Amiri Banks

Graduate Associate
Coxe and Rodney 3rd Floor

Amiri is a human being first, foremost, and above all else. Still, societal expectations dictate that he also mention his identity as a Masters Student studying Higher Education. Prior to Penn, he spent 3.5 years masquerading as a Biology major before finally giving in to the magnetic impulses of interdisciplinary studies. To that end, he has a multitude of interests, including: Biology, Linguistics/Language Acquisition, Science Communication, Social Justice, Education, Advising, Research, Intergroup Dialogue, and Creative Writing -- to name a few. He speaks fluent German, and is working slowly towards a similar level of proficiency in Japanese, but he has a long, long way to go. He also hopes to pick up one more language before death; To him, language serves as a boundless well of artistic expression, love, and empathy, rivaled only by film and music. Thus, he reluctantly admits to being a pretentious cinephile, wannabee hipster, and eclectic collector of good words -- feel free to indulge his neurotic obsession by sending him your favorite songs, movies or words!

Amiri hails from Atlanta and will not hesitate to expound gratuitously on the city's virtues if prompted. He fashions himself some kind of maverick anarchist, yet finds himself consistently conforming to the status quo (see sentence two of this bio). He enjoys vulnerable, intimate conversations in small groups, and thus will gladly engage you on absolutely any topic -- so long as you are prepared for generous servings of candor and questions. Along the same vein, he generally prefers listening to speaking, but will admit to being rather verbose if encouraged. Ultimately, though, Amiri hopes to better comprehend the many fascinating voices of the world, that he might become a more thoughtful, nuanced, and informed writer as a result. In his dreams, he uses the power of language to make James Baldwin proud.