March 26, 2024

Women’s History Month profile: LaRita Banks

LaRita Banks

Throughout March, we’ll be highlighting women across campus who have made their mark on Schoolcraft College. This week, it’s LaRita Banks, a Senior Administrative Assistant for the Department of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

We’re highlighting women whose work is inspired by this year’s theme for Women’s History Month: “Women Who Advocate for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion.” 

Women’s History Month is a chance to celebrate those who may not always get the attention they deserve.

That’s what LaRita Banks, a Senior Administrative Assistant for the Department of Liberal Arts and Sciences, believes is important when recognizing the month.

“I think as women we often undervalue ourselves, whether it is on a personal or professional level,” she said. “We believe the narratives that have been perpetuated about who we are, what we are capable (or incapable) of and having other women come alongside you to challenge thought processes that we may not be aware we have is what changes our own trajectories.”

When it comes to diversity, equity and inclusion, Banks said it’s important for a higher education institution to bring everyone possible to the table.

“Not everyone can envision themselves in Higher Ed spaces and I believe that it is the responsibility of an organization to engage in conversations with people of all backgrounds, perspectives and experiences to create an environment that is diverse, equitable, and inclusive,” Banks said. “It is not enough to provide the walls; we also have to foster the culture.”

Promoting Women’s History Month helps showcase the work women have made in society, Banks said.

“It provides an opportunity to highlight contributions that women have made and continue to make that are often not spoken about, underrepresented and or downplayed,” she said.

Banks celebrates this by referring to her favorite quote, one that’s by Maya Angelou: “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.”

This quote speaks to her, especially as society continues to grow and become more enlightened on issues that affect many.

“It encourages us to do our best while continuing to learn and grow. DEI has shined a light on issues that existed but were often spoken about in hushed conversations between people who may have felt they could not effect change,” Banks said. “Now that the quiet part is being spoken out loud, we have a responsibility to act.”

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