We’ve got more in common than you think. Yeah we look and talk different. Have different tastes in clothes and music. But our stories aren’t that different.
I’ve been beat up because of the color of my skin; harassed by police and discriminated against.
What did I do? I chose love instead of hate. I found my “voice” and used it-promising myself I would never be the one who just sits and watch somebody get hurt.
I’ve known financial hardship since I was a little girl. Always getting made fun of because of what I didn’t have. Because I was different.
What did I do? I made my own style and started writing poetry. I embraced my differentness and people couldn’t hurt me anymore.
In high school I had a 4.0 GPA, took advanced classes, scored 1250 on the SATs but I couldn’t go to a 4-year college. I was too busy working to have time for extracurricular activities. Yeah, I was offered academic scholarships to every college I applied to-but it wasn’t enough.
What did I do? I earned two associates at the community college. One in general studies and the other in journalism, the equivalent of a bachelors in communication.
My journalism teacher saw my interest in social issues and gave me a public relations internship at The Peace Center the spring after 9/11.
There I met the city editor for The Citizens’ Voice and had my first published piece-a 1 1/2 column story on Rev. John Dear’s lecture-“Being Peace” at Ground Zero. I was the first in my class to get their story in print. Immediately after graduation I was covering local news and had my own township within 6 months.
I’ve worn the shoes of many different types of people.
I’ve been places most people are too afraid to go to. Heard the stories of people no one listens to-the homeless man begging for change; the trick on the corner; drug dealers and addicts.
I’ve rubbed elbows with politicians and activists.
This is who I am. Who are you?