What makes you diverse extends beyond race, ethnicity, or gender. There are so many more aspects to YOU that makes you different than me. It is our diverse “being” that attracts people to us; it feels empowering when we are able to connect with someone based on our differences and shared experiences.
As a way to engage with our lived experiences, traumas, fears, and accomplishments, we should highlight what makes us a diverse group that can identify with others’.
"My diversity is probably mostly external. Even though I am white, I am more comfortable in groups that are predominantly POC. I am a daughter of an immigrant from Canada who was able to cross the border with no questions asked and lived here many years before deciding to get her citizenship. My family includes Blacks, Mexicans, and Brazilians. Being a mother of Black children, I have also experienced the fears/traumas of how my children are treated in the outside world. What makes me happy about these opportunities in my life is that I have been able to step into cultures at a level that most White Americans do not. Proud about it? Not really. I just had opportunities that I was able to take advantage of, but they formed who I am. I think that helps to make me unique." - Lynn Thayer, staff at The Empowerment Program
"I’ve never really given my clothes much thought. I started wearing my hijab when I was six years old. I wasn’t forced to or told I had to; I just woke up one morning before school and decided this is what I wanted to do. The choice was, and continues to be, mine. My hijab has grown with me over the years. There have been moments of my life when I have not been connected to my faith; I’ve felt disconnected and lost. The hijab was sometimes the only concrete link I had to my religion, and I am very grateful for that. The debates and conflict surrounding the hijab always confuses me. For me, it is a deeply personal experience that has nothing to do with anyone else. My hijab is a constant reminder to me about the power I hold as a woman. It makes me feel connected to my religion, other Muslims (who wear the hijab or not), Allah, and myself. It signifies to me that no matter what a person chooses to wear we are all dignified humans who deserve respect. It reminds me to try and act with grace, offer understanding, and stand for peace. For me, it is how I join my sisters in the stand against judgement of the female body and objectification of the “foreign woman.” The femininity and beauty of the hijab stands next to all other expressions of womanhood and clearly states “I am with you.” And I am reminded of that message every time I put on my hijab. To all my female-identified individuals out there: I am with you." - Anonymous