Reflection: Women & Self Worth
In the early months of 2021, I recall seeing an article floating around social media in my higher education spaces. The headline “Lesley Lokko resigns as Dean of CCNY’s Spitzer School of Architecture” and the black woman’s composure in the photo struck me, so I clicked and read it. By the time I got to the end, I experienced a range of emotions from anger to sadness, and finally gratefulness. I was thankful for the action of Dr. Lokko and her ability to place her mental health, integrity, and values on the table for all to understand and to see the contradictions in academia.
As a black woman in higher education abroad, I have been blazing trails for others who will come behind me, but I have also struggled in some environments. My ten (10) years in the field of International Higher Education had its fair share of stress, tears, sleepless nights, and even the occasional doubt. However, in my decision in 2012, when I left the US for my second expat experience, I had already determined I would be resilient every step of the way. In doing so, I have learned to know my worth in seeking positions, negotiating mutual best interests, and walking away when it’s time.
Dean Lokko’s story resonated with me on many levels, especially when she mentioned the “lack of respect and empathy for black women.” I would have been remised not to reflect on her “profound act of self-preservation.” I am thankful for her role-modeling and role models like her who share and create pathways, particularly for black women, to know their rights in expressing their worth. As women, specifically black women, we should always strive for continued professional and personal success rooted in knowing our worth.
In light of many women (and men) choosing to resign for thier well-being, health, families, and more in recent months are larger than expected number, self-preservation is making its mark in the global economy.
>>>> Know your worth and accept nothing less <<<<
The original article was written and published in March 2021 on the Roseapple Global Blog.