Chloe White is a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion advocate who has dedicated her time and work to advocating for underrepresented identities, increasing representation, and creating more equitable and inclusive spaces. She believes this is possible through unpacking our socialization, improving our self-awareness, and learning to communicate effectively across differences. White has experience in intergroup dialogue facilitation in education and corporate spaces, including instructional design and equity evaluations. White is a recent graduate of Central Michigan University where she obtained her Bachelor of Applied Arts in Entrepreneurship, Fashion Merchandising, and Event Management, while receiving her certification of Cultural Competency. She has worked hard to bring representation within the fashion and business industry. This has reflected in her efforts to promote body positivity through fashion shows she has produced and supporting BIPOC businesses through her business ventures. In addition, she has also received her Master of Business Administration through her Alma Mater. During her time at Central Michigan University, she was highly involved in Social Justice and DEI work as a Peer Advisor for the Multicultural Academic Student Services, Residence Assistant, and Graduate Assistant for the Institution of Transformative Dialogue. While serving as a graduate assistant, Chloe taught and co-facilitated a college course around racism and discrimination in America through an intergroup dialogue pedagogy. She is passionate about this work, impacting and learning from those around her.
It was my freshman year of college, and I was so excited to be embarking on a new journey. I was a first-generation black woman going to a Predominantly White Institution. That alone was enough to be not only happy about, but proud of, and I was going to do everything I set out to do – no matter what. There was a lot I wanted to do! I had so many interests entering college and I wanted to find any way possible to fit them into my studies. I was interested in interior design, singing, business, fashion, events, and the list goes on… but I knew I had to narrow those down to something I could envision myself doing for a career. I decided to Major in Entrepreneurship and double minor in Event Management and Fashion Merchandising. All three areas were accredited fields at the University, meaning it required a lot of course work. Nonetheless, I knew I could handle the heavy load. I entered capable and excited to dive into the fields that made me happy the most. That was until I met my academic advisor. Seeking out assistance to make sure I had all the necessary courses to fulfill the degree, I was told by the academic advisor, a white woman, that she didn’t believe I would be able to major in entrepreneurship and double minor and graduate within 4 years. She proceeded to ask me if I thought I could do it, and when I responded with a firm yes, she asked me if I was sure. She then suggested that I get rid of one of my minors. She assumed my intellectual competence and ability to succeed based on her own biases. That did not sit well with me. For years, I have been told as a black woman what I am not capable of, overtly in our media and covertly through personal interactions. While some may say I was in charge of my own destiny or even that this is a minor situation, I am here to share how very harmful this interaction, and so many other systemically oppressive situations, are to me as a black woman. As a black woman in white spaces a majority of the time, I am sharing my story because I know I am not an anomaly. I am capable, dynamic, and proud!