Amber Asumda, A22

Schools: Tisch College of Civic Life (including Tisch Scholar) and School of Arts and Sciences 

Degree: Bachelor of Arts in International Relations, with a minor in Entrepreneurship for Social Impact 

 

What are you most proud of accomplishing during your time at Tufts? 

I was inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement to create the Black Women’s Empowerment Conference last spring. Looking at my own experiences, I didn’t see a lot of spaces to uplift Black women. it was virtual, more people were willing to hop on Zoom, and we were lucky to get Rev. Naomi Tutu, the daughter of Desmond Tutu, as our keynote speaker. She spoke about the unity of Black women and the African diaspora, and inspired us as Black women students to be active and involved in our communities.  

We just hosted our second conference in April, in person. It was exciting to see people gather, and we also streamed it. Our theme was “Radical Self-Love,” based on a quote from activist and author Sonya Renee Taylor, who wrote “The Body Is Not an Apology: The Power of Radical Self-Love.” We had many different sessions, including one where Black professional women talked about how they navigate the work space and create space for themselves as women of color, and another featuring Black women community organizers who share ways to protect mental health. 

What’s your favorite place on campus? 

The Africana Center. Whenever I walk in, I can do homework in the lounge, hang out in the reading room, and say hi to Katrina Moore, the director, who has really been a mentor to me. It’s always a welcoming space—there’s often free food—and I see a lot of my friends there. After I graduate, the center will keep the conference going, since there’s some younger students who are taking the baton.   

In 10 years, I will have…  

Graduated from law school and started my dream career: I want to start my own international non-governmental organization to uplift girls of African descent. I want to become a legal advocate for them and fund their education and their investments. I’m a first-generation Ghanaian American, and that’s always been an important part of my identity. I took an amazing class sophomore year with Professor Pearl Robinson on the African political economy, which really made me look at the continent as a whole for the first time and more aware of the issues facing it. That’s what launched my passion and put me on a trajectory to use my resources as a Tisch Scholar to focus on community engagement, help people in the African diaspora, and create this conference to uplift Black women.  

For full Commencement 2022 coverage, please visit now.tufts.edu/commencement-2022.

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