Bibi Gnagno ’07 is the program coordinator at Duke University’s Women’s Center.
“I ALWAYS ASSUMED THAT I would become a lawyer. I followed that path. I did everything right. And then I failed the bar exam. Twice. “But I realized, even as I was waiting for the results of the first exam, that law school hadn’t been a place where I could be all facets of myself. I had the intellectual part. But I didn’t dance. I didn’t make art. I didn’t talk to my friends all the time. I didn’t have that sense of community that I had been used to having in my life.
“So I dug deep. I started doing meditation. I started journaling and read The Artist’s Way. And then I applied for a Fulbright fellowship. It was something I’d always wanted to do, but never admitted to anyone—not even my mom, who’s one of my best friends.
“And I got it. I went to the Ivory Coast, and I started developing a documentary about women and their natural hair. Today, I’m at Duke University’s Women’s Center, focusing on feminism and womanism programming, and I love my job.
“A lot of us just want to be perfect when we start off, but what that actually means is that you’re never going to do anything. Because it’s never going to be perfect. Sometimes, you just have to say, ‘I don’t care what anybody else is going to think or say, I’m just going to do it.’ … The beauty of life comes in the motion.”
SAQ, Fall 2016