Jillian Solomon on right

The first time that I ever addressed race in mixed company was in training to become a Resident Assistant for Harrington with Residence Life and Housing. We need to stress to people that they can’t always be comfortable in life, but they can learn to engage with difference in a safe space and Res Life has provided that environment for me.

When I first arrived here, I didn’t know anyone and I signed up for the Center for Black Culture’s Each One Reach One (EORO) mentorship program. EORO gave me a safety net that made me feel like I belonged here, and made me feel comfortable to try other things. The CBC staff also became mentors as I navigated my first year and considered whether to stay at UD. I now serve as a EORO mentor to two students who are also feeling out how they can engage in ways that honor their identities and make them feel like they belong. Everyone’s experience is unique, but I do think that students who belong to a majority population can easily forget the comfort that comes with being around people who look like them. The CBC and its programs are great because I can be around people who look like me while enjoying opportunities that are open to the entire UD community.

Learn more from Jillian in this Student Life Spotlight:
Embracing discomfort: Miss Black and Gold 2016 Jillian Solomon on the value of a UD experience