The importance of representation

I'm definitely just proud of being a Black woman. Because with it comes so many different experiences and things that I didn't always think I was gonna have to go through, but I have. But overcoming those experiences in those circumstances, it's made me just really proud of myself.

So social media is not the most diverse all the time when you look at what's trending, who's popular, what the beauty standard is… It's not always someone who looks like me. Like when I look in the mirror, it's not always someone who looks like me. I definitely do think that it influences our campus and influences our society, because everyone's on social media now. So when you do look at that it kind of warps your perception of like, what you deem is like successful, and what you deem as beauty

Representation is definitely important. Part of my main motivations and like, what keeps me going curious knowing that, one day, I'll be that for someone. I have a family friend who I just met with on Monday, and we just sat for hours just talking about what her experiences were like going here, she went here in 1987. And she's a physician, she works at the CDC in Atlanta. And we're just… she's also an African American woman. And we're just talking about, like, what representation means and how it's important to see people who look like you doing the things that you want to do, because if you can see it, then it just makes it that much more real. And you believe that you can do it.

I do feel seen here. And that goes both ways, sometimes in a good way, in a positive way. And sometimes in a negative way. I've definitely had instances where I've been the only person in my classroom who is a person of color. And if the topic switches to slavery or something, the eyes do turn on you. In that case, yeah, I do feel seen. But in the sense that I've been able to participate and be a part of so many amazing things here, I do feel seen in that sense, as well. And in terms of being heard, I think, as a community, like we still need to work towards hearing different people's experiences here at Notre Dame, because even though we are at Notre Dame, there are so many different experiences here. And there are so many different ways to be here and experience life as a Notre Dame student, and it's not going to be the same for everyone. And so just listening to people and hearing what we have to say is very important.


Summer Webb

Summer Webb is a freshman at Notre Dame from Kennesaw, Georgia, studying biological sciences.