Jolita Crosland, is a native Lithuanian and a 2006 LCC International University graduate, having earned a Bachelor’s degree in International Business Administration. Throughout her years of studies at LCC, Jolita has been an active student, involved and engaged in various activities. After graduating from LCC and Klaipeda University, Jolita immigrated to the United States where she currently lives with her family.
In the early stages of her employment, she started by performing regular jobs common to immigrants in the United States. Later she enrolled in a Master’s degree program at New School University in New York. After finishing her graduate degree, Jolita worked within different small companies. Currently, Jolita is the Executive Project Manager at Yancey Consulting in New York, a Black-owned Organization that promotes the rights of marginalized groups in their region and beyond. Jolita describes the workplace as a psychologically safe environment that is constantly seeking to impact historically disadvantaged communities. Some of the responsibilities she performs daily include strategic planning, leading meetings, as well as creating and organizing projects. She affectionately calls her current workplace “LCC Number Two” because it is an environment that also paves the ground to growth, questioning, and critical thinking.
When Jolita was asked about the most valuable lesson and experience she carried from LCC International University, “critical thinking” was at the top of her list. Jolita said that critical thinking was a very crucial and significant concept that was introduced to her for the first time at LCC. She believes that critical thinking leads to attaining a learning behavior, that creates the opportunity to question, analyze and critically evaluate the message. Because of this, Jolita encourages everyone to become listeners, to ask questions, and always seek ways and opportunities to learn and grow in different aspects of life. In talking about her transition from LCC to her current role as an Executive Project manager, Jolita claims that the transition was easy since her LCC Liberal Arts education provided validity and accreditation. “The LCC diploma is so meaningful to me personally and academically. I always feel proud of it.” Jolita affirms that studying at LCC was the best decision she made, as it prepared and equipped her for the career she is currently pursuing.
Married to a man of color, today Jolita is eager to fight against racism and oppression. Every day she wakes up with a mission to support and elevate the voices of the ones, who remain muted in society. The mission of her current role is to bring people together and educate them on topics such as anti-oppression and anti-racism. “This is our fight, it is not enough to just talk about it,” she claims. Jolita encourages everyone to actively and intentionally fight to help others. She emphasizes the significance of being mindful of the language we use daily, aware to not verbally wound and offend the marginalized community.
Jolita talks about four significant aspects of anti-oppression and anti-racism; which include diversity, inclusion, equity, and access. Jolita explains that diversity is about bringing people together, collecting more voices, and bringing in more perspectives. Embracing diversity leads to more robust and innovative environments. Inclusion means creating an environment that welcomes and meaningfully includes these perspectives in decision-making. Jolita discusses that is not enough just to talk about the matter but to actually step in to practice it. When Jolita mentions equity, it means fairness for everybody. Jolita emphasized that all these aspects teach individuals how to be mindful of their actions and language, to not embrace only one way but to open up to other options and ways out there.
Jolita concludes by affirming that we all have unconscious biases because we are socialized to believe a certain point of view. Nevertheless, she calls everyone to be conscious of their biases by challenging themselves to ask questions and to think critically. This is the way one learns how to appreciate diversity and how to actively engage in the fight for anti-oppression and anti-racism.
In case you’ve missed the Coffee with Alumni discussion with Jolita Crosland, here is the full video - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gOb9xqX1i9k&feature=youtu.be&ab_channel=LCCInternationalUniversity