George Floyd Fellowship: Exploring Spirituality
Last fall the St. Olaf College Taylor Center for Equity and Inclusion announced the inaugural recipients of the George Floyd Fellowship for Social Change. Throughout this academic year, each of these four students — Isaac Coutier ’22, Tashonna Douglas ’21, Dezzy Newell ’22, and Joshua Wyatt ’21 — developed a project focused on advancing racial justice, social justice, and equity. As their fellowship wraps up, they are each sharing in their own words what inspired their project and the impact they hope it has had.
BY JOSHUA WYATT ’21
My George Floyd Fellowship project has been inspired by my personal journey through spirituality. I have always wanted to build a community that feels like home away from home. My journey through spirituality includes learning and researching astrology and traditional African spiritualities and religions. The funding from the fellowship allowed me to equip myself and my small cohort with materials to learn and practice our budding spiritualities in addition to funding my plans to start my own business surrounded by spiritual healing through dance and spiritual practice.
With this project, my goal includes having my group extend their knowledge to not only their families, but their individual communities. With this small goal in mind, my work has already extended to Chicago and New York City, and I plan on continuing to grow clientele through these and more avenues. Currently, we have been hosting weekly meetings to get together and discuss our journeys through spirituality. We meditate, share our sorrows and successes, and continue to encourage one another as we navigate attending St. Olaf College, a predominantly white institution (PWI). Moreover, my goals with this project include my own personal growth through the arts, namely dance and music. The project allowed me to have the opportunity to put myself through artist development before graduating in a completely autonomous way where I control the growth, release, and creation of my own works.
I would love and appreciate the St. Olaf community support through being on the lookout for any and all creations that I will produce in the future, and through the support of my vision and initial launch of my business after graduation.