Advocating and Consulting for Native American Communities
Victoria Humphreys, ’13, found her way as a communications professional in Washington, D.C. by embracing her Native American heritage. An internship opportunity she completed as an undergraduate led to the chance to do Native American consulting for Kauffman & Associates, Inc., an American Indian– and woman-owned management consulting firm dedicated to improving the lives of vulnerable populations and enhancing the reach and effectiveness of social sector organizations.
While studying Communication Studies at Kent State, Humphreys got the chance to spend a summer in the nation's capital, after being selected for the Washington, D.C., Internship for Native Students (WINS). There, she worked with the Secretary of Veteran Affairs and take Federal Indian Law and Policy courses at American University.
From that point on, Humphreys knew she wanted to continue advocating for Native Americans as a professional career. After graduation, she moved back to Washington, D.C, and turned her aspirations into work with the USDA, U.S. Department of State, and National Council of Urban Indian Health.
“We have a thing called the Red Road in our culture where we are to keep on the path our ancestors made for us to continue to help others and take care of the land, air, water, and each other,” Humphreys said. “We are always striving to get back to the Red Road. That is what I feel happened to me.”
With each position, she has been able to advocate for different causes directly affecting the Native American communities. Humphreys has organized demonstrations in D.C. ranging from 10 people to 10,000 and worked with Tribal programs to get meetings with governmental leaders and the White House to stop the Keystone XL Pipeline.
As a copywriter and content strategist at Kauffman & Associates, Inc., Humphreys specializes in Native American consulting in a wide range of areas like outreach, marketing, media relations and communications.
Humphreys says the entire experience in the Kent State College of Communication and Information prepared her for what she does now in her career. She had the opportunity hold board positions in different organizations like the Kent Community Society and the Native American Student Association. “I went to as many communications -focused events as possible and networked with alumni who I am still in contact with today.”
When to comes to advice for current and future students pursuing a Communication Studies degree, Humphreys emphasizes that students should take advantage of the many on-campus opportunities and resources. “This is your time — talk to your professors, get involved, and apply these lessons to your life.”