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DEI Spotlight Events - November 2021

Indigenous Youth Leader and Climate Activist Nina Berglund

Nina Berglund

“I was talking with someone and they said they’d never met a Native American person before. In this world, we are nearly invisible. We’re treated like we are something that belongs to the past.”

Those were the poignant, powerful words of 22-year-old indigenous speaker and climate activist Nina Berglund. She spoke on Thursday, November 4th, to a gathering of students, faculty, and staff at a joint event from the Loudoun Campus and the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.

Ms. Berglund, who has spent the past few years raising awareness about the effects of climate change and issues affecting indigenous peoples, opened her talk with an impassioned discussion about her background and activism. She discussed the epidemic of missing and murdered Indigenous women throughout North America, and lamented that coverage of the epidemic often fails to examine the causes that led to it – the “boarding school era,” when Native American children were educated in ways designed to disassociate them from their cultural upbringing.

Ms. Berglund’s grandmother was educated in one of those schools, and her journey inspired her granddaughter to speak out against injustice. She urged the students, faculty, and staff in attendance to examine the root cause of problems in society, and not solely the problem itself.

“You cannot move forward,” Ms. Berglund said, “unless you look at the past.”

To view a recording of this event (NOTE: this recording is only available for enrolled students and faculty), visit https://online.nvcc.edu/videoservices/. Click Academic Resources, then SSO Login, log-in, and scroll down to DEI-Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.

DEI Spotlight Events are held monthly. For information about other programs by the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, please visit https://www.nvcc.edu/diversity, or contact Dr. Nathan Carter at nacarter@nvcc.edu.