Black women on Albion College’s campus, both students and alumni, have been doing phenomenal work to create a more inclusive space for marginalized students.
From Ida B. Wells to Angela Davis to Laverne Cox, Black women have historically been on the front lines as trail blazers for change while simultaneously being one of the most disrespected, unprotected and neglected women in this country and around the world. Despite being constantly struck down by society, Black women continually rise up.
Black women on Albion’s campus are no different. Despite all the trials and tribulations they have to face on an everyday basis, Black women at Albion continue to take charge in leadership roles and make campus a place for the better. And they deserve their credit.
The Pleiad’s “Black Women Winning” series aims to highlight Black women on campus and all they have achieved and continue to achieve.
Alexis Wilkerson is a senior from Southfield. She is a biology and religious studies double major. She is also a member of the Wilson institute for medicine, heavily involved in research and is a teaching assistant for biology labs.
“Off campus, I am involved in volunteering clinically and especially non clinically. I thoroughly enjoy my time volunteering. I also enjoy clinical shadowing, research conferences and I work at a sneaker store,” said Wilkerson.
Wilkerson feels a closeness to the medical field as well as justice for people and their health.
“I have passions for medicine and community. I am deeply bothered by the challenges people face based on socioeconomic, geographic, racial and ethnic characteristics,” said Wilkerson. “As I’ve researched, volunteered and shadowed, I’ve realized that medicine is a collective understanding and initiative. With each other, we can progress, find answers, help heal and restore what’s broken and ultimately, most important: help people, all people.”
Wilkerson said she is optimistic about the future in the medical world. She also credits Albion for help along the way to her career.
“Medicine gives me hope for a better world. I have dreams of breaking norms and biases along with hurtful stereotypes that revolve around the Black community. I am inspired by this and the people that came before me,” said Wilkerson. “I have figured out my route in making these dreams come true is through medicine. My life at Albion has given me the opportunity to kickstart my dreams of becoming a doctor and has shown me another form of community.”
Outside of her passion for medicine, Wilkerson also has a strong fashion sense that has swept Albion College students off of their feet. She thanks her mom and her sense of self for the spark.
“I would say my fashion is a mix of contemporary and street style and is heavily influenced by whatever comes together in my head. My mom is definitely my fashion inspiration. She first got me into it with her killer looks,” said Wilkerson. “To me, fashion is about your inner self saying hello to the outside world without having to speak. Fashion speaks for me and through it I’ve learned a small portion about who I am.”
Like medicine, Wilkerson’s love of fashion is something that has the potential to impact those around her and help them become the best versions of themselves. She offered advice for those just getting into fashion or those who are stuck where they are and wanting to find where they should be.
“To those trying to find their fashion sense, it’s already inside of you,” said Wilkerson. “You just have to figure out how you want to say hello to the outside world while still staying true to you. Do what feels right to you and forget what other people think.”