The Cougar Chronicle

Gender Equity Center hosts Black Women in Leadership

Adrianna Adame, News Reporter

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Female faculty and staff gathered to speak about their experiences in leadership positions.

 

The Black Student Center and the Gender Equity Center (GEC) hosted the Black Women in Leadership on Nov. 28 from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. in the GEC.

 

Black Women in Leadership is a part of the Women in Leadership series by the GEC. Previous Women in Leadership panels are Mujeres in Leadership and LGBTQ Women in Leadership.

 

The panelists of Black Women in Leadership were Dr. Rosa Barr-Williams, an admissions officer from the Office of Admissions, Dr. Gloria Pindi, an assistant professor from the Department of Communications and Dr. Gail Cole-Avent, the associate vice president of student life.

 

The Black Women in Leadership panel discussed various questions regarding the panelists’ experiences as leaders, overcoming barriers and advice for female students of color who strive to be in leadership positions in the future.

 

When asked about what it means to be a leader, Barr-Williams said that, “There is a difference between a leader and a great leader.” She said that a great leader listens to their followers. The rest of the panelists also agreed.

 

When discussing overcoming barriers, Pindi said, “When I think of myself as a leader, I see myself as an inspiring role model.” Pindi talked about how she had to face sexism from her native country, the Democratic Republic of the Congo. She said, “I was told that I didn’t belong” after becoming the only girl in her Catholic school. Pindi mentioned that in the Congo, women didn’t get a higher education, but instead waited to get married.

 

Once in the U.S., Pindi said that, “Not only did I have to learn about being a woman, but also about race.” Pindi also said that because of her appearance as a black woman from the Congo, many people think that “My profile doesn’t match the profile of what a professor should be.” Pindi talked about how one of the most annoying things is being questioned by others about whether she really does hold the positions she holds as an assistant professor.

 

After being asked if the panelists thought themselves as successful, Barr-Williams said, “Every day I am growing and trying to be better… I don’t find myself successful.” Barr-Williams explained how she did accomplish a lot of her goals and was proud of that, but wasn’t at the point where she could describe herself as successful yet.

 

Cole-Avent had two pieces of advice for female students of color, “One is, be the type of support that you would want to have. We don’t have to compete. This is not a competition. The second thing is… you don’t have to stay within your cultural boundary in order to grow…you need to make sure that your network is diverse.”

Christian Myers, a student who attended the event said, “I really liked it. It was informative… The panelists were thorough…they answered our questions very attentively and personally…which didn’t feel scripted.”

 

For more information, visit the GEC at https://www.csusm.edu/gec/index.html .

 

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