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Lean On the Lessons Learned to Create Equitable Spaces

by Aleasa Word, FAACT’s Vice President of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

June 2023

Resilience is defined as the capacity to withstand or recover quickly from difficulties. So many communities have exhibited resilience as they face discrimination, bias, hatred, and, in some cases, violence. In June we honor LGBTQ+ Pride all month. We also honor Juneteenth on June 19.

Each community represented by these celebrations has felt the impact of many heinous acts and risen to stand up against these acts. Yet it seems that a small group of people continue to rule much of the equality narrative in some states, with everything from words, rights, and even some books being banned.

Communities that have been underrepresented and treated differently have always had to keep pushing forward. They have had to pick themselves up and simply keep moving forward—and should be admired for their strength, not disparaged for what makes them different.

As families celebrate Pride Month and Juneteenth this year, I encourage you to remember those who came before you to pave the way. They sacrificed so much so each community could have the strength—and in some cases, the resources—to fight for equity and justice. Remember those who showed us all that merely existing was not enough but that inclusion is a basic human right, no matter how we look, live, or love.

Whatever your race, creed, age, gender, orientation, or religion, we are stronger when we find unity with one another. We can stand up against homophobia, xenophobia, racism, gender discrimination, age discrimination, cultural oppression, and so much more when we accept that although there many differences in our fights, the goal is always to be treated fairly and have equitable spaces.