By Madison Lowry
Shawntal Brown is currently a junior studying Psychology and Women & Gender studies. With her studies, Shawntal plans to go into Social Psychology research, and study the impact of gender, race, and sexuality on our society. She is also a writer, her poetry focusing on her experiences as a black woman in America and how she finds and understands herself within that identity.
Shawntal began to follow social justice issues in 2011 during the Trayvon Martin case. She is an advocate of the Black Lives Matter campaign which focuses on cases of police brutality caused by racial profiling and discrimination. Shawntal believes police brutality to be one of the most pressing issues of today, especially in the wake of the Sandra Bland case, which took an emotional toil on her.
“It could have been me. It could have been my friend. It could have been my mom.”
Shawntal defines social justice as awareness of what is going on in the world and says that better understanding of the issues helps us find ways to quicken the change to alleviate injustices. She knows that is not simple, though, and people can be overwhelmed by the amount of problems our society faces. Shawntal encourages advocates to not pick and choose their issues, and instead, work collectively to combat against all oppression.
She believes that OU has progressed since her freshman year, but still has a long way to go. She knows there will always be work to do, and the university must continue educating students through diversity training and dialogues about race on campus. She would also like to see more open, safe places for students of color on campus.
Her poetry is featured below. Continue reading Artist Highlight: Shawntal Brown