by Grace Dobson
The Sankofa Center proudly holds “Table Talks.” Table Talks consist of dialogue between professors and students about personal experiences. The program strives to create a transparent atmosphere with learning and sharing information in mind.
Recent discussions were based around “My identity is my superpower,” led by Dr. Elane King, Professor Hasije Harris and Dr. Natasha Veale.
Dr. King shares the importance of these discussions.
“I think that it is important for students to hear that our journeys are not linear,” King said. “When you are in your early 20s and in college, it seems so important to have a goal or idea of where you want to be or what you want to do. Our lives often do not work that way. One path leads to another which leads to another to bring you to where you are.
“One of the questions that was asked of us was about our path that led to Greensboro College. There was no one at that table (Dr. Veale, Professor Harris or myself) that knew at 20 years old that they would become a professor at GC. That is important to know.”
These discussions can be vital to students because of the exploration of others’ experiences.
“The discussion focused on the idea that our identity is our superpower from the TedTalk by America Ferrera,” King added. “In honor of International Women’s Month, we were asked how being a woman has influenced our career decisions and opportunities.”
During the talk, the speakers also shared how heavily this talk impacted them and what they want students to take away from the Table Talks.
“I shared quite a lot at the event that I do not feel comfortable writing and sharing again,” King said. “However, I do feel that we need to listen to each other’s stories more. The more we take the time to listen, the more we understand how to support each other.”
Educators like Dr. King, Professor Harris and Dr. Veale demonstrate great courage through sharing their stories at Sankofa’s Table Talks, and through this they are able to unite students and validate their emotions and feelings.
“Very glad that Ms. Lowery asked me to speak about a relevant topic of women’s history,” Veale said. “As well given the opportunity to share higher education barriers and to tell potential students avenues to seek help with career advancements. It relates prominently to women in these particular settings.”
She also shared that of course there are months that represent minority groups; however, this is always a present topic and that more meetings should be held to address these topics.
“Regardless of the theme, it extends past the month.”