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My name is Brianda Hernández (she, her, ella) and I currently support the Tisch Scholars program at the Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic life.

I am a proud graduate of California State University, Northridge where I received my B.A in Urban Studies and Planning with a focus on sustainability. I received my M.A. in Urban Environmental Policy and Planning at Tufts where I focused my studies and civic engagement efforts on looking at admissions processes and support systems available for low-income students of color at elite higher education institutions.

My commitment to justice is deeply personal to me. As a formerly undocumented Mexican immigrant, I have experienced and witnessed the ways in which American society (and it’s imperialistic and hyper capitalist) practices have wreaked havoc on BIPOC communities in this country and in countries abroad.  As an alumna and now staff member at Tufts, I feel a moral obligation to do what is within my power to support efforts and initiatives that will hopefully contribute to creating a campus climate that will meaningfully disrupt the status quo for the benefit of students, staff, and faculty on campus that have been historically underrepresented or silenced.

What motivated you to become the ADDI for your unit/area/school?

I assumed the role of chair of Tisch College’s DEI committee (established in 2013) in 2019 which led Tisch to select me as the ADDI. I am motivated to continue and do my best in this role because of the energy and commitment the students, community partners, and the greater University community that care deeply about pushing toward justice.

What are the biggest D&I initiatives you are working on right now?

As a college focused on civic education and practice, Tisch College has a long standing history of thinking very intentionally about how to contribute to society through our programs and research. Even though I am chair of the DEI committee at Tisch, I am fully supported and energized by my colleagues’ support with the various DEI-related efforts we carry out as a team. As a full staff (currently at 30+ staff members!), we are currently engaging in deeply reflective monthly discussions guided by texts to learn together and hone in on strategies and practices that continuously center justice. It is all about finding a balance between supporting colleague’s learning, developing support systems, and being strategic about finding those windows of opportunity that will allow for sustainable change within our programs and research.