Wesleyan senior Dezrae Locket has been named one of 12 Southern youth representatives who will form the inaugural class of E Pluribus Unum (UNUM) fellows.
Founded in 2018 by former New Orleans mayor Mitch Landrieu, UNUM is designed to equip Southern leaders with resources
to advance racial equity by supporting college students. The nonpartisan, nonprofit organization focuses on changing the narratives perpetuating racism, cultivating and empowering leaders, and championing transformative policy change.
“My goal with this fellowship is to continue to make a difference on campus and in the Macon community,” says Locket. “And I feel this will help provide me with tools to take this into a professional career.”
Lockett has meetings with fellows and mentors twice a month for lessons on different racial and equity problems we face at local and national levels. The goal is to complete a year-long equity-based community project to help her community. Lockett believes that her experiences at Wesleyan have been beneficial in her journey.
“Wesleyan is going through a reconstruction period,” said Locket. “We are having those uncomfortable but courageous conversations. Acknowledging that as an institution, there is still work that needs to be done, training to be held, and more conversations to be had. But with this, Wesleyan has allowed me to be a part of this reconstruction.”
Locket hopes to take what she learns while participating in the fellowship and bring those conversations to Wesleyan. In addition, she wants to inspire fellow students to aspire to leave a lasting impression in their community.
“I wish that Wesleyannes will take from my experience that your voice matters,” said Lockett. “Don’t let the area you come from, friends you hang with, or the family that you were raised in have control over your voice. Continue to stand up, make a difference not only on campus but in your community at home, and use your voice for good because the footprints you make now will be followed by someone much smaller wishing you can do what you are doing.”