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. […]

Bringing my whole self to work

Amy Silvers. At past jobs, I’ve had to stifle aspects of my personality such as my quirkiness, the way I dress, my New York-iness, and even my hair color. I’ve never felt that I had to do that at Capital One. Here, I’m comfortable being me.

Your Scars become your Powerful Testimony

Gloria Stafford. I was underappreciated during phases of my professional career. How dare I be black and a woman!! I have witnessed others being invited to sit at the table with no experience, lack of moral character, lack of humanity and integrity. All because they fit the ‘profile’ (white male, white female) of what was […]

Resourceful, trusted, and well rounded friend

Sabrina Silvestri. A big part of who I am is my desire to help others…. I have always enjoyed being a resource for people to come to for help. Maybe I cannot help them specifically but I know someone who can. That energizes me… helping others be successful and reach their goals.

Acceptance, Human need, Primal, Comfort, Security,

Jessica Munson. I think that human connection, feeling like I belong, is fundamental to all human beings. I know loneliness is a killer, I have had times in my life when I felt alone, I moved to a new city where I didn’t know anyone, and little things, that make me feel I belong, made […]

Everyone has value, look for it.

Caroline Hughes. So often, we close ourselves off to interactions with people who don’t readily appear to reflect ourselves. If we remain open and work to see the value that each person brings to the table, we can all benefit from the added diversity, perspective, and experience they can share.

Feeling safe around your people

Molly Brannan. I grew up in a household with a domestic abuser, and it is my goal as a parent to ensure my kids feel like they belong at home. I also wanted to highlight that sometimes your chosen family is more supportive and loving than your blood relatives, so “your people” covers all the […]

This form doesn’t have my box

Justin Castro. I’m multi-racial and growing up, there was never an option for more than one race. My mother is white, my biological father is black, and the father that adopted and raised me was a Mexican immigrant. So biologically I’m half white/half black. Legally, I’m the son of a Hispanic. And visually, everyone has […]

Reset your preset and just breath

Karen Bradley. This is my manta. I have had many challenges since 2012 and this phrase has helped me through them all. I almost lost my daughter to a car accident, I had a stroke and several surgeries not related. Then in 2019, I had been informed that I had another mountain to climb. I […]

Strong, weak, advocate, heard, loved, supported

Christina Decker. This is the first full year without our son on Earth with us. Going through Covid has presented more stress than we needed this year. I have had to be strong, even when I feel weak. I am advocate for those who are no longer heard. I feel loved and supported while giving […]

Being a part of a family

Melanie Beach. This family could be family by blood, friends, coworkers, church family and a group of people who truly care for and support each other! It is a group of people where you feel loved and welcomed to be who you truly are!



I am more than your categories.

Ralston Vaz. I find that in our noble attempts to acknowledge one another’s intersectionality, we move to quick to label and categorize. Most people get me wrong, anticipating the make up of my identity as a “Black” man. I believe I am more than that. And to understand me may take more than a 30-minute […]

I’m listening and open to change

James Cast. As a heterosexual white male, I’m slowly seeing that my view of the world is limited by my experience. That experience includes many privileges that others are not given. As I start listening to others stories, my perspective grows and my ability to support others grows as well.

Appreciated and welcomed for being myself

Harriet Symington. I am often in situations where I find myself putting on a facade or hiding parts of myself to fit in. Belonging, to me, is having the freedom to be completely myself and know that I won’t be judged for it. It’s having the freedom to not hide any part of my identify, […]

Free to show my whole self

Abram Lipman. As an Ashkenazi Jew whose family emigrated to the U.S. in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, assimilation and, paradoxically, being an outsider loom large in my cultural identity. But either position ultimately means not being able to both belong AND be yourself. This feeling has been amplified for me by virtue of […]


Jason Thorpe. It is important tome to make sure that I dont waste my energy on things in the past or future that I cannot control. Save that energy for the moment and live in that moment. More positive will come out of this effort than wasted on moments you cannot change or make an […]

Being ME and still being accepted

tiffany. Being able to be my true self and not have to alter my ways to fit in to certain crowds/cliques is the best feeling in the world. It is a genuine inclusion knowing i have people who care for me as me!!! Even if i am a little goofy 🙂

Oriental is a rug – I’m Asian!

Carina Cottner. *Some people like to think all Asians are either Chinese or Japanese. I’m neither. I have also been called Oriental which is not a race. I remember playing softball (co-ed league) and being racially harassed by the other team (all white). They were saying things like “Oh boy – we are going kung-fu […]

What’s outside isn’t always what’s inside

Laura X Wang. It is easy and fast to judge by appearances, but often this is incorrect, misleading, or unfair. (This is a humanized version of “don’t judge a book by its cover.”) When I was young, people used to tease me that I was a “banana”: Asian (looking) on the outside, but white (culturally) […]

Why can’t I select 2 races

Nancy Lambert. Belonging means you don’t have to choose where you fit in, but when you have to choose for external race identity purposes then you shouldn’t be limited. In our Workday system it doesn’t allow you to choose more than one race without indicating that one of them cannot be of Hispanic origin. I […]

Belonging Means Working With Confidence

. Work is so much easier when you don’t have to worry about how your identity affects your relationships. Feeling like I belong makes it easier to ignore the anxiety around not being accepted or fitting in with my peers. It means that I don’t have to worry about whether I’m being promoted or held […]

Always Be Willing to Learn First

Anderson Dahdouh. As a first generation American, much of my interaction with society has come on the front that people, in general, fear what they do not know. Finding commonality early on in relationships helped establish some of the strongest bonds that still stand today. Learn the food of new cultures, and embrace how these […]

Belonging means being included.

Christina Tallarico. During my divorce there was a test I took with many words (3 pages of words) and I had to narrow those words down to 4 words in short timed period. It turned out that these words meant a lot to me and are a high priority to me. – – Belonging, Trust, […]

Loved and broken but that’s okay.

Lindsay Shaw. Being a full time mom, full time associate, a woman, and full time human is tough. Some days you just can’t. I’ve found that giving myself some grace is mandatory, to tell myself that even though I don’t feel motivated to do the things I need to do that it’s okay. It’s okay […]

Change the world by being yourself!

Craig Brajevich. In a world full of comparison and competition, no two people are the same. Why try and be like someone else to fit in when you are beautiful and unique as you are! Embrace yourself, flaws and all, and know that you mean something to someone and you are perfect just the way […]

Open mind to support & listen

Ambreen Abid. One has to keep their biases aside and listen to each other with an open mind. It allows us to understand their perspectives without judgement, accept and support the individual so they could feel safe and important.

I am more than you see

Shannon Harrington. On paper, I am a twice divorced single mom of 2. I don’t want to be defined that way because I am so much more and have so much to give. I’ve made bad decisions but do not want to be defined by them.

Worthy, Capable, Enough, Wise, Amazing, Tenacity

Chantelle Sanders. Sometimes when I look around a room and see that I may be the only African American LGBQT+ woman in the room it can feel intimidating and lonely because it feels like no one else in the room may understand that experience. I remind myself that I am worthy to be in this […]

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.

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- […]

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 […]

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! 🙂


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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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.

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 […]

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 […]