Nelly Bruce is junior majoring in Political Science, Social Policy + Practice with an English Minor at Tulane University. She has devoted her college years to creating lasting change for BIPOC & queer students who experience similar struggles to her, and identify like her. On campus, Nelly utilizes her leadership positions to spread knowledge about the local organizations that are doing crucial work to promote equity and justice in the Greater New Orleans area. As part of her ongoing commitment Nelly facilitates dialogues around issues of power, privilege, and identity, and helps to train her fellow students to embark on a journey of ethical service with the community utilizing cultural humility.
As a child, I wanted to change the world and thought I had to be the next Malcom X or Barack Obama. As I aged and faced the world, I learned that leaders start small—locally, in their communities closest to home. I realized the importance of representation. With this jarring epiphany, I decided to stay close to home for college. I wanted to devote my college years to creating lasting change for the Black, queer, low-income students in close proximity who look like me, experience similar struggles to me, and identify like me. On campus, I use my leadership positions to spread knowledge about the local organizations that are doing crucial work to promote equity and justice in the Greater New Orleans area. I stand unapologetically in these positions—as a Community Engagement and Social Justice Facilitator, Engagement Fund Review Board Student Executive, First-Year Student Peer Mentor, Community Service Coordinator, and the Vice President of a National Pan-Hellenic Council Sorority. I carry my titles with pride for Black, queer, low-income children everywhere who dream of furthering their education, dream of becoming trailblazers, and dream of leaving powerful legacies for centuries to come.