the best choice at times, particularly when your safety is at risk, in other situations the best response may be to speak up, advocate for yourself/others, and make your needs known. However, as BIPOC folx in academia, you might feel drawn to always say something when oppressive circumstances come up. Please know it is not your job to express yourself every time these issues arise and doing so could leave you exhausted, frustrated, and burnt out. When doing this work, please remember to adhere to your safety and holistic health first. These decisions often are quite personal and subjective, and I trust you to know what is best for you and your communities.

Nelson O. O. Zounlome, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

NASEM- Ford Foundation Fellow

Herman B. Wells  Fellow