Along with her work with OBS, Clottey works as a scholar coordinator for CCSS. As a first-generation low-income (FLI) scholar, she mentioned the Chicago Educational Achievement Program performed an integral position in constructing her confidence and serving to her get used to the educational rigor of school earlier than courses started. classes. She additionally impressed her to help future incoming FLI college students.
“CCSS helps present sources like books, know-how, tuition/housing prices, meals, and extra so FLI college students can come to school on an equal footing,” he mentioned. “CCSS has helped me really feel like I belong right here, and it has been superb to be part of the work they do to bridge this hole.”
Clottey additional follows her ardour for socially impactful media work by podcasts and trend design.
In the summertime after her sophomore 12 months, Clottey and government producers Lena Diasti and Hope Houston revived and renamed “Kinda Sorta Brown,” a dormant podcast that had been based by college students on the Harris Faculty of Social Coverage. Acknowledged final 12 months by Spotify and NPR as among the finest school scholar podcasts within the nation, the present gives a conversational deep dive into the intersection of id, politics, and motion by addressing points deeply rooted within the experiences of communities of shade in all of the world. U.S
Because the podcast’s outreach supervisor, Clottey is answerable for discovering visitor audio system and developing with episode ideas that match the podcast’s quarterly themes. For one in every of her current episodes on black feminism, Clottey labored to hyperlink African speculative fiction with science fiction.
“Who knew you might make these issues fuse collectively?” Clottey mentioned. “We needed to get actually artistic with it, including some actually cool storytelling-type vibes. I actually love that ‘Kinda Sorta Brown’ was an outlet for that. And I have been capable of study so much about different communities, whether or not it is the Asian neighborhood or the indigenous neighborhood. So, it has been actually cool.”
She discovered one other outlet for her creativity in the summertime of 2020. Because the Black Lives Matter protests peaked amid the pandemic, Clottey turned to trend as a type of social uplift, beginning a home made clothes model. known as T’Kor Couture.
Clottey had realized to crochet when she was 12 years outdated by watching YouTube movies, however started to enhance her abilities throughout her quarantine. Now with over 10,000 followers on Instagram, T’Kor Couture is a one-of-a-kind, ethically sourced clothes line that showcases the limitless dimensions of Black tradition. Utilizing vibrant colours, outsized silhouettes, and the symbolism of the crown, Clottey attracts inspiration from notable black creators reminiscent of artist Jean-Michele Basquiat and playwright Ntozake Shange.
Her ardour for black trend impressed her senior thesis matter titled “The (R)evolution of Black Vogue: Black Costume in Predominantly White Establishments.” Her essential methodology of analysis concerned interviewing black school college students to look at what clothes can inform us about how black college students are shifting by predominantly white establishments. She hopes to proceed rising the enterprise after commencement as a artistic approach to keep civically engaged.
T’Kor Couture was additionally chosen to take part within the 2021 Polsky Accelerator Program, which helped Clottey get her model off the bottom and consider herself as an entrepreneur and entrepreneur.
On the marketing campaign path
As a part of her lifelong advocacy mission, Clottey joined the Leaders of Colour cohort on the Institute of Politics (IOP) throughout her freshman 12 months. They took a visit to Des Moines, Iowa, in the summertime of 2019 to work as communications interns on Kamala Harris’ various women-led workforce, forward of the 2020 Iowa caucuses.
Working from 7 am to 7 pm on the marketing campaign daily, Clottey orchestrated lots of the obligations for the door-to-door canvassing, in addition to the collaboration between the press and Harris’ communications workforce. This job, which additionally launched him to then-future President Joe Biden, is what initially sparked his curiosity in communications, media, and tv.
“I noticed that there have been different avenues for advocacy past the regulation and changing into a politician,” Clottey mentioned. “You might nonetheless take care of civic engagement, however do it extra within the media area and do it extra creatively.”
The next summer season, Clottey labored as a communications intern at All In Collectively, a nonprofit that equips American ladies with actionable, nonpartisan civics schooling. On this position, she used social media and newsletters to advertise political and civic engagement amongst ladies of voting age. She was additionally concerned in internet hosting digital webinars that featured friends like Representatives Ayanna Pressley and Nancy Pelosi.
These experiences, Clottey mentioned, not solely helped her uncover her ardour for media, but in addition taught her the worth of working with a close-knit, inclusive and various group of ladies.
A visit to recollect
All through his endeavors, Clottey has continued to mannequin himself on Michelle Obama. Late final 12 months, her dream of assembly her lifelong position mannequin got here true.
Checking her inbox in the future in October, Clottey discovered an electronic mail from the Heart for Id and Inclusion selling a livestream occasion with the previous first woman. She clicked on the flyer on the backside of the message, which contained a request for a UChicago scholar to affix Obama for a tv particular. It was for a similar day.
With out pondering twice, she utilized. On November eight, she traveled to Washington, DC, to take part in a televised particular with Obama, moderated by actress Yara Shahidi and produced by BET in collaboration with Penguin Random Home.
Within the episode, Obama, Shahidi and a various group of school panelists from 13 different colleges mentioned the themes of Obama’s memoir, “Changing into.” In the meantime, in Hyde Park, greater than 1,300 members of the UChicago neighborhood tuned in to the reside broadcast in help of Clottey.