Fateme Banishoeib lives in Basel, Switzerland. The daughter of an Italian mother and a Persian father, she is an author, speaker, and executive seeking meaning through poetry.
The other morning I was getting ready for work and going through my make-up I found a red lipstick I bought for a party and never wore again. I decided I was going to wear it to go to the office. It was my personal sign of embodying the equal humanity mission I am on. I wore my red lipstick and head to the office holding hands with the good girl who is afraid to appear less smart, less credible, too feminine and with the wild woman so excited to fight for her freedom. Walking in my vulnerability and trying to integrate the two parts debating in my mind. I was afraid of being noticed and to be judged.
Silly comments on my red lips arrived both from men and women.
Naomi Raquel Enright lives in Brooklyn, New York. She is a teacher at the Manhattan Country School.
“From one exile to another.” This is what my mother once asked Chinua Achebe to write in her copy of ‘Things Fall Apart.’ I stood right next to her and in that moment I realized the impact of my mother’s experience coming to study at Tulane University from Guayaquil, Ecuador at the age of 19 in 1965. She subsequently married my Jewish-American father, had two bilingual children with multiple citizenships, and was an impassioned, influential English Teacher at the Horace Mann School in Bronx, NY for 10 years. Her entire adult life has been spent in a foreign land, and when she returns to Ecuador, she has now become the foreigner.
In my home growing up discussions of race, culture, and identity were commonplace, and in fact were encouraged as a way for me and my brother to feel confident in a world where we could and often would be questioned or challenged.
by Jimmy Nguyen – Founder of the DiverseStory Project
“Every one of us is a wonder. Everyone one of us has a story.”
Those words from African American writer Kristin Hunter recognize that everyone’s life journey is different, and that diversity of experience makes us collectively stronger. That’s the philosophy of the DiverseStory Project – a new online campaign I’ve launched. While I did not plan it this way, the DiverseStory Project emerges at a pivotal time. As the Trayvon Martin case underscores America’s continuing racial divides, I hope the DiverseStory Project will re-focus dialogue on what unites us – everyone’s diversity.
Everyone has not just a life story but also what I call a DiverseStory – a tale of how your life has been and continues to be shaped by diversity. I want everyone to find and tell those stories, so that each DiverseStory inspires a more inclusive world. And I will be thrilled if the DiverseStory Project helps people better understand and appreciate our differences, in all their glory.
Personal trainer Chris Nemes is a straight white male but has his own DiverseStory about being raised by a single mother.