Category Archives: tokenized

Working Pumping mom of Color

Let me tell ya, its rough! Demonization of brown people, exists. Its so hard to find pieces that talk about how white couterparts blame specifically, people of color for their incompetence and lack of success.

Its one thing to have evidence that you have perhaps whispered into a higher ups ear about someone else’s work or that your failure is directly impacted by someone else’s negligence but to make blanket statements of, “I dont like how you manage her (me)” or “how come you have this and I dont?” or “what are you telling our boss?” Its odd.

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Since I have started in the role of International Admissions, I have been thrown under the bus so many times. Its nothing new to me. It started back when I started as a counselor. Let me tell you, its never been a person of color that has ever thrown me under the bus and if they did, their words never came back to me.

My life with the few workers of color at my school has been cordial with a subtle understanding that, this shit is crazy and as people of color, we need to stick together. Their words, not mine. Why is it so much easier for us to get a long with other people of color? I know, because we know that we are outsiders together trying to look in.

I am grateful that my boss is brown and understands where I am coming from., otherwise it would be lonelier. Why is it so easy for peple to pick on those who are succeeding? Why is it so easy to pick on someone of color rather than focusing on their boss and their development.

This is too much. Ya me canse de las chingaderas….of the times I have been reported to my higher ups, not once has it had merit.

Word of advice: always work with integrity and ask, “what is the problem and how can I do better?” That way, it becomes their responsbility and they cant say, you didnt want to improve. FUCK white fragility.

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Oh yea, to top it off, im also pumping. Im exhausted all the time but at least I know something good comes from that…

Empowering Others and Taking Less Space

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“Why does it matter to you, you’ll be gone next year.”

“Things don’t change overnight.”

“You know people have had this mentality for so long, sometimes you just can’t change their mind.”

I came into work today because I had an admissions presentation for prospective students. While waiting, I decided to ask one of my former students: how are you? How is everything? Whats going on with so and so?

After having her cathartic moment, I felt compelled to ask her: Do you have conversations like these with anyone else like your Dean of Students or Diversity Director?

Her answer, “No”.

“Why?” I said.

“Because there are only a few I trust that actually live what they preach and believe me when I state anything”, she said with a hopeful look.

Sometimes I am so wrapped up in my own world and my own issues that I forget there are other who have less opportunities to share their thoughts and anxities.

So today, I realized that the Board of Trustee meeting I was scheduled to have (I know its bizarre, im only an admissions counselor), was the proper space for the student.

As a result, I decided to invite her to a meeting that was an opportunity of a lifetime for me, that I was about to selfishly keep to myself, and share it with someone else who needed it.

As a human, it is my responsbility to give space and step aside for the next generation. To open spaces to voices who need it because if its one thing ive learned from crappy leadership, is how not to be.

To pass the baton. To share in the glory and to work together for a better future.

Afterall, this student will be the next university professor at someone’s university or college, I hope she knows im on her side and this time, im here to lift her up.

So, my advice: The space you take up,bring someone and share it.

#access #inclusion #success #mentorship #latina #chicana #highered #papelesprivileged

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Conditionally accepted

One blog that continues to reach my soul and articulate everything I have been going through is InsideHigherEd’s Conditionally Accepted. Its a blog I ritually open every day to be inspired and conscious of the ways our systems have in some form or way slated me or benefited from my brownness. I know loaded with buzzwords, right?

As I read all these blogs, I cannot imagine how it is for people who find the courage to divulge everything that they are either going through at their institution or their previous employer. What’s the limit on this? How much am I able to state regarding the inequities that exist in my institution?

Recently, I have been witness to so much professional bullying and, to some extent, the blatant disregard for someones qualifications to be a director of admissions at the undergraduate level. This male director has jumped so many hoops to prove himself and at one point I had to ask, “do you think you would need to go through all this proving if you were white?”. His response later on, “you know ever since you posed that question, I cannot stop thinking about and I believe I wouldnt need to prove myself as much”.

Since then I have seen this young man get treated as less than when, in fact, the entire undergraduate team is behind him 100% of the way. Its the other director who seems not to accept his position in the decision making process. And so since I cannot post this on facebook, nor do I have the guts, since I have so many higher education professionals on there, I have decided to blog about it here (after posting, and deleting it off of facebook once realizing it might not be a good idea).

Your employer does not deserve your tears or heartache. A place that you love should not cause so much distress, anxiety and/or depression. Dont lose sleep over the small shit. Working at any PWI is no joke and the longer you’re there, the more people think they can pin diversity shit on you because your brown and take all the credit for your leg work. Tokenism is real….before I started my career I was told, ” the higher you move up, the lonelier it gets”. I totally see that now. I never experienced tokenism, not until I was a professional did I see what people actually thought about people.

People get so involved in their own little worlds and forget why we work in higher ed institutions. Its for access and for the success of our students. I may always be asked well why do you work at a PWI?…well if not me, who? Where will students and their parents go when they need help? I would love to work in a place that has much more diversity and more support…but what happens to the ones out here that are struggling trying to make things happen? We have to spread the wealth. I may not be able to be in more than one place at a time but you sure as hell better know ill be fitting for students wherever I’m at.

*daily reminder of why I’m still here.. Momma didnt raise no fool and definitely didn’t bring me to this country for unnecessary crap.

 

Stay strong.

#latinainhighereducation #daughterofanimmigrant #highereducation #tokenism

Brown Approval: DENIED!

“I know how it feels, been there”, as I wait for the two to finish and say, “done that”. Being oppressed by the oppressed, its real y’all. At first I thought these two different women, one Black and one Latina, each from a different phase in my life at the same university, were just trying to be empathetic but I was wrong. I guess they were trying to justify their justification of what they went through and by allowing someone else go through it, would give validity to their point.

Reporting sexual harassment or professional bullying is stigmatized as complaining . It happened once and I was mocked. The second time was with our Director of institutional Diversity and Title IX Coordinator. I went to her because I was no longer able to bear the weight of Latinx initiatives, without compensation and without the emotional labor. Enough was enough!

I live in a world where I am constantly pulled from one side to another. I now have to live with the idea that those same people who were oppressed years ago, and still are, are passing that same sentiment onto me. You would think that me telling the Vice President of Student Engagement, who is also white, would be frustrated with losing another Latina pillar in the school but it didn’t. It was the Director of Institutional Diversity, who supposedly stands for equality and fairness, that guilt tripped me into staying, even after I told her the reason why I had to step down! What does she want a death certificate of my sick relative or proof that I am spread thing with the demands of my sick family?

Here’s the story. For the last 4.5 years I have worked for this institution. At this same institution, I established several multicultural student programs, started two organizations, one social and one academic, increased Latino recruitment and since graduation, have advised the Latino honor society on campus and brought many undocumented student resources, all while trying to engage administration and faculty in the process. I intended to include everyone because it is everyone’s responsibility to make all students feel welcomed. In the wake of receiving news that one of my aunts was in the process of dying, my dad having diabetes and getting older, and my mom just recently released from the hospital, I decided to step down. I would never think that a person who I consider strong and who I thought, stood for justice would push me to something I no longer could do and believed that I was using my students for my own agenda. It only proved the point I had been trying to disprove, that she was standing aside letting me do all the programming, threw in her commentary when she saw fit about certain Latino initiatives and when shit hit the fan, stepped in only to save her name.

Fast forward a week and the president of the university, a trustee and a vice president step into my office with full intention to address the issue of undocumented students (well after I stepped down from being advisor). In this past week I learned that many thought It was using my students to get ahead, those same opinions went as high as the cabinet of the university to the point where the Director of Diversity’s boss came into my office to disdainfully state, “thank you for being there for our dreamers (as I internally cringe because I hate the word). As I had stated to Veronica (a pillar in the Latino community), if she had spoken to the Director she would have known that everyone here is an ally to all students”. Was this white lady proving to herself that shes capable of helping undocumented students or that her subordinate is able to do all good things? Did she want the brown stamp of approval?

I think so.

Y’all im only an admissions counselor who has obviously stepped on people’s toes but what do you do when you have students mortified about Trumps policies and our universities lack of attention who are crying in your office? I didn’t add fuel to the students fire, I just acknowledged it.

Since then I have stepped down from all activities but still remain as an advocate to student. So now what?

#tokenized #latina #highereducation #latinainhighereducation #undocumented #whiteprivilege #papelesprivileged