Posts tagged with "Historically Black Colleges and Universities"

Mariah Pearson via Trice Browning for use by 360 Magazine

Interview with Mariah Pearson

By: Skyler Johnson

On July 5th, 2021, the Revlon Creme of Nature “Legacy to Leadership” scholarship inaugural winners were announced. The scholarship was meant to provide funding to students attending HBCUs, or historically black colleges and universities. I had the privilege of interviewing one of the students who received the scholarship: Mariah Pearson, who’s currently attending North Carolina A&T State University

How important is it for you to attend an HBCU?

It was personally extremely important for me because I feel as though a lot of times, in society, people of color, don’t exactly get the opportunities as other people would and I feel that at my HBCU and at other HBCUs across the country were given those opportunities. We’re given resources to better navigate, better operate in the real world… in corporate America and professional settings. It also provided me with a community of people who have similar backgrounds as me and similar interests as me. It’s awesome to go to one. 

What is your favorite thing about college thus far?

So far my favorite thing about college would probably be the environment, the way my school feels like a family, and how you can meet new people and it doesn’t feel awkward to introduce yourself. [Talking to a stranger at school] kind of feels like you’re talking to someone you’ve known forever. That’s probably my favorite part, just feeling like I’m at home when I’m not at home. 

Briefly, can you go over what you expect to gain out of college? 

Of course to get a degree. And learn how to operate in professional settings, but also just for personal development. I feel that going to college has opened a bunch of doors and there’s a bunch of opportunities for new experiences that you might not get if you don’t go to college. Knowing who I am and what I like, who I want to be, how I want to grow, the direction I want to grow in. I definitely feel that college helps you figure that out really quickly. 

What’re the most important lessons you’ve learned thus far?

There’s a couple. One of them is definitely: always be on your Ps and Qs, because somebody’s always watching, and you don’t know who’s watching or when, but… somebody’s always seeing you. That’s one of them. Another one is always try and surround yourself with people who you want to see yourself as. You can’t become a winner if you’re not in a group of winners. You can’t be a leader if you’re not in a group of leaders. So it’s important that you surround yourself with people who feed into you positively and of course hold you to a standard that you would hold yourself to. I think those are the main lessons that I’ve learned so far, and I’m sure there are plenty more to come. 

What made you want to get into health care?

So I’m going into physical therapy, and when I was first trying to figure out where I was going to go to school and what I was going to go for I… [didn’t] really know… But as an athlete, who had to experience going through physical therapy, I was like, “I kinda like sports, I kinda like helping people, so let’s find a way to mix the two.” And physical therapy is what came up… I later began to grow a love for it through learning how the healthcare system operates, and of course how it treats different people. Because I personally know that being a black woman I’m going to experience a different type of healthcare than anyone else would. Especially since I had family [members] who had gone through physical therapy and had different medical procedures done and they felt that they hadn’t been treated the way they should’ve been, or wanted, to be treated. [Which is why] one of my goals as a health care professional in the future would definitely be to make people feel more comfortable and cared for and appreciated as a patient.

Do you expect to change the world? 

Yes, I do. In some way, shape, or form I will [change the world], because another one of my goals as a physical therapist is to establish a [holistic] health care system. [I would not just] tap into the physical but also into the mental state, [asking] how [a patient’s] feeling, [if they were] eating, [if they were] exercising. I’m going to establish a facility where I take care of the whole person and not just say, “oh you’re sick, here’s some medicine.” Personally I’m not a big fan of medication which is why I chose physical therapy, because you’re essentially healing your own body by yourself. There’s no needles, there’s no medicine. It’s purely you moving your body and [exploring] how movement can essentially create a better lifestyle for you. 

How excited were you when you received the Revlon HBCU scholarship?

I cried, when I found out, I was so… thankful to Creme of Nature for this scholarship. It’s something that I definitely needed at the time. When I went through the process of figuring out what scholarship I was gonna apply for, and what bubble I fit in, with the scholarship world, they popped up and I [was] like, “this is perfect, this is awesome,” because I [could] make a video explaining who I [was] and what I [wanted] to do and what I [was] passionate about… It [was] purely me telling them about how I really feel about where I want to be in life, and my profession… so it was incredible. I cried. I called my mom. I called everybody.

Film Premiere illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Twenty Pearls Premiere

COMCAST ANNOUNCES EXCLUSIVE PREMIERE OF
TWENTY PEARLS – A DOCUMENTARY EXAMINING THE STORIED HISTORY OF ALPHA KAPPA ALPHA SORORITY, INCORPORATED – ON ITS NEWLY LAUNCHED BLACK EXPERIENCE ON XFINITY CHANNEL

Comcast NBCUniversal is excited to announce the exclusive premiere of the documentary film “Twenty Pearls: The Story of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated”, arriving Friday, March 26 on its newly launched Black Experience on Xfinity Channel, available on X1, Flex, and on-the-go with the Xfinity Stream app.

From award-winning filmmaker Deborah Riley Draper, produced by Coffee Bluff Pictures, and narrated by Phylicia Rashād, Twenty Pearls closely examines the founding and legacy of the first Black sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, which is now regarded as one of the most significant and influential Black organizations in historyThe documentary tells a powerful story of sisterhood. In 1908, nine Black women enrolled at Howard University made one decision that would change the course of history. These college students created Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated. For over 113 years, the sorority has influenced many of the most famous watershed moments in history.

Through narration, interviews, and rarely seen archival materials, the audience will see the sorority’s impact on World War II, NASA, Civil Rights, Women’s Rights, and Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) culminating in the historic election of America’s first Black and South Asian woman Vice President. Twenty Pearls features interviews with members of the sorority including Vice President Kamala HarrisMiss Universe Ireland 2019 Fionnghuala O’ReillySmithsonian Secretary Lonnie Bunch III, Anna Eleanor Roosevelt Fierst, great-granddaughter of First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, International President and CEO of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated Dr. Glenda Glover and many more.

 
Watch the Twenty Pearls trailer hereTrailer
 

“This is an extraordinary time to look back at our past to serve our future,” added filmmaker Deborah Riley Draper. “A future where Black women are centered. Helming this documentary love letter to the founders of Alpha Kappa Alpha, the generations of women that followed in their footsteps, and to all Black women everywhere is an honor. This is an important history for all of us to know and understand.”

“We’re thrilled to work with award-winning filmmaker, Deborah Riley Draper, and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority to bring this exclusive premiere to the Black Experience on Xfinity channel, furthering our company-wide mission of investing in and showcasing authentic Black stories and culture,” said Keesha Boyd, Executive Director, Multicultural Video & Entertainment, Xfinity Consumer Services. “We launched this channel to help facilitate the discovery of stories like Twenty Pearls while providing a platform for emerging Black content creators.”

“Telling our own story is essential to preserving our history and uplifting the culture,” said Alpha Kappa Alpha International President and CEO Dr. Glenda Glover. “Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated’s remarkable 113-year journey which began on the campus of Howard University is punctuated by stories of history makers, ceiling breakers, public servants, and ordinary women who have changed the course of American history.  Through this beautifully written and narrated odyssey, this film highlights in undeniable ways the vision, courage, tenacity, determination, and power of Black women while putting to bed the age-old questions about the relevance of Historically Black Colleges and Universities and the Divine Nine sororities and fraternities.”

Black Experience on Xfinity is a first-of-its-kind destination of Black entertainment, movies, TV shows, news, and more. It features high-quality content from many of Xfinity’s existing network partners, at no additional cost, while investing millions of dollars in fostering and showcasing emerging Black content creators. The channel is the only one of its kind endorsed by the African American Film Critics Association (AAFCA), the world’s largest group of Black film critics that gives annual awards for excellence in film and television. Available at home on Xfinity X1 and Flex, and on-the-go with the Xfinity Stream app, the Black Experience on Xfinity will entertain, educate and uplift, featuring Black actors, writers, producers and directors. At home, Xfinity subscribers can visit channel 1622 or simply say “Black Experience” into the Voice Remote to instantly enjoy the ultimate in Black storytelling.

Visit Xfinity to learn more about the Black Experience on Xfinity and other Black programming available on X1, Flex, and the Xfinity Stream app. Visit Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated to learn more about Twenty Pearls, which premieres on March 26 on Xfinity and is free for subscribers, and will be available nationwide, on-demand, starting on March 30, 2021.