Ten Questions with Brittany Barber

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As a child, Brittany Barber stood in awe of her mother. A pillar in their community of Elgin, her mother taught her sister and her about history, how to cook, and how to connect and care for people. This experience was, in many ways, the catalyst for what would shape Barber’s career; a career dedicated to serving others. 

From being a student life coordinator for targeted populations at Elgin Community College to running an after-school program for middle schoolers through the Outreach Community Center to her new position as manager of the Cultural Center at Harper College, Barber continues to lead by her mother’s example. When she’s not out enriching her community, you can find her with a cup of coffee, rocking out to Jimmy Eat World. 

1. Describe your perfect day.

My perfect day would start off quiet with a cup of coffee, followed by a trip to the city where I’d find a spot to do some reading and writing. From there, I’d catch a play before checking into a hotel and eating tacos in bed!

2. What's a color you gravitate toward?

Yellow. When I was growing up, I was afraid to shine, so I wore anything that would blend me in. These days, I tend to think the brighter the better!

3. You could be best friends with any fictional character, who do you choose and why?

Andre Layton from the show Snowpiercer. In such extreme circumstances, I admire his commitment to doing what’s right. He’s an advocate for democracy and the people, but has his own flaws as well which makes him relatable.

4. What songs are essential to the Brittany Barber-curated playlist?

  • “Freedom Looks Good On You” by Maverick City. A lot of times I get into mental spaces where I think about what I can’t do or what I can’t have, and this song reminds me to live my life like I’m free.
  • “The Middle” by Jimmy Eat World. This song is pure nostalgia for me. I’ve loved it since middle school and the message is a nice reminder that my story isn’t over.
  • “Don’t Lose Sight” by Lawrence. Such a fun and encouraging song! Always there when I need it.
  • “My Own Drum” from the Vivo soundtrack. I like to listen to this song with my daughter, makes us proud to be our unique selves!

5. If you could make a documentary on any topic, what would it be and why?

I would love to make a documentary about what it’s like to be a middle schooler right now. They get such a bad rap for being awkward, honest or mean, but we tend to forget that they’re dealing with a lot of changes all at once. I have a heart for anyone who feels lost, so I would love to create a space for middle schoolers to be seen and understood.

6. What would your loved ones say is your best quality?

I think they would say “who you see is who you get.” I’ll never forget, when I turned 16, my family threw me a birthday party and it was awful because they invited all these friends from all these different categories in my life, and I didn’t know how to act! From that moment on, I’ve committed to being my most authentic self no matter who I’m with.

7. Dream vacation?

My bed without a toddler in it.

8. What do you wonder about?

I often wonder why we let ourselves get stuck in different areas of our life. When the door is there to escape what pains us, what makes some of us stay where we are? Even in my life, there have been difficult times that I endured, but once I finally committed to change, it was so freeing for me and beneficial to the people in my life, too.

9. What are you hopeful for?

I’m really just hopeful for today. I can be so fixated on the future that I miss the good that’s in my hands right now. I’m hopeful for the next 24 hours and what I can do with them.

10. What do you love most about Harper College?

It’s such a beautiful campus. Every day, I feel like I’m at a university! And I love the people on the inside and the one-on-one conversations I have with them. The work is so much easier when you know the people you’re in it with. Also, I'm biased, but I'm really excited for all of the events coming to the Cultural Center! 

Last Updated: 4/6/22