Hello, Renrenspeakers! Happy second week of Black History Month! What is one thing that has brought you joy this past month? For me, it has been connecting with incredible Black individuals at my school and through this blog! We are BACK with another blog interview. Next up in the series is my friend, Cameron who is doing phenomenal things in the field of medicine. Before we start the interview, let me throw yall back to how Cameron and I connected!
I met Cameron during my time at UC San Diego and always thought he was such a cool dude that was very kind and poised. We were also in the Black Student Union together, and we really got to bond over our mutual love for health care. I remember he interviewed me for his enlightening research project back in 2017 regarding Black students and Black health, specifically looking at what social and environmental factors influenced their aspirations to pursue medicine and other health professions. Of course, he contributed GREAT discourse at UC San Diego and to the field of medicine in general! I won’t get too much into it because I want HIM to highlight his many projects and publications. Cameron is a super cool guy, yall, and I am so glad we were able to reconnect to collab on this series for BHM! I am excited for yall to read more about his story down below!
Irene: What is your name/pronouns?
Cameron: Cameron Clerkley, He/Him
Irene: Give us a quick synopsis of who YOU ARE!
Cameron: Chill, funny and down to earth (so I’ve been told), Bay Area raised (Hayward), sports head (especially basketball), passionate about family, community, serving others and mentoring, love going to movies and concerts, and world traveler.
Irene: Choose three words that come to mind when you define “Blackness”. Define each word in its relation to Blackness. Why did you choose these three words?
- Afro-Diaspora – This can represent anyone around the world who identifies with their roots in Africa (since descendants from Africa are everywhere).
- Royalty – This represents how I see Black identity because we deserve to think of ourselves in that light as exceptional individuals who deserve praise for our excellence.
- Oppressed – This, unfortunately, is because regardless of how you personally identify, if others see you as Black, you are subject to the forms of discrimination for being Black, a universal Black experience that has transcended centuries and geological boundaries.
Irene: What is the MOST beautiful thing about being Black to you?
Cameron: My hair – I love how thick and creative it is. It is difficult to manage at times, but it makes me feel good and proud and unique in the world.
Irene: How has your experience been as a Black person in your respective field thus far?
- Lonely – There aren’t too many Black physicians on my clinical rotations or even just roaming the hospital, but my goal is to help fix that.
- Empowering – Because every time another Black person sees me in the hospital, we greet each other or they share words of encouragement to me and the impact of my presence.
Irene: How do you plan on showing up for the people as a Black person in your respective field?
Cameron: My presence and excellence will demand respect for Black individuals that are not traditionally represented in medicine, and my mentorship to the future generations will hopefully increase our representation in the field.
Irene: Any advice, gems, or words of encouragement for future Black people who want to pursue your field?
Cameron: You are enough and you are capable, you are unique and that in itself will take you far, you have so much to offer that is unique to being Black, lean into that and ignore anyone who tells you not to – anything you pursue in life will have challenges, so might as well shoot for the moon and pursue your passions/things that bring you joy.
Irene: What is one of your favorite songs that fit/exemplifies that Black is Beautiful?
- Say it Loud – James Brown
- Brown Skin Girl – Beyonce, Wiz Kid
Irene: How can we support a fellow amazing Black person like yourself? Do you have any projects, businesses, creations, etc. that you are working on that you would like to speak briefly about and/or that we can support?
Cameron: Share my article to anyone who would identify with/learn from the experiences shared and/or have the capacity to support the cause of uplifting aspiring Black doctors (link- SSVMS – Pursuing Medicine While Black )
Irene: Can folks connect with you to learn more about you/support you? If so, please drop your social media info down below!
- @camclerkley11 on Instagram
- firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com
Irene: Anything else you want us to know about you or anything you want to share with the readers? Feel free to drop it down below!
Cameron: Irene Kwangaba was a big contributor to the insight and inspiration of my article and entire medical journey since I met her in undergrad. We need more blogs like this one and more people doing similar work as this.
I am telling yall, how cool is Cameron! I hope you all enjoyed learning about Cameron as much as I did and the amazing ways that he is uplifting Black doctors through whole publications! To see it flourish from a UC San Diego research project to a publication in Sierra Sacramento Valley Medicine is such an accomplishment. UC Davis is blessed to have Cameron as part of their student body, I hope they know that!
Thank you all once again for tuning into the blog today! Remember to support Black people not only this month but every single day, as our voices deserve to be lifted and celebrated consistently. Part 3 of my Black is Beautiful mini blog series – health care edition – will be released next Saturday with another amazing person that I am so excited to highlight! Also, make sure you all follow the Renrenspeaks Instagram page for updates on all of the great things Renrenspeaks.com has in store for you all! Stay Black, friends!
Peace and love,