Kristina Drumheller is a professor of communication at West Texas A&M University, coordinator of Buff Allies, and advisor for the student group WT Spectrum GSA. She teaches and researches organizational and crisis communication, leadership, and strategic communication. Her work includes bringing social justice into the classroom by challenging the canon of important works in my field and bringing diverse voices through required readings and discussions. In her work with Buff Allies, she is a lead trainer for Safe Zone at the university and within the surrounding community.
In Her Own Words: Kristina Drumheller
What does Pride mean to you?
For me, Pride simply means loving people and walking with them on their journey. It is critical that I use my privilege to make spaces where I live and work better for my LGBTQIA+ family and friends. In doing so, it is critical that I listen and then amplify voices. As a professor, it is my job to help students succeed and too often LGBTQIA+ students are left without the resources a loving family can provide. University professors and staff need to step and fill those spaces so students have someone to turn to if there is nowhere else to go. COVID-19 showed the glaring inequities for those who could not go home and be safe so we need to do better and plan better to help students safely be themselves at all times.
What inspires you about the LGBTQIA+ community?
The resiliency of the LGBTQIA+ communities for mere survival is inspiring; and we have seen the long enduring struggles come to some promising results. That kind of advocacy to outcome is inspiring. My students are inspiring. Over time I have watched the growth as our students have become more outspoken, better at advocacy, better at educating, and better at living out loud. In our university community, the numbers of LGBTQIA+ students who are being visible and vocal has been amazing to watch and is truly inspiring and humbling.
How would you like white folks to show up for Black and brown folks during these times?
In every way they can, which starts by listening and amplifying Black and Brown voices. White people (which includes me) need to be learning the history of minoritized individuals, the challenges of intersectional identity, and the systemic racism that privileges White individuals. They need to be looking around their communities and workspaces to figure out how they can dismantle institutionalized structures that disadvantage entire groups of people. Change needs to happen at the community level regardless of what happens at the national level. Grassroots campaigns from marches to community services is what has resulted in big changes in this country so White people need to look around and get involved to be a part of the solution.
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