In this article from Diverse magazine our very own Dr. Devin Walker highlights the importance of studying abroad for Black Students. Dr. Walker begins by reflecting on the experience of being a Black Student in the United States, how this experience is one that is shaped by neglect and distortion. Dr. Walker then speaks on how study abroad can be used as a tool to reflect on students’ feelings of liberation from the constraints of being Black in America, not to runaway from the problem, but to better understand it. As the director of Global Leadership and Social Impact at The University of Texas at Austin, Dr. Walker is a witness to these experiences his students have while abroad.
A moment I often relive, happened while dining at Mzansi’s restaurant in Langa, Cape Town. As we were listening to the sounds of a local band, the owner, Nomonde walked over to our table and told us, “You are home. This is your home.” As I glanced around the room, many were in tears. In this moment – they felt seen, they felt whole, they felt fully human. We all did. – Dr. Devin Walker