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Will Renfroe

William RenfroeWill Renfroe is an honors student who will graduate from Howard Community College in December 2021 with an associate degree. He plans to attend the University of Baltimore as a student in their philosophy, law and ethics program in 2022, with ambitions to also attend law school. 

How did watching the Black Lives Matter movement unfold affect your interest in criminal justice, despite that the system structurally allows for discrimination, and violence?  

It made me realize we should strive for a place where everyone should be able to say how they feel and speak on their life experiences. It may hurt some feelings, but the approach should be, “Okay, if we can talk through that, we can get to the root.” To be aesthetically pleasing, to keep the smiles on faces, it doesn’t do anything about the core. Remorse, regret and resentment  --- if we allow these things to continue to fester and don’t explore that, then our society will crumble. You know, it takes work. It's not magic. 

Are there anxieties you have about your future career, as a person of color? Have you faced any pushback from friends or family? 

I don’t think so. There was one instance where I brought police officers water during the protests in Columbia this summer. It was misinterpreted by some family members, but that’s something I’ll put up with. I can put up with the pushback; it’s natural. I’m not fazed by it.  

What message do you have for fellow students interested in a career in criminal justice?

I want them to trailblaze the way for honest discourse about race, law enforcement and political correctness. Real revolution will come from a collective, systemic rebranding of what we have now. Change comes from digging up the old to make room for the new. 

If your daughter were to read this article in the future, what is a message you have for her?  

I would emphasize experience. It’s important to study and listen and learn from those that came before you, but I’d tell her to rely on her own experiences.

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