All it took was one homecoming celebration and any doubts Erica M. Lamberson, a student at Emory University at the time, had about following in the footsteps of her mother and two aunts by attending their alma mater waned. “It felt like community. I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I just needed to be here,” says the Spelman College class of 2015 salutatorian.
Lamberson graduated with a 3.97 GPA and majored in comparative women’s studies with a concentration in film and social justice, and minors in computer science, mathematics and studio art.
“I am deciding if I am going to relocate to New York or stay in Atlanta. For an aspiring filmmaker, both cities have really great opportunities. New York is my first choice,” she tells rolling out moments before leading her class during the 128th commencement ceremony at the Georgia International Convention Center on Sunday, May 17, 2015.
She is a member of Phi Beta Kappa and Iota Iota Iota (Triota – Women’ Studies) honor societies, the Toni Cade Bambara Scholar-Activist-Writer’s Collective and Feminist Majority Leadership Alliance, where she served as “creative genius.”
When asked what did she learn about herself while a student at Spelman, the Washington, DC native says, “I found my passion for film. I learned about my resiliency and defiance to obstacles.”
Under the tutelage of Dr. Ayoka Chenzira, division chair for Arts and Humanities and founder and director of the Digital Moving Image Salon at Spelman, Lamberson co-produced her first documentary. “Titled Stolen, it was about sex trafficking in the U.S. It was a very challenging experience. I learned a lot while collaborating with my peers. The issue with sex trafficking is something I knew existed but didn’t know much about. It was also research. I learned so much about sex trafficking. One of the things we were proud of is that we were able to bring this issue to light in our country. When people think of this issue, they think of something foreign or something that couldn’t happen to them. It can happen to anyone. We were able to capture the story of a mother and daughter who were separated by sex trafficking but were reunited,” she explains.
Lamberson plans to delve into technology and art as she launches an international career in filmmaking and image activism.
Most memorable moment(s) at Spelman …
“Swag surfing, it’s something we do at the AUC. Also, I had a rough transition coming into Spelman. I transferred here in the second semester of my freshman year. I was able to meet some important sisters and the bonds that we’ve made are unbreakable.”