Faculty, students recount experiences dealing with race, identity while abroad


Jeffrey Kelly, Contributing Writer

Students and faculty will share personal experiences about race and identity during Being Black Abroad on Feb. 27.

Raven McKenzie, an education advisor, said the idea for Being Black Abroad came about because of this year’s Black History Month theme, which is on the black migration and the exploration of lives of African Americans as they migrated.

“It’s about the lives that our students and also faculty and staff have lived as they’ve lived in other locations be it maybe it was a heritage seeking trip or through the Fulbright program or for work and how their identity as a person of color has or has not been affected by their experience,” she said.

What: A chance for students to hear the experiences of fellow students and faculty members about race and identity while they’ve studied abroad.

Who: Capstone International Center and any students interested in attending

When: Tuesday, Feb. 27 from 5 to 6 p.m.

Where: 205 Gorgas Library


McKenzie said at the event, there will be some photos from students and staff members who have gone abroad, whether it be for a few months or a few weeks. Then, students will go up there next to their photos to talk about their experiences and answer any questions that people at the reception might have.

“I think it is very important that everyone learns a bit more about what it might be like as a student of color in another country,” she said.

McKenzie said Being Black Abroad is also about being prepared for what might be there for someone as a person of color abroad.

“And also, realizing that we are all human too, so it’s not about going somewhere and expecting to be discriminated against or expecting to be going from the minority here and to the majority there and then reaping all these benefits, but just kind of being informed and being open to what happens while you are there,” she said.

McKenzie said the photos accompanied by a paragraph will be put up on the third floor of the Ferguson Student Center, after the reception, until March 1.

“It is important even in this day and age to realize the impact that being a person of color can have when someone is in another area,” McKenzie said.