To all of our readers, newbies and veterans, greetings!
My name is Amber Jones, and this year I am one of the Communications Interns for the Women’s Center. Taylor Kippels is the other Communications Intern, so this year we’re bringing double the trouble! I will be more of the social media maven, and hopefully every one of you are connected to our Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/mnwomenscenter) and Twitter (https://twitter.com/mnwomenscenter). If not, well there ya go!
I will also be a fairly regular blogger for our mahhhhhvelous blog, so you should know a little bit about me right? Well, that’s why I’m writing this post: to introduce myself to the community that is our Women’s Center Blog!
Elevator Speech Facts About Myself (a.k.a. The Quickies)
• Year: Sophomore
• Studies: Communication Studies (what a perfect job! Minors: African-American Studies, Biblical
• Hometown: Chicago, IL (born and raised!)
• Things I Am Glued to: Pandora (I LOVE MUSIC. I have…(counting) 65 stations), hair blogs/
videos/PRODUCTS (I have recently transitioned from relaxed to natural hair [that’s for a later
post]), and on-and-off-campus events (I love to meet new people and support other people’s
• Aspirations: Policy school, to work back in Chicago towards a better quality of life for historically
Let’s Get Deeper
I have the tendency to get too deep most times (the progressive, thought-provoking university student within me), so I will try to keep this moderate. We’ll have plenty of times to explore depth during the year.
I have an interesting set of influences. Most are folks that make astounding change in their fields with little notoriety outside of probably the city or state they reside.
• My grandmother (who I will leave nameless for privacy) was (and still is) my first big influence
in my life. She migrated to Chicago during the latter of The Great Migration (some historians
label it the Second Great Migration), and found a way to raise four children, one being my father,
while gaining her Ed.D. She went on to be a principal for various schools, and even was able to go
beyond that to become a superintendent, the first African-American woman in CPS to do so. She’s
also an avid golfer (she introduced me to the game!) and traveler.
• Adria Mitchell, now retired, was a teacher at my high school, Walter Payton College Prep. She
was also the teacher sponsor for the African-American Club, which I was a part of for four years.
She was the first person to really lay it out for me what it means to be a black woman in our
society. She was also a woman that advocated for diversity and social justice within our institution
in various outlets. She is also a good friend of my grandmother, and I see many of the same
qualities exemplified within them both.
• Prof. Rose Brewer, a professor at the University of Minnesota in African-American Studies,
built on top of these new notions when I enrolled in one of her classes in my first year. She really
helped me make sense of my transition to Minnesota and the U, and she also introduced to me
the concepts of institutionalized discrimination. She also reminds me of my grandmother and Ms.
Mitchell (which is odd, but I go with it).
These three women have given me a strong outline of the woman I want to grow into: determined, an
ally for social justice, authentic, and not concerned with being the popular choice, but the right choice
in various contexts. (Plus: they’re all in education!)
What I Care About
The issues that hit closest to home for me deal with my hometown, Chicago. It honestly needs an entire overhaul, but the way the education system is governed hurts me the most. I come from a family of educators. It’s in my bloodline, and without a quality education no one can succeed. So, in a sense, the issues Chicago is facing with education sparked me to dedicate a good portion of my life to combat it.
I also care deeply about the urban community. I’m a city girl at heart, and it saddens me how the social movement within cities like Chicago leave so many behind. The effects of gentrification are destructive on the “have-nots” who cannot afford the rapid changes within their own communities. There needs to be more folks who advocate for them in the public, non-profit, and private sectors. Personally, I believe the people who implement the best change are the ones embedded in the community, so I’ve always been a grassroots-focused person. I will always advocate for them, and my life will be dedicated to them.
I hope my post gave some insight into who I am and what perspective I bring to the Women’s Center blog. I look forward to interacting with all the bloggers and readers!