Diana Gonzalez, a third year student leader at Tulane University, truly exemplifies our aspirations and values not only as a university community, but also as a partner of Campus Compact. Through her many roles, as a community organizer, service learning assistant, ally for marginalized groups, problem-solver and scholar, Diana embodies the spirit of this award in the way she engages her peers to meaningfully address our most pressing challenges, both on campus and in the New Orleans community. While serving as the president of GENTE, the Latinx student organization, Diana worked to create a space for Latinx-identified students and their allies to support and advocate for each other. She has helped fundraise, plan and coordinate several diversity initiatives in her involvement with The Office of Multicultural Affairs. She also earned an "advocacy essentials" certificate from the University of Notre Dame and the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, as a student representative from the Center for Public Service.
Growing up, I have had the privilege of gaining access to educational resources that many children of my racial and socio-economic background have not. I believe that a path to a higher education should be available for all students in the U.S because it can tackle issues of poverty and ignorance in our communities. On campus, I work collaboratively with others to educate my peers ,faculty and staff on social justice issues through my position as President of Generating Excellence Now and Tomorrow in Education (GENTE), as an active organizer in the Student Organizing Against Racism collective, and as a member of Tulane's Presidential Commission on Race. My job as a Service Learning Assistant at Tulane's Center for Public Service allows me to work face-to-face with students that are doing service learning with elementary school children in New Orleans so that their service is inclusive, meaningful and beneficial to the community they are entering. Although my endeavors here on campus are small steps, I still act in hopes that small changes have an effect on opening the minds of people who have direct impact and influence over the future of children in the education system.