- Please provide a brief description of your STEP Signature Project.
The purpose of my step project was to give exposure to other races about where an African American male or female can come from and still be successful no matter where he/she has come from regardless of the circumstance. Everyone has a story and every person’s story is not the same.
- What about your understanding of yourself, your assumptions, or your view of the world changed/transformed while completing your STEP Signature Project
There have been countless stereotypes that I have been told about or that have been assumed about me during my 3 year here at Ohio state. The main two is that I play football or I’m an athlete of some sort, which is false, and the other is that I’m a “thug” and that I grew up in the “hood”. Which is another false assumption. I came to OSU to study Engineering and Architecture. I also grew up in the inner city but still lived in a middle-class neighborhood. People often judge a book by its cover. In My case I feel like people judge me off my appearance before I can even open my mouth to tell them my name. I felt that Creating a visual to show people; more specifically closed-minded people that not all people that look the same are the same is and should be important to the OSU community.
Coming up with this idea gave me a great opportunity to talk to some cool and interesting groups of people. This project has given me a chance to talk to everyone from CEOs of companies to other college students in other states to get their viewpoint on how diversity is treated at the institutions or places of work. I gained a lot of knowledge talking to people about the subject and made a lot of connections.
- What events, interactions, relationships, or activities during your STEP Signature Project led to the change/transformation that you discussed in #2, and how did those affect you?
During the span of my project I’ve met many people of different backgrounds. Students of minority backgrounds have often told me that they feel uncomfortable being around their counterparts because of how they talk to them and treat them, and no one wants to be talked at, only talked too. People in the work forces have said similar things but feel they need to brush them off in order to complete the common goal of the company or the for the project that is being worked on.
My interactions with high up officials in companies have made me realize that creating a culture outside of work and interacting with people is a great way to stop stereotypes in the work community. Something as little as going to lunch in a group can create conversations and break cultural barriers opposed to assuming something about someone and creating an unconscious stereotype.
For Example, over the summer I met with two young men who really dared to be different and create a clothing line along with a TV show after the clothing line started making them money. The 2 men grew up on the complete opposite sides of town but still came up with common goals for the better of their brand to be successful at there common goal. From the outside looking in and from first glimpse of these men you would never think that they were into fashion and entertainment the way they are. The only way to find out who there are as people was to actually sit down with them and have a conversation and see how the world works and how people operate with each other from their perspective.
- Why is this change/transformation significant or valuable for your life?
This Topic I chose to create my project around is important to me because I really want people of other color , races, gender, or economic status to have an open mind and see where other people come from and that creating and uncomfortable situation can actually create an amazing conversation and can bring better understanding within these groups of people. If this project can make people that we are all the same in some kind of way, then I feel like I have contributed something meaningful to society.