Tia Clyburn | Photo by Tia Clyburn
Tia Clyburn, a senior media studies major at Wright State University (WSU), works at the Springfield News-Sun as a digital content producer. Clyburn also has a TikTok following of over 120,000 followers who tune in to listen to her bring awareness to the social justice issues that impact the Black and Asian communities.
Clyburn was born in England and traveled the world with her African American father and Japanese mother. After moving from place to place, her family settled in Dayton, Ohio.
Clyburn received an associate’s degree in music and music education from Sinclair in 2019 and then transferred to WSU to pursue a degree in media studies.
“I decided to switch over to media studies, which was something that I did not see myself doing at that time, but all along, everything has led up to that. I’m honestly so happy to be where I am now,” Clyburn said.
In her free time, Clyburn focuses on creating abstract art by painting what she sees with synesthesia.
According to Clyburn, synesthesia is a sensory overlap that allows her to relate color and music with one another.
Clyburn also has a side business of photography where she takes portraits.
The past year
Clyburn, like the rest of the world, spent the last year in a world pandemic and in quarantine. Though, the coronavirus proved to be the least of her worries.
“Being both Black and Asian right now is not a good time. It’s weird to say out loud, but it’s never been the best thing in America, especially over the past 12 months. We’ve seen so much more hate towards those communities,” Clyburn said.
A recent event that struck Clyburn was the arrest of a six-year-old Black boy for picking tulips by his bus stop.
“I think that, at least for me, [hate crimes] have almost overshadowed the whole pandemic,” Clyburn said.
Clyburn left WSU as a junior due to the coronavirus and will graduate in a few weeks online. Studying virtually has proved difficult for her, but she still manages to juggle every part of her life.
Looking toward the future
Clyburn balances her college education, multiple jobs and hobbies. While she has worked hard for her future, there are still things that need to be addressed.
“I’ve begun to understand that what I want to see [change] is not so much of everyone perfectly getting along, but the start of an understanding of others. One of the main reasons why we have hate crimes is because people don’t want to understand others outside of their stereotypes,” Clyburn said.
Clyburn can be found across social media platforms such as TikTok, Instagram and Twitter @therealtiamonet.