March 2021 Issue

Humans of Campus Life Series

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Geralyn Williams, Program Coordinator in the Pace Center for Civic Engagement

 

Person looking at the face into the camera.

Geralyn Williams, Program Coordinator in the Pace Center for Civic Engagement.

Which identities are you most proud of? 

There are so many facets of myself that I am proud of, it is hard to pick. I have to say that being a Black queer woman is one of the most wonderful things I am. I wouldn’t change that for anything in world. Being all these things means that the structures of this world weren’t made to hold me, weren’t made to work for me, but I don’t need them to hold me (back) and I make things work for myself. These identities connect me to the most loving, radical and liberatory communities. As I continue to grow and become who I’m meant to be I am excited for the ways those identities will manifest in my life.

What kind of household/family did you grow up in and how did this impact your identities? 

I come from a big family. I am one of four kids, my mom is one of six, and my dad is one of seven. We are all New Jersey folks and tight-knit. This means there are lots of siblings, aunts, uncles, and cousins to go around. It also means that I’ve had a million possibility models to learn from and to inspire me. My parents have made sure that we are connected to family as far back as possible. They have instilled in me and my siblings a pride in our Blackness and heritage. My father’s family is centered around my grandmother, our departed matriarch and my namesake, who was an educator, caregiver, and so much more.