Usually this blog is my casual and creative outlet. Today, I use it to mourn.
I couldn’t sleep last night. I tossed and turned, so heartbroken and disappointed by the acceptance of misogyny, racism, xenophobia, homophobia and even sexual assault. I felt the rising panic and the bile in my throat regarding the Pandora’s Box we’ve opened.
When I finally woke up this morning, headache-y and puffy-eyed, reading through the distressed texts from my friends and family, all I wanted to do was turn everything off, to disconnect, to isolate and to ignore the feelings of brokenness and fear.
I will not do that.
For the last ten years, I have worked tenaciously for victims of gender-based violence, of gender and race discrimination, of police brutality; I have worked on immigration issues, advocated for juveniles within the criminal justice system, for survivors of labor trafficking, for refugees seeking asylum and I will forever do that, and with a renewed commitment.
I will fight, harder and stronger than I ever have. I am stronger in my resolve and my commitment that my small world around me and the greater one of the nation be a better place, for me, for my friends and family, for the people I have not met, for my children and for their children.
Because, even in the smallest of ways, I can help. And that is a gift bestowed upon me by my mother, by women like Hillary Clinton, by my Indian immigrant grandparents, and even by the old white ancestors on my dad’s side who sought religious freedom on these shores. I have been bolstered, lifted up, by the sacrifices and work and love of so many people.
With this honour and privilege of having education, awareness, understanding, tolerance, forgiveness, love and grace, my desire and duty is to share it however I can.
Here is my commitment:
- I will not accept hateful rhetoric. I will not ignore it. I will stand up and vocalize and critique and comment and never lose my voice. I will always support inclusivity and diversity.
- Women, people of color, members of the LGBT community, people with disabilities, if you suffer from discrimination or harassment, please call/email/message me. I am available for advice, referrals and support.
- My fellow women, even if you do not seek legal advice, but need help processing sexual assault or harassment, please reach out, to me or anyone else. I am a survivor and have also been an advocate and provided legal representation on the issues.
- If you or someone else are applying to an educational institution or a new job, I will happily read your cover letter, provide advice on applying, do mock interviews and anything else I can do to increase your accessibility to these institutions.
- If you or anyone you know need legal advice or referral regarding your civil rights or access to public benefits, please contact me.
- If you need a shoulder to cry on, a hot meal to eat or a puppy to cuddle, I am here.
I am full of gratitude for my community and I will continue to fight for progress and solidarity.