Morgan Nicole Coleman is a junior at Drake University studying International Relations, Spanish and Arabic. As a student leader, she is active in addressing racial justice and facilitating campus-wide development in the areas of equity and inclusion. Since freshman year, she has worked closely with other student leaders and University administration to address and improve the experiences of students with historically marginalized identities. She has worked to diversify the voices that have a seat at the table and amplify the work of various student organizations. In the past year, Morgan was elected as the Equity and Inclusion Senator for Drake’s Student Senate, and Co-President of Unity Roundtable, the governing body of multicultural student organizations. She has collaborated with Faculty Senate to target the use of racial epithets and harmful language in the classroom, as well as ways faculty can improve the climate for all Drake students. In addition to this work, she has collaborated with the Iowa United Nations Association, providing keynote speeches on the intersection of racial justice and international human rights. She hopes to expand her work by integrating her passion for international awareness and involvement, while also addressing systemic issues in her own community.
As a high school debater, my experience became centered on the discussion of foreign and domestic issues that plague our society. As a Black woman in this predominately white sport, I felt a responsibility to use my platform to shed light on those that are typically excluded from these conversations. Instead of just debating these issues, I decided to promote solutions to remedy them. My first step was joining the District-Wide Discipline Committee to address disproportionately in discipline by revising the Student Code of Conduct for Milwaukee Public Schools. I’ve continued this advocacy at Drake by helping to organize The #PaintitBlack Project, an initiative targeting racial discrimination. The #PaintitBlack Project strived to shift campus culture and ameliorate the harms that BIPOC students can experience at predominately white institutions. I’ve since assumed the roles of Equity and Inclusion Senator and Co-President of Unity Roundtable, the governing body of multicultural student organizations. Through leadership opportunities with the Iowa United Nations Association, I’ve been able to educate others on how to integrate social justice work with international human rights, which has furthered my personal growth in combining these passions. As a leader, I pride myself on standing in the gap.