Name: Justin Thaxton
Position/Title: Coorinator for Diversity and Inclusion in Athletics, Event Management, and Recruiting and Administration
How long have you been here?
What organizations do you advise on campus?
Pioneer Diversity Council, Queer Athletes and Allies, Student Athletes Leading Social Change, Peer Connection Pre Orientation Program Mentor
Where were you before Grinnell?
I was living in Seattle working as the Veteran Support Center Student Coordinator for South Seattle Community College.
What brought you to Grinnell College?
I found the mission of progressive and social consciousness appealing. I felt the position fit me to a ‘T’ with the combination of sports, academics, and social justice, as these are the best characteristics I feel I have to offer. Furthermore, the high academic standards were difficult to pass up.
How would you like to see the Grinnell athletic community evolve in terms of diversity and inclusion?
I would love to see a greater balance of all types of people regarding race, gender, nationality, etc. It would be incredible if our athletic community included a few people of every identity. If this were the case, we could be exposed to and learn from everyone–not just the majority.
What do you see as the biggest challenges for diversity and inclusion at Grinnell?
Time. At Grinnell, we are so busy we forget that there are other people that are here besides ourselves. It is important to remember from time to time that we are surrounded by incredibly high quality people at Grinnell. This sense of community is at the heart of what makes Grinnell so special and unique. I would like to see students spend more time getting to know individuals for who they fully are, rather than self-segregating by social groups.
What is your number one goal for Grinnell campus?
This is to be determined. I do not think I have a single goal. I do not want to place any limitations on what I believe can be achieved at Grinnell.
What’s your favorite part about your job?
Working with students is by far my favorite part, as it is the reason I am here. Although it can also be the hardest– dealing with students all the time is tough.
Any parting words?
No seriously, do you have any advice for Grinnell students?
Make this four years the most uncomfortable four years of your life and by the time you leave here you will be more successful that you could ever imagine when you were comfortable.