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MY STORY

Payton R. Wade

Welcome to Payton’s Place!


This company was created to help college students, faculty, and administrators create a more welcoming, diverse, and inclusive campus environment.


In September of 2019 I was a senior at the University of Wisconsin-Madison preparing to graduate in the Spring of 2020. I was an active member of the Epsilon Delta chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and we were asked by the Alumni Association’s Homecoming Committee to describe, “what home means” at our university to us. We said, “home is sisterhood”, since sisterhood and family is a huge part of our sorority and also shaped many of our experiences at UW.


We were then scheduled for an hour to record a short video to accompany our definition of home. This video was recorded by a professional, hired by the Homecoming Committee, and two others who assisted her. We filmed in multiple locations including outside. At the end of the shoot we were told the footage was good and we would be sent the video once it was completed.


About two weeks later the “#HomeiswhereWIare” video was released and we were the only organization who they thanked, but did not include in the video.

After realizing we were cut from the video, we also realized there were no students of color included anywhere in the video. I took to Facebook to express my feelings of being left out and how this added to the way I felt most of my three years at school, unwelcome and unwanted. I took a screenshot of my Facebook post and posted it on Twitter and people instantly began supporting me, including many alumni.


Without me even noticing, I had created a movement that was recognized nationally. I was featured in the New York Times, Chicago TribuneNBC NewsEssence Magazine, on Rev. Al Sharpton’s show on MSNBC, and in many other news channels throughout the state of Wisconsin.


What makes me qualified to do this work, you might ask.

  • My experience.

  • I have my BA in journalism and strategic communication.

  • I am a founder of an organization, the Student Inclusion Coalition, who is responsible for making structural change to an institution established over 173 years ago.

  • I have over 6 years experience as a social activist, including working in Milwaukee's minority community with underprivileged youth.

  • I am a nationally recognized student activist.

  • I was named one of Wisconsin’s most  influential Black leaders of 2020 and at the age of 22 I was the youngest to ever receive this recognition. 

  • I am currently the communications coordinator and the marketing specialist for Student Affairs in higher education.


Thank you for allowing me to assist you in this journey of creating more diverse, inclusive and equitable college campuses.


Let's get to work!