From big to small here it is all.
A collection of recent achievements, mostly related to speaking and writing.
My paper Peaceful Animals: A Look into Black Pacifism and the Pedagogy of Civil Rights in American Public Education will be published in the Politics Section of the aforementioned academic journal. Out of 40+ submissions both of my submissions made it to the final 8-9 papers, with Peaceful Animals being selected for the final book.
I spoke at the Back to School with Beto Campaign Rally. I shared the stage with Austin Mayor Steve Adler, the The University of Texas at Austin student Body President and Beto O'Rourke himself. This was the largest audience I have been in front of so far. It was an honor to be a part of this historic campaign.
The Texas Media & Society Survey is a three year endeavor funded by the Denius Chair in Media Integrity and the Annette Strauss Institute for Civic Life. The survey focuses on voting habits, media views and political inclination. I was selected to be one of the Texas Media & Society Survey Fellows. I was tasked with analyzing and interpreting the data. I then presented that message to the distinguished symposium attendees.
I had the honor of speaking at the Great Conversations event hosted by the Annette Strauss Institute for Civic Life. I shared the stage with the honorable Speaker Joe Straus of the Texas House of Representatives, President of The University of Texas at Austin Gregory Fenves and President of the Ford Foundation Darren Walker. There I interviewed Walker, one of the biggest names in philanthropy. I asked him about the need for moral courage in this time of debilitating and dispiriting news.
At the invitation of former Co-CEO of Whole Foods Walter Robb, I spoke at a fundraiser for congressman Beto O'Rourke. I spoke on the post-2016 election disillusionment and frustration that has washed over this nation. Many influential austinites were in attendance including Austin mayor Steve Adler.
Signed with the new Austin mother Agency EVO model Management. They are newly established (since November 2017) but already have models published around the world; from local Nordstrom campaigns to features on Vogue.it.
I am the agency's first male model to sign.
The annual conference hosts a variety of communication researchers from undergraduates to distinguished professors. For the second year in a row, I had the honor of bringing home the award for Best Undergraduate Paper. The full title of my presentation was "American Poison: Life and Death and the Pursuit of Social Progress."
Sustainably approaching activism is a challenging thing to do, without proper attention to mental health we can crumble before any progress is made.
As part of a collaboration between the UT chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists and The Daily Texan, I had the opportunity to write my first front page feature. I profiled Black Viral video creator Daniel Nkoola.
Read the full story below.
Starting with issue no. 11, I will act as co-writing director of Spark Magazine, a fashion publication with over 200+ staffers. Along with my co-writing director, I oversee 40 person department as they formulate, write and edit feature stories. We lead development workshops and join with directors of other departments to deliver a cohesive and polished final product.
Spark covers a variety of topics ranging from the aesthetics of pop-culture, individual designers and social movements.
At the end of my freshman year, I was selected to be a part of the UT social entrepreneurship in China summer program. The program is led by the UT vice president for diversity and community engagement, Dr. Leonard Moore. We spent four weeks at Beijing Foreign Studies University. It was an incredible personal, educational and culture experience.
The program mainly consisted of primarily Black and Latinx students. We visited cultural and historical sites, while practicing entrepreneurial skills as we worked to deliver a product mock-up in a Shark Tank style project.
During my junior year of high school, I won a contest and spoke to approximately 500 attendees of the award-winning play All the Way. The speech covered my then understanding of LBJ's vision of the civil rights movement and institutional racism in America.
I no longer agree with a lot of the rhetorical methods or sentiments used here. As I have dived further into my education, my views and practices have hopefully become more nuanced. Nevertheless, I enjoy looking back on this to see my progress as both a speaker and a thinker.
I returned the following year after winning, a similar contest that time focusing on the civic life of Ann Richards.
During my underclassmen years, I joined a variety of student organizations at UT. Ultimately, I attained leadership positions in four organizations. Coming into college, I explicitly desired to explore my racial identity. I found guidance in the National Association of Black Journalists and the Student African American Brotherhood, in which I eventually served as treasurer and secretary respectively. I spent a few semesters on the core team of a Texas Student Television program "the 40." It was a late night style variety show, where I acted as talent coordinator and occasional co-host.
Most recently, I was a logistical adviser to my fantastic peers who decided to create an official club for the communication and leadership major.
My poem "Master List" was published in Echo Literary Magazine.
From their website: "Echo Literary + Arts Magazine is a publication of the University of Texas at Austin's Liberal Arts Honors Program. It showcases the work of UT undergraduates from all majors and programs."
This poem was challenging to write, primarily for the fact that I needed to reaffirm my ability to convey emotion through words succinctly without the help of oration. It was my first earnest try at non-spoken poetry, and I believe I have improved a lot since then.
After my abstract was accepted by the deciding committee I attended the A&M Communicating Diversity Conference for the first time. I discussed the pedagogy of Black history education in the United States.
I researched a variety of educational standards from AP, Common Core and TEKS and found disappointing patterns. For this work, I was awarded Best Undergraduate Paper. During my panel, I covered the deification of MLK and the misrepresentation of the Civil Rights Movement. I further discussed the use of "violent" and non-violent social tactics. I continue to advocate for the valid duality of approaches to liberation.