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Throughout the fall semester, The Graduate School’s Diversity and Student Success program hosted several pop-up exhibits in departments and units to explore anonymous stories from graduate students of color through interactive storyboards. Now the pop-up exhibit is available in a digital format.

We invite you to share your comments, ideas and feelings using the links to Padlet, an interactive and anonymous sharing platform. We hope to gather information and ideas in order to learn and strategize for student success and wellbeing.

Thriving

"Knowing that I would face many challenges returning to school, I took advantage of various resources through Diversity and Student Success, The Learning Center, and Counseling and Psychological Services. The resources were valuable, both as practical resources, and [as] ways to connect with others. I even took improv classes and embraced being vulnerable, something I had avoided in the past."
“I would like to acknowledge that the faculty in my program have been very supportive and understanding of my work/life balance. I am very grateful for this as it has been a challenge having a daughter with special needs.”
Share your reactions or comments

Surviving

"As I was sitting in the first-year office with my white cohort, I saw on Facebook that the officer who killed Michael Brown would not be charged, and it hit me so hard. I felt like my ears were ringing as all my cohort members were casually talking around me. I felt so alone and like I had no one to talk to about the hurt I felt about yet another racial injustice. In the past, I could turn to my community and grieve and contribute to some form of healing. But here I had no one. I went to a bathroom on another floor, and I just sobbed in the stall. And I questioned why I was even in graduate school so far from my community. It felt like I wasn’t doing anyone any good by being in such a white space. I went home that winter break and seriously contemplated quitting."
“As I was sitting in the first-year office with my white cohort, I saw on Facebook that the officer who killed Michael Brown would not be charged, and it hit me so hard.

I felt like my ears were ringing as all my cohort members were casually talking around me. I felt so alone and like I had no one to talk to about the hurt I felt about yet another racial injustice.

In the past, I could turn to my community and grieve and contribute to some form of healing. But here I had no one. I went to a bathroom on another floor, and I just sobbed in the stall. And I questioned why I was even in graduate school so far from my community.

It felt like I wasn’t doing anyone any good by being in such a white space. I went home that winter break and seriously contemplated quitting.”
Share your reactions or comments

Thriving

"Knowing that I would face many challenges returning to school, I took advantage of various resources through Diversity and Student Success, The Learning Center, and Counseling and Psychological Services. The resources were valuable, both as practical resources, and [as] ways to connect with others. I even took improv classes and embraced being vulnerable, something I had avoided in the past."
“Knowing that I would face many challenges returning to school, I took advantage of various resources through Diversity and Student Success, The Learning Center, and Counseling and Psychological Services.

The resources were valuable, both as practical resources, and [as] ways to connect with others. I even took improv classes and embraced being vulnerable, something I had avoided in the past.”
Share your reactions or comments

Surviving

"In the final review before changing advisors, I was told that maybe I should consider other options. How could I leave empty-handed after so many years out of the workforce? This was not an option, but it was what was being suggested by those who were supposed to be supporting me getting a Ph.D. Isolated, made to feel different and of less potential as an academic from the moment I entered the door, to eventually receiving the suggestion that maybe I should just go. This is my experience at UNC-Chapel Hill."
“In the final review before changing advisors, I was told that maybe I should consider other options. How could I leave empty-handed after so many years out of the workforce? This was not an option, but it was what was being suggested by those who were supposed to be supporting me getting a Ph.D.

Isolated, made to feel different and of less potential as an academic from the moment I entered the door, to eventually receiving the suggestion that maybe I should just go. This is my experience at UNC-Chapel Hill.”
Share your reactions or comments

Thriving

"Just being known by name somewhere is important and makes me feel like the space I occupy matters."
“Just being known by name somewhere is important and makes me feel like the space I occupy matters.”
Share your reactions or comments

Surviving

"It was through my graduate program that I felt isolation [and] experienced challenges that would impact me emotionally and mentally. I recognized that being the only person of color, male, and older student in my cohort would bring challenges. Even with the support and wisdom from the resources and people I trusted, I soon realized that it would not be enough to bring a sense of community, certainty, or safety in the classroom. I would sit for three hours in graduate seminars, feeling intense sensations in my body, holding my breath at times, fidgeting my hands and toes, feeling so isolated or not smart enough to engage in the discussions."
“It was through my graduate program that I felt isolation [and] experienced challenges that would impact me emotionally and mentally. I recognized that being the only person of color, male, and older student in my cohort would bring challenges.

Even with the support and wisdom from the resources and people I trusted, I soon realized that it would not be enough to bring a sense of community, certainty, or safety in the classroom.

I would sit for three hours in graduate seminars, feeling intense sensations in my body, holding my breath at times, fidgeting my hands and toes, feeling so isolated or not smart enough to engage in the discussions.”
Share your reactions or comments

Thriving

"[The Initiative for Minority Excellence] is the only place I felt supported for many years. IME gave me a physical place to work when I was uncomfortable being physically present in my department space. IME is where I could talk about all the things that were happening with my advisor and had staff at IME not stepped into the situation, I probably would have been pushed out of this institution."
“[The Initiative for Minority Excellence] is the only place I felt supported for many years. IME gave me a physical place to work when I was uncomfortable being physically present in my department space.

IME is where I could talk about all the things that were happening with my advisor and had staff at IME not stepped into the situation, I probably would have been pushed out of this institution.”
Share your reactions or comments

Surviving

"My view of my experience here changes by the year, semester, and week. If my experience was so bad, I would leave, so I can’t say it is entirely negative, however, I do not look at my experience with rose-colored glasses either. I have spaces that make me feel positive and others that make me feel inferior. I have protected myself from being completely vulnerable in certain spaces or have avoided certain people in order to maintain my own sanity."
“My view of my experience here changes by the year, semester, and week. If my experience was so bad, I would leave, so I can’t say it is entirely negative, however, I do not look at my experience with rose-colored glasses either.

I have spaces that make me feel positive and others that make me feel inferior. I have protected myself from being completely vulnerable in certain spaces or have avoided certain people in order to maintain my own sanity.”
Share your reactions or comments