NACAC - Spring 2020 - 16

ourselves permission to move, to not feel guilty. I
had to begin to train myself, if that makes sense,
to see what I needed and be ok with making a
change, because nobody else will do this for me.
Nam: What I wish I'd known when I first started
my career is that just because you share certain
commonalities with other people doesn't mean
that they think or feel the same way as you
or will support you. I didn't understand the
nuance and complexities behind all our different
identities coming into play, especially as we
become leaders within the profession. I also
want to echo what Beverly talked about; it's not
selfish to take time to give yourself a day off,
even during a busy time of the year or say no to
a project that you really don't have bandwidth for.
It's a professional skill and it's not selfish,
it's strategic.
Pallie: At Pomona, I am the only woman and
person of color on the admission leadership
team. Going to a women's college for undergrad
was fulfilling in ways I didn't realize I needed.
I learned who I am and what I need, and that
strongly solidified my identity. The requirements I
have for colleagues have shifted and now I have
a clear vision of what I need and will ask for it.
I also think about being the supervisor of color.
I think about the junior staff of color and how
they are experiencing our office, our work, or
the world. We're humans who bring our whole
selves to work and, sometimes, we need a
minute to breathe. We have conversations on
our senior team and I bring these things up. My
incredible colleagues are very responsive to this.
Nam: In the beginning, I didn't know how to
identify allies and accomplices who weren't
people of color (POC), but that is truly an
important skill because the reality is many of us
will not be able to work in offices that have a
lot of POC or are led by a POC or a WOC. People
don't necessarily have to share your background
to be really understanding, supportive, and
educated. So I would challenge all of us to find
not only other POC who can be professional
supports, but also others who may not look like
you or have shared experiences, who will go to
bat for you.



Stephanie Gonzalez

Suzi Nam

Henry Wheeler: I agree with Suzi because I
think that's the dilemma. I think some individuals
don't feel that they need that connection or feel
they've been raised in a different environment.
But I do believe that having the knowledge, even
if you don't use it yet, is very important in this
process because I think when you end up in one
of those situations, it's almost too late to go and
seek help. I finally realized I had to find other
WOC and mentors-I had to seek them out. And
I remember someone told me that not every
person of color is for you and not every Anglo is
against you, but you have to have the wisdom to
know the difference. And it was the wisdom that
I needed, the discernment--how do I discern
who is for me and who's against me? How do I
acquire the tools, not only to assist myself but
to assist others? And how do I know when those
individuals want to be assisted? Does that make
Pallie: GWI is one of the most powerful
conferences for people of color to be in a space
where your truth and your voice are at the
forefront. I also have some ride-or-dies. That is
really important. I think about my trajectory and
how I make decisions about the things that I do.
It's a lot of POC who come around me and hold
me up.
Gonzalez: Yes! People not on your campus can
be a great resource. This conversation wouldn't
even be happening if it hadn't been for GWI. I
realize that not everyone can attend GWI, but
there are also great online resources. You can
find ways virtually to expand your network.
Henry Wheeler: So, we even have to check
ourselves and understand we are powerful
women. I started saying, "Okay, who else is
out there? Who represents me? And do I have


Ashley Pallie

Beverly Henry

to see that person in order to be a woman
of power and authority?" But it's coming to
a point that we don't have to see it to be it,
because right now you may not. I'm 33 years
into my career and I'm tired of looking for that
hero. I want to be my own hero. I do.
So, I want this message of empowerment to
really be for real. We're going to have to fight. I
don't know if it's going to ever go away, but we
can fight and we can win, I guess that's what I
want for this group.
Pallie: When I think of my career, my greatest
advances have been because of WOC who
have mentored me. Recently, I saw Youlonda
Copeland-Morgan from UCLA. She sat me
down and was like, "What is happening in
your career? What's in your future? Where
will you be and what will you be doing by 40?"
And I was like, "I was just coming to say hi."
But she projected this list of things I hadn't
contemplated. There are really incredible
WOC out there and they really have your back
in beautiful ways.
Nam: So I think one piece of very pragmatic
advice I wish I had heard earlier is that having
the freedom-financially-to do what you
want is paramount. Save as much money
as you possibly can! Being from a first-gen/
low-income background, I didn't think I would
have the opportunity to do that, especially on
an admission salary. It was very difficult to do
in the beginning, but I definitely encourage
women to make sure that they have enough
saved to make moves and changes when it's
right for them-that's power.
Gonzalez: Know your worth.
Pallie: And negotiate well.


NACAC - Spring 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of NACAC - Spring 2020

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