Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellow des marie jackson: ‘Find purpose by staying centered in your passions’

June 30, 2022

"I plan to graduate in spring 2023, and my honors thesis is about language discourse and colonialism. This topic has been inspired by all the critical theory courses I have been able to take at Berkeley that have allowed me to make tangible connections between the lived realities I take with me from my hometown and the patterns of oppression that persist in other rural areas in California.

How does historical land ownership allow for white supremacists to easily insert themselves into these rural local governments? Why are these people the ones distributing resources and exploiting labor? How do they get to define the lived experiences of oppressed people in Atwater? How do all of those things happen?

Doing this work and research at Berkeley has been really dope. It has allowed me to connect my academia with my deep connections to the Central Valley and my hometown. It’s a real full circle moment for me.

Thanks to my Berkeley mentors, and the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship, this summer I am attending an intensive research training program at the University of Chicago for future professors. It begins to give you all the resources, critical connections, and relationships you need to be a great scholar.

I am building bonds with like-minded students who also want to turn this ivory tower on its head."

This I’m A Berkeleyan feature was written as a first-person narrative from an interview with des marie jackson. Read the full feature at Berkeley News.

Berkeley News