What inspired you to be the Co-Director of the Black Emergency Response Team on campus and your company, JR Companies?
We were thinking a lot about the injustices on campus since there was a lot of racism going on and BERT was created as a solution for bringing more activism on campus. We’ve been working with the campus administration, organizations, and local communities to make a change. I started JR companies, a consulting company, as a way to help businesses using the experience and knowledge that I have. I work with them mainly on social retention and on how the organization can work to be better. Companies are focusing too much on the outside and not enough on the inside, so I tell them how it is so they can improve.
Who is your role model/inspiration?
I get inspiration from many things, literature, other leaders, and even Beyonce! I look after others and take after them. What matters is how I react to or handle any situation I’m in.
What does your future look like? What plans do you have?
Honestly, completing undergrad would be great right now. But after that, I want to go to law school and get a PhD in African American ethics and activism, ultimately becomes a professor with tenure. I really want to help the Black community. All of our realities are not the same, so I want to help others understand that and help make the world and our community a better place.
What is the best piece of advice you've received that has helped you be successful?
You can’t control what happens to you, but you can control how you react.
What do you do in your free time?
Read, watch netflix, and workout a lot
What motivates you?
Just trying to be better at anything and everything. I love learning and grasping new wisdom and being able to say “I did it” as a first generation student.
What are your favorite tv shows at the moment?
Avatar, DC Legends of Tomorrow, and Queer Eye
How has your life and daily routines in regards to your company and activism changed as a result of COVID-19?
JR Companies is currently at full stop since the summer is usually when I get contracts. But since small minorities businesses are suffering, I’m not being hired to consult. A lot of the activism has been virtual and it’s been an interesting ride. Off all the books on activism, nothing prepares you for how to be an activist during a pandemic. It’s been really difficult and there is a lot of uncertainty, but it’s nothing we can’t handle. It’s been hell, but we take the wins where wins come.
If you could go back in time, is there, if at all, anything you’d do differently?
No, I feel like everything happens for a reason. If you change what happens in the past, you change who you are now. There are lesson that need to be learned.
If you could know the absolute truth to one question, what would you ask?
How did strong activists, like Malcom X or MLK, manage their personal lives while handling the responsibility of being an activist?
If you had a theme song, what would it be?
Formation (Homecoming Live) by Beyonce
In your opinion, who do you think is the most impressive person in the world right now, and why?
The marginalized communities living in the United States. They chose to stay in the US and continue to deal with all the disadvantages and BS, but they work to change that. I am constantly inspired by their perseverance and resilience.