A LETTER FROM THE EDITOR
My name is Ayden Adeyanju-Jackson, and I am a third year Queen’s student majoring in Global Development studies, and minoring in Politics. Race and class were two aspects of my intersectionality that significantly shaped my experiences growing up. Inherently, as socioeconomically disadvantaged, racialized individual, I was excluded directly by financial constraints and conscious racial ignorance, but also indirectly by unconscious biases relating to racial and class-based stereotypes. Indeed, these experiences were more pronounced when I arrived at Queen’s in the Fall of 2019, where a racially homogenous, Eurocentric, and socio-economically affluent community showed me – directly and indirectly – that I do not unquestionably belong. Rather than being able to seamlessly integrate into the broad Queen’s community, some of my experiences in first year showed me that there are greater barriers and nuance to finding meaningful community at Queen’s for marginalized individuals. This realization was tough for me to come to terms with. Although I had many positive experiences at Queen’s, the systemic and regular nature of my negative racial and class experiences triggered a mentality shift, where I came to perceive Queen’s as a means to an end, rather than a place to safely learn, grow, and form relationships. Certainly, this was an unhealthy – yet natural – shift to have, but, this change is what has made my work this past summer at the Yellow House so rewarding. For the past 4 months, I have been creating an EDII Resource Toolkit with the purpose of empowering, building, celebrating, and supporting students in the Queer, Trans, Black, Indigenous and People of Colour communities on campus by making resources pertinent to them centralized and easily accessible. For ease of accessibility, the toolkit is organized by need, and contains categories relating to support in community building, wellness, finances, academics, and careers. Ideally, by making these resources visible, accessible, and relevant, marginalized students can avoid the same frustration and uncertainty that I did when trying to find community and support at Queen’s. In consultation with diverse stakeholders in the Queen’s community, this toolkit was made by YOU and for YOU, so you can thrive, rather than survive.