Alexandria White, M.A.
This week's featured feminist is Alexandria White, the interim director fo the Center for Inclusion and Cross-Cultural Engagement. White moved around a lot when she was young. She was born in Chicago, spent time in Atlanta, and graduated from high school in Grenada, Mississippi. She is very passionate about education. "As a woman of color," she says, "education has given me access and options. I often tell my students that someone can take your job, house or status but they can never take your education."
White thinks of her mother as the essence of a feminist, and a major influence for her. "She always taught me to think critically, be independent and embrace change. I have five brothers, so I grew up with a lot of masculinity all around me. My mother would tell me to go outside and play with the boys. Go play and be free. This shaped me to know that my gender does not limit me. I can run and play with the boys and beat them at their own game."
White's favorite feminist thinker is bell hooks. She discovered her in a college sociology class. Another great feminist author that White mentioned is Nikki Giovanni, the black Appalachian poet, activist and thinker. About Giovanni, White says: "She is blunt and candid about her struggles as a black feminist in a world who was never ready for her voice."
Professionally, White says that she is just grateful to see students every day. "They motivate me to be a better professional and challenge me to think critically."
White has worked on numerous projects while at the university. One of her favorite projects was the Women of Color Health Expo, an event held in The Grove to bring awareness to health issues that target women of color at a higher rate. For example, African-American women have a higher rate of fibroids. The event was open to the University of Mississippi and Oxford community.
"I have a passion for travel because it helps people learn about themselves," says White. In 2017, The Center for Inclusion and Cross Cultural Engagement took a student delegation to Washington D.C. During the visit, White visited the National Museum of African American History and Culture. "This was in fact one of the most memorable projects I was involved in. We selected an array of students some of them had never flown on a plane, some had never visited Washington D.C., and some were just excited to be a part of this experience."