By Kelsie Gerard
A couple of weeks ago, I was asked by those involved with The Cincinnati Project to participate as a researcher at the annual NAACP Conference. This was a valuable experience for me as an undergraduate student because it was my first time attending a conference.
While at the conference, it was hard for me not to notice that I was one of the youngest people there, but attending with five of my peers from the University of Cincinnati allowed me to ease into the work more comfortably.
The varying levels of experience my peers have in researching and attending conferences helped make me feel less intimidated by the professional setting.
This was a great opportunity for me to practice my note-taking and listening skills, and learn how to actively apply them to research.
I wanted to be a part of this research process because I want to be an active part of social change in my city. I learned about the history of community-police relations in Cincinnati from the original negotiators of the Collaborative Agreement, and listened and shared countless stories of personal experiences with people from communities all over the country.
I found a sense of unity and connectedness in sharing similar experiences and feelings with everyone in the room, and it makes me realize that I am not in this fight alone.