Akron to Atlanta: James Turneur's Celebration of BHM

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James Turneur, an Academic Advisor at the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISyE), brings a variety of experience and a deep commitment to student success to his role. Through his journey from Akron to Atlanta, James demonstrates a passion for education and culture.  

In this interview, James shares his thoughts on cultural differences, the importance of acknowledging Black history, and advocating for diversity and inclusion within the workplace of ISyE. 

1. Moving from Ohio to Atlanta, have you seen a difference in culture? How does being able to have experienced both sides influence your perspective? 

A: Yes, there is a noticeable cultural difference between Akron and Atlanta. Though Akron has a diverse population, Atlanta's has a more diverse population culturally overall, larger Black population, and offers a broader and more distinct cultural experience.  

James highlights the unique culture of Atlanta, including its culinary diversity and the presence of Black culture. He draws attention to the significance of observing the migration of Black individuals from rural areas in the South to urban and suburban centers in the North during the Great Migration on how Black individuals are mainly in urbanized areas in the Midwest versus in the South where you can also find Black population concentrated in rural areas also. 


2. How do you believe acknowledging Black history and celebrating Black History Month contributes to diversity and inclusion here at ISyE? 

A: James underscores the importance of acknowledging Black history and celebrating Black History Month as crucial parts of fostering diversity and inclusion within ISyE. He states that such recognition appears in many programs and student groups, enhancing cross-cultural understanding and collaboration. James advocates for increased efforts within ISyE to acknowledge and celebrate Black history, suggesting that it would lead to a more inclusive and supportive environment for all students. 


3. Do your clothes/style represent your culture or what you express? 

A: For James, clothing and style show him to express personal identity and cultural heritage. He states that his clothing choices often reflect his cultural background and experiences. Additionally, James discusses how certain cultural influences, such as rap and hip-hop, form many fashion trends and expressions of identity within the Black community. He adds that he enjoys supporting smaller vendors and promoting cultural diversity through clothing choices. 


4. Could you share a story or experience about Black History Month that has had an impact on you? 

A: James recalls a significant experience attending an African festival in Ohio, where he encountered various aspects of Black culture and history. This event helped inspire a sense of pride and curiosity about his cultural heritage, prompting him to delve deeper into African history and challenge stereotypes. James emphasizes the importance of celebrating Black history and dispelling misinformation, highlighting the need for accurate representation and recognition of diverse narratives. 


5. What are some ways we can advocate more for black history and represent it here at ISyE? 

A: James noted many strategies for advocating for Black history and promoting representation at ISyE, such as having open discussion, planning events and having public speakers share their insight and experiences. Marcus Garvey was an activist that James has personally researched stating he, and others, did not get as much light compared to big figures such as Marthin Luther King and Malcolm X, these are examples of the people we should be advocating for and educating others to give a more in-depth insight on the culture and importance of Black History Month. 



Author: Tomas Galeas Mora, Cristo Rey & ISyE Student Assistant



  • Workflow Status:Published
  • Created By:chenriquez8
  • Created:02/29/2024
  • Modified By:chenriquez8
  • Modified:02/29/2024


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