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Graduate Assistant for Cultural and Leadership Programming
Graduate Assistant for Diversity and Inclusion Education and Advocacy
Myriam Kadeba grew up in Côte d’Ivoire, West Africa. She received her doctoral degree in Counseling Psychology from the University of Akron, Ohio and has been working at VCU since 2016. Dr. Kadeba’s areas of interest include but are not limited to multiculturalism, advocacy and social justice, international affairs, community building, and mental health. Ultimately she values helping to empower individuals and communities that hold identities that have been systemically and historically marginalized while promoting wellness, agency, community healing, and thriving.
How do you practice self-care: I see self-care as embodying and practicing love and nurturing one’s mind, body, and spirit. Engaging in self-care for me includes making sure I stay hydrated, get proper sleep and nutrition, and find ways to move my body as able. Add to the mix random dance parties with my nieces and nephews, baking and cooking elaborate recipes to share with loved ones, journaling after reading something profound, being reminded of and finding joy in the small things.
(he/him) ♎︎Office Manager
Dave Brown was born and raised in Takoma Park, a suburb of Washington DC. He attended Montgomery Blair, Takoma Academy, and Northwestern High School in Maryland. He relocated to Richmond, Virginia in 1998. He started working for VCU in 2005, and has been with the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs since 2016. His work-related interests include expanding his knowledge as an anti-racist/anti-fascist, and using his privilege to work towards a more just and inclusive world.
How do you practice self-care: I practice self-care by keeping my P.M.A.(positive mental attitude) intact in a variety of ways. I find that spending time with my wife/kids/friends is a perfect way to recharge/reset myself. I am a music fanatic, and have spent a majority of my life enjoying music in a live/in-person setting. I love photography, and have had two books of my music photography published, as well as produced vinyl records by some of my favorite bands throughout the years. I’ve also worked at independent record stores for over 15 years. So, yeah, music is a big part of my self-care too.
"For tomorrow, we generate the courage today." - Paul D. Hudson
(she/they) ♏︎Programming Coordinator
Tiana Ingram is a diversity, equity and inclusion practitioner based in Richmond, VA. Growing up as a military brat she has lived all over the world, but always honors Louisiana as home. She earned a B.S. in Health, Physical Education and Exercise Science from Virginia Commonwealth University (Richmond, VA) in May 2017. Her journey with the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs first began during her undergraduate career where she served as a Diversity Ambassador and MCAP mentor.
A scholar-activist and freedom fighter, Tiana’s passion for health equity and environmental justice take life through community organizing and intersectional education. Her work and service uplift all marginalized peoples, but she holds the work to support Black womxn closest to her heart. Tiana serves as a member of Southerners on New Ground (SONG) and Black Youth Project 100 (BYP100).
How do I practice self-care: I practice self-care by honoring myself and my boundaries. I like to turn my phone off and actively rest through guided meditation, journaling and saying “no”. Audre Lorde reminds us that caring for one’s self is an act of self-preservation.
“My dreams belong to me, and in them, there is joy.” - Clifton Brown III
(she/they) ♋︎Graduate Assistant for Cultural and Leadership Programming
Beck Oh is a student advocate from northern Virginia. In 2018, she completed her undergraduate program at New York University, earning degrees in Journalism & Social and Cultural Analysis. They spent their time in New York building community and resources for student journalists of color. After graduating, Beck went onto work for an evening news broadcast show.During the COVID-19 pandemic, Beck began volunteering as a youth crisis counselor. The experience inspired her to apply to and attend Virginia Commonwealth University’s Master’s program for social work. They are passionate about community organizing, empowering students, and LGBTQ+ mental health.
How do I practice self-care: I practice self-care by journaling when I feel anxious, reaching out to friends, and taking long walks.
“I don’t do things for the response or controversy. I just live my life.” - Rihanna
(she/her) ♓︎Graduate Assistant for Diversity & Inclusion Education and Advocacy
Brandi is an educator and native of Richmond, VA. Growing up in the Carver and Oak Grove communities, Brandi learned very quickly the value that an education can have to transform a life. As a current doctoral student in the Educational Leadership program, Brandi also serves as Adjunct Faculty or Instructor in VCU’s Honors College. She holds the role/position of a Professional Development Facilitator for the Petersburg Partnership with VCU School of Education’s Office of Strategic Engagement.
Brandi received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Virginia. This inaugural Carver Promise member also donates her time to service and community engagement initiatives around the Richmond area. Lastly, as a previous Executive Director of a nonprofit agency in Richmond’s East End, Brandi strives for the equitable advancement and inclusionary practice of educational empowerment so that all may enhance their growth/trajectory of their own goals.
Brandi practices self-care through strategic planning with my calendar. With a heightened self-awareness, Brandi states that she is keen to her body’s senses for when I need to take a break or day of rest. I love to sing, twirl a baton, dance, and engage in coloring activities when I am in deep thought or need a moment for myself.
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.” -Marianne Williamson
(she/her) ♈︎Program Assistant
Imey is from the Fairfax, VA area and is currently a junior at VCU, pursuing a degree in Mass Communications. Imey possesses a vested interest in social justice and community organization. As a practitioner of anti-racism/anti-capitalism policy, Imey joined OMSA in order to uplift and give a voice to the marginalized community within VCU.
Personally, I struggle to exercise self-care. As a highly anxious individual, I find that oftentimes it is difficult to turn off my brain and properly take breaks. Recently, I've found that setting a stopping point when working, helps to not only give my brain a break, but also divy up the monotony of everyday tasks. This allows me to have time to myself, unwind, then resume my work with a clearer mind. During this time I tend to gravitate towards watching tv, listening to music, or cooking a good meal.
“My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style”--- Maya Angelou
(she/her) ♓︎Program Assistant
Jordan is from Culpeper, VA, and is currently a senior at VCU, majoring in Fashion Merchandising. In past years, Jordan has become increasingly interested in women’s issues and race awareness. It is important to her that she practices intersectional feminism, shows empathy to those around her, and creates safe spaces where people can be their most authentic selves. She chose to work with OMSA because of her dedication to spreading awareness and equity around campus for all students.
I practice self care by setting boundaries with my work life, academic life, and relationships I have with other people. I like to avoid my computer and phone during relaxation time where I either paint outside, watch shows (a lot of trash reality TV), or play on my Switch. I also find fun things to cook with my partner and places to explore around Richmond with my friends.
“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.” – Harriet Tubman
(she/her) ♓︎Program Assistant
Sheila Hernández-Rubio grew up in Stafford, VA. She is currently a sophomore, pursuing a bachelor's degree in Forensic Science. Sheila’s areas of interest include women's rights, LGBTQ+ rights, first gen mental health and generational trauma, social issues in the Latinx community, and social justice. Working at OMSA allows Sheila to advocate and create a safe space for marginalized students. Also, continually educating herself on the ongoing issues in the world, allows her to be empathetic towards others.
I practice self care by acknowledging once I have reached my limits and reminding myself that I am doing an amazing job. I treat myself for a few days to shopping, watching movies, eating out, sleeping, and doing absolutely nothing. This allows me to refresh and tackle every oncoming task with ease. Also, working out consistently allows me to maintain a healthy mindset. I try to incorporate self care days at least biweekly to prevent burnout and complete mental breakdowns.
“Justice is about making sure that being polite is not the same thing as being quiet. In fact, oftentimes, the most righteous thing you can do is shake the table.” -Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
(she/her/hers) ♍︎Program Assistant
Tori Huynh was born and raised in Richmond, VA. Currently studying at Virginia Commonwealth University as a senior, she is an aspiring art teacher working towards a BFA in Art Education. Tori is an advocate for representation as she identifies as a first generation Asian American woman. She strives to maintain awareness, educate herself, and others about current social events and various relevant issues because she believes that knowledge is a powerful tool, especially as a result of change for a better world. Tori’s ideal classroom looks like a space of inclusivity that accommodates the needs of others in order to promote equity. Being a part of OMSA allows Tori to become immersed in a community of marginalized groups that uplifts one another while celebrating each groups’ achievements.
How do I practice self-care: I recently recognized self-care as a necessity and not in a way that is an act of selfishness. Growing up with immigrant parents, I often felt guilty for having access to the resources they didn’t have or experiencing luxuries they have yet to experience. I’ve learned to balance between selflessness and self-indulgence by journaling my thoughts and worries, practicing healthy habits, and making art. I also enjoy treating myself to good food or relaxing with a feel good movie! Oh, and optimism! hehe
“Tough times never last, only tough people last.” - Abo Demi Demi