The Importance of Sharing Our Stories

13 days ago
In this inaugural issue of the Division of Equity & Inclusion's Windows and Mirrors podcast, two UC Berkeley students discuss the importance of stories and share ...

English subtitle

Welcome to this edition of Windows and Mirrors,
a podcast from the Division of Equity and
Inclusion that is designed to showcase the
diversity of the Berkeley student body.
With us today, we have Divinee, who is in
her first year here at Cal, and Jordan, who
is just about to finish up his time as a Bear.
Please join us as they discuss the importance
of stories in connecting our student body,
and even share some of their own.
So Divinee, what do stories mean to you?
And what do you think their importance is
in connecting a campus like Cal with more
than thirty thousand of them?
SPEAKER: Divinee
Stories make being a student here at Cal more
realistic and more personal.
I know as a freshman, when I was trying to
get to understand Cal more, I was receiving
a lot of the material that the university
put out, and not from actual students on campus.
And I feel like by listening to stories and
by listening to those of the students on campus
you get to understand the university more
and understand the people that you're going
to be interacting with when you get to the
And Jordan?
I think that stories definitely make the experience
more relatable, that you can kind of relate
to what someone is going through and what
they're experiencing.
And I think it kind of helps your journey
as a student here at Cal.
Just kind of reminds you that 'Oh wow, if
they did it, then I can do it'.
I definitely relate to what they've experienced,
and it's pretty beneficial.
So I like stories because it tells you more
about that person, you get to know more about
that person and you get to see how far they've
come and you can connect your experiences
to theirs.
And then do you guys have a story that you
feel sort of defines who you are or has influenced
your trajectory in life, and you find it foundational
to where you are now?
SPEAKER: Divinee
I would say, for me it was a story that my
father always told me.
When I would walk to junior high every day,
he he would walk with me and he would always
tell me stories about his time in Nigeria.
And my dad was a business man, who worked
in the pipe mills industry.
And he told me about a time where his coworkers
and him weren't necessarily working along
the best -- in the sense that his coworkers
weren't giving the adequate amount of help
needed in order to get the job done efficiently
and effectively.
And my dad told me his boss said to him 'Mr.
Chidume, if you think I don't know what these
people are doing, you must be kidding yourself.
I know exactly what they're doing.
But your best isn't good enough!'
And when my dad initially told me that story
I was irritated, because I felt that his boss
wasn't very nice.
And then I thought about some more and I was
like, 'Wow ok, that just goes to show that
in some situations, there are going to be
people that don't necessarily work best with
you, or may try to hinder you.
But in real life you can't necessarily always
go to someone to complain about it.
So you just have to keep pushing and plugging
away, and I feel like that's what I've done
for a lot of my time here at Cal.
Just keep pushing myself, so I can get exactly
what I want.
I guess I would say that it used to be a personal
story that I didn't really want to share,
but I've kind of come into my own at Cal and
I'm really grateful for that, because its
allowed me to really own, embrace and accept
this identity that I carry, which is identifying
as queer.
That was the summer where I was working at
Unit 1 as a summer conference clerk.
And I came out to my family the day before
the Supreme Court ruled that gay marriage
was legal across the country.
And I'll never forget that weekend, because
it was definitely a really affirming weekend,
knowing that I had the love and support of
my parents, when I did come out to them.
And it was also Pride weekend...
I just feel like being here at Cal, being
in such a liberal space where there are a
lot of open minded people.
You have the queer community, you have resources
like the Gender Equity center here on campus.
There are so many people that I've come across
who have allowed me to really be more open
and more unapologetic with my identity, that
I'm really grateful to have had the privilege
of meeting here at Cal.
And just knowing that I'll have those relationships
beyond Berkeley that will help me to continue
to be unashamed and unapologetic in expressing
that identity.
Thank you so much for listening in today,
and we hope you'll join us again next time
on Windows and Mirrors.
Goodbye for now, and Go Bears!