I will fight.
The summer before Harvard, I heard the news. Trayvon Martin's murderer would go free.
During my time here, countless others, including 12-year-old Tamir Rice from my hometown, would be killed. Their murderers, often police officers, continue living as if they'd simply exterminated a roach.
Each incident left a stain on my spirit.
While studying social welfare at HKS, I worked part-time so my pregnant sister wouldn't become homeless after she lost her job while on bedrest. During pharmaceutical case discussions at HBS, my mind wandered to my mother's medication—unaffordable since Texas didn't expand Medicaid. I received recruitment emails from the same predatory lending institution attempting to prematurely foreclose on my family home.
Despite the privilege granted by my Harvard credentials, America will not let me ignore the injustice. My community continues fighting for quality education and health care, living wages, voting rights, fair treatment by police, even access to healthy food and water. For an America we all love to believe in, but which doesn't exist when you're poor and black.
A prestigious job, positioned atop the system complicit in my pain, could insulate me from the worst of this struggle. But only by grappling with the injustice—placing it square within my sights both professionally and personally—is there any chance of liberating my spirit.
I will fight harder and smarter than ever.
Because my life isn't the only one that matters.