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DeRionne P. Pollard, Ph.D. Headshot

Embracing the Many Movements That Shaped This Proud, Gay, African American Community College President

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I recently had the pleasure of giving a TEDx talk, called "Embrace Your Movement." You've heard of TED Talks -- their motto is: "Ideas worth spreading." I love this notion of learning and growing by listening to the personal and professional experiences of people we might otherwise never encounter. Our event was a local, independently organized event held in Bethesda, Maryland as part of TED's "Women's Event" day.

I've talked about the power of movements before on the Huffington Post; one of my past blogs focused on the community college movement. At the TEDx event, I also talk about both the personal movements and the broader societal movements that have shaped me -- like Seneca Falls, Selma and Stonewall, three movements addressed by President Obama in his inaugural address. Of course, the community college movement remains a central focus of mine -- community colleges starting shaping my life at a young age. I saw very early that community colleges played a powerful purpose in the lives of my family members; that they are one of the most tranformative institutions in America. And as the president of Montgomery College, I see daily how community colleges shape the lives of countless of our students.

Why this emphasis on movements? Because I truly believe that if we embrace the movements that shape us, we can help those coming up to embrace their own movements, their own narratives. And that's awfully empowering. I should know.

But enough writing -- I hope you'll watch my talk here. Take care. And embrace your movement, especially a movement that focuses on education. You won't regret it. Because higher education won't only transform you and your family -- it can transform the world.