Moneé Green listened to her grandfather when he told her that the one thing people can’t take away from you is knowledge. He also told her that if you love something, do it. So she pursued music at the Detroit School of the Arts and, in her senior year, applied to Michigan State University to further her education.
“I was really excited to get accepted to MSU,” Green said. “Originally, I wanted to go out-of-state to school, but when I saw MSU’s amazing academics, I knew it was the right choice. Going here allowed me to stay closer to home, too — something I wanted to do since my father had passed away my senior year in high school.”
This spring, Green will join her mother among two generations of women in her family to graduate from college when she earns her bachelor’s degree in Communication with a minor in African American and African Studies (AAAS).
While proud to be a Spartan, Green sometimes felt divided. She said it was different to be in a learning environment where the percent of Black students was in the single digits after attending a high school that was predominantly Black. Her best friend shared a similar experience and encouraged her to check out a class in AAAS.
“From the first time I stepped foot into a AAAS class, I thought, ‘wow, this is amazing,’ I found people I could relate to as a Black woman at a PWI [predominately white institution] and never felt alone or unheard.”Moneé Green
“From the first time I stepped foot into a AAAS class, I thought, ‘wow, this is amazing,’” Green said. “I found people I could relate to as a Black woman at a PWI [predominately white institution] and never felt alone or unheard. I liked how we could talk about issues that could be uncomfortable but needed to be discussed.”
Green instantly gravitated toward taking more AAAS classes and decided to minor in the discipline. She said the experience was eye-opening and inspired her to chart a path focused on youth, educational equity, and community service. Concurrently, she became involved with the diversity, equity, and inclusion committee of her residence hall and served as the hall’s representative to MSU’s Big Sisters, Little Sisters Mentoring Program. She also joined two multicultural campus organizations: Black Media Entertainment and Women of Distinction.
“Ever since Moneé first contacted us about adding the AAAS minor, it has been such a treat to work with her,” said Yvonne Morris, Academic Specialist in AAAS. “Moneé is a remarkable student in my AAAS 202 Black Genders Studies class. She is phenomenally able to connect theory to lived experiences, counters dominant narratives, as well as fiercely celebrates and supports her peers in and outside of class. She has handled completing her education at MSU and balancing life with such grace and gratitude. I look forward to witnessing Moneé continue her academic and professional interests while keeping African American and African Studies centered within them.”
“Moneé is a remarkable student…She is phenomenally able to connect theory to lived experiences, counters dominant narratives, as well as fiercely celebrates and supports her peers in and outside of class.”Yvonne Morris, Academic Specialist in AAAS
Post-graduation, Green looks to intern in the Detroit area and to apply her skills for a year. After that, she hopes to start graduate school and is leaning toward getting a master’s degree in AAAS and education.
“One of the biggest skills I learned from minoring in AAAS is how to engage with more diverse groups of people,” Green said. “I also learned that it is OK to make mistakes and to fall down and get back up. Lots of times I push myself to the limits and get exhausted. AAAS taught me how to play harder and take care of myself and how to keep a balance.”
—By Ann Kammerer