Congratulations to Laurier Cress who was recently selected as one of only three DU students to participate in the fireside chat with Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors, who’s a distinguished keynote speaker at DU’s upcoming Diversity Summit.
Laurier Cress is a first-year graduate student at the University of Denver in the Morgridge College of Education’s Library and Information Science program, specializing in Archives. Prior to moving to Denver in September of 2019, she lived in Baltimore City her entire life. She was raised in Northeast Baltimore in the 1990s and early 2000s in a supportive home but an underprivileged community. Her family was determined for her to excel in spite of her environment and the lackluster educational institution in Baltimore. Laurier attended Baltimore City’s only all-girl public high school, Western High School. Upon her completion at Western High School, she immediately entered Towson University to study Art and Design and graduated in 2010. During that time, she not only honed her skills as an oil painter and sculptor but she also gained a better understanding of the world outside of her own community.
After obtaining a Bachelor of Science in Art and Design from Towson University, she returned to school to pursue an entirely different path. In 2017 she attended the University of Maryland University College to study History. While conducting research as an undergraduate student, she realized the underrepresentation of ethnic groups in how history is recorded, preserved, managed and taught. This impacted her decision to pursue a graduate degree specializing in Archives. Her hope is to have a positive impact on the biases found in archives and recorded history by providing the perspective of a woman of color.
Her past and present work is closely connected to helping people and empowering communities, be it through contributions to a healthy and equitable work environment in her position as a move coordinator for a large international moving company; as a volunteer assistant librarian at Guilford Elementary Middle School for underprivileged children in Baltimore, as a volunteer at the Colorado State Archives and Public Records; or as a volunteer at the non-profit art gallery and community art center Baltimore Clayworks, which introduced ceramic arts to underprivileged children.
Laurier brings her interdisciplinary vision, acute sense of social justice, rich life experience, and artistic talent to our continuously evolving and contentious field. For Laurier, an emerging leader with outstanding potential, diversity, equity, and inclusion constitute a major drive of her scholarly, professional, and volunteer activities. They also serve as a lens through which Laurier sees the world and analyzes the human condition. Some of Laurier’s professional aspirations are anti-oppression in archival practices, community archives, and social justice in archival representation and memory preservation. She is an incredible scholar and an outspoken advocate for equity and social justice.