James Thomas Gooding III

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Sophomore, Economics and Political Science/ Minor-Journalism – Reporting

DSC00014Thomas Gooding is a sophomore and plans to major in Economics and Political Science with a minor in Journalism. He serves as co-chair of the Multicultural Affairs and Diversity Outreach Committee of Student Government and is a member of the Undergraduate Honor Court. Thomas also works with several service organizations in Chapel Hill, including the Refugee Community Partnership through the Human Rights Center. Thomas hopes that CCLI will allow him to develop a more global perspective, embrace his personal style of leadership, and cultivate inclusiveness within the Carolina community and beyond.

“As a co-chair of the Multicultural Affairs and Diversity Outreach Committee (MADO), I am responsible for educating students and faculty about multiculturalism and providing equal opportunities for minority and underrepresented groups. I believe CCLI will instill in me the perspective and cultural competency to adjust or create MADO programs to more appropriately, profoundly, and respectfully represent diverse facets of campus. By gaining a more developed understanding of my leadership qualities, I believe that I can initiate positive change on campus, especially through my connections with MADO to various corners of UNC. As a member of the Student Advisory Committee to the Chancellor, I have a unique opportunity to share students’ ideas and perspectives with administrators and faculty members. In addition, my role on the Undergraduate Honor Court provides an opportunity to judge students’ experiences and actions. Therefore, it is my responsibility to represent all students equally, and I believe CCLI will enhance my ability to communicate and connect with a diversity of students, to reach out beyond my current scope, and to eliminate my subconscious prejudice or micro-aggressions in order to best serve the student body. / Beyond Student Government, a program that focuses on diversity, inclusion, cultural competency, and leadership would enhance my role as a mentor and tutor through the Refugee Community Partnership (RCP). I believe that I must improve my cultural competency in order to more deeply connect with the families I serve. In addition, communication among volunteers and decisions about the future of the program require sufficient leadership skills—skills that I believe I possess but seek to strengthen. The combination of cultural competency and leadership is exceptionally valuable and will undoubtedly empower me to improve the organization’s operations. /  In addition, my leadership position with UNC Dance Marathon requires me to interact with various organizations throughout the state—a role that requires strong leadership qualities. CCLI will not only help me enhance my ability to lead and inspire but will also instill in me a greater understanding of how to interact with people who may be different than me. Although it seems simple, such skills are powerful tools in communicating and building relationships. /  But perhaps an even greater reason I wish to participate in CCLI extends beyond college. I am passionate about international human rights and conflict resolution, especially in the Middle East. A program like CCLI will be an important a step, a strong foundation, on my journey toward cultural competency, a sense of world citizenship, and a greater understanding of how to be an unwavering leader with a vision for diversity. After college, I hope to pursue initiatives for peace and unity in the Middle East, and I hope that CCLI will be an important educational experience as I strive to make a difference.”