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Woman Smiling

“I guess, a social science question is like, "How are people different and alike at the same time? And what makes them tick?" And I think that for me has been the most interesting and frustrating thing because we end up regurgitating information based on our identities whether we want to do that or not. We become a function of how society views us and how we view ourselves. […]

You have to be willing to take up those societal labels you're given because you really cannot escape society's perception of you. I feel that it is futile to spend my life working to disprove people's perceptions of me when I could be working towards a tangible goal. I don't want my everyday life to be, I wake up in the morning and I have to work ten times as hard to get past certain things just so we can have a conversation. The place of an immigrant, a black woman - an African black woman - on top of that is very totem-pole-ish by society's standards. You're completely at the bottom, and you're gonna have to work against that constantly, and it feels defeating. Policy spheres are places where you're walking in and your voice has to be heard.”

-Christine Kinyua from Nairobi, Kenya, PPS’19

#HumansofDukeSanford is a weekly series highlighting members of the Sanford community.