Justin M. L. Freeman is a senior studying economic consulting, public policy analysis and international business. Freeman is a leader within the IU community. He is an advocate and role model to many Black students both on and off campus.
“My voice matters because it is Black, it is proud and it is loud,” Freeman said.
One of Freeman’s positions on campus is the director of equity and inclusion for Kelley Student Government.
He is also involved in the Kelley student advisory board, Kelley FUTURES and Kelley undergraduate chair’s advisory council for diversity, equity and inclusion.
The majority of Freeman's time is dedicated to Kelley Student Government. This work allows him to dismantle the biase systems put in place for minority students.
“There is a lot that needs to be done in the realm of equity and inclusion at Kelley, IU and the greater country of the United States,” he said.
As he steps into his senior year, Freeman has a few pieces of advice for underclassmen. He believes it is important for Black students to recognize the people who came before us, and not forget those who will come after us.
“Firstly, remember why you are here," he said. We are not here just for ourselves; we are here for our Black brothers and sisters both past, present and future. It is our duty to push society forward, not let society push us."
Freeman acknowledges this can be difficult but to move forward regardless.
"We must have grit, he said. You must be highly-motivated in difficult situations. We all are here for a reason, as aforementioned. Persevere."
Through the various struggles and success college brings, Freeman believes it is important to relax and enjoy the experience.
"Have fun," he said. There are endless opportunities afforded to us here. Study abroad, surround yourself with a diverse friend group and network, take an interesting class, find new interests, socialize, learn a new skill. Just follow your intuition and have fun here, that’s what I did.”
Uplifting Black stories, perspectives and art from IU and Bloomington. Reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org.