Diversity; it changed me.

Growing up in Miami, I could easily tell that without a doubt my hometown was  extremely diverse, and probably one of the most diverse in the nation. I had the privilege to live in a community where my culture, language, and ethnicity were more than loved, which many people across the globe can not say the same. As a current student of Florida State University, I have learned to be open minded and tolerant to new ideas and people. I have accomplished more than just meeting people from different backgrounds, but instead worked to unify my school into the true melting pot of our communities.

Being part of the Social Justice Living Learning Community has taught me the importance of being involved and of the strength of my voice. They say not to bring up politics when meeting new people or even around your friends or family but unfortunately many human rights  have become political debates. Whether you are a woman, Jewish, immigrant, or transgender, the majority of us are being affected on a daily basis by the decisions of a powerful few. While issues may not affect you directly, this does not mean that others around you are not being affected as well. I say if we want change, we must demand it. We must not be afraid of judgement and start seeking the justice and equality we all deserve. This why I strongly acknowledge human rights as the most pressing issue in our society.

There are forces who are proudly announcing  that people like me do not belong here and how we should go back to our countries of origin. But as a first generation Hispanic student, I am glad to have made it this far enough to prove to this nation that we are not going anywhere. We have so many students living in constant fear everyday just because of their legal status. Therefore, I strongly hope that from the time I have spent in the welcoming student body at Florida State, I can one day make everyone feel safe in not just this country, but the entire world.

So many lives are being taken away because of skin color or sexual orientation, such as the events in Ferguson. We have children being treated like criminals instead of students and women being victimized by the length of their skirt, with a justice system that makes it all okay. Our human rights should not be a controversial topic. That is why I am so willing to improve our communities as much as I want to help those who do not have a voice.

Before I affiliate myself with any political party, I support human rights first, which should be applied to every individual and community, locally, internationally and all. If we keep our minds open to new ideas and people exactly how we have been doing, we will progress into a better society. As long as we promise ourselves to be better, trust me change will occur. Believing in a near to perfect future does not make me an optimist or unrealistic, it just makes me human.

This is me

My parents immigrated to America not only to improve their lives but to make sure their children had the opportunity to succeed and become the mighty best. When we think about America, we think about equality and freedom. For as long as I could remember, hard work and education have been the core of my life. While there have always been stereotypes and stigma against communities and families like mine, I knew the best thing I could do was to contradict them. However, with the increase of hatred and xenophobia in America, there is no way I could possibly stay quiet. America was built on the genocide of one race and the enslavement of another, which is why I do not tolerate any anti immigration or anti refugee rhetoric. America is nothing without immigrants, undocumented or not. Refugees are not choosing to leave their homes, they are being forced to flee. Accepting refugees should not be a bipartisan issue, it is a humanitarian act. After the holocaust, the world promised to never let anything like it happen again. Yet, the world has proved to watch and do absolutely nothing. As tiring as it can get, I will not be a bystander or ignore what I find graphic. I’m very thankful to have grown up in a city where my background and ethnicity was loved and appreciated. I have become comfortable with my identity and place in society. Before I affiliate myself with any political party, I am a human first. I will forever fight for the rights of those who have been restricted of theirs. No language or cultural barrier will prevent me from caring. #RefugeesAreWelcome 

Young voices matter

Millenials are the most educated and diverse generation ever. Millenials are undoubtedly the most tolerant group of people in this nation. We do not tolerate hate in any shape or form. We do not support a presidential campaign built on racism, sexism, ableism, xenophobia, and unfortunately more. The voices of young people are constantly looked down upon but that is changing as I speak. Young people deserve the respect and platform to properly advocate human rights and use their voice to speak up. I cannot be any more prouder for those who created rallys and participate in protests. Many people believe protesting is divisive and disruptive. However, history proves that protests are extremely beneficial. My generation will save the world. 

Liberal Arts Matter

While most people may think that becoming a lawyer, engineer, or a doctor is the only way to becoming successful, it is not true. The world is not just doctors and lawyers. It’s filled with people who tell stories and study the way things work. Anyone who tells a child that becoming a writer or a psychologist is a waste of time is destroying all potential creativity in our society. Teachers who promote this awful ideology are only contradicting the whole purpose of their profession. I thought teachers were supposed to encourage students to follow their dreams no matter what the odds are. I once had a teacher who said the only college degrees that lead to fortune are law, engineering, and accounting. Now, correct me if I’m wrong, but how are students supposed to become motivated to follow their passion if they’re being told that their passion won’t lead to society’s standards for success. So many people have the audacity to say that studying sociology or literature is too easy, yet struggle to write a 3 page essay or read a book. If my interest in liberal arts isn’t going to be respected I would rather not attend my math or science class. I am sick of living in this era of technology where children are automatically considered “dumb” because they don’t have a calculator for a brain. But, if a child doesn’t understand the meaning of a poem, it only means the author’s intentions are ambiguous. The truth is people would rather have a safe job than work hard to do what they love.

Stop the “latino vote” 2k17

During the presidential election, various presidential candidates were aiming to gain the infamous “Latino vote.” They were desperate to relate to Hispanics and Latinx voters, as if we are all the same. They would do the absolute most to make us feel welcome in America. However, it is obvious that the “Latino vote” was not enough to prevent a republican from being president. There is this stereotype that all Latinxs are racially and socioeconomically the same. Many people believe that we are all brown skinned, immigrants, and relatively lower class. Shockingly, Latinxs are a diverse group of people. While most of us decide to vote democratic, many are more conservative. We don’t face the same type of oppression either, even though we are all marginalized as a whole in some point. There are some of us who have the privilege to be citizens of the United States and not have to worry about family members being deported at any moment. There are those who live in a higher class and can afford private medicine and education. While not common, there are Latinxs who are single issue voters and vote immediately for the republican party because of their stand on abortion. While most Latinxs, specifically older generations are socially conservative, they vote blue because of the xenophobia from the republican party and their dependance on immigration reform. It is time that we stop grouping Latinx as one harmonious race.