Alumnae and Former Employee

College of Liberal Arts

Black

“After working at the University for several years with dreadlocks. My hair was always, no matter what the style. I cut my hair and then had an afro. I cut my hair very very short and that is when the comments in my office started.

1. Are trying to reach out to your heritage?
2. Its about time you got a more professional look. Its less aggressive.
3. So are you going to grow it back straight this time?
and so and so forth.

That’s just the comments about my hair. When I was expecting my youngest child, an announcement was made in my office. I was married at the time, not that it should matter. An older, white male colleague came into my office and said “Don’t you know folks know where babies come from yet?”

These comments were made while working at Purdue. A countless number of other microaggressions transpired as student. A male friend of mine who was an international student from a country where English is the main language repeatedly gets asked where he is from, and then comments about how well he speaks English. I could go on and on, but I’m writing during my short work break.

I will say this…Purdue called recently to ask me to donate as an Alum. I informed them that I cannot in good faith give to a university that does not see a point in creating a accepting environment for people like me.”

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