Ashanti Bryant is from the Bronx, NY. Bryant is a junior studying sociology and women and gender studies, she is also a student ambassador in the Equity and Campus Diversity Office. Bryant hopes to get involved in activism and advocating for equal rights and enjoys hiking, going on adventures, watching YouTube videos, and going to concerts. Bryant will travel to Rwanda, Africa, as part of an Anne Frank Project delegation in January 2016.
How did you hear about the Rwanda trip and what interests you most about it?
I heard about Rwanda through Jason Parker, diversity program coordinator in Equity and Campus Diversity Office. I always considered study abroad and wanted to go to Australia, but that didn’t work out. After thinking about it, I realized I wanted something in which I could really immerse myself in the culture without having to study for school when I’m there. What interests me about the Anne Frank Project is the focus on bringing people together through interaction, encouraging people to share their stories, and knowing that everyone’s story is valid and worthy of sharing.
Traveling abroad can be intimidating for many students, what made you decide to “go for it”?
Traveling abroad is scary and even now, knowing I’m going, it’s still a scary thought. I apply to a lot of programs to see what happens, but have yet to actually go through with it. So I wasn’t expecting much when I applied. I just figured it was worth a shot. I haven’t traveled internationally, so starting off in Africa is a pretty big step. I've always wanted to travel and I want to continue to travel plenty more after this. Fortunately, I have the opportunity and my parents’ approval. To start this lifestyle of traveling, the Anne Frank Project presents an opportunity to start, be brave, and take this first step.
Tell me a little about your interests in sociology. Any connections to the goals of the Rwanda trip?
I came into college undecided on a major with interests in filmmaking, creative writing, journalism, etc. I took a college sociology course in high school, but never thought anything of it. I think my second semester freshman year, I took an Introduction to Sociology class with Dr. Richard Strahan and that’s when I knew I wanted to do sociology. It just clicked and I felt like I could study this during my time at Buffalo State. Even if I don't get involved in a career path directly related to sociology, I'm enjoying what I'm learning and that’s enough for me. Sociology is all about learning about people and human interaction. I want to get into activism and going to Rwanda with the Anne Frank Project is a form of activism. We will be putting on a play about Anne Frank and advocating for people to share their thoughts and their stories to help bring people together as a community. I am very passionate about equality and sociology and Rwanda are right up my alley.
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