Noelani Gabriel: 'We all have the opportunity to create change'

May 23, 2016

Noelani Gabriel

Africana Studies

Springfield, MA

How did any of your beliefs or interests change during your time at Cornell?

While my interests have remained the same, I can say that they have become significantly more refined and well-rounded. I have always been deeply interested in the African American experience and culture. Now I have an array of authors, artists and intellectuals that I turn to, as well as more perspectives and ideologies with which I can grapple. There really are so many resources at Cornell, from libraries to great guest lecturers to the Johnson Museum.

What is your main Cornell extracurricular activity -- why is it important to you?

My main activity at Cornell has been working alongside other leaders to strengthen the black community and demand a better Cornell experience. I believe this is important because we all have the opportunity to create change if we are truly educated about the inequality in our society. By encouraging both student leaders and the administration to understand the intersectional experiences of members of the black community, I truly think Cornell will be a better place and will do the diversity of its students, staff, and faculty, justice.

What are your plans for next year; where do you see yourself in 10 years?

Next year, I will be teaching high school English through Teach for America in Boston, Massachusetts. In ten years, I expect to have earned a doctoral degree in Black Studies and be on the way to publishing, developing curriculum, and opening and leading a school.


Noelani Gabriel