Dedman College News
Originally Posted: September 5, 2018
By: Ryan Garrett
Kendell graduated from SMU with a B.A. in Human Rights, a B.F.A. in Dance Performance, and a minor in Women’s and Gender Studies in May 2018. This fall, she will be returning to campus to work as a Post-Baccalaureate Fellow with SMU’s Embrey Human Rights Program.
Originally, she had planned to minor in human rights. However, when Kendell participated in the EHRP Poland trip during her first year, she was so moved both emotionally and academically by the work and the information she was learning, that after fall semester of her sophomore year, she declared human rights as her second major.
“The Embrey Human Rights Program has not only changed the way I see the world, but also how I see myself interacting with the world to create a more equal, just, and peaceful world in which all humans are ensured the right to life with dignity,” said Kendell.
While at SMU, she was actively involved with the Women and LGBT Center on campus serving as an LGBT+Allies panelist, and during her sophomore year, the vice president of the Feminist Equality Movement (FEM). During spring of her junior year, she studied abroad in the Netherlands and Morocco on a program focusing on gender and sexuality.
Miller-Roberts also served as communications chair for the Human Rights Student Leadership Initiative (SLI) Board. Additionally, she has worked to combine her passions for human rights and art through her capstone choreography project exploring gun violence through dance, as well as reflecting on the continuous racial tension and injustice through Nina Simone’s “Mississippi Goddam” for SMU’s Brown Bag Dance Series. Her capstone piece, “Thoughts and Prayers” will be showcased at the Dallas Dances festival in Moody Hall on September 1. The piece is about American gun violence, and draws from influences including Bobby Kennedy’s speech, and the image of a woman weeping under the American flag.
“As the choreographer of the work, I am incredibly thankful and touched that my piece was able to strike a chord with anyone,” Miller-Roberts said. “I put quite a bit of thought into the piece and wasn’t sure how the audience would take it. I always feel that the choreography is only a small portion of the work, and that the dancers are the ones who truly bring the piece alive. I was incredibly lucky to have such an amazing cast of dancers that fulfilled my vision for the piece.”
Following graduation, Kendell spent her summer in Copenhagen as a Humanity in Action Fellow, where she continued to explore human rights and diversity.
“My sense of self has grown from the Embrey Human Rights Program’s support, love and education around some of humanity’s biggest struggles.”
In the future, Kendell plans to earn a Master’s in American Studies or American History while also continuing her career in human rights education.
Learn more about the SMU Embrey Human Rights Program