After graduating from DePaul in 2014 with a BA in African and Black Diaspora Studies, Camille Lester went on to pursue a M.S. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Marquette University and graduated in May 2017. She is currently an instructor at Marquette. She has taught and created courses surrounding issues of diversity, inclusion, and privilege. Additionally, she is a mental health clinician at a community clinic in the inner-city of Milwaukee, WI. She provides low-cost/free services to children, couples, and families, and provides accessible, culturally sensitive psychoeducation, group, family, and individual therapy.
Camille created and co-facilitates the Malkia Circle, which is a healing and restorative space created for women of color. She also created and facilitates “What’s Going On!?”, a safe space created for students of diverse cultural backgrounds to “vibe to Marvin Gaye and express themselves through poetry and open discussion”.
In the future, Camille plans to become a Professor of Psychology, studying the intersection of Blackness and psychology. She wishes to address the lack of representation of Black women in the field of Psychology and promote a sense of belonging for people of color within the academy.
Through her ABD coursework, Camille “was challenged. I existed. I found a voice that I didn't know I had. I was excited to read, write, and grow as a scholar … I gained a sense of identity, language, community, and pride during my course of study. I learned new ways to analyze literature and effectively communicate my thoughts”.
The wisdom that Camille would like to pass on to students is: “We all know the old saying ‘it takes a village to raise a child,’ in many ways, ABD is a village that is invested and enthusiastic about the individual growth of each student … Get to know the professors, go to office hours, see what’s on their bookshelves, and pick their brains. They are all brilliant, full of wisdom, and insight”.