Alyiah Gonzales is a Black, queer, first generation college student completing the last year of her English undergraduate career at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. Sacramento, however, is her home—the diversity, heightened political activity, and community development serves as encouragement in her endeavors to embody and inspire those ideals within her community action at school. Her status as a Black scholar also continuously inspires her to propel myself further into social activism and community building, especially for queer people of color.
On campus, Alyiah works within the MultiCultural Center, University Housing, and the Queer/Trans* People of Color Collective to engage her communities with intentionality and care. Her educational goals intersect with these passions as she hopes to eventually become a professor specializing in Black literature. This winter, she will be applying to Literature Ph.D. programs that allow her to specialize in the literary productions of Black authors, especially queer and womxn-identified Black authors. Baldwin’s endeavors to dismantle constructs of whiteness and heteronormativity in the U.S. society are significant inspirations within Alyiah’s own work, especially as she grounds her focus in the heightened manifestations of oppression through different intersecting identities.