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I recently went on a job interview for a faculty position at a local university, and the interview involved a teaching demonstration. The audience included a mix of faculty members and students, almost all of whom were white.

After the demonstration, I had the opportunity to field questions and receive feedback from students. I was prepared for softball questions about my experience and why I wanted the job; I wasn’t prepared for the comment I received from one of the only two black students in the room.

With hesitation, and perhaps with a bit of fear at voicing her opinion in front of a predominantly white audience, the young black woman raised her hand. …

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Fifteen years ago, I was exactly where some of you are.

I was a first-year college student with a tuition balance I couldn’t afford to pay. I reasoned my only option was to take a semester off, save some money and come back the following semester.

That semester off turned into a six-year break.

During those six years, I went from being a waitress, saving tips for school to being an administrative assistant at a local finance company with no clear plans for returning to college.

I’d later experience being laid off from my full-time job a week before Christmas while nine months pregnant with my first child, and eventually found myself surviving on welfare, unemployment benefits and income from a part-time job. …

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Everyone was excited. They sat at their stations gathering scissors, glue, and stacks of magazine pages bearing images of fancy cars, fancier houses, and celebrity heartthrobs.

The instructions were pretty simple. The vision board party host encouraged us to choose images that “represented the life we envisioned for ourselves.” No goal was too outrageous. The images, she said, were meant to inspire.

“You have to see yourself there.”

Nevermind if the guy I envisioned myself with was happily married with kids or the house that I wanted cost seven figures; nothing was off limits.

In between praising attendees’ creative choices, the host bragged about how the vision board had led to her becoming a first-time homeowner. …


Queen Muse

Dynamic Writer. PR Pro. Professor. Mother. Lifelong learner. Contributor @ Philadelphia Magazine. Founder of The Queen Muse, LLC. www.thequeenmuse.com

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