Muslim Americans are patriotic citizens too.

Zaynab Malik. Growing up in America in a post-9/11 world was difficult. I always felt like I had to say that I was an American first and a Muslim second so people would believe that I cared about this country. However, it is not a binary choice – I can be a patriotic American Muslim. […]

What’s Inside Matters Most! Celebrate Uniqueness!

Slava Slavin. We are all unique, come from different backgrounds and have our very unique stories. It should be celebrated! We have a unique ability to meet and get to know so many different and wonderful people over the course of our life, from each we can learn as well as share our own story- […]

Racism causes Hypertension, Hypertension causes Death

Teresa Ashe. Hypertension is the number one killer of black people. It is the underlining cause of so many illnesses. The biggest stressors for black people comes from dealing with on-going racism in all aspects of their daily life. They deal with it on their jobs, the lack of healthcare, the neighborhoods in which they […]

No matter what happened, you’re here.

Ramon Jones. We all have been championing this pandemic as best we can. Through all of the gloom, changes and uncertainty, one thing is certain. You have made it this far. Whether you’ve clawed your way here or sailed here on smooth water…you made it! Be encouraged by your resilience.

Focused on understanding, researching and engaging

Terri Martinez. I think if we understand where people across intersecting differences are having the worst experiences we have a chance to improve more broadly. None of us have the same experiences, but we can see and learn and be there for each other and be involved in some way daily. It’s ny responsibility to […]

I deserve to be here too!

Lydia. As a black woman living in America as a minority I’ve watched and witnessed statements and actions of others that have said my life was less valuable than others. I stand here today believing otherwise.

Love all, Trust a few do wrong to none.

Olga Shusterman. My 6 word is a quote from William Shakespeare and it’s very well explains my day to day life. The other quote is my absolute favorite is by Dr. Maya Angelou: I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you […]

Chanukah isn’t the same as Christmas

. As a Jew, my number one pet peeve is when people (that know I am Jewish) wish me a happy Chanukah on Christmas, as if it is an appropriate alternative to wishing me a Merry Christmas. The two holidays are not the same and most years, do not even intersect with each other, so […]

Never given birth; Still a Mother

Michelle Dugas. I have been raising my two “step” daughters full time since they were small. Sometimes people ask “when are you going to have your OWN kids” and don’t realize how rude that is. I HAVE my own kids! 🙂

GRATITUTE UNLOCKS THE FULLNESS OF LIFE.

DANIA GARDNER. I come from from very difficult beginnings and to be grateful and appreciate what I have today and how far I have come makes me happy even if they are little steps. I was not able to grow up with my parents and to have a little family of my own and be […]

I’m the only one of me

Sarah Holt. Lyrics to the song ME! by Taylor Swift. Even though the song talks about how we are all different and no one is alike, it gives you the sense of belonging knowing WE are ALL different. NO one is left out. No one can be the same as me and no one can […]

10/28 eliminated my illusion of safety

Zac. I am Jewish, am from Pittsburgh, Squirrel Hill, and went to Tree of Life synagogue growing up. My family has been on the board for decades and my grandma almost went to synagogue that morning. I woke up to someone asking if I was alive and then was questioned for hours by the community […]

Space to be my true self

Amanda Nelson. Growing up in a different country, I always felt the need to mold myself into what was more accepted so I could feel like I belonged here in the US. I often erased parts of my identity to fit in with what was considered to be the norm. Little did I realize, I […]

Middle Eastern, working mom. Value me?

Mira Niswonger. I hold many identities, some come with privilege and some with disadvantages. I hold power and privilege in my identities as a Heterosexual, Cisgender, able-bodied person. And I often feel discriminated against in my identities as a middle eastern woman and working mom. As a working mom, I may be seen as both, […]

Yes, Dimple is my REAL name

Dimple Khurana. My entire life, people have asked me if Dimple is my ‘real’ name. The question has followed me around everywhere. Except in India, where the name is from. I love being Indian — my heart & soul lives there, and it’s my happiest place. Despite that, I once changed my name to Alex […]

Guardedly measured so not to offend.

Jay Sanne. As a white male of privilege, I choose my words and actions carefully when it comes to racially diverse topics and situations (I rewrote this sentence multiple times). I worry that that I over-process to maintain personal safety at the expense of true connection and authentic relationships.

We are women, we are thriving.

Ashley Schultz. Although I hope one day gender is irrelevant, I believe that over the past decade, women have made GIANT strides – in S.T.E.A.M., in politics, in business, in pay, in the world. I am proud to be a woman and to belong to this movement. I am proud to be raising a little […]

Inclusion over exclusion

Stacy Leccia. Teaching inclusion over exclusion is beneficial to everyone. Growing up, I witnessed unwarranted exclusion and at times felt socially isolated. Leading by example and choosing inclusion rather than exclusion can help our communities heal. Children all around are watching how we treat each other, be the light in todays world.

We are created in His Likeness

Theresa Hughes. As a person grounded in faith, I look to the Bible to answer questions I experience in life. There have been events over the past couple of years that have led me to question the answers societal norms have provided. Using the constant reminder that all were created in His likeness helps me […]

Dark places have room for light

Bill Volberding. Throughout life, one thing I have learned is to try the find the light in a dark or troubled situations. Experience has taught me this and its something I try to live by. We all have our dark moments and there is a lot of darkness in this world. So I try to […]

Living fully through cancer returning

Lisa Amantche. In my mid-30’s, this is my second battle with cancer. Starting to live again after the first battle felt perilous at best, but this time I’m embracing the fragility of existence in a whole new way. I decided that if I have a little time or a lot makes no difference, I will […]

rise above, phoenix from life’s fires

Emily Brogan. I think this year has had so many trials and so much struggle. Not just the pandemic but also speaking about racial inequality, we have had natural disasters like the fires in California and the hurricanes impacting our east coast and our branches. This is a very tough year. We need to raise […]

Being comfortable in my own skin

Mary Balderaz. I come from an immigrant family who moved to the US in 1973. My parents came from a generation of being very strict with children so most of my life we remained sheltered and did not have the real world experience. When I joined the corporate world I felt out of place due […]

Never looking over my shoulder

Dave Weaver. – Given my background as a white male, I’ve navigated virtually all aspects of my life with privilege; I’m just breaching full awareness of it and its impacts on those around me. – I don’t believe in looking back with regret. Make decisions, live with them. I hold tight to the notion that […]

But where do I fit in?

Andrea Castruita. This feeling started when I was a young; a feeling of being stuck between worlds. My mother’s family was from Alabama and my father’s family was from Mexico. They came from two very different cultures and upbringings. My paternal grandfather brought over his family from Mexico for a better life during the Mexican […]

Control what you can, not can’t

Victor Camacho. Events happen in our day to day life. Everyone at some point of their life’s will face some sort of adversity. Some more than others, and the intensity of the emotion will differ. No matter the situation, eventually it will pass and there may be some things we can not do or change. […]

I am my friends and family

Mauricio Moreyra. At some point in my life, I noticed I emphasized my vowels the same way my mother does. I repeat jokes I’ve heard from my best friend. I intonate my sarcasm the same way my grandfather does (and unfortunately dance the same too). Especially during quarantine, being alone has never been more significant. […]

Inside the parentheses, in between worlds

Christine (Eunji) Kim. I lived most of my life inside a pair of parenthesis. It’s where my legal name is usually delegated to. But it’s not only the visible parts that matter. My race, my ethnicity, my national identity, my sexuality, my career, my passion — they all belong inside parenthesis. I’m never just one […]

I Love me, To love you.

Jessica M. We must love ourselves to share love with others. I think everyone struggles with self love some time in their life. We have always focused on our flaws and not enough time to appreciate what makes us beautiful human beings.

Balancing between being hopeful and concerned.

Mahmoud Atwa. The year started fresh. Fresh for many of us and “fresh starts” have always had strong correlations to that deep sense of being hopeful. Hopeful in such a way that that sense of being hopeful becomes the motive force to our resolve sometimes. This year started with my last semester that marked the […]

Pronounce my name correctly it matters

Jung Yeo. All throughout my school years. A lot of people especially the teachers couldn’t pronounce my name correctly. As a young foreign immigrant girl, I felt like I should accept and adapt and that’s how you fit in. As I’m looking back, I don’t want any young child to feel the way I did. […]

See Beyond My Body, See Me

Sherrilyn Stevens. For as long as I could remember I have been fat or overweight. The very first thing people see when they look at me is my size. I’ve been treated unfair, unkind and left with an overwhelming life of judgement from those close to me and strangers alike. It lead to years of […]

Capital One Is My Family Forever

Salma Haidery. I honestly live and breath Capital one every single day that i am here as i feel Capital One is family and i am always recognized for my accomplishments . I feel comfortable at work and i know Capital One truly cares for my well being and has really taken care of all […]

Beauty is beyond the scale number

. I have struggled with weight my whole life. I feel that recently, I have become more conscious about my appearance after working hard on myself and my happiness within myself. I have learned and come to understand that this will always be a part of my lifestyle and I will always need to work […]

Keep an Open Mind and Heart

Carrie Lee. These are my updated/new 6 words. As I start moving away from how *I* was/am affected/impacted, and more towards how I can affect and make an impact, I would like to invite others to keep an open mind and heart. Be compassionate and seek to understand one another. It shouldn’t be so complicated, […]

We are all the same inside

Caylon Wright. It doesn’t matter what your race is, your skin tone, your gender, your sex, your age, etc. We all have a brain, a heart, our bodies are made up the same. The outside doesn’t reflect the inside. We must look inside to see how our neighbor, though different – is like our sister, […]

Embrace the grace of all humankind!

Jill Gonzalez. Inclusive, cultural diversity, equality has been a strong conversation in 2020. Treating everyone with respect and dignity will add love and peace. My 2 daughters ( ages 22 & 23) have really opened my eyes to realize the racism and bias tendency of people and I want to embrace the grace of all […]

Always be kind, then spread it.

Diana Hernandez. Kindness, seems oh so simple. Yet, your one simple act of kindness can spread like wild fire and be an everlasting, uplifting affect. Simply created all thanks to you. Mind boggling I know. So every time you have the choice to be kind or not. ALWAYS choose kindness as you just created an […]

Being myself makes me most comfortable.

Jessica Raffield. Growing up I always felt I had to fit a mold. Best big sister, best ball player, best student. It wasn’t until I was in my 40s that I realized it was okay to be me. Me… not mom of the year, an okay ball player, not the best cook… but what I […]

The feeling of joy in presence.

DEYLAN GALEAS. When I think of belonging, I think of feeling joy within; it comes with comfortability and the feeling of being accepted for all aspects that shine my individuality. Joy that I can be my all- belonging.

Perpetually stuck in limbo. Where’s home?

Kunrui Peng I was born in Shanghai, China and moved to New Orleans, LA when I was just 3 years. By that point, my parents had spent the first 30+ years of their lives in China, and to this day we speak primarily Mandarin at home. “How do you actually pronounce your name?” In Chinese […]

No More Hidding, Bold Brilliantly Black

Tanisia Murrell. Retail Bank I have spent most of my life muting who I am to fit into a box that wasn’t created for me. Looking for acknowledgment of my gifts and talents, especially in the workplace. I will no longer be silent! Choosing to bring all of me and the tremendous value to my […]

Appreciating everything that makes us unique.

Rebecca Ducote, Retail Bank We are all different in some way, it can be a different race, weight, religion, the way we think, or the things we do. It makes us who we are, if we were all the same, how boring would that be? I believe everyone is unique in their own way and […]

Feeling accepted and understood without boundaries

Shekeira. Retail Bank Some people are friendly because they feel they have to be but do they really accept who you. Do they accept your culture, ethnicity, skin color, race, or religion? Do they seek interest in truly understanding who you are? Do they look beyond your differences and not build a wall and only […]

I can’t be me without you

Matt Borgert-Spaniol. Retail Bank The ability to love and be loved is the universal truth that binds us to each other, and the only way I can be the greatest me I can be is by seeing myself in the face of all others. I am you and you are me, and when we recognize […]

Being accepted exactly as I am!

Wendy Biondi. Retail Bank I came back into the work force a couple of years ago after being a stay at home to my four kids for 14 years. I am an older ambassador amongst a lot of young people. Even though we don’t necessarily share a lot in common with regard to our lifestyles, […]

Your race doesn’t defined your religion

Tiffany Bethley. Growing up in the South as a African American, it’s typical for our families to join either a Christian or Baptist church. As I’ve gotten older I decided to no longer label myself under any religion and just believe. It’s okay to be open and explore different religions and cultures that fits who […]

Black Boy. White World. Perpetually Exhausted.

Esayas Mehretab I grew up in the west end of Richmond, Va in a predominantly affluent white community. I was not white and I was not affluent. I had no space for myself to go to and talk about my experiences, my struggles, and what life was like for me as a black boy. Opportunities […]

Gender assumptions make my life miserable.

Kelly Focht I am grey asexual, panromantic, and agender. I’m assumed to be a woman either by my looks or my voice and straight by my relationship, not that my sexuality is anyone’s business. I just about can’t leave the house without being misgendered, but am too scared and tired to correct anyone when I […]

You should be ashamed, disgusting faggots!!!

Kristopher Keichinger. I was walking into a TJMaxx in October of 2005 with my current husband Travis Raymond and we were simply holding hands. I heard these six words screamed at us from a minivan full of kids, I did not react well, I returned my own hateful words to the 16 year old in […]

“Stick out on both sides….safe?”

Belinda, USA The reason I chose the first 6 words “Stick out on both sides…safe?” I have family in Minnesota, where my sisters and I stick out by being brown. My family in Minnesota are all white in small towns. I have been looked at differently: one time on a trip with my grandma from […]

Forms don’t fit my last name

Cristina Martinez de Andino. My name communicates part of my race and identity as a Hispanic Latinx woman. But, my name is too long for American standards and doesn’t fit on most forms, documents, credit cards etc. It is comprised of three words and requires 18 spaces. As a result, every single credit card I […]

I am not taking your job

Ravi Ganti. I went to college in Chapel Hill , NC . Most of the people I met in the surrounding cities of Durham and Raleigh were friendly but some of them, on getting to know that I planned to work in the US after school , were like “Are you here to take our […]

My struggle! You have no idea

Kyle Conaway. Navigating through corporate America as a black man has been a struggle. Always has; Will it get better? You have no idea. I come to work, put on the show of happiness all while struggling. Can I truly provide ideas in this meeting or will I be labeled. As a black man in […]

I am not an extra-special Negro.

Andrea Donnor, Williamsburg, VA, . I grew up upper-middle class in leafy New Rochelle, New York outside of the New York City, in a historical Black neighborhood. Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee lived 3 houses down. My Dad was an ophthalmologist in Harlem. He made enough money so that my mom could stay at home […]

Sorry I didn’t notice you there

Astin. My entire life I have been a woman, black, and plus size. Having just one of the characteristics offers both a systematic and personal disadvantage, however, having lived with all three are especially troubling. Each day, I have to work harder, look better, and be a step above the rest to be seen. Many […]

You Are Stealing All Our Jobs

Sola Ogunlesi On 2 Separate Occasions. I am black and originally from Lagos Nigeria. While studying for my MBA in Finance and Negotiations at Oklahoma State University, I decided to attend an on campus career fair. An African American who I had literally just met, told me I was stealing all their jobs. I never […]

Want to be proud, but how?

Carrie. Having had all southern ancestors in the War Between the States, I have been raised to be proud of how valiantly they fought for their States’ rights. Throughout my life, I have been active in many organizations whose missions are to honor those that fought for the Confederacy. I have struggled with my southern […]

“You accept me after we meet?”

Natalee, Richmond, VA I have experienced that over the phone on paper, people will perceive what they think I look like, I hear you sound white when they find out my race. Why is speaking intelligently, announcing words only associated with being Caucasian? As if to say African Americans, or a black person is unable […]

I’m a minority because I’m white.

Jessica, Norfolk, Va For the majority of my life, I have lived in a very culturally diverse area, regardless of where I actually am. As an army brat, I moved to several different locations across the US and usually went to school where 60% or more of the population were people of color. I didn’t […]

Yes, we are talking about you.

Margaret Sieiro Garcia Not Latinx enough for most Latinx. What SHOULD a Garcia sound like? To Spaniards, I’m American who is Spanish, I am included To Brasilians, I’m American who is Brasilian, I am included To Latinx American, I’m American, not Latinx enough to be included To some Americans, I’m in America, speak english. I […]

Unsure of where I fit in.

Jingi Hairston I’ve always been unsure of where I fit in among friend groups, workgroups, all of the above. I am a light-skinned African American woman and always told, “You sound white,” “You talk so proper” “You’ve got to be mixed with something.” Because of this it’s been hard for me to find my own […]

Stereotypes, Fear, Barriers, Beauty, Identity, Differences

Renesha Nelson Stereotypes- knowing that when people see my name written —-Renesha Shateika Michelle Nelson—- they think oh ghetto—-never fathoming of giving me a chance to make a sentence Fear- the heavy feeling in the pit of my stomach that resides in me because I have two beautiful brothers and nephews that could easily be […]

Natural Hairstyles Aren’t Bad Hair Days

Nicole Pender, Philadelphia, PA I showed up to work with my afro out for the first time. During the morning staff meeting, the ED opened by looking directly at me and stating “white women have bad hair days, too”. My wedding images went viral and received HORRIBLE backlash from strangers from everywhere and all worlds […]

PLEASE, DO NOT TOUCH MY HAIR

Erin Rausaw, Growing up, I was taught that beauty is pain while my Memama (grandmother) pressed my hair in her beauty shop. She would tell me how beautiful I was, as she instructed me to shake my hair. “Shake your hair pretty girl.” When you see my hair in it’s curly or fro state, it […]

Your [relaxed] hair looks more sophisticated!

Erika Thompson At my former job I wore my hair in braids for a year to give it a break from chemicals in order to allow it to grow. Then I got a relaxer again and an employee who hadn’t seen my hair before my braids gave me a backhanded compliment that my new hair […]

See beyond smiles and short hair

Jordan Martin-Gross My six words touch on my identity as a gay woman, the assumptions that people make about me because I have short hair, the challenges I face to feel feminine and beautiful, and my hidden struggles with mental health.

You’re white? Not with that hair.

Susan Tiedemann. Throughout my life, I’ve had people tell me I’m not “completely white” because of my kinky hair. I’ve been told I should straighten it at different times of my career to “look more professional”, “look more serious”, etc. I was told our babysitter was my Mom because I had hair like hers and […]

I’m not an angry BLACK woman

Charlece N. Byrd, Newark, DE Too many times I have been labeled as the angry black women because I opinionated. And it hurts to be labeled just because I have an opinion. No, I am not an Angry Black Woman but I am mother, a sister, a college graduate, a friend. Lets stop labeling people. […]

White woman. Oppressed, just ‘not enough.’

Shannon Donohue. I am embarrassed, ashamed, and guilty, as a white woman in America. I am also extremely conflicted. My race has committed abhorrent acts, and both literally and figuratively stood on the necks of people of color to continue to maintain power and control. I feel such shame that I have benefited from the […]

I’m not an ANGRY BLACK WOMAN.

Cynthia Glover. I have noticed, in Corporate America, when I voice my opinion on any topic and it goes against popular belief I am labeled as the “angry black woman” as if I cannot have a different view than others around me.

White woman working towards authentic allyship

Melissa Smith. I’ve always worked to move beyond the prejudices I was unintentionally raised with living in a small rural town with limited exposure to any race besides my own. Now it is time to move from being “not racist” to being “anti-racist” by using my own education and privilege to be a true ally […]

You over index as a strong woman

Linora. You are too aggressive, let me explain it to you, you need to be ‘softer’, and so many more. I have 2 boys and I hope that when they are ready to enter the workplace they don’t think or say these words.

I’m not the paralegal, I’m counsel.

Melissa Paulk. As a young, black woman attorney, when I walked into a room, often I was assumed to be the paralegal or some other administrative role. Even now, over a decade into my legal career, I will join a call and be asked if Counsel will be joining, because legal decisions will need to […]

You can’t lead, you’re a woman!

Wendy Hunt. Despite having a management degree, I have been told this phrase, in so many various ways, by teachers, employers to be, managers and directors. It happens over and over – in one form or another. It doesn’t matter how smart, hard-working and talented you are. Be content to do the side work – […]

Queer Christian. Where do I fit?

Doug Steel. I’m a cis White man. I also grew up financially vulnerable in a religious community with a history of persecution (Mennonite) and came out as bisexual late in life. I have a former wife, (now friend and co-parent), 2 children and a partner who is a man. The places where I feel like […]

Not the RIGHT kind of gay!

Vic Puglisi People think I should act a certain way, look a certain way, and sound a certain way. i.e.: wearing rainbows, go to every pride event, parade and get involved in every, not for profit dealing with the LGBT+ population. I am involved to the degree that I want to be involved. Everyone is […]

Some of my best friends are …

Cynthia Segovia. Some of my best friends are_____ (insert insult) Lesbians, Gay, Latin, Black, Women. For most of my adult life I have been met with this reaction. Because I am always trying to educate I take it with a grain of salt and assume positive intent and remind myself that people are trying to […]

You sound like a white girl.

Dawn Washington. Somehow proper enunciation and the conjugation of verbs became “white”. To this day, when people meet me in person, it is always a look of surprise to see a beautiful brown-skinned woman.

I didn’t know you were black!

Rhonda Light. When I first moved to VA. I got a job as a Loan Officer. I took a couple’s application over the phone. They sounded very sweet and I looked forward to meeting them. When I went to greet them the husband said “Oh, I didn’t know you were black”! He said I didn’t […]

Hmm…I thought you were white!

Bernadette Nixon, Las Vegas, NEVADA, . This often occurs when I have only had phone conversations prior to the face to face meeting. Or, I get the double look and confirmation that I am who I stated I was.

What does “sounding black” sound like?

Parisi Melton, Chesapeake, VA I grew up with a single mother who depended on my grandmother assisting her with babysitting, who lived in what was considered a lower-income area. My mom sent us to private school and I have heard all my life that I don’t talk black. Even at work on the phones, I […]

You sound like a white girl.

Cam-Tien Cummins. I get this comment quite often, usually after the person gets comfortable with me enough to say this. I also get this from my family and friends. My response: “What am I suppose to sound like?” Also, why is it yellow fever or jungle fever to describe a person’s interest in a specific […]

Latino: diabetic, HIV+ and with accent.

Fabricio Fernando Portillo Flores, Clearwater, FL It is already hard to be a Latino in this country dealing with racism, injustice, language, legal status,etc that on top on all these things; I personally have to deal EVERY single day of my life with: diabetes, HIV+ and my accent. The world in self needs more LOVE, […]

My Kids Are Safe At Home

Angel Sanderson. My biggest fear is having my children harmed because of the color of their skin, I feel like if they aren’t at home with me then I can’t protect them. I know living a normal life means them going outside of these walls but every time they do I’m afraid they won’t make […]

Black daughters’ pain, white mother’s heartbreak

Karen Wright The horrific statements that people feel is ok to say to my children WHILE I AM IN THEIR PRESENCE astounds me. My ex-husband and I knew it would be a challenge for our children however we never fully grasped the severity of that challenge on various levels. It breaks my heart that I […]

My son needed a “white” name

Lisa Dumelow. My children are multi-cultural (their father was a refugee from Cuba). When our only son was born, his father wanted to name him after himself and his father – Remberto. But I knew that although the girls may not be affected by a Latina name, my son would be judged and negative assumptions […]

Basic white girl searching to belong

Melissa Love. In my life I have worked so hard to blend in and really be able to plug and play in any social or professional environment while being as mindful as possible (with still a lot to learn) – however, wondering where I fit in. I feel like there is nothing special or different […]

But where are you from, originally?

Alyssa This is usually asked after I play dumb to the first question – where are you from? and answer with – New Jersey! As someone whose heritage is half Northern Asian Indian, half Southern Italian/German my features and coloring are just light enough, and just dark enough, and just confusing enough that people can […]

I am not a fake Samoan.

Leilani Funaki. My dad is one of my favorite people. When I look at my face, I see his nose. I see the shape of his eyes. I see Grandpa Lemalu’s hairline. When I glance at my hands, I see Grandma Tusi’s short, chubby fingers. When I look at my aunties, I see bodies shaped […]

Conflicted. Southern white girl, black neighborhood.

Kaitlyn Shinault Growing up as the only white kid in a minority community I was often torn between my racially diverse friends and my very southern conservative white extended family. What I saw on TV didn’t match my experience with my friends or family yet they disagreed on very vital issues. My white family didn’t […]

With Open Arms, While Continually Learning

Ryan Bagnal As a white male who has continually moved throughout his lifetime, consistently picking up, starting over, once again investing in new relationships, yet again opening my self up to strangers and willing to learn and grow in the process has helped prime me for where I am today in life. It has allowed […]

Not a black and white issue.

Bob Williams. I understand the importance of taking a stand and proclaiming that black lives matter. The racial and ethnic divisions and hatred in our society are real and must be confronted and I would never respond flippantly that “all lives matter” – as if there’s no greater risk to blacks than anyone else. That […]

I’m not ‘seen’ as an immigrant

Beckie White I am white, and from England, and I know my life in the US would have been a lot harder if I had a different color skin. That said, I have definitely felt the ‘fear of difference’ here – – I have had ‘unpleasant’ experiences at Immigration, despite having all the correct paperwork. […]

Yes, my real name is Kelly.

Kelly Roldan I am a proud Latina (born in Caracas, Venezuela) with an American name, people often ask if Kelly is my real name or they tend to say “So, what’s your real name?”. I always thought that having an easy to pronounce and popular name in the US was something good. I have been […]

When I can remove my mask?

Keta Being a Black American woman comes with a lot of “work” daily… making sure that I don’t sound “too black” in my conversations or if my natural is acceptable or if I should respond to a general comment about made about my people, my race, my background. it’s like wearing a mask… and when […]

Trying tobe part of the solution

Rebecca Huber. Yes, I’m cheating on 6 words by combing tobe. But I couldn’t find any other way to say it. As a white woman, I don’t want to be A solution or THE solution, but a part of the solutions recommended from the communities most affected. I want to be an ally; I want […]

Two mixed kids with racist grandparents.

Lauren Gavigan. I wish my parents knew why I was so passionate about the Black Lives Matter movement. Growing up in a an all white neighborhood, my mother never expected me to marry a black Latino man (which I was cultured on later) When I try to have conversations, I get responses like “your kids […]

Is this your natural hair color?

Sherry My parents immigrated to America from Jamaica in the late 60’s and I was born here in America in 1970. From the time I was young, people have ALWAYS asked me if this is my natural hair color. Depending on the season – my hair can be fiery auburn with blonde highlights in the […]

Discriminated against, because you are white.

Tanya Gordon In today’s world we have been discussing race more often than ever. We hear of “black man shot a white man” OR “White man hit a black woman”.. it is never “A Man hit a woman” or “Man shot by another man”.. Why are we addressing someone by color or nationality? I was […]

I’m REALLY from the United States.

Caroline Nguyen. Growing up, and still, I am often asked where I’m from. When I say, “Virginia,” the followup question isn’t, “where in Virginia?” it’s “No. Where are you REALLY from?” As a kid, this confused me so much to the point that I started saying I was from Vietnam. My first grade teacher asked […]

They asked me, “What are you?”

Jacqueline Boone. When I was a part time night manager for The Dollar Store down Waterside many years ago tourists would alway come through the store and “they asked me, what are you” which in the beginning took me a little by surprise but then I got it. I would tell them “Other” my Mom […]

Looking away doesn’t make it disappear

Jasmine Grindle. Growing up, my parents would tell me to “look away” or “cover your ears” when there was anything that may scare me. Even today, I instinctively bury my face during scary movies… however, what do we do when our reality is much scarier than some movie? Although we want to look away, to […]

Adopted. Mom, what am I? American.

Dani Kasney. When I was in elementary school we had an assignment to talk about our heritage and nationality. I was adopted (but my mom hadn’t disclosed that yet) and there is a lot on my biological mom’s side that we don’t know anything about. So when I asked where I was from, she said […]

My Voice; Muted By Your Privilege

Dawn Johnson, Richmond, VA, . As an overly educated black woman with a law degree who is working on a PHD… I most often feel that my voice is not heard or valued. I think back to being a young ambitious person with lots of hopes and dreams …my voice was loud….My voice was proud… […]

No but really, what are you?

Isaah Claxton, Richmond, Virginia, . Being someone of such a mixed background, having Latino, African American, and white all in my lineage, I have often had situations where none of those specific racial groups would accept that I was also part of them. It’s really weird to identify yourself to people, and have them say […]

Race should not limit my freedoms

Teyawn Watts, Silver Spring, MD, . I was raised in Southern California and rarely thought about my race and how I was similar or different from my peers. I attended college in Northern California, at a predominately white college. This was the first time I felt like I did not fit in with any race […]

Less Than does NOT = ME

Jacqueline Evans, New York, NY Just because I grew up in the south and anyone in my presence always experienced my “southern hospitality”. Don’t get it twisted! I am so much more than the stereotypes of black women from the south.

White but never owned a slave

Crystal, Fredericksburg, VA Honestly I am getting sick and tired of being told I need to apologize for slavery. I have NEVER owned a slave and refuse to apologize for something I had no part in. I do not feel privileged in fact if a white man and a black man with the same credentials […]