Texas State Bobcat makes impact as an Inclusion Educator & Consultant
Texas State University student affairs in higher education graduate student Qy’Darrius McEachern has founded an education firm, McEachernSpeaks, to support offices, organizations, workplaces, and schools to create equitable spaces and innovate justice for individuals of color.
After having the opportunity to speak at the TXST Leadership Institute Annual Conference on the topic of microaggressions, McEachern had an interaction that became a defining moment in launching his education firm.
“After this session, I was approached by an audience member who had benefitted heavily from the presentation and wanted me to speak to her dance organization,” McEachern said. “This made me pivot, as I was realizing that I could use this gift to reach more people,” McEachern added.
McEachern shared that it had taken him a few months following the event to construct the identity of McEachernSpeaks, as he wanted to be educated and prepared for the work he would offer.
“McEachernSpeaks began as a speaking endeavor but has evolved into a true education firm that is equipped to provide strategy sessions, action-oriented training, and critical conversations to my clients,” McEachern said. “I needed to create immerse experiences which provide support from multiple angles to create lasting change in the space.”
As McEachern helps organizations analyze unjust systems and create just spaces, discussions surrounding racism and lack of inclusion can be hard to tackle. He has shared how he remains motivated in tackling these topics.
“I feel the harm from the lack of equity and inclusion on campus as a Black man and have wrestled with how to make an impact and change that for students nationwide,” McEachern said. “I continue to stay motivated because I see the real implications that racist, exclusive policies, rules, and regulations have on individuals with marginalized identities.”
When it comes to gauging the success and impact of his work, McEachern shared that he does so in several ways.
“I do not believe there is a finite definition of success in this work,” McEachern said. “I have an assessment at the end of my experiences with clients that analyzes the content of the training, my effectiveness as a consultant & educator, and the impact had on the individuals,” he added.McEachern has also stated that he gauges success based on interactions with his clients. When clients tell him how they feel empowered or about the conversations they are now having, it shows McEachern that his work has an impact.
When asked about his time at Texas State, McEachern discusses how he had only continued to become a better student, learner, and educator of social justice and antiracism education at the university.
“I believe that I have continued to develop a critical eye of higher education institutions at Texas State, and have been able to learn and innovate antiracist solutions to address inequities that systemically harm students of color by analyzing policies and having conversations with various parts of the university community,” McEachern said.
As for the future of the McEachernSpeaks Education Firm, McEachern himself has shared that it will continue to evolve and develop to provide impactful antiracist solutions.
“I believe that the future of McEachernSpeaks with always put the liberation of marginalized people as the priority of the firm, and I will continue to be a life-long learner to provide the most effective support to my clients,” McEachern said.
McEachern wants to do more to work directly with the Texas State community. He also wants to collaborate with several social justice colleagues and firms. Among them are the Innocence Project and Anti-Racism Daily. As for where McEachern pulls his education from, he has credited Dr. Bettina Love, Dr. Sherri Benn, and Lawrence Ross.
McEachern has offered some advice for fellow activists who are not sure of what to do or where to start.
“Find your voice and how to have your voice heard. I created this education firm as a means of using my gifts as my voice in the fight against racism and oppression. This is my form of activism."
“It is essential that activist find their way to support and find how to make their voice heard. I am a firm believer that there is no one right way to create change, we need everyone,” McEachern added.