English alum Elliot Wade ascends as a local community reporter

Written byQuinn Foster

“The reason why I love being a Community Reporter lies in my job title: community. This is the first time as a life-long Acadiana resident that I really feel connected to, and subsequently invested in my community.”

Elliot Wade
Graduation Year
Cecilia, LA

Where I'm From

I am from Cecilia, Louisiana. 

Where I Am

I am a community reporter for The Current, a Louisiana publication. 

Where I'm Going

I would like to go back to graduate school and complete a poetry book. 

Putting the pen to the paper 

Elliot Wade is using his English degree to provide meaningful reporting throughout the Acadiana region. Since graduating from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, he has been on a journey of growth and discovery within his career. 

Elliot decided to attend UL Lafayette because the University was familiar to him.  

“It was affordable, and honestly, it was just safe. My mom, an alum, graduated in 2008 with 3 kids while maintaining a job. She is a first-generation graduate, so she was able to help me navigate college in a way that I feel like most people do not get. She had information that was still relevant by the time I enrolled in school.”

He chose to major in English with a minor in history.

“I went with English and no concentration because writing is really all I wanted to do... I think I would’ve done well in other professions, but I really just want to put pen to paper,” he said. 

When asked about why he chose to minor in history he said, “I love looking at history as one big, long story. It has cause and effect, dramatic irony, climaxes, heroes, villains, etc. It’s a story that’s still being written, but we can learn from what’s already happened.” 

Elliot’s favorite courses were Dr. Foster’s Black History class, Introduction to Literary Criticism taught by Dr. Wu, Scripture as Literature taught by Dr. Graley, and all courses taught by Dr. Davis-McElligatt.  

“[Dr. Davis-McElligatt] exposed me to Afro-Futurism and Black Speculative Fiction, and I haven’t looked back since,” he said. 

He reflects on his time spent as an English major: 

“My favorite part about my program(s) was just getting a broader understanding of the world around me. I’m happy I hopped around a bit–it’s normal, and I learned a lot about myself in the process. I also loved the people. I was able to find a community of like-minded folks and I still maintain a few of those connections today.” 

Community reporting and new ventures  

Elliot is not a stranger to challenging work and going for what he deserves. His experience with UL Lafayette's student-run newspaper, The Vermillion, as a journalist and other aligned positions, prepared him to become a community reporter for The Current LA.  

“I’ve been working for The Current as a Community Reporter for almost a year now. In my position, I manage social media accounts, plan events, and spearhead other community engagement efforts. I’ve recently gotten into videos and video editing, and I’ve been doing some news aggregation in the form of quick and easy weekly wrap ups,” he said. 

Community is especially important to him. 

“The reason why I love being a Community Reporter lies in my job title: community. This is the first time as life-long Acadiana resident that I really feel connected to, and subsequently invested in my community.” 

Elliot is excited about his collaborations with the Louisiana Trans Advocates, where he has been a board member and volunteer since 2017, the Noir Change Fund, where he is the founder and chairperson, and the Louisiana Trans Name Change Fund, where he is recognized as co-founder.  

When asked about his participation and impact with the various organizations, he said, “I've been the point contact for the Anti-Defamation League regarding white supremacist activity on UL Lafayette’s campus, utilized my lived experience as a Black trans man to write LGBT and African American culture columns at the Vermilion, and worked with various campus organizations to organize events, actions, and just to build community.” 

As far as his future goes, Elliot is open to what the world has in store for him. 

“Short term, I’m thinking of getting back into graduate school to finish working on a poetry book of mine,” he said. “Long term? I’m not sure!

“I haven’t 100% decided if Louisiana is a place where I want to call my home from here on out. I definitely want to leave for some time, but I’ll be back,” he said. “I have a lot of options in front of me, whether it’s in the non-profit sphere, academia, or communications, I know that I’m going to be able to carve a place out for myself. It’s just a matter of picking a lane.” 

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