First Year Programs

Fig Leader, Havana McElvaine changing the game globally

September 7, 2017

From a young age Havana had a love and passion for soccer, which led her to a scholarship from UW in her junior year of high school.  
 ‘What? That’s huge.’ Someone cared enough about me doing something I loved that they were willing to support it so I could do it without any financial burden, and that’s a massive privilege.” 
After becoming a husky, she came to find an interest in sociology being able to look at problems in a specific, pragmatic and critical way. Havana realized that the topic regarding racial equality and social justice needed to have more of an open space for discussion. "It became apparent that we needed to initiate these uncomfortable conversations and build a community around these topics" she says.
During her four years at the UW, she learned about education and policy reform and public housing. She help a professor track how children's perceptions of race and identity change over time. She also created her own research project, analyzing the impact that repeated video exposure to police violence and shootings has on black male college students. Because of the lack of deep-rooted knowledge of the history of racial identity, she decided that in January 2018 she will embark on a solo nine country trip tracing the African diaspora and the translantic slave trade as she connects with people around the world! 
"In spite of all the challenges happening around the world, whatever work i go into whether that's in athletics or some other sphere, i'm excited to inspire change and fight for social justice!"