Taylor Hiner Reflection

Who We Are: Our Purpose

Dear Campus Community and Beyond,

Roughly 5 years ago a group of minoritized students decided that enough was enough. Fueled by a desire to be represented in the campus community, they took action to make their voices heard. Years of petitioning and protest has culminated in the establishment of the Diversity Center. A testament to the power of student activism and determination, this center is more than a community to those who are minoritized, it’s a legacy project that all minoritized students have the opportunity to be a part of. Building on a foundation to improve the experience of those who lack privilege in the world, I can imagine the center’s growth will be exponential as its presence within the campus community expands and  grabs people’s attention.

With a story as vast and unique as the Diversity Center’s, it’s hard to imagine what it must have been like to be involved. That’s why the archive is here: to capture the experience then and the experience now within the actualized space. We recognize that no single person along this journey has had the same experience and we value the vast array of perspectives that those involved possess. This archive holds true that the human existence is not uniform or black and white, but in fact a complex and colorful state of being. Documenting this difference of perspective and lived experience is crucial to understanding the full scope of the Diversity Center past, present, and future.

At this current point in time, the Diversity Center Archive is in its formation phase. My role in this phase is to develop the guiding principles and practices of archiving as the archiving student specialist. Prior to this role, I have worked with a multitude of organizations and communities in the past to help bring their voices forward. Two of my most notable being the Gender Justice League and survivors from Japanese American Internment Camps. It was these experiences that showed me the value and necessity of bringing these forgotten and overlooked stories forward. As a member of the LGBTQIA+ community, I understand what it feels like to be silenced and looked over by those with privilege. In this position, I have a great responsibility to change the way the struggle and strife students with minoritized identities face within the halls of academia. Student voices will take prevalence in this archive as you all are the reason the Diversity Center is here and an archive is being constructed to honor and showcase your achievements. This work has provided me with such a strong sense of agency that I can change my position within society and I want this archive to serve as an inspiration to others that you too can make a change and impact. I encourage you to continue to express yourselves and consider sharing your experience related to the Diversity Center with the archive.

With utmost respect and admiration,

Taylor Hiner


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