Taylor Edwards has always loved writing, and immersed herself in the production of her high school yearbook as co-editor. After being selected as a National Youth Correspondent for the 2019 Washington Journalism and Media Conference, she realized there are many different types of journalism and that this was her future career. Now, she is a rising sophomore at the University of Maryland’s (UMD) Philip Merrill College of Journalism. After she graduates in 2024, Edwards wants to work in entertainment media. Her goal is to amplify BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) voices in the entertainment industry as well as in smaller communities that are often overlooked. She would like to pursue a master’s degree in journalism or another media-related field.
Because she started her college career during the pandemic, there weren’t many opportunities to get involved in campus clubs and organizations. However, Edwards was invited to join The Black Explosion, UMD’s only Black news publication and has written several articles. She is grateful to be in a Black space at a predominantly white institution.
Edwards has been active in race issues since high school. The Air Force ROTC was one class in which the students consistently discussed issues of racism in the military as well as in the general public. She also created a PSA about Black History Month in multimedia class. She hasn’t participated in protests because of her parents’ concern, but she plans to be active in UMD’s Black Student Union and cover issues involving racism.
As a Black woman, Edwards has experienced countless microaggressions directed at herself, friends, or family members. These usually came in the form of stereotypes or jokes. She explained how exhausting it is to call out that behavior every single time because of the sheer number of occurrences. But because many people do not consider microaggressions to be blatant racism, she has pointed out in specific instances that this type of language does have racist undertones and is disrespectful.
“Growing up as a Black girl, I’ve had to hear microaggressions and had to have sit-down talks with my parents about how I could be perceived once I stepped outside of the comfort of my home. Now, as a journalism student, I believe that it is one of my responsibilities to shed light on how racism is a major problem in the world and cannot be overlooked. Participating in this program will give me the chance to do that.”
Edwards started writing stories in elementary school, and if she could have one wish come true, it would be to bring her imagination to life by writing a movie, TV show, or book.
Her wish for the world is that people would argue less and listen more. She said it is frustrating to see arguments on social media over inconsequential things when people could be doing something constructive. “If people were more willing to listen and learn, problems like racism would be easier to navigate,” she said.
When she’s not reading young adult books, watching random Netflix shows, hanging out with friends, or going to new art exhibits, Edwards is most likely indulging in a good nap. Her top bucket list item is to take international trips with friends once it is safe to travel.