Southern Illinois University Edwardsville student LaShaunda Jordan founded her own video production company and a student organization focused on diversity and culture while pursuing her bachelor’s degree as a nontraditional student at SIUE. Jordan is the co-founder of Paragon Dynasty Media, an independent video production company focused on projects that celebrate “everyday people.”
Now Jordan is a senior, nearing completion on a bachelor’s degree in mass communications and a minor in African-American history.
In her time as a student, she helped create a student organization called Sankofa, which means “reaching back to move forward.” It’s a West African word that means “go back and get it,” about reaching back to history to move a community forward, she said.
Jordan and her fellow students wanted to go out beyond the university walls and bring their community to SIUE.
“We bring what we learn back to the university community and try to uplift the black students here on campus so that they have a voice,” Jordan said. “We use this club to educate them about black history, to get them more involved in the community and to recognize who our allies are.”
“I always dreamed of helping my community and telling everyday people’s stories.. I feel like everyday people have stories to tell, and I want to preserve Black History and African-American culture.” says Jordan.