Major: Integrative Studies
Hometown: Richmond, Virginia
Junior Dominique Dowling has been working to enact social change since high school. She joined the university’s NAACP chapter in her second year at Mason, and now she is the group’s vice president.
GETTING INVOLVED: Through the chapter, she has been involved in numerous panels and committees, which inspired her to do more anti-racism work on campus. “Being part of the NAACP has exposed me to different initiatives and people who have been doing this work for years,” she says. “It made me realize that anti-racism work requires an ongoing dedication because there is always work to be done.”
BEING PART OF THE SOLUTION: During her time at Mason, Dowling has been involved with a number of organizations, including Student Government. She is also on the Anti-Racisim and Inclusive Excellence Task Force, serving on the Student Voice and University Policies and Practices committees. She was excited to be involved with the task force because she believes students are often left out of the conversation. “Many times our voices are not heard due to the lack of representation or the simple fact that one student can’t express the concerns of more than 30,000 students,” says Dowling. “I felt like this was my opportunity to elevate the voices and grievances that many students have.”
THINKING ABOUT THE FUTURE: When asked about her career goals, Dowling is clear about her aspirations: She wants to one day be the U.S. secretary of education. With that goal in mind, she plans to continue on at Mason to complete her MEd and then become an elementary school teacher and eventually work in school administration. And she says her task force work has influenced her trajectory. “I want to implement anti-racist and social justice components into my teaching,” she says. “Through administrative roles, I want to help other teachers to also implement those principles so that young people don’t have to wait until they get the opportunity to take a college course on identity to become aware of inequities.”
Dowling is one of the more than 100 faculty, staff, and students involved in the Anti-Racism and Inclusive Excellence Task Force. These individuals are being profiled in the new online series Mason Lighting the Way: Spotlights from the Task Force. To see more of their stories, go to arie.gmu.edu .