Meet Justin Sandoval! They are majoring in sociology and gender & sexuality studies with a certificate in human resources. Thanks to a grant from Newcomb College Institute, they were able to attend Feminist Camp in Seattle. Read about their experience below:
Describe yourself and why you wanted to attend Feminist Camp:
I am a native New Orleanian and a rising Senior at Tulane University. During my academic career, I have learned much of the academic theory on the topics of gender and sexuality. In my classes, I discuss intersectional feminism, gender violence, sexual violence, and reproductive justice on a regular basis. I wanted to extend my theoretical knowledge by exploring practical ways that professionals incorporate their feminism into their personal and professional lives.
What were your favorite parts of the conference?
My favorite session was when I met Adi Baretto and Magie Henry of Textio. Textio creates software that an organization can use to make sure that its language is inclusive. What Textio does is incredible to me. After graduation, I will advance my Human Resources career. So, the discussion about inclusive language in, for example, a job description was very relevant to my professional interests. Both of the professionals talked about the culture of an organization and the personal fit of an employee at a company.
Share any information you learned on reproductive health and reproductive justice:
Artist Susie Lee discussed how she found that the most important aspect of motherhood and pregnancy is the community of women. She explained that motherhood is not supposed to be on one woman and that woman alone. It takes a tribe to raise a child.
Doula Takeallah Rivera explained to me that a doula offers emotional support to pregnant women. She also uses herbal methods to help heal some of her clients. The idea that jumped out to me was that Western medicine may not be the best on bodies of color and/or queer and trans bodies.
Photographer Jenny Jimenez explained that many female photographers tend to hide their pregnancy and mother-photographer status due to the fear that they might lose clients and job opportunities. While her agent once advised her to hide her pregnancy for her income and career’s sake, Jenny decided to be open about her pregnancy. She also gave me great insight into the world of infertility and adoption.
Tell us what you learned that you hope to never forget:
I learned that one does not need a career that is undeniably political to bring their feminist values to their career. Some of the professionals that I met had jobs that didn’t sound feminist at first, but, when I actually met the individuals, it became clear how their beliefs and values influence how they do their job.
Why should other students attend Feminist Camp?
The days are very productive, and a participant receives the opportunity to network with amazing people all over the city of Seattle. Throughout the week, I also developed a strong network with other feminist students. The program really shows a participant that feminism intersects with every career and industry.
How did this experience help with your future ambitions?
It solidified my desire to work in Human Resources and strengthened my interest in Diversity and Inclusion initiatives which are growing at a fast pace at many companies. I also learned that I can bring my feminist perspective to anything I do.
Does this sound like something you might be interested in? Tulane undergraduate students can apply to NCI for funding to attend Feminist Camp. Email Clare Daniel at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Responses have been lightly edited for length and clarity.