Shari (Baker) Berga
In addition to being a Baldwin Scholar, I majored in Cultural Anthropology and minored in Education while at Duke. A first generation American daughter born to Trinidadian immigrants, I grew up in a multicultural, multireligious and multiethnic environment. These early childhood experiences shaped my interests and ultimately informed my major in the study of people as well as my commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion in education.
Currently in my eighth year of teaching, I still love the classroom and am simultaneously expanding my diversity work as a teacher leader. To this day, my goals for education remain the same: to help students learn about themselves, think critically about history and contemporary society, find freedom within the power of knowledge and be empowered to change and improve their lives and communities.
I am an unapologetic feminist. I am grateful to the Baldwin Scholars because this group of women, our professors, and program directors served as my respite from a rather misogynistic and often racially obtuse campus. More importantly, while I always valued sisterhood and women supporting each other (I have two sisters), I also learned the immense value of mentorship from my experience as a Baldwin Scholar. Simply put, intergenerational mentorship is crucial to the success (however defined) of women. Upon reflection of my professional life thus far, I recognize that nearly all of my most critical career opportunities have come as a result of mentoring from older women. In turn, I am committed to creating opportunities for women younger than myself.