Harrison Fauth

MY STORIES:

Message of hate empowers Black students to demand more from Salt Lake Community College administration

Stigma of mental health creates challenges for Black community

MY BLOG:

I am not a journalism major. This class and subsequent assignments pushed me out of my comfort zone. Interviewing strangers was work for me. I had to face my anxiety, and try to conquer it. Multiple times my instinct was to drop the class and every time I felt this I did not act. In the end my anxiety kept me from doing something that could have harmed me, and even kept me from graduating this Spring. 

Our beat was something that did keep me engaged. I am aware at some level of the social justice issues this community faces. As a student, completing a minor in environmental science and sustainability, I have taken classes that focus on disenfranchised communities. These communities suffer more from environmental injustice, food insecurity, financial insecurity, and blatant discrimination. In Utah being Black clearly makes you stand out, and not always in desired ways. You can attract good and attract those who hate. 

My first story, and the subject of my second, exposed a real issue that I have not heard discussed. That issue is access to Black therapists for the Black community. It never occurred to me prior to hearing this from a Black student, that this is another way the Black community is underrepresented. 

Another eye opening fact is the stigma of mental health in the Black community. One survey found that  63% feel it is a weakness to discuss mental health issues. It is a stigma to ask for help, and at the same time it may be viewed by some as a stigma to enter this field of work. This helps explain some of the reasons there are so few Black professionals in this field. It is a complex issue.

I realized that I was an outsider for both of my stories. I felt more like an outsider when I was speaking to mental health professionals than students. I wanted to make sure I did not insult or imply anything in my questions. How I  asked or responded to a question was important. 

When communicating a story, I realized how important it was to tell it through their lens. To be respectful of their experience. I cannot share the experience of being Black, but I can respect the story they tell about their experience. I need to remove any bias if it is present. I am here to listen to their story, to share their story, but once heard it changes your perspective about your own story.  

ABOUT ME:

My name is Harrison Fauth and I am a Spring 2021 graduate of the University of Utah. I hold a Bachelor of Science in Communication and a Minor in Environmental Science and Sustainability.

I was born in St. Louis and have lived in the Midwest and the East Coast, but have spent all of my school years in Utah. I enjoy the proximity and access to nature that living in Utah provides.

I am passionate about the environment and very concerned about the future of our planet. I plan to focus my future work on areas that help improve sustainable practices both in government and corporate America. I hope that new government legislation will allow for more people working around green solutions for the long-term health of our planet. I am also interested in helping disenfranchised communities that suffer more from environmental injustice.