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Patricia Perozo

’17

Computer Science

Apr 2017
My dad is Venezuelan and my mom is American. Because I’m of mixed race, I think I’ve learned a lot about nuance. The world isn’t black and white. Everything is in shades of gray.

 When people meet me for the first time, they try to put me into their understanding of the world. For people who are half and half, there is the question: What do you identify with more? People push you to answer that question, but I don’t feel like I need to.

One of these nuances was evident to me even within the Society of Latino Engineers (SOLE). While SOLE is a vibrant community, a few classmates and I felt that we weren’t yet addressing gender-specific issues. We created the Society of Latina Engineers (SLAE) within SOLE to specifically focus on bringing awareness to the underrepresentation of women of color in STEM. We are developing programs and workshops that address gender-specific issues and this allows us to support people affected by the intersection of race and gender and educate those who might not be aware of these issues. There’s so much work to be done in making both this university and the broader tech industry more inclusive for women and women of color. In addition, we make it a point to open conversations about how we can work with other student organizations to create an even more inclusive community of support for engineering students.

Amanda Law

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