I had an interesting talk with one of my woman leader role models, a lady who has inspired many students during her professional career and has led our campus since last fall. Of course, I am referring to Dr. Linda Braddy, The President of Dallas College - Brookhaven Campus.
Her student career started as many among us. She was inspired by her older brother and a professor to study Math as a major. Her competitive skills and her ability with numbers helped her to achieve the highest scores in math during high school. Even though Dr. Braddy got married when she was a sophomore student at college, she could successfully focus on her major. During her college career, she also realized that becoming a teacher would be her ideal profession. Dr. Braddy was passionate to explain how things work, especially in calculus. Her classmates encouraged her to further explore mathematics and sciences through her teaching skills for college students. She wanted to influence people to practice active learning not only in science but also in other areas. As a college president, Dr. Braddy strives to impact the experiences of more students, faculty, and staff.
However, some years ago, she realized that one of the issues in the learning process is social inequity. Many students do not have the best experiences in their classes because they are not native English speakers, or they are women or persons of color or persons from lower economic backgrounds. Not all the students have the same access to all the resources available, a fact that encouraged her to become a great advocate of social justice and racial justice.
When Dr. Braddy worked at the Math Association of America, in Washington D.C., she realized that Social Justice and Inequity are prevalent in higher education, and most people are not aware of that. As a white woman, Dr. Braddy felt that she had the duty to speak loud against racism, to have a talk " white to white." One of the books that inspired her to have these conversations was White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo, where the author describes the defensiveness of white people towards racism. For this reason, she started the Brookhaven campus-wide reading project on Daring Greatly by Brene Brown, a book in which the author motivates readers to speak about vulnerability, social justice, and how the human being confronts these situations with bravery or Daring Greatly.
As a volunteer member of Valiant Hearts, an association that supports women impacted by trafficking, stripping, or prostitution, Dr. Braddy encourages all women to be brave and speak up to injustices. Also, she suggests ignoring all those destructive critics that may shadow any professional development. According to her, women by nature tend to wait for somebody to acknowledge their professional skills. Although some of them already know their abilities. Therefore, our Campus President incentives all the women students to pursue their goals, to be deliberate with their career, and to always ask advice or mentoring to improve their professional performance.
Besides, this year Dr. Braddy signed the CEO Action Pledge for Dallas College-Brookhaven Campus, in which our student & professional community compromises to work towards the achievement of Sustainability and Social Justice. There are too many activities where we can get involve and help our environment; for example, we have recycling, gardening, volunteering in Food Trucks, and buying products from sustainable companies, like Imperfect Foods.
Sustainability is involved in many different careers that can be found among Dallas College. Our campuses are strongly engaged with the 17 Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations because we adapt our courses, activities, buildings, and operations to their objectives. According to Dr. Braddy, everybody can make a difference by being involved at least in one goal. We have reached a great level of Sustainability at Dallas College, but we still need to improve some aspects.