Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Living is a Part of Life

Living is a part of life.  Living is something we all do. As humans we do it, but as people we do it, too. Living is more than just having a heartbeat. Living is experiencing, enjoying, learning, feeling and expressing. 

Sometimes, once school gets started, it is hard to live. You get stuck in a scheduled rut. But being a student is not an excuse to distance yourself from new experiences. Keep things interesting. Interact with everything around you. Wonder what would happen if you took a new rout to class. Live! Live! Live! Do something you never thought you could or would do. Push yourself beyond your fears and show the world who you are.

It may be difficult at first to try something new. It is often uncomfortable, but one of the great things about going to USU is the overall kindness and generosity you are likely to experience from fellow students.

Sometimes there is this notion that if you are not “the same” you cannot or should not join.  However this is false. The beauty of the Access and Diversity Center is that it is for everyone. Don’t bind yourself with the fear of being different. Instead, embrace your differences and similarities alike.  Try something new; go to an event outside of your normal interests, and LEARN. Living is learning, and learning is growing. So learn to live, LIVE to LEARN, and LIVE TO GROW

Friday, October 19, 2012

True Story YO

I recently sat down with a professor on campus and talked about what it means to be black in a white-dominated culture. We talked about overcoming stereotypes, the hesitation to be yourself, and the profiled expectations of the surrounding population. At the root of the conversation we both understood that our perceptions of being a minority are influenced by the placement both by self and others into the position of being the “spokes person” for all other black people.

Growing up at an all white school, from an early age I realized that my actions would be perceived differently than my white classmates. And because of this difference, I become the “spokes person” for black people. This can be burdensome and exhausting, then at other times empowering.

My friends were often confused why I spoke Standard English instead of Ebonics and were surprised when they found out I achieved good grades. Many children, trying not to pop their bubbled world view, often called me white. Basically insinuating that a black person could not  be well spoken, intelligent and have life goals that are not professional sports or music.

These kids frustrated me. Which is the reason why I chose to accept the position as “spokes person for black people.” I would tell them you can’t act a color and propose that they attempt to act pink.

Eventually, my classmates perception began to change as we spent more and more time together. But while this is happening I also felt a loss of self. Everything I did was so strategic and thought-out nothing flowed naturally. I couldn’t be myself for fear that I may be stereotyped.

There is another issue here, which is who is to judge whether your lifestyle choices and actions are good or bad. I wanted to present a very successful, put-together black person to the world and others may feel being black means something else or nothing at all. I still wonder if I did the right thing throughout my childhood, or if I should have been content with being me. Not worried about the general populations opinion of black people.

What do you think is this “spokes person” position important or one that is actually detrimental to self and the people around?

Your friend in the Access and Diversity Center,
Mariah Bryant 

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

The Importance of Being You

It is difficult to understand how people see the world differently than you, especially when that view is opposite, controversial or even ignorant. I was asked in class to debate a simple topic on race, and in doing so heard what is hopefully not the majority opinion among my 200 classmates. The topic of debate is irrelevant. What matters is how the arguments were presented, often “othering” a group of people in this case being minorities.
As a Black Women from liberal San Francisco, every time I hear a comment that is not race, gender, or sexuality sensitive I am enraged, ready to inform the person of their lack of couth.  However, being in Utah has helped me understand that maybe these comments are not made from the heart, but rather, a lack of understand about what is offensive to some people.

I believe this is because (at least as far as race goes) there is one dominate race at USU and some people think if they are part of it, they are not diverse. However this is false.  It is important that people understand what makes you diverse is not being a minority or the color of your skin; it goes down to who you are as a person. And even when your culture matches those of the majority, you are still a diverse individual, because you are just that: an individual. It’s crazy to think that there are 7 billion people in the word, and yet not one can possibly interpret things the exact same way as you. This unique thought process is the essence of being yourself, making you a diverse person.

If this notion of self-diversity was more present on campus, I believe fewer people would fear what they consider the “other;” for every single person would be seen as someone remarkably and beautifully different.
But of course this is only my opinion.  Please comment and tell me how you define diversity.
Your friend in The Access and Diversity Center,  

Friday, September 7, 2012


Welcome to fall everyone; we are now into the full swing of the 2012-2013 school year!  We have lots of exciting plans for this academic year and look forward to interacting with everyone on our various forms of social media, including our new blog.  Thanks for visiting, and check back each week to read about ideas, people, events, and more.  Here’s to the start of a fantastic new year—ciao everyone!