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  • Awatif Yahya

Taking Action Against Racism



Ever since the murder of George Floyd, I have seen numerous organizations circulating memorandums expressing their sadness, shock, outrage and grief over the senseless killings of African Americans in the hands of police force over the years. Although I am sure the memos are appreciated, they are not enough. I believe the only way to combat systematic racism is through education.

Stereotyping causes biases which in turn cause racism. If we tackle stereotyping, and call out biases then we might have a chance at abolishing racism once and for all. It is not realistic to assume we can flip a switch and change the minds of racist individuals who have been breathing racism for years, some might apprehend, but not all. However, there might be hope in their children and grandchildren. The younger generation is where we need to focus on for the sake of the future.

My way to fight racism starts by getting people to know me beyond the color of my skin. Maybe my vulnerability will make them relate to me, maybe it will spark an interest in an experience or a hobby.


In this blog, I open myself up to you. I hope you find similarities and common passions that would make you want to, dare I say, befriend me. So here we go, I identify as:

- Woman

- Arab

- Muslim

- Immigrant

- Fulbright Scholar

- Holder of a B.Sc. and a Master’s degrees

- Career focused

- Worked in corporations

- Entrepreneur

- Speaker of 3 languages

- I love travelling

- I lived in two U.S. States

- Certified PADI Diver

- Passionate about cooking

- I would like to own a restaurant

- I could eat sushi forever

- I love socializing

- I love 80’s music

- I love soccer

- I make friends easily

- I am a member of a big family

The above are just few characteristics that define me. I would hope to connect with people who see me for my interests, abilities and ambitions rather than the color of my skin. Maybe we can bridge the gap through these characteristics and come closer to one another.

If you are interested to learn more about anything I listed, please reach out. I will not get offended; I will not shy away or brush you off. Rather, I will converse with you and address any questions you might have, this is my pledge to you.

Lastly, in my continuous effort to take action, I would like to share a great article I recently came across listing four types of racism I was unaware of: individual, interpersonal, institutional and structural racism. The article is by Imani Bashir, titled “The Difference Between Being 'Not Racist' and 'Anti-Racist'”. I hope you find it insightful.

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