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College of Information and Communications

Alumna A'Ja Wilson speaks to the reality of women of color

Posted July 22, 2020

Dear Colleagues,

I am honored to use this blog space to share a most provocative and powerful reflection from a School of Journalism and Mass Communications 2019 Outstanding Alumna Award recipient, the 2018 Naismith Trophy winner, one of the first women to receive the award at the preparatory and collegiate level, MVP of the 2018 NCAA National Basketball Championship team, 2017-2018 NCAA Player of the Year, #1 draft pick selected by the Las Vegas Aces, yes, our very own A’Ja Wilson.

In this article, she speaks from the heart, sharing the perspective of what it is like to grow up and flourish in a society that sometimes requires too much endurance. Her heartfelt article speaks to the reality of so many of us, but especially women of color, Black women, who daily navigate the space, the intersection of race and gender in our society that shapes us, demands unusual courage of us, requires a strength passed down from our ancestors, that somehow instills in us the power to be our best selves and share the best that we have with others. A’Ja towers among us, not just physically, but in her personality, work ethic, and amazing drive to succeed and excel in all her endeavors.

As my colleague Michelle LaRoche comments about A’Ja’s article, “In some ways, its power comes from its commonality; I imagine many black women relate to her story. (As a white woman, I relate to much of it, though not the transformative experience of being excluded from an important event because of the color of my skin.)”

Thank you, A’Ja,  you make us proud!

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.