Re-post from, “Notes from Xalapa” – Reflections from Mexico

Earlier in the month, I had an opportunity to give a plenary talk for the IEEE Summer School on Women in Technology – Veracruz, Mexico. I spoke about the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, and led the audience through an exercise that helped them to build stronger connections to the goals.

Sustainable Development Goals

The following article, “Notes from Xalapa, Veracruz,” was posted today on, as a reflection of the experience in Xalapa, Veracruz in Mexico.


“Notes from Xalapa”

Renetta Xalapa 2018 updated

Renetta G. Tull, 3rd from right, with colleagues in Xalapa, Mexico, after a plenary talk on “Women in Technology,” and just prior to being interviewed on Spanish radio station, Radio Universidad Veracruzana 90.5 FM XHRUV, about being an African-American in STEM in the US. “Notes from Xalapa” was written in the car the next morning, during the 1.5 hour ride to the airport to return to the U.S. “Notes from Xalapa” reflects upon participants’ comments, who said that they were inspired to meet a Black woman with Master’s and PhD degrees in science and engineering, working to improve “Global Diversity & Inclusion in STEM.”


I am the Black woman,

Science and engineering scholar.

I am the vision that you never knew existed.

I am the “out-of-the-box” scholar who loves and hugs and doesn’t keep her distance.

I show the future to your sons and daughters,

And am the friend that you never knew you had,

Until you met me.

I am the voice that you never knew you needed to hear,

Until you listened.

Whether I speak your language or not,

My eyes and smile convey that I see you,

And value you,

And you tell me that you carry that with you,

And so I am happy to have made your acquaintance.

I learn from you,

You learn from me,

And together,

We are better.

So now that you know me,

Come. Take my hand.

Join me in the struggle to lift others up,

To cast light into dark places,

And to hold truth as dear.

My “I” turns to “we,”

And now, my friends,

We work …


And we advance.

“Adelante” my dear friends,


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