Yazmin Watkins '09
Dimension: Striving for Accountability
August 22, 2012
Photo by Scott Garfield
Environmental Steward, Walt
Disney Studios; Actress; Spoken-Word Poet
Major: American Studies
What I love most about what
I do: Aside from being on the sets of Hollywood
movies, I love being able to blend my love of sustainability and my love of film to make a difference.
How Dickinson prepared me
for what I do: Dickinson set the foundation for my
global perspective on sustainability and incorporated green
standards into students' daily lives.
How I chose
Dickinson: I received a merit leadership scholarship
from the Posse Foundation. Going through that program and
succeeding at Dickinson truly changed my life.
activity/organization at Dickinson: My time spent
with the Silent Poets performing on campus showed me the power of
our voices, and I recently released my first book of poems,
Love Without Limits—The Bi-Laws of Love.
The accomplishment I was
most proud of at Dickinson: My involvement in helping
to charter the first Greek organization of color on campus, Delta
Sigma Theta, which has had a huge impact on my life.
What "striving for
accountability" means to me: I believe we have a
personal responsibility to leave this world a better place than we
found it, and I hope to leave that legacy through my art, my
sustainable work and practice, and the lives I touch on a
The most challenging part of
my work: Trying to convince people to change their
minds and their actions about sustainability in line with Disney's
new sustainable practices. The real challenge is finding a way to
tastefully cajole even the most hardened crew members into
believing that small changes add up. That they can make a
difference in reducing our carbon footprint.
professor: Professor Jerry Philogene in the American-studies department. Her course on black feminist
thought provided pivotal perspectives on the development and
materialization of black American feminist thought within
historical, social, political and cultural contexts that laid the
foundation for my own empowerment and success as a queer woman of
color on campus and in the workforce. I consider her to be a
personal friend to this day. I would be remiss not to mention
my mentor, Joyce Bylander [special assistant to the president on institutional & diversity initiatives and Posse mentor], as well. I absolutely adore that
My favorite place on
campus: I would definitely say the HUB cushies. No
matter the time of day, you could always guarantee to run into or
connect with someone! They were so always so comfy too!
The accomplishment I am
most proud of today: I am proud to say I am pursuing
my passion. Although it is a tough road for anyone to travel, the
small daily accomplishments add up to larger success further down
the road. It is easy to lose yourself postgraduation, but in
staying true to my passion, I know I am on the right track.
Read more about the Dickinson Dimensions.
Read more alumni profiles.