Educational Administration, Department of


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Journal of Women in Educational Leadership, Vol. 5, No.2-April 2007 ISSN: 1541-6224


Copyright © 2007 Pro>Active Publications. Used by permission.


To understand the significance of my arrival at Temple University, it is essential to understand the places I have been in my career; the geographic locations, cultures and communities where I have lived and developed my leadership skills. In order to professionally evolve, I had to immerse my life, and as a result, the lives of my family, into the multitude of towns, boroughs and cities where we have resided. I grew up the elder of two daughters in a middle class, African American family in a suburb of Toledo, Ohio. I could see the towers of the University of Toledo when standing in my driveway. Our neighborhood, during the late 1960s, and 1970s, was on the "right side of the tracks" for African Americans. In my close-knit group of friends, we attended church regularly, respected authority, studied hard, loved to party and to shop. It was a time of awakening to the rights of women and the emergence of equality for blacks. It was never a question of "Are you going to College" but "Where are you going to College?" Education was the prize we all valued. During course studies for my Masters Degree in College Student Personnel, I became well aware of the inequities facing students of color. I questioned why there was a lack of diverse faculty, noted the absence of women in certain disciplines, and was struck by the unspoken fear and disdain when the terms multiculturalism, diversity, or minority were mentioned. It was during this period that I knew I would focus my work in higher education on advocating for change, supporting difference, and enhancing equality for all university students.