February 24, 2017
#BlackOnCampus: Jermain Mckenzie
University of Regina
Leadership for me is all about service, and for me that is why I put myself up for the position. The students have entrusted me to serve and those students happen to be from all hues and shades that represent humanity. I understand that I am an anomaly in my position and I believe I am only the second person of African descent to hold this office. As a student of history and political science I am quite verse in understanding how race colors negatively the perception of some towards me. Those perceptions actually motivate me to work harder and to hold myself to the highest possible standard. My experiences with racism has made me more aware of how damaging ignorance can be to human growth and development. We live in a time when the deep levels of inequality is causing us to be divided more than we have been in a long time. We can only overcome by coming together, and not allowing the hateful and divisive rhetoric to tear us further apart. My advice to all students is to know your history, know your worth and never settle for anyone treating you without the respect that you deserve. Also, please remember to be confident in your skin, but what matters most is the content within. So no matter your complexion make sure you stand up for justice and equality, because the only race that truly matters in the end is the human race.
Jermain Mckenzie is the first International Student to be elected by the students as president of the University of Regina Students’ Union. He is a currently in his final year of his Mandarin degree, but he has previously completed a degree in Public Policy and History from the University of Charleston in the U.S.A. He has been very engaged in student life since starting his studies in 2011 and has worked closely with various international student groups to put on cultural events at the university.