A Warm Welcome from Welcome: Student Liaison Promotes Equality and Diversity on Campus
When God created the world, He intended for there to be diverse cultures, ethnicities, languages, and traditions. As the body of Christ, we are called to celebrate equality and diversity and praise Him for each individual person He has made. But how are you supposed to celebrate other cultures if you don’t know much about them? One of the best ways to know people of different cultures is to ask questions about their experiences, find credible primary sources to read, or participate in cross-cultural events.
You can do all these things and more at Grace College by getting involved with the Council for Diversity and Inclusion (CDI), a collection of clubs that advocate for and support students of color on campus. All of this happens with a team of people dedicated to organizing relevant events and opportunities for connection. One of these team members is Welcome Kabayiza, who serves as the International Student Liaison for CDI. This position has allowed her to meet lots of new people, do important and gratifying work, and learn lessons within a community of people on the same mission. The best jobs to work in college are ones that inspire passion and further promote one’s goals. Continue reading to learn more about Kabayiza’s role in CDI:
Who is Welcome Kabayiza?
Kabayiza is a second year International Business major. Originally from Rwanda, she attended Blackhawk Christian School in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Blackhawk has a lot of connections with Grace College, and so it was only natural that Kabayiza visited. She felt incredibly cared for during her visits on campus and enjoyed all the people she got to interact with. Kabayiza’s first language is Kinyarwanda, and she can also speak French and Swahili. Her professional aspirations include bringing financial education and a better management system to Africa, going into politics, or getting a job with the United Nations.
What is a Student Liaison and how do they promote equality and diversity?
Kabayiza’s role as student liaison is a very important one. Primarily, she serves as an assistant to Cokeisha Bailey Robinson, Associate Dean of Student Diversity and Inclusion, who oversees all of CDI. She also interacts with students as an advisor for BSA and all International Students.
“As a student of color, you might not see as many people who look like you, and that can be intimidating and make it difficult to adjust,” said Kabayiza. “My goal is to make students of color feel safe and at home.”
Kabayiza understands how it feels to be new to campus, so her desire is for students to adjust to their new environment. When she was applying for jobs for her second year, Kabayiza was not expecting to be hired as the student liaison.
“I originally applied for a summer internship that I didn’t end up getting, and one of the ways I tried to prepare was reading books about equality and diversity. Most of them were written by Cokeisha, and that helped me see her heart for the mission of CDI.”
When Robinson mentioned the student liaison job opening to Kabayiza, she jumped at the chance to be mentored and gain work experience. “Cokiesha was my first picture of black excellence. For me, this is one of the best jobs to work in college because I get to witness this everyday.”
Why is CDI important?
From Kabayiza’s very first experience with CDI, she was excited to be a change maker and a stereotype breaker. “I have a voice, and I get to be a voice for other students,” said Kabayiza. “I feel like it is an opportunity to educate and bring people together, and speak for those who can’t speak for themselves. I’m given the opportunity to be a bridge, to link the opposite sides.”
When talking to those thinking about joining CDI, she emphasizes the team atmosphere, excellent people, empathy development, and opportunities for new thinking. “It’s an opportunity to prepare for heaven – when people of all races, cultures, and backgrounds will worship God together.”
The Council for Diversity and Inclusion is an umbrella organization that houses Esperanza Latina, Asian Student Heritage (ASH), Native American Student Heritage (NASH), and Black Student Association (BSA).
No matter what culture or ethnicity you are in, CDI welcomes your participation in their clubs and events! We want our campus to be one that emphasizes equality and diversity amongst its students. Follow CDI on Instagram or email email@example.com for more information.