RIT/NTID Diversity Spotlight
[ID: RIT National Technical Institute for the Deaf. Office of Diversity and Inclusion. Women’s History Month Spotlight. Background is a gradient of gray to purple. Baby blue triangular vectors are placed on the image. Pictured in a purple circle is Jalon Hall, a Black woman smiling with locs, a black shirt and a gold pendant chain. Quoted below her is “It’s through darkness and through isolation that you really find what is truly important to you. - Jalon Hall ‘19. Investigator Analyst, Google. Human Resources Management BS.” Multiple white circles of different opacities are found on the photo's bottom border.]
Jalon Hall ‘19
Investigator Analyst, Social Impact and Human Rights
Jalon received her AS degree in Hospitality Services Management AS in 2017 and finished her undergrad career with a BS in Human Resources Management. She minored in communication and entrepreneurship with an immersion in criminal justice.
If you could describe being a woman in one word, what would it be? No explanation needed.
If I had to describe being a woman in one word, it would be PRESSURE.
What does Women’s History Month mean to you?
When looking at the things we go through, I don’t think that we should have one month to celebrate women. Women's History Month means individuals are now more open to acknowledging what women have achieved and endured under oppression, microaggressions and discrimination.
Name a woman or heroine who inspires you and why?
Two women inspire me.
Stephanie Albert, former NTID AVP of Diversity and Inclusion, inspires me because we both had a similar resilient personality. We were both Christian women. Our trust in God and everything I do is because of her. There aren’t many Black deaf Christian women who also happen to want to make strides in the black deaf community. I see a lot of myself in her, but not a lot of people know that when she passed away, it had such a big impact on my life.
I had to learn to step out on faith, not depend on anything but God. I don’t have time to go and ask my friends for their opinions. I meditate, read affirmations and trust in my decisions with confidence. We had to go through a lot of situations that pressure us and that’s why I chose the word pressure to describe women. That’s why Stephanie inspires me.
My mentor Deirdre inspires me because she is a business owner and she sees so much greatness in me. We exchange emails and she encourages me to be more involved in sharing my success. She writes to me on LinkedIn and constantly reminds me to flaunt my knowledge and achievements.
What assumptions about women would you like to see change?
It could be a mix of two things. As an African-American woman, yes, I may have a disability, but sometimes people look at me and think of an angry black woman because of my everyday stance. They don’t make an effort to approach me and get to know who I am and what I have to offer before making assumptions.
That’s why I resort to typing on my phone to communicate, instead of going the extra mile to speak orally. Even though there is some pity, they need to open their minds and learn to communicate.
Secondly, assuming that we are all great providers: some companies think that women simply provide for others, aren’t breadwinners and don’t need to be paid the same as the average male.
What accomplishments are you most proud of?
A lot of people say that they’re proud of me for working at a law firm and working at Google, but I’m proud for leaving a toxic environment and creating an environment that is healthy for me. I left an environment that wasn’t the best for me, which took a lot of strength to do—that’s something I’m most proud of. I’m proud of putting myself first, loving myself.
What can our community do to better support women?
For the community to better support women, it must speak out in support of women, offer opportunities for women to engage in ongoing discussions about issues that affect them, and acknowledge that women deserve equal representation in all fields, including higher education, technology, and government.
When in doubt, one of the most powerful methods to initiate a change is to gather a group of disciplined, resilient, intelligent women who are up and ready to take any action needed to protect the vision.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Be patient, continue to invest in your self-growth while also building relationships. Life is so short so relationships do matter. Friendships do matter. I was so focused on my dreams that I didn’t really care for any distractions. You can’t try to outrun whatever race there is. Don’t rush. Be patient. Live your life. Enjoy your life.
How has RIT/NTID aided you in your professional or academic journey?
It impacted me in a positive way because I left an environment that told me I couldn’t do things that I’m doing today. When I arrived at RIT/NTID, I learned about what I was capable of doing. I took advantage of activities, tutoring and support. I was involved in the Student Life Team. I’m one of the first women of color, honor and ambition (WOCHA).
I was able to discover who I was. I was around people who told me I couldn’t do certain things because I was deaf. Once I got to RIT/NTID, my deafness wasn’t the first thing that mattered anymore—my talent mattered. I saw myself as a person, for my calling, my gift and my talent. And because of that I want to become a motivational speaker in the future.
What advice would you give to young women who want to be in your shoes someday?
I would tell her to always ask questions, surround yourself around a community that not only believes in you, but supports you. Read a lot, meditate a lot and don’t be afraid to be alone. Use time to analyze who you are.
Feel comfortable saying no. Always ask questions… you can’t through life thinking you know everything because you don’t. It’s through darkness and through isolation that you really find what is truly important to you.
Share a fun fact about yourself.
Traveling with me means finding bubble tea spots together. Also, when on vacation or general travel, I enjoy identifying and investigating red flags in business settings and comparing data between states to enhance customer satisfaction.