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Skylar Mitchell Pens New York Times Column on Why She Chose Spelman

June 2017

Spelman Student Skylar Mitchell on Why She Chose SpelmanIn a  column for the New York Times, Ethel Waddell Githii Honors Program scholar and Social Justice Fellow Skylar Mitchell, C’2019, discusses why she chose to attend a historically Black college or university.

Mitchell, who grew up in the Washington, D.C., suburb of Montgomery County, Maryland, begins her essay by recounting the reaction of friends when she announced that she would attend Spelman. “A Black school? But you’re so smart, you could go anywhere,” they told her.

While her schoolmates meant well, she realized that it would be difficult to convey to them what it was like to be a Black student in a majority white school – or the unique and affirming experience that Spelman and other HBCUs offer.

“There is something powerful about attending an institution that was built for you,” she writes in the op-ed piece.

“Most colleges were built for white students, or at least, with only white students in mind. At Spelman, I found a place for myself in the curriculum, and an opening to learn what it means to be me.”

In the article Mitchell explains, "I ended up applying to nearly 20 colleges, and got into some great schools like Swarthmore, but Spelman kept pulling me back. I had never met professors or college administrators who looked like me or who seemed so genuinely interested in what I had to say."

Read Mitchell's New York Times Column.