On the Rise: Alexis Walker, WashU Speaker of the Congress of the South Forty

On the Rise is a series that highlights college-aged Black women and recent graduates who are poised to be the next generation of trailblazers!


By Ashley Williams

This month I have spent a lot of time reflecting about prominent Black Women in my life. Black Girl Magic continues to shine daily, and I am amazed by all of the wonderful strides my fellow Black sisters are taking. I see it on television, in my sisters, co-workers, roommates, and in my students; Black Girl Magic has no boundaries. In my role as an advisor I am profoundly invested in the success of every one of my students but I must admit, seeing young black women excel at a predominately white institution is a place where I personally hold pride in my heart. I am blessed with the opportunity to advise a total of 3 black women in my role this year.  All of which serve on the executive board of Washington University in St. Louis Residence Hall Association (RHA); and all of which were elected by 1,000 of their freshman and sophomore peers to serve as the leadership of this residential organization. Miss Alexis Walker ran and was elected as Speaker (or President) of Congress of the South Forty), WashU’s RHA. I have had the honor of watching her growth over the course of this academic year.

“Compassionate, Dedicated, Driven”, words use to describe this young black leader. Alexis is the kind of person that is thoughtful and intentional. She’s the kind of leader you want to know and aspire to be. She makes a decision not based on the interest of herself, but of all the people she serves. She is an advocate for inclusivity and authentically commands respect. I believe that Alexis is someone that will overcome all of the challenges set forth in front of her and can achieve anything she puts her mind to. She has led the Congress of the South Forty to reach new heights and grow as an organization, by advocation for more diversity and inclusion on a campus and regional level. She extends herself to serve on committees that will aid in improving the residential life experience of all students regardless of their identities and background. She thinks critically about how programs may exclude others,  and she makes an effort to address these realities. 

Outside of her work ethic, she is a great friend and committed academic. As a Psychological and Brain Science major, she uses her strengths in individualization and strategic leadership to build relationships with those around her. Alexis fosters a community where students can feel like extended family members. I am proud to know Miss Alexis Walker and witness history in the making as she is the first Black women to serve a full term as Speaker of the Congress of the South Forty. She is sure to accomplish great things during her time at Washington University in St. Louis, as so much as been accomplished thus far in her short time here. Furthermore, her future is bright, and I have confidence in her will to succeed beyond her collegiate career. Keep shining that Black Girl Magic, Alexis. Nothing can dim the light you have shined as Speaker of the South Forty! 


Ashley Williams is a contributing writer for the Pedestal Project, LLC.

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