7/13/20 Cool Opportunities (is back!)

Cool Jobs
Manager, Education and Membership Events, and a Development & Membership Associate at the Environmental Law Institute
Staff Accountant for Huddle House Corporate – Hash browns for everyone!
Analytical Chemistry Fellowship with the CDC
Sports and multimedia news anchor in West Virginia
Remote sales position at HomeAdvisor

Cool Local Jobs
Legal Assistant with Pisgah Legal Services
RISE Internship Program Manager at Eliada Homes
Community Development Analyst with the City of Asheville
HR Manager at Burial Beer Company
Operations Manager at Just Right Reader

Cool Internship
Work with Nonviolence International this fall (remote interns allowed)

Cool Local Internships
Web Developer Intern in Weaverville
Intern with Hickory Nut Gap Farm (Housing included!)
Work with the Triangle Turtle Trekkers at the Piedmont Wildlife Center (Durham)

Some links for your week:
A fascinating article about our perception of time 
How to build your rest ethic that matches your work ethic 
The two things killing your ability to focus

My thoughts for the week:
I wish I had some better news regarding the numbers of positive Coronavirus cases.  The country is seeing an exponential rise in the number of cases, and a corollary rise in hospitalizations and fatalities. These are troubling signs on the horizon as we look to the Fall. 

However, there are signs for hope.  For example, I was in Lowe’s yesterday and saw at least 5 different types of masks and face coverings for sale, including medical grade n95s, which demonstrates that our supply chains are reacting and able to bring more protection to market.  This also means our manufacturing base will hopefully not be as caught off guard as was the case earlier in the year, if there is a seasonal spike this winter.

I also saw some glimmers of hope as there’s a possible vaccine in development (among many others) including one that adjusts the mRNA in cells to essentially “teach” them how to fight off viruses.  This is a very new technology, and is unlikely to be online during this pandemic, but has a world of potential as we look to the future. 

This time is also accelerating a fascinating shift in our energy supply.  The production of crude oil is becoming far less profitable, and the transition to clean energy is accelerating in ways our pre-pandemic lives would likely have not seen.  It was also reported earlier this month that Tesla is now the most valuable automaker in the world, giving hope for an EV based future.

We have seen increases in plant based diets, saw the Supreme Court rule that about half of Oklahoma is tribal land, and calculated how much time the average person spends on Social Media — which will likely fall off dramatically as the upcoming generation moves away from it.

While the pandemic is tragic, it is also showing us how resilient we can be, and how much we have to gain for the future. I’m excited to be back, and looking forward to what we can do together.


Student Spotlight: Derek Whisnant

Posted on June 19, 2020 by Courtney Bailey on Society of North Carolina Archivists

My name is Derek Whisnant. I’m currently a senior nearing the end of a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology with a minor in Spanish at UNC Asheville. Beginning my sophomore year, I had the opportunity to work as an assistant in UNCA’s Ramsey Library Special Collections. Over the past two years, I have been fortunate to work alongside Head of Special Collections Gene Hyde, and Assistant Archivists Colin Reeve and Ashley McGhee Whittle, each of whom have provided me with meaningful work, mentorship, and guidance. 

Derek Whisnant photo
stacks photo

During my time working at UNCA Special Collections I was able to work on a variety of different projects which exposed me to various archival principles, thought processes, and considerations involved in archival work. The work I am most proud of at UNCA Special Collections was accessioning manuscript collections from two influential figures in Asheville’s history: E.W. Grove and F.L. Seely. Through working on these collections I learned a great deal about how to approach and think about organizing and cataloguing materials. I was able to work through the entire process, from ensuring proper storage in archival-grade materials, to various levels of description, writing scope and content summaries, and entering metadata into our archival software. It was a fulfilling experience to see boxes of materials go from their original donated condition to a fully accessible and organized format for use by the public in the future. I was also afforded opportunities to work on a few other research and writing projects, digitizing materials, and I have also started on a project with Gene which entails cataloguing repositories of archival materials relating to Southern Appalachia to be published as a resource in the Appalachian Curator newsletter in the near future. 

reading room photo

Seeing the ways in which Gene, Ashley, and Colin enthusiastically participate in their professional circles, guide students in conducting research, fill information requests from the public, and contribute meaningfully to their school and larger community made me aware of the critical public service which archival work entails. When I started working at UNCA Special Collections, I had the intention of finishing my Psychology degree and moving into social work, therapy, or another public-facing application. Through this experience however, my plans have changed substantially. I intend to move towards an MLIS program after finishing my undergraduate studies at UNC Asheville with the hope of making information more accessible to more groups, particularly underserved communities. I am even more aware now of just how many ways a library and an archive participates in and supports its community, and I eagerly look forward to continuing my participation in such an effort.

Are you a first generation college student? You’re not alone!

Do you find it difficult or intimidating to communicate with your professors? Do you have trouble keeping up with your schoolwork? Do you think that everyone has a plan for their future, and you don’t? Going to college is a big adjustment for all students, but it can be especially challenging for first generation college students. And trust me. You’re not alone!

Although some universities differ on how they define “first generation”, it is usually defined as neither parent having earned a four-year college degree. This means that for those of us who are first gen students, we may not have had a very clear picture of what to expect from a college experience because our parents or guardians could not tell us about it from their experience. For me personally, I struggled to navigate college for the first couple of years, as I wasn’t sure how to best communicate with my professors (so I just didn’t communicate at all), and I didn’t take advantage of the myriad of campus resources available to me (because I hadn’t heard stories of how awesome and life-changing these could be!). Because I was fairly clueless about what to expect, it took me awhile to get my feet underneath me, which meant that my grades weren’t where they could have been, I didn’t know how to properly manage my time (so much freedom and independence!), and I never really thought about what I was going to do after graduation. Eek!

Since I struggled to find my way as a first gen student, let me offer a few tips that will help you thrive throughout your college career. 

Here are some awesome ways to maximize your college experience.

  1. Embrace who YOU are:

You don’t have to come from a family of doctors and lawyers in order to provide a valuable voice in the classroom. The classroom environment can be intimidating, but your perspective matters. Speak up! Academic discussions in college are supposed to expose students to new points of view. You’re smart enough to make it this far; don’t let your misconceptions about not belonging negatively affect your learning experience. If you choose to really engage with the course content, you will most definitely walk away having learned more than if you stayed quiet and unseen in the back row.

  1. Get connected:

If you are wanting to get more connected on campus, talk to someone in Transition Programs. They have some great ways for you to connect with various departments and experiences on campus, as well as how to build connections with other students! They even have rad programs like their transition Service program that will allow you to make connections in the community while making a difference (also check out The Key Center for Community Engaged Learning). Getting connected with professionals is a great way to build your network, which will come in handy when applying for jobs later on. In fact, most jobs in today’s job market are filled through networking. So, make some good connections! Build relationships with people who are doing the work you’re interested in. In fact, you may even find a great mentor along the way!

  1. Access free tutoring:

Struggling to keep up in your classes? Need some help in a particular subject area? Want someone to read and provide feedback on those lengthy papers you have to submit? Check out the Writing Center and Peer Tutoring Center located in the Ramsey Library. Here you will find some really fun and approachable individuals who can help with all of your questions. Asking for help can sometimes be intimidating, but I promise you won’t regret it! 

  1. Gain experience:

College is much more than just taking courses! Figuring out what you want to do with your life and who you want to become requires that you gain experience in lots of different areas. The Career Center is a great resource for finding really great opportunities, whether it’s a job, internship, or volunteer role. In fact, employers are much more likely to hire individuals who have outside-of-the-classroom experience in college, so it’s important to start early. Remember to keep track of your experiences and add them to your resume. Another important thing to remember as you experience things is to reflect on what you’ve learned. What skills did you hone? What were some of your individual accomplishments? These will be some great stories to talk about in future interviews!

  1. Don’t doubt yourself:

“A ship in harbor is safe, but that’s not what ships are built for.” – John Augustus Shedd

This has always been one of my favorite quotes, and I think it’s very fitting for those of us who feel a bit out of our comfort zones being in college as a first generation student. And honestly, it is fitting for all students. Everyone faces uncertainty, nervousness, and imposter syndrome at some point during their college years. This is a time to learn and a time to grow. As human beings, if we are not growing, then what are we doing? Allow yourself to take risks. Learn more about yourself and about the world around you. Seek support and ask questions. Find confidence in how hard you’ve worked to get to this point and know that your family is proud of you, and you can be proud of yourself. And remember to venture out of the harbor.


Peter TitlebaumEd.D, is a professor at the University of Dayton. 

It was not that long ago. It was 2008-2009 and the worst economy we had seen in many years. My goal as a professor was to try to help my students find employment in a difficult job market. You are saying to yourself, in retrospect, it is much worse today than at that time.  

You are right. However, if we fail to plan, then we can plan to fail. Many students are in the same situation today.  Can you look at the world with fresh eyes? If so, we can find a different or unique answer. 

Here is an example I use in class. Would it be hard to get a job during the Great Depression, which lasted from August 1929 through March 1933? My students would always respond that yes, it would be hard. My response always catches them off guard.  

Either I am an egomaniac or I look at the situation differently—probably a little of both. At this point in the conversation, you need to stop thinking about yourself and your lack of a paycheck. Start to thinking like a problem solver.  

It’s easy to say that no one is hiring right now. However, that might not be the case. This is the time to think differently. It is very easy to get down. Do you ever wonder why young children never seem to get discouraged? For example, if they want some ice cream, they ask for it. You say “no, it is too close dinner” or “go ask your mother.” How many times will they ask?  The number is countless, and if you have any experience with children, you know what I am talking about, as they will keep asking until they get what they want. While it is frustrating to hear “no,” it has little-to-no impact on the child who is doing the asking for the ice cream.  

The reason why, and the great thing about children, is that they do not take the word no personally. They are the masters of reframing. They might think this is not the right time to ask, but they will keep asking. The world finds itself in difficult times right now due to the pandemic. Look around at companies or organizations and think about their pain point or problem. If you can solve their problem, trust me they will have a job for you. Even better yet, start your own company and be an entrepreneur. 

Creativity will rule the day. We are all self-employed, even if you are one of the lucky ones who still has a job. All of us need to think about developing new skills. Face it, the world is changing, as much as we would like to go back to life before the worldwide pandemic COVID-19.  

We cannot—life has changed. Now we need to emerge from the uncomfortable. It easy not to look at the past and say, “those were the good old days.” We have to embrace today’s future, as it can be better than the past. While it is scary, we need to take educated risks. 

We can ill afford not to change at this point. You love the example of “Ray” Clarence Ewry, one of the United States’ most decorated Olympic athletes. What, you’ve never heard of him? Ewry won the standing long jump and the standing high jump in 1900, 1904, 1906, and 1908. He also still held the world record of 11 feet 4 inches in the standing long jump when they discontinued the event in the 1930s.  However, these events went out of fashion. 

The sad fact is that some of our jobs are going to change, and we will have to reinvent ourselves, like it or not. It is okay to be worried about the future. However, the sooner we embrace change, the better off we are going to be.  

As event planner, and because of COVID-19, you were furloughed, leaving you no idea when and how soon that job will be allowed again. You could bury your head in the sand. Not worry about it and think that all will get better when this over.  

Instead, it is time to take inventory of your skills.  You are a professional, and you need to demonstrate that those skills also have value to different industries.  

While it might not be your dream job, it might just put you where you need to be. One of my favorite stories was about Mario Cuomo, former mayor of New York. You might not know that he dreamed of being a professional baseball player and even signed with the Pittsburgh Pirates organization. However, it was not in the cards as he got hurt, and so he pursed his second love of law. Mario has enjoyed a very productive professional career.  

Why I appreciate this story is because who is to define your next job choice. You will have more success than you ever imagined. While you did not pick this situation, as eternal optimists, when one door closes, we must always look for the next door or window.  

Originally posted on NACE Blogs

Mental Wellness During Uncertain Times

To say that the last few months have been challenging would be an understatement. Because of COVID-19, many people have lost jobs, have had to cancel plans, have lived more isolated lives, and have lived in fear because of threats to their own health and/or the health of loved ones. Add to all of this the horrific events that have taken place due to the continued racism that pervades our society, and it is almost unbearable. During times of fear and uncertainty, how can we ensure that we are focusing on our mental wellness? The following article is about how we can take care of our mental health in the face of uncertainty, and was published on the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention website at https://afsp.org/.

The UNC Asheville Health and Counseling Center continues to meet with students for individual and confidential counseling services at no cost, so be sure to connect with them if you need support. 

Taking Care of Your Mental Health in the Face of Uncertainty

Human beings like certainty.  We are hard-wired to want to know what is happening when and to notice things that feel threatening to us.  When things feel uncertain or when we don’t generally feel safe, it’s normal to feel stressed.  This very reaction, while there to protect us, can cause all sorts of havoc when there is a sense of uncertainty and conflicting information around us.

A large part of anxiety comes from a sense of what we think we should be able to control, but can’t.  Right now, many of us are worried about COVID-19, known as the “Coronavirus”.  We may feel helpless about what will happen or what we can do to prevent further stress.  The uncertainty might also connect to our uncertainty about other aspects of our lives, or remind us of past times when we didn’t feel safe and the immediate future was uncertain.

In times like these, our mental health can suffer.  We don’t always know it’s happening.  You might feel more on edge than usual, angry, helpless or sad.  You might notice that you are more frustrated with others or want to completely avoid any reminders of what is happening.  For those of us who already struggle with our mental wellness, we might feel more depressed or less motivated to carry out our daily activities.

It’s important to note that we are not helpless in light of current news events.  We can always choose our response.  If you are struggling, here are some things you can do to take care of your mental health in the face of uncertainty:

5 things you can do to take care of your mental health:

  1. Separate what is in your control from what is not. There are things you can do, and it’s helpful to focus on those.  Wash your hands.  Remind others to wash theirs. Take your vitamins. Limit your consumption of news (Do you really need to know what is happening on a cruise ship you aren’t on?).
  1. Do what helps you feel a sense of safety. This will be different for everyone, and it’s important not to compare yourself to others.  It’s ok if you’ve decided what makes you feel safe is to limit attendance of large social events, but make sure you separate when you are isolating based on potential for sickness versus isolating because it’s part of depression.
  1. Get outside in nature–even if you are avoiding crowds. I took a walk yesterday afternoon in my neighborhood with my daughter.  The sun was shining, we got our dose of vitamin D, and it felt good to both get some fresh air and quality time together.   Exercise also helps both your physical and mental health.
  1. Challenge yourself to stay in the present. Perhaps your worry is compounding—you are not only thinking about what is currently happening, but also projecting into the future. When you find yourself worrying about something that hasn’t happened, gently bring yourself back to the present moment.  Notice the sights, sounds, tastes and other sensory experiences in your immediate moment and name them. Engaging in mindfulness activities is one way to help stay grounded when things feel beyond your control.
  1. Stay connected and reach out if you need more support. Talk to trusted friends about what you are feeling. If you are feeling particularly anxious or if you are struggling with your mental health, it’s ok to reach out to a mental health professional for support.  You don’t have to be alone with your worry and it can be comforting to share what you are experiencing with those trained to help.

We are in this together, and help is always available.  If you’re feeling alone and struggling, you can also reach out to The Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741741 or National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK.

Written by Doreen Marshall, PhD, AFSP Vice President of Mission Engagement 

LGBTQ+ Resources

Here are some great articles about job searching, being an ally, and how leadership can do better.

Job Searching While LGBTQ: How to Find a Truly Inclusive Place to Work

Practical Advice for Transgender and Nonbinary Folks Navigating the Job Search

3 Ways to Be a Better LGBTQ Ally in the Office

11 Simple Ways You (Yes, You!) Can Make Your Workplace More LGBTQ Inclusive

8 Steps Leaders Can Take to Make Their Workplaces More LGBTQ-Inclusive

This Company Knows What It Means to Be LGBTQ-Friendly

6/22/20 Cool Opportunities

Some neat stuff this week including internships with National Public Radio and a local job working with zucchinis.

Cool Jobs
Be a TV meteorologist on the NC coast 
Keep drinking water safe in Idaho
Validate silicon as an Engineer with Global Foundries 
Astronomer: Stellar Occultations and Spectroscopic Techniques  (If you know what that means, you should absolutely apply!)

Cool Internships
NPR internships virtual for the fall, students from underrepresented backgrounds (especially those with disabilities) are encouraged to apply.
NPR also has a variety of show specific internships including Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me
Internships in finance and real estate banking
Congressional Relations Intern with the Woodrow Wilson Center
Law Publications and Research Intern with the Environmental Law Institute
Oyster Aquaculture Internship with the EPA
Intern in Breckenridge Colorado helping people with disabilities ski and snowboard
Report on efforts to advance world peace

Cool Local Jobs
Equity and Network Development Specialist at the United Way of Buncombe County
Law Office Receptionist
Instructor Support Specialist at Soomo Learning 
Produce Director at EarthFare 
iOS Developer at EcoBot
Executive Assistant at the Dogwood Health Trust
Work with the local Nike store (stay tuned for an awesome event with the Nike corporate team hopefully in mid July)

Cool Year of Service and Experiential Education Experiences
Learn to be an advocate for the environment in North Carolina with this course
Sierra Nevada (mountains, not beer) Americorps Position
Watch fires and their smoke in Idaho

My thoughts for this week.

As a child of the 80’s I grew up with the omnipresence of Transformers, Captain Planet, and Voltron, where the central theme of each, is that the main characters needed to transform into another entity in order to win against the forces of evil.  

It was only later that I was able to see the societal transformations that were occurring alongside those cartoons that where also truly transformational.  The Berlin wall fell, the space shuttle exploded, the first CD was released, the AIDS epidemic ravaged communities, video games changed the landscape of entertainment, the Exxon Valdez crashed, someone shot J.R., and someone else thought New Coke was a good idea.

We are in a time now that is not so dissimilar with regard to the way our futures will be shaped by the decisions we make today.  So I’m taking this opportunity to challenge you to think about how you’ll transform the way you approach your day, your work, your education, and your community. What can we do now that we will look back on and be proud of 30 years from now?  How can you approach your time in a way that isn’t just a shift for the future, but is indeed a transformation? The caterpillar doesn’t pivot into a butterfly, it remakes itself into one. 

The Cool Jobs Email will go on hiatus for two weeks, as I tend to some personal transformation.  I hope to emerge from it with new ideas, a renewed sense of possibility, and with a focus on transforming the work I do.  I hope you will all join me.


Black Lives Matter: a Humanitarian Issue

Article written by Dr. Agya Boakye-Boaten, Associate Professor of Africana Studies and Director of Interdisciplinary, International, & Africana Studies Programs at UNC Asheville, and first posted with The Urban News here.

Please Stop Killing Us. A Plea for Anti-Racism in America.

Americans continue to grapple with the dark side of racism and racial violence. Racial violence is woven into the fabric of American society, and for generations, some Americans have tried to exorcise the demons of racism and its concomitant violence. However, racial violence, particularly against African Americans, either by agents sanctioned by their governments or individuals emboldened by their perceived entitled racial superiority, continue to expose the raw wounds of racism and racial violence. Racial violence is deeply embedded and is considered as American as apple pie and baseball.

It Was There at the Founding

Racism and racial violence have been integral to the founding of this country and continue to manifest in many facets of our society. Therefore, it is imperative to expose America’s darker side, racism, and concomitant racial violence that continues to destroy black and brown bodies. Black and brown bodies cannot continue to be human sacrifices for the insatiable appetite of white supremacist, neoliberal, capitalist greed. There is no justification whatsoever for the dehumanization of black and brown bodies in 21st century America or for that matter at any time or anywhere. People are dying because of who they are, and that is unequivocally unacceptable!

Racism and racial violence are not the fault of the victims. What is the justification for any human being suffocated to death or being hunted down and killed? Yet such has become the horrific reality of American society, of which race is the organizing principle. When W.E.B. Dubois declared that the problem of the 20th century was the problem of the color line, he reminded Americans that organizing society on racial principles and racial hierarchies was inhumane, unjust, and a blatant disregard for human life, based on the color of one’s skin. What continues to plague this society is the difficulty in accepting, without question, the humanity of African Americans.

The Coded Color Line

Chief Justice Roger Taney in Dred Scott v. Sandford, in 1856, opined, “The question is simply this: Can a negro [sic], whose ancestors were imported into this country, and sold as slaves, become a member of the political community formed and brought into existence by the Constitution of the United States, and as such become entitled to all the rights, and privileges, and immunities, guarantied [sic] by that instrument to the citizen?”

This is the coded color line, which is still operational in 21st-century America. It is the color line that continues to be deadly for African Americans. The normal daily existence of African Americans is the delicate negotiation of not tripping on the color line—a line so visible to African Americans, yet willfully ignored by European Americans as simply a figment of African Americans’ imagination. While the Bible says the wages of sin is death, for African Americans, the color of their skin is their death.

Being Non-Racist

What is truly baffling is the constant refrain by European Americans that they are not racist, thus absolving themselves from any complicity, and denying that race is a major determinant of many of the ills afflicting African Americans today. While acknowledging that not all European Americans are racists, or actively working to dismantle racism and the underlying ideology of white supremacy, they are simply non-racists—and that is not enough. Being non-racist simply implies that European Americans enjoy the tremendous benefits bestowed on them by institutionalized racism and racial policies, without acknowledging and questioning this racial privilege.

As an example, when Dylann Roof, a white supremacist who in 2015 callously murdered nine members of Charleston, SC’s Emanuel AME Church, was arrested, the officers, in spite of the horrendous nature of the crime he committed, still saw in him his humanity and offered him a Burger King meal because he was hungry. They felt compassion for him. His humanity was accorded to him.

Now the question is, why wasn’t the same compassion extended to Eric Garner and George Floyd when they were arrested for allegedly nonviolent crimes? Instead, they were lynched in broad daylight by the very people who had sworn to serve and protect us all.

Episodic Solidarity

This is the compassion that has eluded African Americans since the days of their enslavement in this country. This is the color line that many non-racist European Americans don’t understand.

Most non-racist European Americans engage in episodic solidarity. They examine their racial benefits during episodic periods when racial violence is so public that it can’t be ignored. This is when they reach out to their African American friends to express their support and comfort them. They become gripped with emotions and touching words of solidarity. But then the episode passes, and they all head back to business as usual, drinking their kombucha and engaging in contemplative yoga—awaiting the next inevitable episode of racial violence to again extend their solidarity. Solidarity in comforting words is meaningless unless it is accompanied by collective action to deinstitutionalize racism and a personal commitment to engage in anti-racism work.

For African Americans, the effects of racism are not episodic occurrences, but a daily navigation of the color line for survival.

Excuses, Justifications, “Reasons”

There are always justified reasons European Americans present for why the African American candidate did not get the position, was not admitted to a particular college or program, or was killed in the process of arrest for allegedly committing a nonviolent crime. America has manufactured a plethora of excuses for the conditions of African Americans while masking white supremacist ideology as the main culprit. African Americans are thus forced to compete in this uneven playing field while white supremacist ideology determines their fate.

What do you think are the reasons for the wide opportunity gaps between European Americans and African Americans in our schools? What do you think is the reason why one in four African American males will see the walls of jails by the age of 35? What do you think is the reason for the wide income disparities between European Americans and African Americans? What do you think is the reason for the wide health disparities between European Americans and African Americans?

If your answers to these questions do not acknowledge race as the common determinant of these outcomes, then you are part of the problem, and your periodic and episodic display of solidarity is simply a mockery of centuries of murder and suffering of African Americans.

Non-Racism v. Anti-Racism

For far too long, America has denied and ignored the suffering and anguish of African Americans as a result of the color line, constantly blaming them to be inadequate. This consistent dehumanization of African Americans results in their violent and catastrophic destruction, with many non-racist European Americans sitting on the sidelines with willful culpable deniability. In spite of this persistent racial genocide, African Americans are relentless in the pursuit of freedom and justice.

My European American friends, being non-racist is not enough. Reaching out to your African American friends to express your solidarity when one of their kinfolks has been brutally murdered is not enough. When you collect food and do clothing drives to distribute to the so-called underprivileged, it is thoughtful, but not enough. When you go on your outreach to public housing developments where African Americans have sought shelter because they have been denied access to loans for decent housing, it is not enough. The so-called benevolence of European Americans to African Americans, those whose blood and toil built this country, is not enough, because they are still literally dying. Being non-racist is not enough. Being anti-racist is the most viable option for dismantling racism in America.

To be anti-racist is to acknowledge the color line and work actively to dismantle it. This is a transformational act, which starts with a critical introspection by European Americans on how their non-action normalizes racism and racial violence. One cannot deny that they benefit from the racially discriminatory institutions and policies of this country and claim to be anti-racist. All of us, and especially European Americans, who have been exclusive beneficiaries of the bedrock discriminatory institutions and policies of this society, should be proactive in eliminating racism. In all our endeavors, one must pause and ask, what can I do to practically work against racism? Racism is a function and a product of epic immoral proportions that corrupts the humanity of all of us. Racism betrays our humanity.

A Heritage and a Challenge

Ta-Nehisi Coates states in his book, Between the World and Me, “Here is what I would like for you to know: In America, it is traditional to destroy the black body—it is heritage.” This is the heritage we ought to reject in order to make whole our collective humanity.

So, after all the messages of solidarity, healing circles and all other superficial platitudes that make European Americans feel better, we must return to our homes, communities, places of worship, schools, places of employment, wherever, and ensure that our individual actions are aligned with ending racism and not sustaining it.

In the end, Malcolm X said, “The common goal of 22 million Afro-Americans is respect as human beings, the God-given right to be a human being. Our common goal is to obtain the human rights that America has been denying us. We can never get civil rights in America until our human rights are first restored. We will never be recognized as citizens there until we are first recognized as humans.”

This should be the goal, so please stop killing us because of the color of our skin. For four hundred-plus years, African Americans have been human sacrifices. For the sake of God and country, please help us stop this inhumane carnage.

May the souls of all those who have been killed because of the color of their skin and their humanity not recognized by others rest in perfect peace and power.

Damirifa Due!

Agya Boakye-Boaten, Ph.D is chair and associate professor of Africana and interdisciplinary and international studies at UNC Asheville. Dr. Boakye-Boaten has been awarded a 2019-20 Fulbright U.S. Scholar grant to teach and conduct research in Ghana at the University of Cape Coast.

Should I have a ‘skills’ section on my resume?

Written by Cate O’Connor, UNCA Career Center Student Engagement Coordinator

Have you looked up sample resumes and seen a skills section? Are you questioning whether or not you should include one on your own resume? Well, we’re going to break that down for you today.

When it comes to a skill section, it’s a way to give an employer a quick list of skills you have – namely, hard skills. The way I explain hard skills are ‘skills you can be tested on.’ For instance, if you have fluency in a second language on your resume, I should be able to call you into an interview and actually test your ability to use that language.

Examples of ‘hard skills’:

  • Adobe Suite or other creative platforms
  • Language proficiency
  • Computer programming languages
  • Machinery/equipment knowledge

So what about ‘soft skills’? Soft skills can’t be tested as easily and typically need some sort of explanation. These are the skills you should focus on in your bullet points. Often, these skills can be considered ‘transferable skills,’ or a skill you can take from one environment to another. These skills are still HUGELY important so definitely highlight them in regards to specific roles and experiences you’ve had. While they’re listed below as just the skills, it’s really important to provide context about HOW you used those skills on a resume to help an employer understand what you bring to the table as a candidate.

Examples of ‘soft skills’:

  • Teamwork
  • Communication
  • Time management
  • Leadership

Check out our resume guide on Handshake for more resume how to’s!