Matthew Oakland, proudly hailing from Sacramento, California, is a member of the class of 2020. As a Mellon Mays Fellow, he hopes to diversify the academy, an ambition he plans to achieve through the pursuit of a Ph.D. program on his way to becoming a professor.
It was through classes like “Spanish in the Community” with professor Alberto Bruzos Moro and participation in Princeton’s Bridge Year Program in Bolivia that Matthew came to the decision to focus on the widespread erasure of Afro-Latinx and Afro-Latin American people from the archives of Latin American/Caribbean Studies, delimiting his future academic focus. As such, he intends to interrogate and problematize the multimodality of racial discrimination in Latin America and the Caribbean, centering such work on the experiences and stories of those historically marginalized.
On campus, Matthew splits his time between two campus jobs; serves as a member of the Black Organization for Leadership Development (B.O.L.D.); volunteers with the Petey Greene Prison tutor program; serves as a LGBT center peer educator; dances hip-hop with DiSiac Dance Company; and is a founding member of the Black Student-Alumni Coalition, which brought notable guest Craig Robinson ‘83 as a keynote speaker to an inter-generational networking event.