Woman in front of a diverse group leading a meeting

Guest Blog: (Part 3) Journey to Allyship: How Life Experiences Helped Me Overcome Bias and Bigotry

Articles Sep 29, 2021

This is the third part in a 3-part blog series. Read the first and second part.

Fresh from flunking out of college in the summer of 1992, I punched my ticket out of Mississippi as my family relocated to the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina from my hometown of Jackson. The people and places of the Magnolia State had shaped me into the not-quite-yet mature man I had become by age 20. These people and places had brought out some of my worst instincts, but just before I left, they were also giving me hope that we could all be better to each other.

I left Mississippi with a lot of guilt over my self-destructive tendencies (see: flunking out of college, losing full academic scholarship). I was finding that I just didn’t like myself very much. This wilderness period I’d entered into was a time to wipe the slate clean: a time to figure out how to be the person that I wanted to be, not someone who conformed to others’ expectations or pre-set narratives for White boys who finished at the top of their high school classes.

I needed to figure out what my life would become, on my own terms, without destroying myself.


Guest Author

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