Keyana Miller is a junior at East Tennessee State University, dual majoring in English and Political Science, and she is also the President of the Student Government Association. Originally from Nashville, Keyana graduated from Cordova High School in Memphis. She plans on attending law school in the fall of 2019. Upon graduation with her Juris Doctorate her dream is to work in the field of civil law, focusing on social justice issues that currently affect minority populations and other underrepresented groups.

Keyana was elected to the office of President for the student body in the spring of 2017. Since then, she has worked tirelessly to fulfill her her campaign promises while serving during a period of our nation’s history when people of color are more openly criticized and discriminated against, a period in our nation’s history that hasn’t been so blatantly discriminatory in over half a century. Keyana handles the systemic and overt racism with class and professionalism.

“Regardless of the issues that arise on our campus, whether they’re race-related, or affecting a minority population of our students, we are all ETSU. We all come here for the same reason– to get our education and to better our communities. It’s easy to fall apart when bad things happen, easy to place blame, easy to complain. It’s difficult to rally together and to make the change we wish to see.”

Since the 2017 student body election, Keyana has worked to update and change the ETSU SGA Constitution. Though this is an internal SGA document, the original 67 page text was cumbersome for all elected members. Now, they can more effectively serve with the updated text.

After her term expires and the new student body president is elected, Keyana plans to complete her Bachelor’s degrees. She hasn’t ruled out the possibility of running for elected office in the future, but sees that as an option after she’s received her law degree and worked as a lawyer to serve underrepresented and minority communities.

Keyana is a bright, articulate woman who is and will continue to make our region and our nation proud. She has shown nothing but poise and integrity when faced with adversity and therefore serves as a role model to young women everywhere as they define for themselves what it means to be a leader.

Many students at ETSU have faced racial discrimination due to outside organizations that target the student body as well as the every day systemic racism still at play in our society. Keyana’s challenge to those students facing adversity is for them to step up to the plate by organizing and advocating for those changes.

“My hope is, in the future, if a student does not see something they agree with, or they’ve witnessed an injustice, they don’t complain to their peers or, worse, leave the university. I hope that student takes it upon themselves to change that injustice or talk to [the] administration and make sure it doesn’t happen again.”

Thank you Keyana Miller for your service to the university and to our community! You inspire all of us to be the change we wish to see.

Kate Craig

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