BEGINNINGS

During the Summer of 2016, three college friends decided to create a space they felt black students at predominantly white institutions (PWI) needed. After years of academic work, jobs, leading organizations and on top of all that the microagressions from faculty and students, they started to wonder ‘how are we making it through this college experience’? The additional challenges black students face during college can make the experience rather stressful, but it’s important to not let those challenges distract you from the main goal…that degree! The Underrep’d was created in the midst of the racial tension we face in this country yet the laughter and comfort we experience when we are in the presence of our people. Yes we are here to soothe the pain, but we also want to actively play a role in making black student’s experience at their PWI suitable.

Kwyn, Tiara, and Aaron


WHAT IS THE UNDERREPD

The Underrep’d is a network of education, empowerment and engagement for black students at predominantly white institutions (PWI). Our goal is to create a collaborative space for students via social media, our website and events. We want our followers to use our platforms to connect with black students at other PWIs. This is an opportunity for students to discuss different topics related to their PWI experience, promote events happening in their area and empower each other through their black excellence. With the help of our supporters The Underrep’d will be a voice for the underrepresented at PWIs.


WHO IS THE UNDERREPD

The Underrep’d are the underrepresented students on any predominantly white institution. We realize that students might face challenges connected to their race that can have a negative impact on their college experience. Our Founders (Kwyn Townsend-Riley, Aaron Coleman and Tiara Jackson) teamed up to create this space for students to be unapologetically black. The Underrep’d strive to empower students who are not a part of the racial majority at their institution.


MEET THE FOUNDERS

Tiara Jackson

Tiara Jackson is currently a graduate assistant at her alma mater the University of Dayton. Tiara has her Bachelor’s in Business Administration and a minor in Human Right Studies. Tiara has been involved in numerous social advocacy projects and feminist issues. This Rochester native has a passion for social equity and all things Melanin. Tiara has worked with magazines advancing her marketing skills, international organizations that has helped promote the arts in third world countries and organized protests on her campus. She is the epitome of black girl magic. Tiara manages our social media and email correspondence for the website.

aaron-headshot

Aaron Coleman  a 5th year senior attending the University of Dayton studying Mechanical Engineering. A man of few words but many thoughts, Aaron has been a vocal student pushing for discussion on campus dealing with cultural appropriation, black culture education, and black injustices. Throughout his college career, Aaron has been involved in many black/minority based organizations such as the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), Black Action Through Unity (BATU), STEM Minority Summer Bridge summer camp for incoming minority students; a member of the Minority Leaders Program for engineers; and a past member of the spoken work/poetry organization, UKURI. Aside from his technical skills, Aaron is also very artistic. Aaron created the Underrep’d logo along with working with Cobalt Creative Studios in coming up with the overall aesthetics of the website. After graduation, Aaron is looking into either going to grad school or beginning work as an engineer.  

Kwyn

Kwyn Townsend Riley is a graduate from the University of Dayton with her Bachelor’s in Communication with a focus in Journalism and a minor in English. Kwyn Townsend Riley is a writer in a world of wrong. Originally from the South Side of Chicago, Kwyn has used her writing to bring light on important issues and to bring a voice to those who do not have one. Kwyn is a celebrated poet, speaker and blogger. As a recent college graduate with a Bachelor’s in Communication, Kwyn recognizes the importance that writing has to our world and our culture. Currently, Kwyn is back home in Chicago enjoying her Harold’s with mild sauce. Kwyn is in charge of the content for the newsletter, website and all things Underrep’d. You can follow Kwyn on Twitter and IG @kwynology