Hi y’all! My name is Christina Lewis, and I am so thrilled to be a part of the Baldwin Class of 2024.
I’m from Charleston, SC, a city known for its pastel buildings, swarming tourists, and a history rich in racial struggle. Growing up in a place of such contrast--a place so quaint and hospitable on the surface, but still so segregated--has shaped how I view myself and the world around me. Because my father is from India, and my mother is white, I, much like Charleston, have struggled with my identity that is so obviously impacted by race while existing in a society that claims to “no longer see color.”
Throughout middle and high school, however, I was blessed with the opportunity to study creative writing at a school for the arts. As we read the works of Maya Angelou, Ta-Nehisi Coates, and countless other writers, I was given dozens of new perspectives about how the world works. Eventually, I began writing my own poems and essays, working through my coming-of-age on paper. During my senior year, I published a book full of pieces about race, sisterhood, growing up, and other aspects of my identity that I’d been grappling with.
In high school, the most meaningful service projects I participated in involved kids from Title 1 schools around my county. As a member of the student council and our National Honors Society, I helped provide access to the arts after school and during spring break.
Although I’m not sure what I want to study at Duke yet, I have continued to write for publications like Dept. Of and want to continue working with students in the Durham community. Moreover, I am beyond excited for what my next few years with the Baldwin Scholars program have in store, and I am so thankful to be at a school like Duke where such a community of women can exist and thrive!