Hi, I’m Barbara Kufiadan! I started Black Grad Girl my last semester of graduate school. I was in the middle of class one day and realized that I was the only Black person in my class. Now, this isn’t the first time this has happened to me, but in this particular moment, I began to get retrospective with my experience up until that moment and realized that there was so much that I didn’t know about graduate school that I wish I could have shared with other Black womxn starting their journeys. I didn’t want other Black womxn to find themselves in their third semester of graduate school wishing that they had known what they now know about the experience as I did.
Being a Black student pursuing higher education is hard! It feels like all the odds are stacked against you and you’re just trying to make it one day at a time. Then, you make the decision to go to graduate school and you learn that there’s so much more to academia that you didn’t know before. I am an advocate for being transparent with information to help others to succeed. Black Grad Girl provides a platform for Black womxn to gather information, ask questions, find community, and grow together all while on their respective journeys of pursuing graduate school.
Since creating the community, I have graduated with my Masters in Public Affairs from the University of Texas at Austin and now live and work in Seattle as a Senior Consulting Analyst for the health and public services industries. Without graduate school (and the grace of God), I would not be here. Graduate school was a transformative experience for me. I met many amazing people along the way, honed in on my skills and passion, and learned so much about myself. My goal is to continue to empower Black womxn on this journey and to encourage them that graduate school is a viable option for them no matter what the journey may look like.