Food and Family: Students of Color Dig In at Luncheon

Transitional Studies Coach Nicole Hopkins speaks to a room full of students of color and allies in Clark’s Fireside Lounge on March 7. The ASCC and other volunteers served food to students of color and allies for an hour before her speech. (Luc Hoekstra / The Independent)

By Sarah Kaufman – Sports Editor

The value of family and village was the primary message at an on-campus transitional studies coach’s speech at the quarterly ASCC Student of Color Luncheon in PUB 161 on March 7.

Transitional Studies Coach Nicole Hopkins speaks to a room full of students of color and allies in Clark’s Fireside Lounge on March Administrators Bob Knight, Bob Williamson and Tim Cook were attended the event. (Luc Hoekstra / The Independent)

Volunteers and ASCC members served hot food from 11:30 a.m. to noon that drew in students of color and allies alike, filling up all nine tables in the Fireside Lounge with people to hear Nicole Hopkin’s speech from noon to 1 p.m.

In her speech, Hopkins talked about her experience in an education system that she said wasn’t built for her.

Hopkins said she found support not only in her family but also in finding her community, her “village.” She said it’s important to find your village in every part of your life, including school and work.

With a push from her parents, who understood the importance of education, she attended Washington State University for a year, but failed many classes and misunderstood the role of education.

Hopkins said she attended Clark after dropping out of college to work and support her newborn. Taking night classes with a toddler, Hopkins said she eventually graduated and continued on to Washington State University Vancouver.

ASCC members and other volunteers served food to students of color and allies for an hour before a speech at noon by Transitional Studies Coach Nicole Hopkins in PUB 161. (Luc Hoekstra / The Independent)

She said when she first started working in Clark’s Transitional Studies department, being a young black woman put students off. She said she would often correspond with students exclusively online and had to rebuild their trust when they met in person.

ASCC Vice President and Black Student Union President Ndeye Cisse attends the Students of Color Luncheon in the Fireside Lounge on March 7. (Luc Hoekstra / The Independent)

Several faculty attended the luncheon including Vice President of Administrative Services Bob Williamson, Vice President of Instruction Tim Cook, Dean of Student Engagement Cath Busha and President Bob Knight.

Williamson said he has attended many luncheons in the past. He said he thought the big takeaway from the speech was that with community, people are able to achieve what they want.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: