This week’s campus celebrity is the artistic, and hardworking Daizha Lankford! Daizha is a graduating senior, strategic communications major, leadership studies minor from Dallas, Texas. Daizha is known for being heavily involved on campus and on any given day you may see her leading a campus tour as the president of the Student Recruitment Team, or engaging with students as the SGA campus life director. Daizha is also a member of the Freddye T. Davy Honors college as well as the historian of the Terpsichorean Dance Company. Did I mention she is also a blogger and a newly published author? Well, this intro is only the beginning of her amazing accomplishments! I had the chance to interview Ms. Lankford and learn even more about who she is on and off-campus.
HC: Good afternoon Daizha hope all is well! I am so happy you took time out of your busy schedule to sit down and chat!!!
DL: Thank you so much for having me! Anything for this amazing group of women!
HC: As I’m sure you are aware, we are near the end of the fall semester. Can you believe how fast time is flying? As a senior nearing the end of your HU experience what are some of the things you have learned throughout your four years hear about balancing your academics and being a leader in so many different organizations?
DL: I feel like I did not learn the balance of everything until this semester, which is crazy. One thing I learned for sure, was that it is okay to say no. I have “yes man” syndrome like crazy. I always feel like I need to do more and more things, but busyness does not equate to productivity. That has been a hard lesson for me to learn. Most importantly, I have learned that no organization, person, goal, school assignment, or class is worth my mental health and sanity. I have been learning to take mental health days, and rely on my team members, friends, and sisters because they truly have my back.
HC: What is one of your favorite Hampton memories?
DL: I think to this day, one of my favorite Hampton memories will have to be joining the Terpsichorean Dance Company. The terps have brought me my sisters, my best friends, my future maids of honors, co-workers, etc. Being a Terp has honestly made my Hampton experience what it is. Being able to dance with a group of women I just hold so close to my heart will always be the highlight of my Hampton experience. It is long hours and a ton of work, but I would not want it any other way. I am so grateful for the legacy and artistry I get to experience every day by living life with my sisters and dancing with them every day. I could go on for hours, but I won’t.
HC: Anyone who knows you knows that you are a proud advocate of the arts industry. What is the first moment in your life that you can recall falling in love with art?
DL: I fell in love with art when I was very young. I loved dancing, singing, drawing, and anything else that had to do with creating. I went to a performing arts high school, and that just solidified my love for art, and the Dallas Arts Community. It’s such a beautiful thing when you can just sit in a room or even on the street and create movement or sound without hesitation. When I was able to do that and not care about what others thought about my art, I knew I was truly in love with it for the long haul.
HC: Through your passion for art you have been able to launch so many projects on and off-campus. Can you tell us about a few? What inspired you to launch them?
DL: I find art to be my outlet in many ways. I feel fearless when I am writing, dancing, creating, or being a catalyst for change in the communities I am apart of. I think one of my favorite projects has been my blog, Simply Daizha. It really was where I found my voice, I think I am very open with my struggles and my frustrations and people relate to that. Sometimes I felt like I couldn’t be open at this school, because people talk or make assumptions, but I’ve learned to stop caring about that and let my voice be a light for those who need it. My second favorite project has to be the Artivists. Not only did I get to start it with one of my best friends and sisters, but it’s such a passion project and it shows me I want to do that for the rest of my life. It’s become my defining term. I am an artivist. Every project I am involved in holds deep meaning to me, but I just want to keep creating and bringing change to the world, cause art has the power to do that.
HC: Art can take so many forms, one of those being fashion. What are some of your go-to fall and winter essentials for the Holiday season?
DL: If anyone knows me, they know I stay in booties. I love any type of ankle boot because they are so versatile with print, color, and heel size. You can pair them with anything. But I also love mixing things up in the wintertime. I love the rust color orange, mixed with hunter greens, and mustards, I think they are very organic and can make any outfit pop. But this year, I have been LOVING a good winter coat. They can be thrown on top of sweats and they instantly make you look put together, which truly has been my go-to fit for the past few weeks.
HC: Advice to anyone stressed out about exams?
DL: My number one advice is that, yes girl, get that degree and get that A+… but it is okay if you don’t do the best. Numbers do not define us. I think we spend so much time thinking a GPA, Rank, or Grade defines our worth, but it does not. God will not give a flying fish if you had a 2.1 or a 4.0 when he’s looking at your life. As long as you’re trying your hardest and balancing your life, that’s all that matters.
HC: What are your goals for 2020? How do you plan to meet those goals and what advice would you give people who have similar goals?
DL: I think my top goals are to stop trying so hard to please everyone. It’s just not going to happen. I want to be more connected in my faith and my identity in Christ because it slips in and out far too easily, and I want to just learn to stop doubting myself. I always think I need to improve on being a better daughter, friend, sister, student, and artist. I feel like through trusting in myself, doing things for me, being involved in my community, and not being afraid to share my art will all be goals I continue to push forward in 2020. 2020 will be the year I want to define my purpose but also be okay with the fact that my purpose and my identity will evolve, and that’s a good thing.
For anyone with similar goals, I just say don’t get caught up in the Hampton bubble. There is a world out there beyond this that is waiting for you with open arms. If you don’t feel included here, if you have self-doubt here, or if you don’t feel appreciated; know that there is an entire community made for you somewhere else just waiting for you to prosper in. I used to think if I didn’t make it at Hampton or if I didn’t leave a legacy here I would fail, but I don’t want to peak here, so wherever I am supposed to thrive and impact the world, I know I will do it there.
HC: Where can people connect with you?
DL: My Instagram is @Daizha_Lankford
You can visit my blog at simplydaizha.com
But most importantly visit theartivists.org for me and Jasmine’s work with the arts community.