Aric D. Fulton, Jr., a senior at Ball State University, is a student leader deeply committed to our University’s ambitious goal of inclusive excellence. As a journalism education major, he seeks to address racism in educational systems through advocacy, policy, and practice. In Spring 2020, he co-founded a student advisory council dedicated to antiracism, and he helped create two new undergraduate courses dedicated to the topics of racial understanding and empowerment. As a member of Alpha Phi Omega National Service Fraternity, he has contributed more than 200 hours of service to the community. He also established a scholarship fund for Black students at his high school. Next Fall, he will continue his education at Ball State in pursuit of his postsecondary degree in our Master’s Program in Educational Administration and Supervision.
Growing up in low-income Black neighborhoods of Chicago and Northwest Indiana, I saw systematic oppression and inequity before I knew what to call them and experienced a tremendous lack of encouragement to reach beyond the limits of my circumstances. Throughout my academic career, I have gravitated towards opportunities to make a significant impact and improve upon the past for a more inclusive future. At Ball State, I advocate for structural changes and work to transform policies that disadvantage and oppress marginalized groups, while engaging with the campus community to assist students in their educational endeavors. As Marian Wright Edelman says, “service is the rent we pay for being. It is the very purpose of life, and not something you do in your spare time.” I recognize the unique opportunity students like me have to shape progress by dismantling systems that directly or indirectly perpetuate racism through advocacy, policy, and practice. It is only through the development of the social welfare system and appropriate policy that the disadvantaged may be empowered and protected, ensuring equal opportunity to education and success for all. I have decided to dedicate my life to the pursuit of educational equity and public service.