I went from “half-***” to “legendary” in a matter of years.

These past few days have been very big days for me. Gillian and I commenced a very complex photo operation that involved rescuing ti leaves from Seattle’s industrial district, and keeping 2 meters away from each other at all times as we scaled campus the next day. This is just one of the examples of the great work we did during our operation.

Now, as a follow up to my “‘half-***’ to ‘legendary'” post from last week, I wanted to address what that meant. My research suggests there is no strict media release schedule for what I’m about to tell you. Unlike the Husky 100, it more depends on who gets the news and where the award recipient grew up. So, I will just tell you straight away: I am proud to be named a 2020 University of Washington President’s Medalist.

I am deeply grateful for everyone at the University of Washington who have shaped me in every way not previously imagined. Thank you especially to my mentor, Dr. Holly Barker for your unwavering confidence in my and countless others’ academic successes at UW. More than a place of research and critical inquiry, the UW has become a space where families thrive and build relationships. This honor underscores the power of family—chosen and kin—in the success of Indigenous students and students of color.

The Class of 2020 is just a few of many entering one of the most spectacular bear markets since the Great Depression. During these hard times, families and relationships become even more important. I hope you’ll take time to let your folx know how much they personally mean to you.

We stand here today to recognize the stewards of Coast Salish lands, the original and current caretakers; Duwamish, Suquamish, Tulalip, and Muckleshoot. Our hands go up and recognition spreads.

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