Emani Brown & Dumplings

emani brown

Emani Brown is a Senior at Jones College. She is majoring in Psychology and the Study of Women, Gender, and Sexuality. She has engaged in legal research, and various forms of psychology research. During her junior year she conducted her SWGS Seminar and Practicum in Engaged Research. For this Capstone Project, she did research in collaboration with the Tahirih Justice Center on fears Latinx immigrant survivors of gender-based violence still face, despite having received legal status in the United States. Outside of her classes, Emani is a Rice Health Advisor (RHA) and is part of the Black Student Association (BSA) leadership. In her free time, Emani likes to read and binge watch TV shows.


November 11, 2020


Emani Brown & Dumplings


Brendan Wong 0:04 You're listening to bowl of rice. This podcast is brought to you by the Office of Undergraduate Research and inquiry. And a few seconds you will be hearing from undergraduate students and here at Rice University conducting research, or any type of creative work. We will also be exploring the Houston food scene. So stick around to find out what students are eating these days. My name is Brendan Wong, and I'm your host. And joining me today is a senior from Jones majoring in psychology and the study of woman gender and sexuality. Welcome Emani Brown. Hi, Emani, how are you today?

Emani Brown 0:40 Hi, thank you for that Welcome. I'm doing well. Yeah, just kind of enjoying being at Rice at the moment. And yeah, that's basically it.

Brendan Wong 0:53 I guess. Um, let's start with how are you enjoying being rice? Were you located at Rice?

Emani Brown 0:59 So I'm currently at Jones, I'm living in a suite with five of my friends. So it's really fun. And it's good to have that social support, you know, during this time, okay,

Brendan Wong 1:11 let's think pre pandemic context before a pandemic, what do you what are you typically involved in? And how has that changed since the pandemic?

Emani Brown 1:19 Yeah, definitely a lot has changed, but I'm trying to stay involved in as much as I can. So pre pandemic, I am involved in cultural organizations on campus. I'm currently the president of the Black Student Association, which is a great, great opportunity. It's just so amazing to be able to serve this community. I'm also involved in the spanic Association for cultural enrichment. Because my background, my mom is Mexican American. And my dad is black American. So it's great to be involved in both communities. I also like to go to the rice, African student association meetings and events, because so many of my friends are in that organization. And it's a great way to stay connected with them and support them. Yeah. So that's kind of what I do. And then I'm also a Rice Health Advisor and RHJ. So that role has shifted, you know, post pandemic, or we're not post pandemic, but I guess. Yeah, right. hopeful thinking. But in like, right now, it's kind of different. But before that, you know, I was there to support my peers at Jones and even within other communities that I'm a part of. Yeah,

Brendan Wong 2:39 so you clearly are very, very involved that race. And we're here to talk about your research. So first of all, how do you make temporary research? but second of all, yeah, what types of research are you involved with? But tell me about your research experience?

Emani Brown 2:55 Definitely. So. Okay, let's go back and rewind to my freshman year. I knew I wanted to do psychology. And so I went home that summer after my freshman year, and I worked with a forensic psychologist. And so in that role, I was still able to conduct research, which was really cool, because I was doing a variety of things. I was kind of, you know, working on conducting, like interviews with the, with the patients that he had, and like, like IQ testing, things like that, because a friend, psychologist does evaluations. And so that's that's what I was working on, mostly. But then I also was able to do research for his criminal court cases. So forensic pathologist, yeah, forensic psychologist, they get to, like, testify in court sometimes. And so I got to do research really cool stuff. Really interesting. And I was like, I kind of like this. So then sophomore year at Rice, I did research for a full year with Dr. Danielle King, and she is in the psychology department. She does industrial organizational psychology, which is psychology in the workplace. So kind of looking at, you know, organizational structure and things like that how how to foster a better working environment, and more productive one, a happier one. So I worked with her for a full year, and specifically I looked at resilience in the workplace. And so I did a lot of work on Well, I did literature review literature review. So I was pulling a lot of literature, which was really cool because I was learning a lot I got to read so many articles that I probably would have never read otherwise. So looking at like, resilience among nurses and how they they really have to deal with so much you know, and they rarely have time for themselves. Another thing is like resilience among teachers. That's a big one too. So really, I would say the top three there, like resilience among nurses, teachers and among the military. And so looking at that was really interesting. And yeah, I got to work under her for a full year. So I learned a lot. Yeah. So now we're junior year at Rice. And so I did the law practicum. The Fall of my, my junior year. Yes. And so you're paired with somebody. So I was like, oh, I'll probably be paired with, like an attorney and do like, you know, like paralegal work for that attorney. But now I was matched with a nonprofit organization called the Texas Criminal Justice Coalition. Yeah. And I did legal research. So I was like, wow, research is following me. Like, like, it was crazy. So engaging in legal research was really cool. I looked at like bail and pretrial practices in the state of Texas. And I got to go sit in like the courthouse and take notes and incorporate that into my research. So that a lot of like first hand experience along with, you know, the more traditional forms of research, like googling things, and reading relevant literature and whatnot. So the summer after my junior year, I did research at Yale University. It was like NSF, the National Science Foundation, and it was research for minority students, undergraduates who may not have, like, research opportunities, or who don't come from Super privileged backgrounds or, you know, or that type of thing. Right, I got to work with Dr. Laurie Santos, who actually has a podcast on Spotify called the happiness lab. Yeah. She's amazing. She's like been on the Today Show. And then Dr. Yarrow denim. And so I worked in a canine cognition lab. And so I got to, it sounds fancy, but really, it's just like working with the dogs, and kind of looking at how, like how they interact in their environments, because they have been domesticated for so long. like they've been by human side, like, they've been with us for so long, right? Like, dogs aren't out there in the wild. Like, they're in homes. They're watching TV with us. They're eating with us. And so like, how does that affect? There's like, there's social cues, are they similar to like monkeys, and apes and things, that was really cool stuff. And also, I got to see dogs every day, which was amazing. And then I also worked with kids in a it was like a social cognitive developmental psychology lab. So it combined lots of different types of psychology. I did research on like children, and kind of their social preferences, kind of looking at race and gender, which was right up my alley, you know, as a swigs major. So that was, that was really cool. So then, while I was at Yale, I got a phone call from one of like, my major advisors in this week's department, he was like, you should do your capstone project for SWGS, your junior year, and I was like, Oh, I'm just gonna do that my senior year, but Sure, why not? So yeah, so I was like, Okay, I'm finishing up this research, I'm going to dive into another like type of research, right. And this research is engaged feminist research. I got to choose my own research project, because it was independent research. And so it was my capstone project. And I got to work with a community organization in Houston. So you know, I was doing that, and kind of figuring out, you know, what, what it is that I wanted to do, I kind of want to do some work with survivors of gender based violence. And I want to, I want to look at that. And this is something that I've never done before, but it's something that really interests me. And so he was like, Oh, the tahari Justice Center. I think that's right up your alley. So that's when it started. And I kind of prepared for that research during the fall. And then the spring, I really actually started conducting the research. And so I worked at the tahari Justice Center. And my research project was to document the fears that Latin ex immigrant survivors of gender based violence still face, kind of despite having attained this legal status, so I wanted to break down the narrative that once an immigrant attains legal status, they don't have any More worries there. You know, they're like, you know, I'm a citizen. It's good. But that's not that's not how it is, there's still this fear. And I wanted to focus on the Latin x community, because I'm part of it. First of all, because I grew up in a bi national community. And so it hits close to home. And also because I think in Texas, it's super important to talk about it, because we have such a large Hispanic community, and then an immigrant community as well. I felt like it was just very relevant. And of course, with the political rhetoric, current administration, kind of looking down on immigrants and specifically want next immigrants. So I really wanted to focus on that,

Brendan Wong 10:42 wow, you really have such a diverse research experience, just like you said. So they was definitely very drawn to this whole CSI research that you're doing. And it's like, very interesting, very interesting. And then you jump to industrial psychology, you also do canine research. And now here you are with your Capstone. So tell me about that. More broadly, how is that experience? Was there a lot more work than you anticipated? as a junior?

Emani Brown 11:07 Definitely. So basically, I decided to interview these women. And I decided to interview them in Spanish. So I am bilingual. Although, you know, my family speaks to me in Spanish, and I respond in English. So I'm more comfortable speaking in English. So I wrote all of the questions in English and Spanish, I wrote the consent forms in English and in Spanish. So it was something that I'm thankful that I did, because I wanted it to be in a language that these women are most comfortable in, because things can get lost in translation, you know what I mean? So if these women are trying to talk about their experiences of immigration, and gender based violence in English, even though that's not their first language, I'm going to be missing out on so much. And I was not willing to lose that. So I did it in Spanish. And it happened to be that in the recruitment process, there are only Spanish participants who are willing to to do this research. So I didn't even interview anybody in English. While so it was for women, and I interviewed them individually in Spanish. And then we all had a focus group together. And they had never met before this for them to have opened up during the focus group, like they did, it was so amazing. It was so beautiful, because they found like, you know, common experience. And I thought that was really nice, they exchanged numbers at the end, like, Oh, my gosh, this is, like so wholesome. Because it's great when you find someone who's been through something, you know, similar to yours. And so, I, you know, that was kind of the methodology behind the work that I did. And although the questions were tailored more towards their immigration experience, they really opened up about their experiences gender based violence, in a way that I didn't expect, until emotionally, I don't know that I was prepared for that. Um, you know, you can't, can't cry during the interview as an interview. But there were times that I wanted to, and so to hold myself together was difficult. But I was so like, honored that they would feel so comfortable to share that with me. And you know, it just goes to show how gender based violence and immigration are inextricably tied and related. A lot of times when people are coming to America, refugees, immigrants during that process, they they experience, whether it's sexual violence, torture, domestic violence, all of these fall under this category of gender based violence. And so that's, that's a common experience of traveling, they they risk their lives, they risk the lives of their children, it's not something that you're ecstatic to do. And so it's scary. It's scary. And so they really kind of shared their stories. And it was like, Okay, I know how to be an ally to this community now, and I think everyone should know, because we're interacting with these people. And we may not even know that they've experienced this, you know, they still have fears and it's something that we should be cognizant of. A lot of the women they kind of discuss this pervasiveness of violence, and how they still feel it and how it is related to the immigration process and how, you know, it takes so long and there's this violence tied to deportation. You know, that word like you're literally it's a violent, and that's scary. That's scary. And so, they talked about that fear of the police was definitely a big one. A lot of these women 111 of the women told me, she was like, you know, even though I know that I have legal status in the United States. Whenever a cop pulls me over, I get so scared, I forget, she was like, I literally forget, and I start shaking, and I'm like, this is it, I'm getting, you know, I'm gonna be sent back to my country of origin. And so that's not something that just disappears. You know, when they go through this, it's the really face a lot of stress, they are stressed for their families, a lot of them, their families, were still in their country of origin, not being able to see them, you know, not knowing if they're okay. Because of their restrictions on the legal status that they may have. Not being able to go back home. It's all really a lot to deal with. And it's it just isn't something that that disappears Wednesday, once you attain legal status in the United States.

Brendan Wong 15:55 Well, love hear us hog. I just hope we can keep talking about your research, because there's such a great talker, but I do have a question is, you know, you talked about how this is a very sensitive topic as well. How did you prepare?

Emani Brown 16:10 Yeah, you know, I don't know how I prepared. You know, my supervisor, she told me, at the end, she was like, I heard you talking to the women and the way they immediately opened up to you. It was insane, because they're not going to open up to anybody, you know. And it really wasn't, it was trauma informed work. And I had never engaged in trauma informed work before. So I think it was just, I had been thinking through it so much. I really was You're so aware, I thought through all of the questions came for me, these are questions that I was curious about. Until I think because it was so personal, because I felt to me, you know, because I'm from El Paso because I come from a Mexican American family. When I was speaking to these women, it felt like I was speaking to family, like I was like, this is somebody from home, you know. And so I think that was really wonderful, because it created a really good connection. There was an emotional burden, though doing this work while also juggling school, and everything else, you know, I was also the BSA gala coordinator at the time. And that was an inaugural event. And so kind of the stress of putting that on and you know, everything and and then doing this work and transcribing the interviews and looking for themes and really listening to this, the story is was a lot, you know, it's like I had I heard it in person, and then I had to re listen to it and write it in Spanish and then translate it to English. So it was a lot of exposure to it. But it didn't desensitize me, it motivated me like, let's get this paper out. Let's get this research out. Because I want everybody to hear about this. And I think I just felt so motivated, that I just was able to juggle it all.

Brendan Wong 18:03 Yeah. So I know he jokingly talks about how you balanced it all on research and all. So we're actually going to come back to this because I'm very curious. So I guess more focused on your research on to the extent that you're comfortable sharing, of course, what were some common themes that you're able to find throughout the interview? I know we briefly talked about kind of some stuff that emerged from the interview. I think the first thing I was interested in was, you talked about how you conducted all your interviews on coincidentally, but also intentionally in Spanish. Some things that, you know, you were saying that was just was just really hard to code into, or translate into English?

Emani Brown 18:49 Well, definitely, like there are a lot of sayings in Spanish. And when you translate them, they like lose their meaning. So that was kind of hard because I had one participant in particular, she she made a lot of analogies and use a lot of metaphors. And I was like, Oh my gosh, translating this, I don't want to lose what she's saying, you know, because it's so important. She literally compared being with somebody being with somebody who abused her to the abuse of Trump. And I didn't even know how to like, capture that because the way she said it in Spanish was so it was so profound. I was like, Oh my gosh, she was like, you know, the way Trump abuses his power abuses his citizens, like how could a president do that? He literally reminds me of when I was in this situation with somebody that was kind of difficult to navigate, but I did my best to do that. And I asked my mom for a lot of advice on how to do that and she you know, is better at Spanish and I am. But yeah, did you ask about themes too? I may have missed that part.

Brendan Wong 20:05 Yeah. So I guess I was curious. So, you know, you talked about this being a capstone project. So, um, I guess who was your audience at the end of your project? And also, what did you share it through the project?

Emani Brown 20:21 Yeah. So I would have to say that I saw the work that we did, you know, as, like my cohort for this capstone project. We, the point was to serve the community organization, the community partner, right? Because feminist work is to help the community and and, you know, that sort of thing. And so a lot of this was me being in conversation with chakra Ray being like, Okay, what do you what questions do you guys have as an organization? And how can I fit that into the work that I want to do? And so that was a major thing? How can I benefit to her a, so that they can provide better social and legal services to these women. So that was the main kind of the main audience because the point is to better serve these women, because there can always be improvements, even though tahari does a phenomenal job. There are unfortunately, very few organizations that provide these types of services for free or at all. So that was definitely the goal there. And also, just more generally, I think it had value in Texas, again, like I had said, because of the large immigrant population here and the larger spanic immigrant population here. And so definitely some things that I like saw were just, the fear still exists, you know, it hasn't gone anywhere, and there's a lot more stress, I knew that there would be stress. But the fear, a lot of the fear comes from the stress, you know, they're best for their family, they fear for their family, they're they're stressed about the federal administrative administration and the immigration system. And so they fear, right. And so there's kind of that type of thing. And then these women also spoke of how they have identified and tried to minimize their own fears. And so that was very valuable. Because if we can see how they're doing that, then maybe tahari can do a better job of helping these women navigate that and and, you know, help them identify and minimize these fears and cope with them. Another thing is that immigrant women are often socially isolated, because they come to this country with no family or not knowing English, or whatever the case is. And so that can lead to increased fear for them. And so making sure that there are the support the support networks in place. And so I think the most important thing that I got from this is that there was this transition from victimhood to survivor hood. And so in the interviews, it was really interesting, because at times, they would refer to themselves as victims, and then at times, they would refer to themselves as survivors. And there was a clear transition, as they become more empowered, as they got the resources that they deserved, that they needed, they were able to identify as survivor. And so that also really helped, you know, diminish a lot of fears. A lot of their a lot of their support came from, like the Houston area Women's Center, and then tombery Justice Center. And so they, they thought fortunate to get to have gotten out of the situation, you know, whether it was, you know, come being able to get here and, and attain legal status and are getting out of the situation of gender based violence. And so, just really feeling like, okay, I overcome this, and I'm a survivor, and I'm willing to share my story with other women so that I can empower other women, every single one of them at the end of the focus group, I asked them, I said, Who would you be comfortable sharing your stories with? And every single one of them said, the whole world, we would love for everybody to hear our stories. And that was so powerful. That takes a lot of courage. You have you know, that's this is a lot to share. So, yeah, yeah.

Brendan Wong 24:37 So you talked about how there's that transition from a victimhood to to survivor hood. So was that in the way that they're talking about their experiences that there is this label and also self perception change?

Emani Brown 24:54 Yeah, there's definitely a huge change in self perception like when A lot of times, the way they spoke about it was like, I was in my country of origin. And I was a victim, I didn't know how to get help, I didn't know how to get out of that situation, I came to the United States, I didn't know where to look for help. But then somebody at a church helped me or somebody, a friend told me to go to the Houston area Women's Center. And I learned that there were resources here and that I could do this, I could stay in this country, I could move forward, I was safe here. And then that's when you kind of see like, they see themselves then as a survivor, right? They have survived all of this. And they're a, they were able to overcome it, and they're able to move forward. Whereas when they were when they identified more as a victim, they felt very isolated. They felt very, like they didn't have power to change their own situation. And now they recognize that they have power, and they want to help other women find that power within.

Brendan Wong 26:05 Yeah. Wow. I mean, that's, I mean, I, I feel like your capstone project was so closely tied to yourself, but also so purposeful, and making sure that you share this share the stories of these women as well. So I'm curious how you know, you, you said, how you were very interested in this topic from the beginning and not you're able to actually carry out this capstone project? How's this shaped? Kind of what you want to do in the future? And how is that informed? where you want to go in the future as well?

Emani Brown 26:42 That's a great question. So it was this was a very transformative experience. Well, yes, it was very transformative. Every research experience, I had taught me a little bit more about myself. But this one really was like, okay, money, like this is this is, this is where you're at, this is what you're wanting to do. I totally, I want to go into law at some point in the future. I would love to go into law and help people that way. My grandfather was a lawyer. And he was a judge and my great grandfather was actually the first Hispanic, Mexican American judge, and I'll pass Oh, so, um, you know, I would I, you know, hearing their stories and hearing the joy that my grandpa would get from helping people and doing that, you know, I did I, when I was little, I was okay, I want to be a lawyer. And then I was like, I know, I don't want to be a lawyer. And then now I realize this is the way I want to impact people. I totally see myself at a nonprofit like taco Ray, as an attorney. Like, that would be amazing if I could help in that way. And, you know, for me, it's just about making an impact and connecting with people. And that's, that's literally what I did with this research. And I just the connections were so, so amazing. Yeah, I would love to do that. I would love if there are more nonprofits like this. Maybe sometime in the future there can be or maybe I can, I don't know. oId are Yeah, I can start what um, but I would love to see a Tahirih Justice Center in El Paso, my hometown. And so that would be amazing. If I could give back to my I want to give back to my community, the community that definitely raised me and shaped me into the person, you know, the person I am today. And so going back home and doing work like this as an attorney is something that's that's important to me serving women.

Brendan Wong 28:47 Yeah. So can you tell me a little more about how your background so you talked about growing up in El Paso, how has that shaped your own interests in research and your own academic journey at Rice?

Emani Brown 29:00 Let's see. This is a long story, but tell us so I grew up in El Paso. I was born and raised there, as are my parents. Like I mentioned, my mom is Mexican American. And of course, I'm in a bi national community right next to whiteness, which is in the state of Chihuahua, in Mexico. And so I grew up always going back and forth from what I saw El Paso, we go eat lunch there on Sundays. I have family in Chihuahua still, and I have family in Mexico City. You know, that was that was a big part of my upbringing, and that that, you know, shaped my identity. And then I mentioned that my dad is a black American. And so although I was primarily raised by my mom, because my dad, my parents divorced at the at when I was young, and so my dad was kind of in and out of my life. He, you know, has a lot of addiction issues and so witnessing that has also definitely shaped what I want to do. I've seen the ways in which these systems work against people. And it's really sad, because I think that a lot of times people have so much potential, but they get caught up in who society tells them to be. And so my dad became another statistic, he became a black man, the black man that America wants us to believe is all black people, right? Somebody who has addiction issues, somebody who is or has been incarcerated several times, that's my father. And it's, it's so sad, it's so sad. And so that has been a big motivator, motivator for me. Um, you know, having dealt with that, seeing my father kind of go in and out of the criminal justice system, that that has shaped a lot of why I want to do law as well, I have a lot of family members, actually not just my dad, I have my first cousin and other cousins who have all been formally incarcerated my dad's mom. And so that, you know, is something that sticks with you. Because you see, when people go come in and out of the system, and how when they come out of this system, they're not even really accepted by society, like they're not even really seen as people. And so then they fall back into the trap. And so that's a big part of it. And of course, you know, this immigrant population of El Paso, I went to school at the school that my mom is a teacher at, which is right by the border. And so even though it wasn't my home school, I attended that school. And, you know, I had classmates that would wake up at three in the morning to cross over to come to school, because their parents wanted them to have a better education. And seeing that all of those things have just worked to shape who I am. And kind of the population I want to help. You know, I don't see myself being a psychologist in West University. And I'm not looking down on that. But that's just not what I want to do. I see myself helping people who, who could be my family. That could be my dad, that could be my cousin. That could be my aunt, you know. And so that's, that's what I want to do. That's why I want to do what I want to do.

Brendan Wong 32:22 Wow. I mean, first of all, thank you so much for sharing and being vulnerable with us. Um, I think I was curious, you know, this past year has just been a year just released, how do you feel that, you know, other people can incorporate? Like, even just 10% have this mindset that you have to actually try and make institutional changes? Because at the end of the day, you know, it really should come down to be a collective effort.

Emani Brown 32:54 You know, I think just like, it's not hard to get your laptop out, get your phone out, and Google something that's different. Look up something, look up what's going on, in the Third Ward? You know what I mean? Like, that's something that's, you know, close to us in Houston. But wherever you are, it's it's not hard to talk to people strike up a conversation with somebody. I mean, right now, it's COVID. Maybe not, but

Brendan Wong 33:23 post, right,

Emani Brown 33:25 I got the conversation with someone at the grocery store. Someone I don't know, I love to talk to people. I think that's a big part of it. I love to hear people's stories, I want people to open up to me, I want to learn and I think, if you don't want to learn, then I don't know to tell you because it has to come from within, you have to want to do the work, you have to want to kind of you have to be willing to question what you think too, you know, we all want to be comfortable. But change has never happened in a comfortable setting, you have to be a little uncomfortable. And that's how we move forward. And so I think it's just being okay with that being okay with questioning your values being okay with listening to some listening to somebody who may have a different opinion than you, it has to come from you, you have to want it. And if you don't want it, that's fine, you know, but I like to learn from other people. I want to be aware, I want to make an impact. And I want to make sure that, you know, at the end of this life, I don't have regrets. I feel like okay, I put in the work to make this world a better place. Whatever that means. Whether it is I, you know, change your life of one person. for the better. That's all you need. That's it. Just try to be light wherever you go. That's what I say. All right, God

Brendan Wong 34:45 Emani You inspire me so much. So, first of all, how do you have all the time to do all of this? How do you balance this? I'm just so amazed. And second of all, You know, I think, what are opportunities that right students can get involved with, to listen to these stories to listen to different backgrounds and to hear different voices?

Emani Brown 35:13 Definitely, that's, that's good. Those are good questions. So I think my career in swimming back in the day, like a man Brendan Wong 35:23 or a swimmer, Emani Brown 35:26 I was a swimmer, my whole life up until college, and I was a competitive swimmer in high school and those time management skills that I gained, really, they were invaluable, you know. So I think just time management, however, you can try to work on that, that really helps me I'm a big time planner, I have a Google Calendar, I have a physical planner, very organized, I'm naturally organized. So I think that helps. I'm not a procrastinator I like to like, I'm the type of person that shows up to class 10 minutes early, even on zoom. Don't ask me why it's a weird thing. I think actually, some of it is anxiety. But you know, if that's okay,

Brendan Wong 36:07 no question. What? No, why.

Emani Brown 36:11 So yeah, time management skills really help like juggle everything. And prioritization, you have to figure out what it is you want, and then go from there. Right? So it's like, okay, what's important to me, for me, it's my academics that's always been first making sure that I prioritize that. And then another thing for me is health and fitness. So I, you know, I try to work out at least three to four times a week, you know, get get moving in some way, shape or form. Another thing is like keeping up with my friends, so even just texting, you know, people every so often, and so you have to prioritize what's important to you, and try not to get distracted so easily. And I know it's hard. But that's, that's definitely what I've done to kind of help keep up with everything. In order to stay sane. I definitely I love to work out. So that's, that's the way I stay sane. And yeah, that's kind of how I just, you know, keep going. I've recently gotten into, like mindfulness and meditation. And so that's been really helpful. It's hard to get into, I was really like, hesitant, I don't know why I resisted so much. But now I do it every night before I go to bed,

Brendan Wong 37:20 and oh, my God, wow, a mighty. Everybody needs to be like an Amani, honestly, I think you have not just the work ethic, but you also just have the best attitude ever. You're so positive and so driven to so yeah. What about events that people can get involved with word cultural events that happen throughout the year that you think are definitely an opportunity?

Emani Brown 37:49 Yeah, so definitely, the cultural showcases, I know, it's different right now because of COVID. And it's, I don't know what its gonna look like post COVID. But that has been one of my favorite aspects of the of the rice experience, being able to go to these and seeing like seeing people that you go to class with, and just literally, they're glowing. They're, they're showcasing their culture for us. And it's like, we got to learn from it. And so also not being afraid to ask questions like, you know, when I go to different things, and I may ask a friend who was part of the show, or or, you know, whatever the case is, I may ask them questions about things that happened or things cultural things that I may not understand. And so I am not afraid to ask questions, you know, and so, you know, being willing to ask questions, so that you can learn more like, if not, then you're, you're missing out on that opportunity. That's one way at Rice specifically, another way is going to, you know, the different panels, if you can, I know sometimes they're at like weird times and stuff, but I've gone to just random panels, I don't know, just to see what they're like. So if you have, you know, a chunk of time doing that there are always different panels going on. And then like I said, you know, also with your friends, don't be afraid to ask questions. You know, I have friends who are very different than me, and we don't share share a cultural background, but being open with each other to ask questions about the way we grew up the food we eat, how do you pronounce this? What's going on with the politics back in India? Like, tell me more about it? I want to know. So that's a good way. And I think that's a pretty easy way you can do that over lunch or, you know, anything.

Brendan Wong 39:41 Yeah. So the takeaway is talk and listen.

Emani Brown 39:45 Yeah, wow. Definitely what I love to talk, but I can be a good listener. So it's a balance, you have to balance it.

Brendan Wong 39:54 Emani, You know, we're nearing the end of this interview, but in another world, I definitely would Another part two, I think privately, I'm going to get another part two from you, because you just have so much to share. And I, I know for sure that a lot of people would want to know more about your work. And, you know, I'm sure that you'll end up doing so many amazing things beyond rice. So this is not the last This is the first time you'll be hearing about money for sure. Hey, if you have not already, I'm going to ask the last curveball question. So we kind of talked about hinted at this already. But this podcast is called bowl of rice. And so in line with, you know, the joke that rice often gets about being the food rice. I was curious. You know, where in Houston, did you have the best meal?

Emani Brown Oh my gosh, this is tough. I'm in Houston is so good, huh? You know where I'm gonna have to go with? This is tap there are many places have had great meals. But there's nothing like the dumplings from golden dumpling house. Oh my god. Brendan Wong All right, tell me more. So yes, I have and previous people on this podcast have raved about that place, too. Emani Brown Oh, my gosh, that's crazy. I know. But what do you like about it? What do you like about it? Oh, my gosh, I just I love it. It's just so good. It's so like, it's like eating, you're eating a home cooked meal. You know, like, that's how authentic it is. It's just just amazing. Like, just dipping the dumpling and black vinegar like, I don't know, experience. just amazing. It's just, it's great.

Brendan Wong Yeah, I remember it's cash only is that. Okay, cash only. So that's important to remember before you go. and Emani, we definitely have to go get some dumplings and catch up to you about your research. Alrighty. That sounds good. Yeah. Well, thank you so much for sharing you talk so, so much about just how rich of an undergrad experience you had. And I know you definitely have a lot more to share. So thank you for being vulnerable. Thank you for sharing. I hope you stay safe. And I hope you have a great time in Houston. Thank you so much, you too. Once again, thank you for listening. If you're interested in being on this podcast, feel free to reach out to me at my email account. bw19@rice.edu that is bw19@rice.edu