Four Loras College students were published in the Black Earth Institute’s Summer 2021 blog for undergraduates in a series called “What We See, What We’ve Seen.” Christina LaPalm (‘22), Emily Lemire (‘22), Georgia Walter (‘22) and Avery Wickersham (‘21) each contributed essays about their experiences living through the COVID-19 pandemic.
“All four of the Loras students’ essays are deeply insightful reflections of their individual experiences in an era of COVID, tense racial relations, and gender fluidity,” Kevin Koch (’81), Ph.D., assistant professor of English, said. “The fact that four of the nine student blogs for this prestigious national institute were written by Loras students speaks volumes about Loras’ commitment to the disposition of Reflective Thinking.”
Wickersham contributed her essay, “Reflections from a High-Risk Student on COVID-19.”
“My piece is a look at the COVID-19 pandemic through the lens of a high-risk individual having to navigate not only the pandemic but also friend and family relationships on and off of the Loras campus. I was inspired to write it to show the grey areas of the pandemic in terms of these relationships, and also as a way to put my frustration and sadness into words,” she said.
For LaPalm, her contribution, “An End in Sight,” is about how the pandemic made her feel disconnected from the world around me and the events in the news.
“When the Black Earth Institute asked me to participate in this summer’s blog, I immediately agreed,” she explained. “As an intern here for the summer, I have had an in-depth look into the work the Black Earth Institute does and their work in promoting the voices of poets, activists, artists, students, and more. They are truly an amazing organization, with an abundance of talented and social justice-oriented people involved. It was such an honor to be able to provide something of my own for them to put on their website.”
The Black Earth Institute is a community of writers, artists, and scholars seeking to “create a more just and deeply interconnected world and promote the health of the planet.” Loras College is affiliated with the Institute, with students frequently serving as interns. Christina is currently a summer intern at the Institute’s home base, Brigit Rest, in rural Southwest Wisconsin.
For Wickersham, being a part of the blog is very meaningful.
“It’s an honor to be a part of the Black Earth Institute’s blog and to have my thoughts and feelings out for readers to see. I love their mission, so I’m proud to be a part of this community in any way that I can,” she said.