University: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Major: Political Science and African, African American and Diaspora Studies
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Biography: I am, Mina Yakubu, a Morehead-Cain and Jack Kent Cooke Scholar at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill double majoring in Political Science and African, African American, and Diaspora Studies.
As a Ghanaian immigrant to America at the age of 6, I became aware of the implications of my black identity in Wilmington, North Carolina, a community whose unacknowledged history continued to hinder its progress. The societal division I experienced motivated me to conduct interviews with former and current black Wilmington residents about their experiences as well as host forums called Let’s Talk Race. These gatherings addressed historical issues and demonstrated the power of my community when acting in unison. History should be preserved for present and future generations to learn from. I intend to continue contributing to the preservation and discussion of history. This past semester I served as an undergraduate intern at the UNC Southern Oral History Program where I conducted oral history interviews about Native Americans’ presence and activism on campus.
In addition to my interest in history, I am passionate about advocating for equity in higher education. Currently, I serve as a Better Make Room Student Advisory Board member as part of The Reach Higher Initiative, started by former First Lady Michelle Obama. As a Board member, I have hosted Commitment Day events in Wilmington, NC and Chapel Hill, NC to celebrate the postsecondary plans of high school seniors. It is through these events that I endeavor to inspire a cycle of influence, where younger students will realize their potential to attain success.
I am committed to service and global progress. As a result, I have sought out opportunities that allow for me to explore these interests. I am the ACTS! service chair for the UNC Organization of African Interests and Solidarity and this summer I served as a Law and Human Rights Intern at the Legal Aid Scheme in Ghana. In the future, my goal is to become an international human rights attorney, specifically focused on immigration and human trafficking. I intend to advocate for those whose voices have been silenced through dehumanizing systems by continuing these conversations to educate people about their rights and establish equity in global communities.