Grad school is hard. In most cases, unnecessarily so.
I have survived the reality and the truth of the University as a colonial institution, and I want to support other folks who are struggling in, with, against, and through it.
I have developed a nuanced understanding of how the academy relates to the revolutionary struggles of the proletariat, Indigenous nations, and communities of color. Academic research often perpetuates oppression in the name of "rigor." As a system and a culture, such a widespread abuse of power can't seem to go away anytime soon, even though the higher education industry faces enormous demographic shifts.
But we cannot give up on knowledge production altogether.
I do believe in the framework of Research Justice, which "situate[s] community-driven research as a vehicle for the community to reclaim, own and wield all forms of knowledge and information as political ammunition in their own hands, in ways that are consistent with the community's unique cultural and spiritual identity, and values and traditions" (Miho Kim Lee 2015: xviii).
I decided to pursue graduate degrees because I knew this was possible. I've organized my cohort, my department, my campus, and my discipline with this vision in mind. We needed each other just to survive, literally. I've lost a friend who was also my role model as a queer of color sociologist, and I am committed to keeping my colleagues alive and kicking.
Everyone has a different journey, but I can help you through it.