Against the Current: Collective works on State Violence, identity and Resistance

Part 3: Proclamations

This section includes a remaking of the financial aid letter given by Penn. Instead of the words written by Penn, it will be destroyed and dismembered, and show the process of detachment from the limits Penn has placed on them. These new words, will be a proclamation from these women affirming what they will become and what their future holds. 

These are their proclamations:

I, a bold and beautiful Black woman, a student of the white-dominated, misogynistic, patriarchal University of Pennsylvania, hereby, reclaim my future. I will not let it be defined by numbers, words, phrases, characters, preconceived notions or beliefs, and/or statements. From this day moving forward, I attest that:

Interviewee A: "I will make my own hair care line catered for women with naturally curly/coarse hair. I will be an advocate for self love, especially for women of color, in a world where we are taught and conditioned to think we are less than. I will be everything my parents hoped and dreamed of when they were denied opportunities because of who they were and how they looked and spoke."

Interviewee B: "Despite the obstacles Penn disguised as opportunities, I will leave this place with both a degree and my sanity. Despite Penn's rigid definitions and ideas of success, I will live my life to my own standards, never allowing the pressures of others dictate what makes me happy and stable. Despite the countless challenges Penn throws at me, I am a woman of color who comes out of every situation stronger, so if you keep testing me, I will keep flexing."

Interviewee C: "It seems funny to say, but I am pretty lost in what career I want after college. I do not worry about it much because I know i will do whatever it is I am called to do. What I do know I will be a black woman writer who continues to care about and love everyone and the world around her. The only thing that will change is I will learn to love myself as well."

Interviewee D: "My mother had to drop out of school her sophomore year of high school while my father didn't get to complete the 8th grade. They were one of 26 and 24 kids, respectively and came to America for a better life for me. That I am here, in their eyes, has already been enough of a proclamation."

Interviewee E: "I will thrive in spite of all the obstacles I have faced at Penn. I will become an educator, and I will use pedagogy and curriculum that makes all of my students of color feel included and capable. I will become a filmmaker and use media as a platform for others to tell their stories. I will become everything I have ever wanted to be, knowing that the places I want to be were never built for me, but I will make them mine nonetheless."

Interviewee F: “I’ll be someone who thrives of adversity. As a woman of color, I’ve had to make the best of what little I was given and I’ve had to the same Penn. I’ve started to look at the challenges I face as opportunities for growth”

Interviewee G: N/A

Interviewee H: "My successes won't be defined by any numbers or figures attached to my name. My success is defined by me and the village of people who work with me get to where I am today." 

Scroll down to witness the joy!

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