• Chantal Canales

Wanda Lloyd Coming Full Circle

Last week, author and public speaker came to my Gender, Race and Media class to discuss her journey as a female African-American in the world of journalism.

Often being the minority of the newsroom filled with white men, Lloyd was often subject to racial slurs and sexist comments in the workplace. However, she never let hateful words tarnish her ability to follow her dreams of being a journalist. As her career went on, she developed her passion for "helping the media industry address the need to reflect the diverse audiences that make up our community and the nation" with strength and grace, all while being the subject of verbal abuse.

As an African-American and a woman, Lloyd broke stereotypes that were set for decades and paved the paths for generations of journalists to come. When she came to our class' online Zoom session, I couldn't help but think that this is her "coming full circle", to educate future journalists and leaders tomorrow about the hardships of the past and the bright future ahead.

Even as I began my journalism career three years ago as a freshman, I had no true understanding of the difficulties for people of color and women faced to be recognized in the industry. Now, as a senior in a Gender, Race and Media class, I am more aware of the challenges that women and minorities before my time have faced. Approaching graduation, I am conscious of how trailblazers like Lloyd and many others have paved for me.

I am truly grateful for women like Lloyd that allow women and people of color to follow their passions. Although the challenges Lloyd faced still occur in today's newsrooms, I know that I and many others won't stand for those injustices. Classes like Gender, Race and Media and women like Lloyd are setting the course for my future in journalism, and I am so thankful for them.