Escape Velocity Episode 3: The Black Engineering Student Experience

A USC Viterbi podcast series capturing the stories of Black faculty, students and academic leaders. Hosted by Brandi Jones and Daniel Druhora.

The USC Viterbi School of Engineering’s podcast series “Escape Velocity” originally launched in 2016 as an audio drama series capturing the intersection of engineering and everyday life — stories of love in a time of algorithms, unlocking the human body and even an old school radio drama about AI buildings as friends.

Now, it has been reimagined in partnership with Brandi Jones, USC Viterbi vice dean of diversity and strategic initiatives, to capture the intersection of race, academia and STEM.

The Black Engineering Student Experience

Cheyenne: Black Lives Matter to me means, no buts, right? Every single Black life matters, period. Full stop. It means, you know, whether or not you have a degree, it means whether or not you speak English, it means whether or not your skin is dark. It means whether or not you talk back, right? Like, it doesn’t matter … Black Lives Matter to me means we are allowed to take up space.

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Dan: From the USC Viterbi School of Engineering in Los Angeles …

Brandi: This is “Escape Velocity.” I’m Dr. Brandi Jones.

Dan: And I’m Daniel Druhora.

Brandi: In late May, the world watched the horrific murder of George Floyd. In the weeks and months that followed, protests filled the streets of Los Angeles, and many other cities around the world. In Downtown LA, just blocks away from campus, thousands of protestors took to the streets to denounce police brutality and systemic racism. Meanwhile, Black students at USC and across the nation called on their academic institutions to do more. Not just to increase diversity, but also to promote equity, inclusion, and support for Black students on campus, including right here at the Viterbi School of Engineering.

Dan: For decades at universities, Black people have been underrepresented in science and engineering fields. We see this represented in the workforce, where only 5% of scientists and engineers are Black. In other words, of the 1.7 million professionals working in engineering occupations, here in the US, only about 85,000 are Black.

Brandi: Just five percent. It’s a startling statistic, and makes you wonder, what factors are contributing to the dearth of Black people in engineering? And as a university, training engineers of the future, what can we do to increase representation and foster a more welcoming environment for Black students in STEM?

Dan: We don’t have all of the answers. But one way we can learn is by listening to our students, and highlighting their voices.

Brandi: Our colleagues, Caitlin Dawson and Avni Shah, spoke to Cheyenne Gaima and Emmanuel Johnson, two engineering students to talk about what drew them into engineering, how it feels when you’re the only Black engineer in the room, and the importance of building community.

Dan: Finally, we asked, are they optimistic about the future of social justice on campus? Let’s find out as we dive into today’s episode

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Emmanuel: My name is Emmanuel Johnson. I am a fifth year PhD student in the computer science department advised by Jonathan Gratch and my work looks at using virtual agents as a tool for teaching negotiation.

Interviewer: Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

Emmanuel: I was born in Liberia came here when I was about eight. I grew up in New Jersey, primarily in Trenton and spent a year in [unintelligible] and graduated from New Brunswick High School. And where I grew up, I think it was a pretty diverse community. neither one of my parents went to school. And, so there was a push for me to do well in school, but there wasn’t really a vision of where the future was. I think my parents wanted me to be something in life, but I don’t think either sort of pushed me towards anything and when I think about it, my mom really supported a lot of what I wanted to do. And I never really saw myself as an engineer. I always sort of bounced around. In middle school, elementary, I was always a kid that was selling stuff in school. So, I sold cookies, I sold candy, Starburst, you name it. You go to Sam’s Club, get the big package and sell the little ones. But I also had an interest in computers, because at home I’ll always have games on my computer. So, I used to have these different emulators that let me run different systems. So, I had a Nintendo 64 on my computer, Gameboy, so on and so forth. So, I was always doing stuff but I never really looked at computers as a career path. It was just something I found interesting. it wasn’t until later on in high school, when I took a programming class and the professor was like, or the teacher was like, well, this might be something you want to consider, I think you’re good at it, that I truly began to consider computer science. I think that really influenced me. So, although I come from a low-income background, I think my family and my parents did a good job of just providing the environment for me to just try different things.

Interviewer: Did you see much diversity in your teachers at school? And how did this impact you? Like, did you feel that you were supported through school in your interest in engineering computer science?

Emmanuel: I think at different stages in my academic career, I saw different levels of diversity. I think, in elementary I don’t remember having many teachers that look like me. In middle school around eighth grade, I can remember I had a Black teacher. I think towards the end of high school, I saw more diversity. And then I went to a historically Black college, so undergrad, from the president down to faculty, and even in general, I saw folks that look like me in all ranks. So, I thought that was a really interesting experience. And I do think it really shaped how I see myself and what I chose to pursue because in those early days, I didn’t really see that as a field for me because I didn’t really see too many people like myself, I didn’t know too many Black computer scientists. But as I got more exposure, especially in later parts of high school, at New Brunswick, there was a community of, and a history of, African American excellence. And folks who graduated from high school and went off to do different things. Our math teacher would talk about which students did well on the SAT and their scores. It’s like, man, these, these are legends here, you know. And so, I think those experiences coupled together really sort of opened my eyes to what’s possible. And then being an undergrad, I was around professors that look like me that cared about me and that saw my potential and they really did push me to want to not only excel in engineering, but I saw more than just a job. It was something that I could be, right. It’s not just, okay, I can graduate and get a job at Microsoft and Facebook, which, those things are good, but it was a deeper thing where I now view myself as an engineer.

Interviewer: So, you’ve talked a little bit about your research at the beginning, and it sounds super interesting… But I’m also interested in knowing, what actually motivated you to conduct this research and who you think it could help?

Emmanuel: One of the things I started to realize was that as I’ve transitioned from, you know, from Trenton, New Jersey to AMT and now to USC, there’s sort of a progression, you see a lot more wealth around you. You see a lot more resources and access and it started me thinking like, Huh, I wonder what would happen if these resources that I’m seeing now were also provided to students in a similar situation as I was growing up. And so, right around that time, I was spending summers at Carnegie Mellon. And I became aware of a field called intelligent tutoring system and this goal of building machines that can essentially act as automated tutors for people. And I thought, Man, that will be really cool. If, you know, any schools that don’t have good enough resources, imagine if you could just supplement that with an AI system. Right, the AI system could understand what the students was going through their emotions. It could also understand their difficulty they’re having with different problems, and they help direct them to a solution.

Interviewer: Linking to that. You know, that interest in social justice and education, how people think, you know, when we conceived of this podcast, a lot of the impetus was the protests that have been going on and the Black Lives Matter movement gaining more and more momentum. So, I was wondering if you could speak a little bit to just what it means to you personally and also in the context of your work as an engineer.

Emmanuel: You know, when I think about the words Black Lives Matter, I think there’s a sort of a positive and a negative connotation to it at the same time. The positive is that it’s acknowledging something so critical that here you have a group that has been marginalized for so long, and all we’re trying to say is that they matter as well. But what’s also really interesting is that you have to say that as sort of social justice thing, right? It’s not saying that, hey, Black Lives Matter more or it’s not saying that we should stop doing these things to Black lives. It’s a very basic thing. It says Black Lives Matter and the fact that we even have to say that sort of highlights a larger problem.

Interviewer: So, in the world of academia, then specifically, what ways do you think we’re failing, or in what ways do you think we’re doing well? Can you tell us a little bit about your perception of that as a PhD student?

Emmanuel: I think that’s the good thing that I see coming from academia in terms of diversity, I think, one, universities are becoming more aware and putting resources in place. Over my six or so, some odd years here at USC, I’ve seen we’ve hired more diverse faculty. I’ve seen more resources dedicated to grad students as well as undergrads from underrepresented groups. We had Dr. Jones come on as the Dean of Diversity. And I think across the nation, you’re seeing universities beginning to tackle that question of diversity and what does it mean and what does it look like? And so, I’m seeing the impact, as well as the drive in trying to diversify academia. Now, those are the things I think we’re doing good. What I think we need to improve on is a few things. One, I think we’ve created diversity. Diversity has become a very broad term, it encompasses anything that’s different. I think we have to be very careful because every group experiences different things. Every group has certain biases. And so, there’s not a one size fit all solution for everybody.

The other thing we can do is listen to the students as well as the faculty on your campus and provide the resources for them to be successful. I think there’s a difference between diversity and equity. And there’s been quite a lot of conversations around that. And so, it’s not just about getting a number of us in this space, but it’s giving us the tools so that we can be equal contributors. And so, I think many universities already have a mission statement. Right? And so the mission statement is what you’re trying to do or your objective, and I think that what we should begin to see is Okay, let’s look at the standard we set for ourselves, if we say we’re the institution that produces the most business leaders or we are we produce the greatest engineers. Okay, fair. How do we do that in different populations? You know, because I think oftentimes it becomes an entirely different conversation when you talk about diversity.

If we’re looking at Black students, for example, okay, well, if this is the benchmark for what it takes to be a leader in academia, and this is where our Black students are coming in. How do we bridge that gap? And that should be the conversation the university has not, you know, trying to and I think not just simply trying to get them here. And I think because when you’re able to develop that talent, it truly speaks to the ability of the university, and it truly speaks to the mission of the university.

Interviewer: How has it kind of colored your experience, especially when thinking back, you know, to, to being at an HBC undergrad experience, and then kind of coming here. Does it shape your experience? Is it something that you kind of interact with on a daily basis?

Emmanuel:  I’ve been to a few international conferences where I could count on one hand the number of folks that look like me. And so, when you’ve been in this space for so many years, in some sense, it becomes normalized where I’m a bit more sharp when I walk into the room and I see another Black person it’s like, “Oh, wow, where’d you come from?” And I think we do need to do a better job. I don’t think, since I’ve been here, we’ve hired a Black faculty in computer science, I’m not sure if USC has ever had a Black faculty in computer science. But I think that’s something I would like to see change. And yeah, cuz I think, thinking about how it shapes my experience, I think the biggest thing is, is sort of this, this conflict, right, because I’ve seen all of the brilliant and mind-boggling things that USC has done over the years, from the way we’ve addressed a bunch of different issues. You know, we, I’ve seen leadership changed because of conduct in different departments. I’ve seen millions of dollars being poured into different initiatives. And so, the fact that all of this has happened, our commitment to diversity, but yet I haven’t seen a Black faculty sort of makes me question some things like Okay, well, what is our priority here? Because we’re talking about diversity. But in six years, I haven’t seen that change, then I think there’s still work that we can do. But what I do enjoy about USC and being in this space is that the university has listened to our concerns, since I’ve been here as a student, and things have changed. So, I’m hopeful that in the next few years or so we can see more Black faculty, as well as Black researchers here at USC, in all departments.

Interviewer: There have been notes, you know about researchers in different positions of, you know, different minority groups and, you know, feeling that there’s a burden upon them to do more than research—to devote time to being on diversity committees and being part of diversity initiatives. And it’s, you know, extra work on top of what you’re already doing. It’s often uncompensated, and it can often also be taken for granted in terms of like, you’re always going to have to take a stance on something that maybe you don’t want to have to take a stance on. So, I’m just wondering, you know, do you see this happening around you and how could this be better addressed?

Emmanuel: I think what was coming to light with what we see with Black Lives Matter and these global protests is people are listening, people are willing to be more introspective. So, I think that’s one thing figuring out, okay, am I part of this problem? How can I adjust my approach? So that it’s more communal to different groups. The other piece is you don’t want folks to lead these initiatives when they’re not necessarily from that group. But you don’t have to lead an initiative to still be able to support it, because there are key things that these students may need help with. For example, if the case is that we find that, you know, students are coming to faculty of color, they need to know how to write papers. Well, if you’re good at writing papers, you can still do a workshop for them. It doesn’t have to be based on something related to their identity. Right? It is you providing your resource. Then the other piece is that if, for example, if I’m a white male professor, I’m part of a population that these students are going to interact with for the rest of their lives. And I bring a very unique perspective that they may not know about. And so, in many ways, I can be an ally by teaching them some of the skills that got me to where I am. Because the fact that you have a lack of representation in these spaces means that not a lot of people who look like us, oftentimes have that years of wealth, of wisdom passed down to them, and they don’t have, they may or may not have, that network to pull on. Some do, and they go off and do amazing things, but some don’t. And so being able to tap into your resources and say, okay, maybe if I’m the if I’m an expert in ACI, and I know these students are interested in ACI, or they’re having issues in these classes, maybe I’ll make some additional resources available to them. And I think to get to that point, you have to speak with your Black colleagues or colleagues from underrepresented groups and get their insight and be more of a support for the ideas and initiatives they have going on, rather than either pulling back and not getting involved, or being the one who’s leading the initiative.

Interviewer: What is one thing that you think we could be doing in academia to make it a more welcoming space for Black students?

Emmanuel: I will say try your best to get to know each student individually, and then design solutions around a population that you have. Because the demographics for Black students are changing. And there’s this tendency to bunch everyone into the same category. There are students who are low income, students who are medium income, there are students who are high income. They’re all Black. They’re still underrepresented in the field because of their racial identity. But they have different needs. Right?

And so, if the University spends more time understanding their student makeup, it could be, you know, monthly quarterly semester-ly events to just bring students and talk to them. It could be more formal things. When I was undergrad, I was a part of a program called, a while back, called Provost’s scholar. And one of the things we did was institutional assessment. The idea was, rather than have faculty come and talk to students, interview students, let’s have students talk to students. So, we’ll be in a room, we don’t take any names, we just get the perspective of the of the student. And so, they’re more open, they don’t feel like oh, I have to be cautious of what I say, because I don’t want the administration to know, it was me. But so, I think those types of approaches where you really get the down to the nitty gritty of what the students are saying, our approach is to really bring through that voice. And I think it’s only then that we can really begin to, one, understand what the problems are that need to be addressed at that institution, and then two, really create more equity for Black students.

Cheyenne: So, my name is Cheyenne Gaima, my pronouns are she her hers, and I am a rising senior at USC Viterbi studying computer science and business administration. So, I am a Cameroonian American, first-generation American student. I was originally born in Silver Spring, Maryland. My family’s originally from Cameroon and I spent a few years of my life growing up in Cameroon before moving back to the states to start school. After my move to Maryland, I grew up there for the rest of my life before moving to Los Angeles.

Interviewer: Did you always know you wanted to get into engineering and specifically computer science?

Cheyenne: Actually, no, so it kind of fell in my lap. One of those things God kind of placed before me and I just ran with it. So I got introduced to computer science in the 10th grade, going into my junior year, the summer before that, when I did a program called Girls Who Code I, it was kind of just my way of my, my mom said, either you’re working or you know, you’re working. And, so I was like, I need to do something. I need to find a gig for this summer. So, I literally just searched opportunities for high school students or something like that on Google and Girls Who Code came up. I was like, it’s seven weeks, I could learn something new. Let’s do it. So, I signed up for the program and lo and behold, it changed my life. I’m so grateful to have you know, had the chance to participate in that program and it just goes to show like, this is definitely not like, and when I say this, I mean computer science, is not something that you have to be born to do or you know, know from the start that you know, this is your calling right? It’s for anyone. And it’s for everyone. And it can happen at any point. And it happened for me fairly late, I guess. But nonetheless.

Interviewer: And so when you were at school, did you see much diversity in your teachers and how did this impact you? Did you feel supported in your pursuit of STEM?

Cheyenne:  I think that I would say in the beginning, yes. Beginning high school, so when I first got introduced to computer science, going to an NCC school in Montgomery County, right, the teachers were fairly diverse. And my computer science teacher throughout 11th and 12th grade was a Black man. And he was fairly supportive, you know, of our pursuits. But coming to college, right and getting this huge culture shock of, you know, more times than not being the only Black person in any of my computer science classes more times than not being the only Black person or the only girl in some of my peer groups. It was a rude awakening. So, in Girls Who Code you know, they always told us, you know, it’s not always going to be like this. You won’t always be in a room of 20 girls coding, and we’re like, Yeah, whatever. Right and you know, in my high school, my professor telling me, my teacher was telling us it’s not always gonna be like this, you know, it’s not always gonna be a room this diverse or like, Yeah, whatever. And I get to college. And I’m like, this is what they’re talking about. This is exactly what they were talking about. And it honestly was just a rude awakening to just experience it firsthand. And then working in industry, right, where it’s even worse. And I can’t say it hasn’t been discouraging, but you know, there’s just a part of you that makes that just really wants to be there, you know, be that be that person in the room.

 Interviewer: I just wondered what your experience in Girls Who Code kind of brought to USC and being able to face that sense of like I’m in a minority here, but I really want to be in this room and I have the confidence to be in this room. You know, what are some of the lessons that you learn there? Or things that you were able to apply?

Cheyenne: I think that Girls Who Code and specifically, [unintelligible]’s whole mantra is brave, not perfect, right? Like, be brave enough to be brave, and know that you’re not going to always get it right all the time. Right. And if you do mess up, it’s not anything inherent—it’s not because you’re inherently someone who messes up, right? It’s not because of your Blackness that you messed up. It’s not because you’re the only one here and you were bound to mess up that you messed up. You messed up because it’s hard, right? You failed because it’s tough. Your code is crashing because code crashes. And I think that learning that early, early on was just so so… just so transformative, right? Knowing. And imposter syndrome will do that to you, right? The first thing you think when you get something wrong or when you fail a test or you are too scared to raise your hand is well, yeah, you probably will get it wrong, right and kind of learning that that isn’t the first thing that you should think, you know, kind of take a step back and examine things from a larger perspective. And then I think that secondly another big thing that it taught me that I learned at Girls Who Code that I still apply here is use your resources and use your community, right? It’s perfectly okay to ask for help when you are struggling, you know, very literally in your code and you know, in the grander scheme of things, if you’re struggling personally, if you’re struggling academically, um don’t see that as a weakness, right. I think that when you’re, when you are the only or one of few people in a space, it’s very easy to feel like, I have to be strong and I have to represent and I can’t, you know, let them think that I’m not worthy. And that leads to a lot of internalization of all of the struggle that you’re actually enduring. And it’s damaging and I think that, you know, it’s an ongoing struggle, but learning to actively remind myself like I’m a human being. That’s heavy already. But like, I’m a human being, and I’m like, it’s okay for me to rely on other people and to ask for help.

Interviewer: So then going forward a bit in time, why did you come to USC, then?

Cheyenne: I came to USC. Because I think that I really, so I think that it’s worth noting that my biggest factor in choosing college was would I be able to afford it, period. And once I kind of narrowed it down to that in the sense that I ended up getting a scholarship from USC, and I visited campus and that was kind of the selling point for me was the atmosphere and how immediately welcomed I felt in all the spaces that I was visiting and how easily I could kind of just talk to people and feel at home. That’s what sold it for me initially. And I guess a little bit more specifically and related to Viterbi. I just had a really great, I’m just so glad that I made it out to campus. And I had a really great experience meeting a lot of the Black students in Viterbi, and just kind of hearing about some of their experiences hearing about the community that they built among themselves. And that was kind of just USC and Viterbi was a place that I felt like I could see myself getting the support that I needed.

Interviewer: So, part of this support maybe might connect a little bit to your role in NSBE. We just wanted to know a little bit more about your involvement with the group and what inspired you to get you know more involved in a leadership role. what you feel is really significant and important about the group and the work that you guys do.

Cheyenne: Well, okay, so I’ll start with my involvement in NSBE so I’ve been involved since second semester my freshman year, and I’ve been a leader for now three of those four years, and it’s honestly been great. It’s honestly been the best part of my college experience thus far. NSBE is such a vital space where you can enter the room and not feel like the other. Like enter the room and not have to put any guards up. Do not have to worry about, you know, how your words might be misconstrued. You know any of it. It’s a room where, you know, there are people who understand, there are people who are willing to listen, there are people that you can just fairly easily get along with, and learn from. And I think that, I think that everybody, no matter what, you know, whatever it is that you’re identifying with, everybody needs their own version of NSBE. Right? But especially students who need a NSBE, right, students who need a space where they don’t feel like they’re alone. So that’s why I feel like it’s important and I think that the click for me to decide to then want to step up and be a leader once I found that space and felt, you know, very, very comfortable was when we went to our first national convention. Which is just pretty much a large convention, all the different chapters, local, executive, professional and collegiate, meet at a large venue and you know, their career offers workshops, the works. And it was the first time, I kid you not, the first time I was in a room with so many Black professionals. And I was just so astonished. I was like, This is real, right? Like, I’m not dreaming this and I don’t have to dream this, like I’m literally seeing it. And that’s when it clicked for me. I was like, the only way that people are going to feel empowered and feel like they can be they can do whatever it is that they want to do is if they see people like them doing it. Right? And that was why Girls Who Code was so huge for me, being a room learning from 20 girls. That’s why NSBE is so impactful for me being in a room of 70 Black engineers who too are going through the struggle and doing it. Right. So, it’s like, if I want to inspire somebody to be a leader, you know, I have to put myself out there.

Interviewer: We’re gonna go more to looking at academia then and how academia is doing kind of like the academia report card in terms of diversity, equity and inclusion. Where do you think it’s doing a good job? Where do you think it’s failing? And, you know, feel free to speak broadly about, you know, colleges and schools in general and specifically about your experiences of Viterbi as well.

Cheyenne: Things that you know, are promising right now things I think are going great in academia on, are one, you know, the promotion for spaces like NSBE and CED at Viterbi, the visibility that they already do have, spaces like that already do have. And a lot of that is thanks to the students and the staff and faculty that put a lot of time and energy into making those spaces visible. But, on the other hand, when those spaces are so limited to the few students that are there, you know, it doesn’t feel like much progress. So, I think that the probably just the biggest thing that I would like to see going forward, I guess generally is just hire more Black faculty. You know, enroll more Black students. I think that, you know, it’s really interesting being, you know, having this intersectional identity within engineering, right? Because there are times when you want to celebrate how much progress has been made, you know, on the gender parity front of, you know, the amazing announcement that USC had of, you know, a class with gender parity recently, but then it’s like, but we’re still lacking, right? Where are the Black girls, you know, that want to study engineering? And why is there not as large of an effort to bring them in as there are to bring women in? Why is there not as large of an effort to recruit BIPOC students, as there are to recruit women, right, as there is to recruit women. And it I just think that bigger efforts have to be made.

There’s no reason. Like I should, I don’t know. There’s no reason I should walk into the room and be the only one. Like it’s so… And there’s just moments where you’re like, Does anybody else? This is so awkward. Does anyone else notice? And you’re like, they have to notice. But it’s like, so why isn’t anybody saying anything. I don’t know. More has to be done, in my opinion.

Interviewer: If you could change one thing to make Higher Ed a more welcoming space for Black students, what would it be? Obviously, there would be a lot of things. Prioritize. One major thing that you think would make a huge difference.

Cheyenne: Like you said, there’s a lot, but I’m going to speak to again, my experience, something very simple, very easily implementable. Right. One change that I think that could be made immediately, almost anywhere, is have professors acknowledge what a student might be going through. And I mean that in terms of, so one of my best experiences at engineering at USC was with a professor who took the time to learn my name, learn my goals for the course, learn my goals for my degree pursuit, and my career goals and actually be engaged in that journey with me. And I know that that’s hard with, you know, larger classroom bases. But this was a professor that had over 200 students, and he made the effort. And this professor, you know, made it very clear that he was on my side, right, and I wouldn’t have I wouldn’t be the only one advocating for myself. And I think that that’s so important to do with all students, right? Like we’re all young. And I don’t want to say all a lot of us are young adults, you know, a lot of us are in this very strange transitional phase. And you know, that kind of mentorship and that kind of allyship truly is so essential, but especially, especially for students who may not already have that support, especially for students who need it most right?

Interviewer: So what do you plan to do after graduation? Do you know yet?

Cheyenne: I’m an engineer, and I want to build and I want to create products and technologies that actually truly benefit communities, right? And higher than that, I want to lead teams and I want to lead people who make such large-scale efforts. And people who have large-scale dreams and really want to see change. I want to be somebody who can, like, give my all to those efforts.

Interviewer: Do you see yourself ever going back to Cameroon?

Cheyenne: Absolutely. Absolutely. And I think that ultimately, it’s weird because I’ve lived in the States for most of my life, but I feel so much connection and so many more ties to Cameroon and I just know that if there’s anything or anyone, or anywhere with potential, it’s there, and I wanted, I just want to pour so much of myself to my people.

Interviewer: So, with the current momentum of Black Lives Matter movement. I’m wondering if you’re optimistic about the future. Do you feel like we’re really going to make a change this time or is it just going to be more talk and not enough action?

Cheyenne: Absolutely. So, it’s actually really interesting that you’re asking me this question because I had this conversation with my friend just a few days ago. How in the early part of this whole reckoning, right, like when quarantine probably just started, and we learned of like the tragic news of Ahmaud Arbery and um, just like kind of in the beginning when things were shifting. I was having conversations with my friends I was having, I had a conversation, a professor at USC had a conversation with some students at NSBE and I remember, just asking a lot of people and I asked him, I was like, isn’t a revolution inevitable at this point, like, it’s coming? I was like, there’s no way, this has to be it. And, you know, I got a lot of varied answers. And you know, a lot of Well, it depends, right. But I truly, I feel like this is it. You know, and, forgive me if that’s too optimistic, but I sensed that a lot from a lot of people, a lot of people are very hopeful. And I think that just the weight of it, all of it all right. Everything that’s going on and all of the all of the realization that’s happening, I think that for this not to be the time would be such a waste, to put it pretty pointedly. But considering that all of this is happening, I think that, I think that change is coming. And I’m really hopeful. And I’m, man, I’m so lucky. I just feel so lucky to be a part of this change and to be a young adult in this time. It’s inspiring.

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