Britney Atebe Womxn of the Year

2020 School of International Studies Womxn of the Year: Britney Atebe '23

Her Campus American University's 2020 Womxn of the Year for the School of International Studies is Britney Atebe. I had the wonderful opportunity to speak with Britney and discuss her engagement with the community, plans for the future, and more. 

Her Campus American University: Why don't we start with you telling us a little bit about yourself?

Britney Atebe: If I were to give a holistic response to who I am- I was born in Kenya and I have been living in the United States since I was five, so I consider myself an immigrant woman. I love to involve myself in all matters regarding human rights so that’s why I’ve chosen International Studies as my career path. I love looking into how the world works and how I can better serve people who are not being served properly by our government.

HCAU: Can you tell me a little bit more about the PA Governor’s School for Global and International Studies?

BA: The PA International School of International studies was a summer program and we were in a space where we learned about topics regarding international studies like global health, fast fashion, etc. It was a really comprehensive overview of human rights and my nominator and I actually met at this program. It’s where we connected and became close friends.

HCAU: Tell us about your time managing the club Amnesty International.

BA: The small AI chapter in my small hometown in Pennsylvania as I attended a majority White school/lived in a majority White area. Human rights and diversity weren’t something that was talked about very often so when I started getting involved it was just a couple of students talking about why our school overlooks us. Over time we involved ourselves locally. Every year we held a dodgeball tournament which helped raise money for the foundation for women in Pennsylvania.

HCAU: What are your plans for after graduation?

BA: It is far away so I am not sure about my career path just yet. But during my time at AU, I hope to involve myself in smaller organizations to work locally. I hope to further involve myself in human rights programming to pursue a career in international studies.

HCAU: Can you speak about any womxn that inspire you specifically? [Womxn: people of all genders, not just the people who subscribe to the traditional definition of "women." "Womxn" represents all people who are affected by issues of misogyny and sexism.]

BA: I feel like every single womxn I surround myself with is inspiring in their own way but if I had to choose just one, I would have to say my Mother. She is the true immigrant woman- she moved my sister and I to the U.S. from a completely different continent and setting up a life for us. She is the most hardworking I know to this day so when I think of an inspiring womxn, someone who is always reaching for kindness and generosity in her life, I think of my Mother.

HCAU: What was your reaction when you found out you had been chosen for this award? What does being named Womxn of the Year mean to you?

BA: I was so shocked initially. My nominator mentioned she nominated me, and I was flattered and surprised, but I didn’t think anything would come from it. Overall, I am incredible grateful and very excited to hear what the other womxn have to say on Sunday. I was shocked and I still am obviously, but I am so happy people recognize that I am putting in effort to make an inclusive space by reaching to people with kindness.

On behalf of Her Campus at American University and the entire American University community, we would like to thank Britney for everything she has done to advance equality and inclusivity on our campus.

Photo Credit: Britney Atebe