Episode 22: Enlighten Me on Minority College Experiences with Justin Rose
What significance does the month of February hold for you? In the U.S., this is a time to acknowledge and celebrate Black history. No matter what cultural background you identify with, Black History Month holds significance in what it represents for this country as well as what it causes us to consider.
Black male identity development – it’s a bit of a mouthful, but it’s an important topic in today’s world. There are massive disparities and gaps in the achievements of racial subgroups in America, particularly when we look at college attendance and completion. Enter Justin! Justin Rose is the Director of the Diversity Center at the University of Illinois Springfield and also has the personal experience of being a minority student in college to draw from.
Justin is not only doing amazing work on his current campus, but he is also working on his PhD in Higher Education so that he can continue making an impact on the lives of college students. Justin and I met while in school together, and I have always appreciated his welcoming attitude that has made me feel comfortable in sharing my thoughts and opinions. I think you’ll be able to tell exactly what I’m talking about when you hear Justin speak in this episode!
In today’s conversation, Justin addresses some stereotypes surrounding Black males and also talks about the challenges faced in both getting to college as well as staying in college. Even if you are not involved in a higher education sector like Justin and I, you are going to hear how you can make a difference when we look at some of these disparities that exist for minority groups. Justin makes clear that we have the choice between being a part of the problem or being a part of the solution. This is a societal issue, not one that’s specific to one group of people, and we all hold power to make a difference!
You are truly going to be enlightened in this conversation and probably hear some things that you’ve never thought of before. Perhaps you’ve never considered why Black History Month is significant, or what the point of Affirmative Action is! My hope is that after today, your mind will be racing. We all have value to contribute to this society, and it’s time that we decrease the achievement gaps that separate us and prevent us from putting forth our assets. Also, you’re going to love Justin’s personality and wish that you could get a motivational pep talk from him every day. Make sure to check him out on Twitter so that you can get to know this amazing individual!
Links from the show:
“America to Me” TV series:
Report on graduation rates by race:
“From Cotton Field to Schoolhouse” by Dr. Christopher Span
“The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership” by John C. Maxwell
Motivation for Black People Podcast by Justin Michael Williams
Leaders in the Trenches Podcast by Gene Hammett
Victor Rios’ Ted Talk:
Connect with Mackenzie:
Connect with Justin:
Catch the latest episode here!