Campus News

‘Found my voice’ — alums go real talk in reflecting on their Medgar Evers College journey

Alishia Goodridge, Nathifa Forde and Diana Richardson-Myrie at the “Real Talk” alumni event

By Nick Masuda  |

There have been 54 combined years that have gone by since Diana Richardson-Myrie, Nathifa Forde and Alishia Goodridge flipped the tassel on their commencement caps.

But as card-carrying members of the Medgar Evers College alumni network, it’s almost like they’ve never left.

On April 8, they brought a level of reflection, inspiration and fascination to a captive crowd in the Edison O. Jackson Auditorium for the “Alumni Unplugged: Real Talk Series” forum hosted by the Medgar Evers College Office of Alumni Relations.

SGA President Geraldyne Raphael

Hosted by current Student Government Association president, Geraldyne Raphael, the panel engaged in taking the audience on a journey through landing at MEC, as well as diving into their professional lives and how being #MedgarMade has helped them continue to grow and achieve their goals.

Professionally, the panel could stand up to any across the country, as Richardson-Myrie is a former New York State Assemblywoman and current Director of Statewide Initiatives in the New York State Comptroller Office; Forde was recently named Executive Director of the NYC Her Future initiative that operates out of the New York City Office of the Mayor; and Goodridge is the Assistant Vice President of Government Relations for SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University.

Big titles, even bigger hearts.

And all admitted to finding their path while at Medgar Evers College — each utilizing MEC’s arm-in-arm approach from faculty, administration and staff in order to navigate personal obstacles that made each of them non-traditional students.

Diana Richardson-Myrie

Born in Crown Heights, Richardson-Myrie landed at Medgar Evers College after living in shelters and subsequently becoming a mother at 19. But instead of being cast off, the university embraced the fact that she’d have to come to class by pushing a stroller and utilizing the childcare center on campus.

“I love so much about Medgar Evers College. What this institution gave to me is that this was a holistic place where I wasn’t just a number. People took interest in me, who I was and the things that they could see and develop in me and decided to pour into me to nurture that,” said Richardson-Myrie, who is Class of 2008. 

“I really found my voice when running for Student Government Association. I thank this institution for loving me every step of the way, nourishing me in that journey and to have this moment.”

Nathifa Forde

Forde, who is Class of 2010, roamed the halls of Medgar Evers College as a youngster, as her family was integral in making sure the university was founded.

She relocated to North Carolina and returned to Brooklyn more in touch with her artful spirit, she knew that she was still in debt to her mom for a degree.

MEC provided the platform, eventually helping her land in the Public Administration major, where she also found her voice and purpose.

“Nothing about your life is going to be linear. You’re gonna have to understand the things that you don’t like to understand the things that you do like, but that’s a part of the process,” said Forde, who is also an adjunct professor at MEC. “But what I will tell you where you start, doesn’t matter how you finish, because if you think of life as a production, the reality is I don’t remember the opening act, but I remember that finale.”

Alishia Goodridge (left)

Goodridge is now 24 years removed from her time as a student, having graduated in 2000. 

Growing up in Flatbush, Goodridge was determined to leave the area to spread her own wings, knowing that she needed to learn elsewhere in order to come back home to help her community.

But her community drew her back much quicker than expected, allowing Medgar Evers College to play a part in molding her path.

“Coming to (Medgar Evers College) was like a breath of fresh air because it was like ‘Coming to America’ — this was like home. People are Black. I was, ‘This is good,’” Goodridge explained.

The Real Talk series will continue in the Fall, with unique topics, new guests and plenty of ways for current students to engage with influential MEC alums that can offer advice and opportunities alike.