58 thoughts on “Equality

  1. Mary Ellen Loomis

    I believe that no matter who you are, everyone is and should be treated equally. Equality is defined as the state of being equal, having equal rights, being treated with fairness, and being equal in status, rights, and opportunities. Equality comes with its negative and positive side, but no matter who we are, we all deserve to be treated with kindness and respect. People should not be brought down by others in any sort of way. I mean how would you like it if you were bringing down someone else’s day to make yours better? I’m guessing the feeling wouldn’t be spectacular. Equality has taught me how to be more confident and not worry about what others say, how friends come and go, how family is always there, and how people treat you only based on what they see and not what they know. If I had never gone through the bullying, I wouldn’t be the person I am today and I would like to thank my family for always being there and supporting me when needed. I wouldn’t have learned how to brush off what other say and move on. I am happy from my journey and happy with the person I have become. For all those who are or were being bullied, don’t let the bully bring you down. Stay positive and be grateful for what you have because the bully is only jealous about what they don’t have and what you do have.

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    1. Ariana Gutierrez

      Hey Mary Ellen,

      I completely agree with this entire essay. I remember one day in middle school when this boy would always bully me nearly everyday calling me out of my name and it was not fun at all but as you said. I believe that if that situation had never happened to me then I would not be where I am today. I am now going off to a great college with a good path ahead of me, meanwhile he is going in the complete opposite path now. Now as you also said, I have also learned how to brush things off and just keep it moving.

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    2. Carlange Borgelorme

      I agree with you in so many ways everyone should be on the same playing ground so it can be fair and no one deserves to be disrespected in any way because of what they have or who they are as a person. I believe that it the one golden rule in society, to “treat others the way you want to be treated”. I feel bad for people who are bashed on and basically bullied because of something they have.

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  2. Kelsey Alves

    When asked this broad question, it is hard to come to a conclusion on what I truly believe at such a young age. I believe that in this day and age change needs to happen within all different aspects of society such as the economy, unemployment and the ever so relevant racial divide. Throughout my high school career i’ve always found myself intrigued by Martin Luther King Jr’s speech “I Have a Dream”. It’s powerful yet causes one to sit and reflect on all the trials and tribulations that African Americans faced in the past that are now dictating their future. I do believe that black lives matter because they are the ones who are currently suffering and dealing with the most grief, but I am also an advocate for the message that all lives matter.
    I am an 18 year old young Cape Verdean women and have a vast knowledge of all of the atrocities going on in the world around me. The recent death of Alton Sterling had my utmost attention. He was a 37 year old African American who had a family that loved him dearly. Alton was harmlessly selling CDs and the store owner was perfectly fine with what he was doing. What doesn’t make sense is why was his life brutally taken away? Then, after all of this happened people feel the need to kill 5 cops in Dallas not to long after because they believe that it’s “payback” or a way of expressing what’s to come in the future. We are heading into the direction of a war between races. A war between innocent civilians and those authority figures who are suppose to be our protectors.
    Genuinely, I am ashamed at what America is resulting to. Cops are committing crimes that are worthy of punishment but aren’t receiving it. Are the ideals of the Declaration of Independence even worthy anymore? It was said that “we hold these truths self-evident, that all men are created equal” and in my opinion we are currently failing to live by those truths. When we were in elementary school we were always taught to treat others the way we want to be treated. If cops are dehumanizing people and treating them like they don’t even matter, wouldn’t they expect the same to happen to them? As the saying goes, what goes around comes around.
    A cry for equality is what’s going to be an ongoing battle. I sympathize with the pain that African Americans are feeling on a day to day bases. In April, north of the capital of Cape Verde (Praia), 11 were shot to death including 8 soldiers. It’s just another instance to prove that African Americans are not alone. Sadly it’s becoming a fight for survival. Within high school I put my all into trying to make my school community a better place for all races. Now, within society it is our job to try and do the same. Hearing everything that is going on shaped who I am by wanting to fight for equality and pave a path for future generations to better mankind.

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    1. Great writing on the subject matter of equality! You touched on specific events happening in modern culture and share some of my ideals on the issues. Sadly it seems America hasn’t made as much progress as far as equality as we would have predicted years ago, in some cases it seems we are moving backwards!

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    2. Matt Correia

      Kelsey i agree with your whole essay. I wish there were more people that thought like us the world would be a much better place.

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    3. Kailey Barrows

      This is incredible, inspiring, and so relatable (as I am also a young 18 y.o. cape verdean woman with very similar views).

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  3. Tori Martinez

    I was asked what do I believe. And I really don’t know how to answer that, even after writing the essay. I know I believe in love and in family. And I believe that music is so important to people, in ways that some don’t even understand. For instance, some music is like armour for people and a lot of times others don’t see it that way. They see music that isn’t their taste and they assume the kid is no good. I know I believe war and violence don’t solve problems but rather make them worse and cause death on both sides of the wars. I know that what I say I believe varies based on how I feel on that day. And I for sure know, the most important thing I believe is that everyone in some way can change the world.
    But truthfully I don’t think what I believe matters that much in the grand scheme of things. What someone believes is only an opinion, although it is nice to hear what someone else believes because it is perspective and shows the differences of people without singling them out. We come from such different backgrounds and we aren’t all going to agree and definitely, some of us are going to think the complete opposite of others. So it’s nice to hear people’s beliefs because that could help you to better understand them more than just a casual conversation could ever give you.

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  4. Alexandra Joseph

    I believe strongly that If we want change we all have to come together and put the effort In. I will never forget the morning I unlocked my phone, scrolled through my Instagram timeline and saw the video of Alton Sterling being shot and killed. Alton was 37 years old and had a very loving family . I literally was so confused and my heart dropped. I then started to think about Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice, Sandra Bland , Michael Brown , Jordan Davis and Darius Simmons. Sadly, there is way more African Americans that were racially profiled and involved in violence with the police. Sean Bell was shot 50 times on his wedding day. The police thought they saw a weapon and NO WEAPON WAS FOUND ON SEAN BELL. Why was one man shot 50 times? Not once, not twice, but 50 times. When I read about things like this it breaks my heart into pieces. Especially when nothing is done.
    I saw a quote that stated “ A system cannot fail those It was never built to protect” . I strongly agree with this quote. It is disheartening but sadly reality.I also believe that of course things can change. I have a little bit of hope. I pray for no more violence and peace. I pray that I don’t have to hear about these tragic acts and that society changes. People complain all the time about how terrible society is…..But we are society. If we all want change we all can’t sit and do nothing. Change can be sought out without violence and killing. “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”- Martin Luther King Jr. In the future one day every citizen in America will be treated equally in the court system, workforce and everywhere else. Movements like “ Black Lives Matter” exist today because not all lives matter in America. It is tragic but true.

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  5. osazia Iyamu

    Equality is very important to me. I believe that everyone should learn how to respect each other and appreciate each other’s differences. I find it very unfair when people are judged unfairly because of ignorance. No one should be treated differently because of the color of their skin, sexuality, religion, political views, way of life, etc. Instead, I believe we can all learn from each other and see how important it is to value each other. In a world with so much hate we need to learn how to love each other and the only way we can start loving each other is by appreciating each other. Do not be afraid to interact with others who are different from you. Do not be judgmental towards people who are different from you. Instead strike up a conversation and see how much you share in common with that person and what difference you can share with each other, you’d be so surprised by how much you can learn. I feel like we live in a society where people are afraid to interact with each other but not afraid to judge each other based off of stereotypes. I have learned that I live a more fulfilling life by interacted with people who are different than me. Judging others and treating someone unfairly because of their differences only hold you back as a person. In high school, I learned so many new things by being friends with new people. I believe we are all different for a reason and we are all beautiful because of it.

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    1. Kimberly Thomas

      Osa, I like the idea of embracing everyone and getting to know one another. Especially in today’s world that we live in, there is so much self-hatred and no one cares to hear the other persons point of view. Very insightful

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  6. Alana Monteiro

    I believe in equality. I know that no matter what one looks like, sounds like, or believes in, no one is better than anyone else. My society conditions others to feel a need to look a certain way, dress a certain way, even act a certain way and if one does not fit that mold, they are not good enough. From magazine covers pinpointing the reason why I am not attractive, to people shaming others for not living up to their standards, it is difficult to just be yourself. As I continue to grow I tend to see more hate than I do love. It breaks my heart that some people feel that their only option to feel peace, is to harm or even kill themselves. It scares me to think that because my boyfriend has darker skin than I, he is less safe in this world. It makes me depressed that the world I live in resorts to violence to solve their issues, rather than speaking to one another. I wish that one day, when I choose to have children, they do not have to witness the terrors that I have. I hope that one day this world will have unity and everybody from women to men to in between, can feel peace and know that we are all equal no matter what. I know that it is possible to have peace in this world if everyone focuses on what is important rather than how others live their life.

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  7. Destiny Evans

    Animals have found many ways to work their way into a human’s heart. Animals are loyal, compassionate, and have many other traits that humans have as well. According to the ASPCA, there are 70-80 million dogs and 74-96 million cats are owned in the United States. In the best case scenario, these pets are living their lives to the fullest and healthiest. Although that is not always the case. Some of the darkest facts about pet ownership and rights are very unappealing and are even revolting.
    In some shelters, the amount of euthanizations is disgusting. Statistically speaking, of dogs entering shelters, approximately 35% are adopted, 31% are euthanized and 26% are strays that are returned to their owner. For cats entering shelters, about 37% are adopted, 41% are euthanized, and less than 5% are strays that are returned to their owners. Animals should only be euthanized for aggression or terminal illnesses.
    In an animal shelter, dogs approximately have a 10 day hold from a lost dog to being owned by the shelter. But once a cat enters the shelter, it is up to the shelters’ discretion if they want it adopted out the next day. This is wrong. Whenever I am in a bad mood, my animals can make me feel better a lot faster than a human possibly could. I have a black lab that whenever I am anxious or upset, he comes right up to me, sits on my lap, rests his head on me, and puts his paw on my hand. So yes, if you ask me what I believe in, it is Animal Rights.

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  8. Majolie Tchoumi

    What is life as a girl? There has been a great deal of change in the societal roles of women across the globe. We open up social media, and we see amazing icons such as Malala Yousafzai, Emma Watson, Hilary Clinton and many beautiful faces. These idols go out of their way in order to raise awareness that it is time for women to shine. Why are women across the world – especially in third world countries looked down upon? The real question is; what are we doing to eradicate this social injustice? I believe in the social, political, and economic equality of the sexes.
    We need to advocate for equality in societies where women are oppressed and diminished. We need to advocate for equality among men and women. We need to advocate for women’s’ rights and give them the opportunity to gain knowledge that is quintessential to better their lives. We need to be exemplars of womanist so the younger generation can learn from us.
    Together we must stand in order to abrogate the inequalities between men and women across the globe. Women should be allowed basic rights that men already have. Malala Yousafzai said “I speak not for myself but so those without a voice can be heard.” Misogyny is definitely in plain sight and we must confront it! We must be one. We must act as the voices for these women all across the world. We must challenge the definition of what a woman can or cannot do.

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  9. Kamuso Asiegbunam

    I believe in the beauty of womanhood.
    I believe that women are can be strong and independent. We are not weak and so we should earn the same respect as men. Respect us enough to not put us in a box of what is we can and cannot do. Also, respect us enough to not only view us as a submissive sexual objects, there is more to us than our bodies we have a brain to so don’t be surprised if you find a woman who is better and smarter than you.
    I believe that we should not be viewed as incapable of doing our job just because we have kids. Our caring and motherly instincts should not be seen as a weakness or be used against us.
    I believe we should not be seen as a bitch just because we speak our minds and are not afraid to put people in their place. Our confidence should not automatically make us aggressive, bossy or arrogant. Men, just because we are ladies it doesn’t mean we should be paid any less then our male coworker.
    I believe in equal pay; our gender should not determine the amount on our paychecks, especially for women of color due to the fact the there is still a wage gap for women in male dominate professions.
    Lastly, I believe that the beauty of women come in different shapes, sizes and colors. There is no definition of what beauty is supposed to look like so stop comparing us.

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    1. Shannon Tierney

      A part of my essay mirrors yours when it comes to the female body and I agree with you 2,000%. As someone who has struggled with my own body image I can tell you first hand that being judged by the skin I’m in is hard. Being seen as nothing more than a weak entity is frustrating and aggravating. Girl power all the way!

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  10. Andrew Patricio

    I believe that everyone is equal in their own special way, regardless of race, gender, religion, sexuality and so forth. We were all born with the same equality as everyone else in the world and no one should ever think that they’re better than anyone else just because of something they believe in. Everyone has the right to make their own choices in life and be respected for who they really are. People shouldn’t be treated like cattle and stripped of their dignity just because of what they look like or what they simply believe in. One of my best friends was harassed at her job just because of her ethnicity and it really hurt me when I learned about it. That’s a prime example of what we shouldn’t do just because someone looks or thinks differently than us. Everyone has their own opinion on things that are happening in life, but discriminating those that don’t share the same opinion that we do is just crossing the line. I believe that everyone should get the respect that they truly deserve and not be treated as though they’re aliens and be given hate, but instead love. We’re all human beings with different thoughts, skin colors and ethnicities, but that doesn’t mean that we’re different from one another inside. Being treated as though we don’t really deserve that love is purely inhumane and shouldn’t be excused for any reason whatsoever. I do agree that not all of our opinions are exactly the same, but what truly matters is that we’re all given the same rights, respect and dignity within our hearts.

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    1. Shannon Tierney

      I am a white, middle class, soon-to-be college student living in an almost all white suburb in America. Many people would look at me and think there’s nothing wrong with my representation in today’s society. I agree with them to an extent. However, as a modern feminist, I believe in not one, but two major issues that women, alike and different from myself, face in humanity today. Representation in the media, as well as the extreme division in the work force via the wage gap as well as overall depiction. You would think almost one hundred years after the womens rights movement, the general public would make sure men and women are equal, right? Unfortunately, reality is far from that.
      As a society, people are sexualizing women’s bodies instead of focusing on their goals, aspirations, and accomplishments. A perfect example of this is the Rio Olympics. Many comments have been focused on women and their appearance. A tweet was made by a twitter user by the name of @PhantomDust916 saying “I am not convinced that number 7 for GBR rugby sevens is a female #RioOlympics2016”. Another twitter user by the name of @iareRocha chimed in saying “Wdmc that has got to be the manliest most muscular – soo manly she has no distinct female features – woman I have ever seen :|”
      Secondly, as a feminist, the work force is a huge red flag when it comes to unfair treatment to women. Hundreds of articles, papers, and discussions have been made to back up (or negate) the drastic difference in how men and women are treated, payed, and seen in a professional work place. For example, the American Association of University Women (AAUW) wrote an article that touched base with other studies and reported that in 2014, women get paid twenty one percent less than their male counterparts for the same occupation and responsibilities. This wage gap is also the reason for underrepresentation of women in certain job fields such as business and even construction.
      All in all, there are certain truths that cannot simply be swept under the rug. Women are genuinely misrepresented and underpaid, whether it be in the media or in the work place. I hope that one day I am able to raise a little girl in a world where she doesn’t feel pressure to be the tabloids version of perfect. I hope she can chase her dreams without a wage gap or misrepresentation being an obstacle.

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  11. Ifeoma Ikwuanusi

    “I Believe in Free Will”
    Ifeoma T. Ikwuanusi
    Not everyone is given a choice; not everyone is given a life. Free will as it is defined is: the power of acting without the constraint of necessity or fate; the ability to act at one’s own discretion (Collin’s Dictionary). Often taken for granted, we fail to acknowledge the value of this gift.
    Having options to choose from is considered a luxury for many and even more so the opportunity to make these decisions might as well be one’s idea of a Utopia. However, here in America the Constitution along with the Bill of Rights not only grants us free will but ensures its authenticity. Being able to create the life of your choice with no restraints is the foundation our country was built upon. And it is because we are not forced into fate any of this is possible; because we are assured free will.
    Some people believe in destiny; believing that certain circumstances are inevitable. But I do not believe that our lives are preordained. I do not believe destiny controls one’s success
    I believe every human being should be given free will. Free will in both instances; acting on their own accord along with not being forced into a predetermined fate. Free will should not be categorized as a luxury for those in power, nor should it be a figment of the imagination. It should not be taken for granted nor abused. In short, it should be delicately handled but innately given.

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  12. Elizabeth Sartini

    I believe in Equality. I believe in equal rights and opportunities for all inhabitants of earth. Despite your skin color, ethnicity, disability, lifestyle, religious affiliation, gender, or even species, I believe that every living being on earth should be treated with an equal amount of respect. Something so miniscule as the color of one’s skin is no excuse to be cruel. No one country is better than another. Your ethnicity should not affect your opportunities in life. A disability that someone is born with and cannot change despite hours of schooling and doctors’ visits does not mean that they are less of a person than anyone else. If someone eats differently or talks differently than the majority, they should still be treated with as much love and respect as everyone else. Who a person warships or does not warship should not make them be seen in a different light. If you’re a woman, man or something in the middle, you should be able to love anyone you want as well as pursue any career or life style you want. Your genitals should not tie you to a certain fate. Just because someone is born a woman does not mean they have to stay home with their kids, cook dinner nightly and clean up everyone mess. Just because you are born a man does not mean you have to go to work and support your family. What is it about humans that makes them think it is okay to deem groups of people and even animals as less than them. As a millennial, I believe it is my duty to treat every human and creature with equal amounts of love and respect.

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    1. Angelica Morales

      I agree! No one should be treated any different just because they seem to be more different than others. The stereotypes people begin to make of others just because that’s how they think life should be is wrong. Everyone is the same no matter what.

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  13. tamika michel

    One important theory I strongly believe in is how social media portrays black people as subordinates to other races. Whether the topic is about appearance, intelligence, or characteristic traits, one thing is apparent, African Americans are always get the short end of the stick compared to other races; and social media tends to display this the most. Discrimination is inevitably portrayed among sites and aps such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, which are suppose to be outlets for people to share thoughts and pictures with family and friends.I say there needs to be an end to black people being characterized by individuals and social media as “dumb”, “ugly”, and “rude”, because these claims are honestly uneducated statements to say. There have been so many black leaders who accomplished so much success and was able to make the world a better place through their talent, intelligence, humanitarian effort, and their grit such as Nelson Mandela, Barack Obama, Dr. Martin Luther King. Behind a race lies history, strength, beauty, and sophistication. People of all African descent come from a civilization who not only overcame challenges by using their wits but by also utilizing their determination and ironically we continue to overcome similar challenges in today’s era. In general black people (and other races too) need to be judged by their actions instead of the color of their skin because that is the first step in creating a better world.

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  14. This I believe in equality the state of being equal, especially in status, rights and opportunities. Why should someone be judged by the color of their skin, what Religion
    they believe in or what sex they are attracted to?
    No one should be judge by the color of their skin because everyone was born with all the same feats and individual mindsets. Inequality and racism had to be taught, labels like all white men can not jump or people of color can not swim are unfair labels because these things has to be taught just like inequality and racism. So the color of your skin should not give you any advantage, it’s the way you learn thing that makes’ a person who they are.
    Another unfair concept is that people are labeled by their Religion. In that thinking that all Muslims are terrorists. Not every Muslim is a terrorist and by thinking like that this world is holding back some wonderful people from shining and doing great things for this world. We put them at the back of the line, in regards to being trusted with certain types of jobs such has working with the airport and with weapons. Another example of people labeling religion is the Statement that Jews are the only righteous people in the eyes of god. No one can decide what Religion is the right Religion
    Love is love, why is it different if someone is attracted the same sex? In saying its wrong you’re taking away the right for them to be in love. Not because you do not believe in something does not mean it does not exist.
    It’s a general statement that people were not born racist or unequal; it’s the labels that people put on those people in that position which makes it wrong. Labels like people of color can not swim, all Hispanics are illegal or white man can not jump .Why does the color of my skin matter if I can swim or not? The labels exist to divide and blind people from taking a second look at someone that is different from them. .No one was born as an unequal until people who think or believe they are more valuable than others make labels. If you must label people, the label that best fits is humans.

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  15. “We become not a melting pot but a beautiful mosaic. Different people, different beliefs, different yearnings, different hopes, different dreams” –Jimmy Carter. Violence, Hatred, Vanity, and Embarrassment can all be significantly decreased with just an adjustment of the mind. I believe in diversity.
    Diversity isn’t only addressing race and the color of one’s skin; but an infinite amount of one’s self such as their philosophy, dreams, lifestyle, or even their favorite type of music. Most often, people are scared of judgement, scared of being looked down upon. This is a façade that one puts up for him/herself. Ignore that feeling. Be divergent!
    This belief of mine didn’t really come into existence until I was in high school. I went to New Bedford High School; one of the most diverse high schools in the area. When I arrived there, I was pretty dumbfounded considering I grew up in Acushnet; a white-dominated town. Being exposed to the diverse people, behaviors, and lifestyles; I really learned the true meaning of diversity.
    I believe that the negativity in the world is confining extraordinary people to be scared to share their abilities. Diversity is more than just tolerating differences. It’s moving beyond simple tolerance to embracing and celebrating the rich dimensions of diversity within each individual. Everyone is unique and no single person is a representative of a certain group.
    The world can become a friendlier, more peaceful place with just becoming more accepting and treating everyone the same. I believe in diversity.

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  16. Emma West

    I believe that everybody has the right to be their true, authentic self. To be denied that right, that should be absolute, is unjust and inhumane.
    When my mom had gotten pregnant, I was beyond excited, I could finally have a sister and be able to braid her hair! As my sister got older though, there were things that didn’t make sense. Why did my sister love cars and trucks? Why did my sister only hang out with boys? Why did my sister want to wear boy clothing and want to cut off all her hair? At first I thought she was just a “tom boy”, but it was much more than that. He was transgender.
    At first it was hard for my family and myself to understand, but it became apparent that this is just who he was meant to be. It wasn’t easy for him either, the change in school and our neighborhood, put him in tears a few times. It broke my heart. But the courage and bravery that he showed, only proved that these were his true feelings.
    I wish people would understand, that it isn’t a choice, that it is uncontrollable. I wish that people could focus on bigger worldly issues, rather than someone’s anatomy. I wish people could spread love rather than hate. And most of all, I wish that my brother will live in a world one day, where everyone was accepting and allowed one another to make choices that pertained to themselves.

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  17. Bryce Vickery

    In life, people separate themselves into different social classes to try and find their place in life, I believe that everyone needs to accept each other for who they are. For all their difference before we can truly find where we belong. Although it has gotten better over the years, some people don’t treat others with the same respect and dignity that they deserve. Simply judging a person by their appearance or social status can drive a gap between people and the society that we work so hard to build. This is an important core belief for me because of my physical disability. Although I may not look to different at first glance, it’s because of my disability that I have a hard time fitting in with other people in sports and other physical activities. When I was a kid, it didn’t happen a lot, some people did make fun of me for my disability. Those few times where always the worst their mean comments were always tucked in the back of my mind. That’s why any negative or hateful comment can stick with a person for a long time especially if it happens to them every day. It could be hard for them to build up any confidence or self esteem. When I see other people being made fun of for being different it makes me kind of mad. I dream of a world where a person can be judged by their actions and not by their skin color, mental or physical handicaps, sex, or sexual orientation.

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  18. Cassandra Lyon

    There are many things I believe in, and there are many things that I believe need to be changed in the world today. There is one belief of mine that stands out significantly. I believe in safety. In the United States, people make every effort to make this country a safe and equal place. But how can a place be safe or equal if there is corruption around every corner? As I grew up, I lived in an environment that never felt safe. I constantly felt on edge, like everything I did was going to make my parents mad. I never felt the type of unsafe as in my home was going to get robbed or something along those lines, but I felt unsafe as in I didn’t want to be hurt for doing something wrong. Always wondering why I was punished for making mistakes, people make mistakes that’s what makes us human! So why are we punished for things that make us who we are? The LGTBQ community is punished for being who they are and who they love, and Muslims are punished by the stereotype they are given, and black people are immediately thought of as a threat when they approach a white person. Why isn’t this Country a safe enough place for people to be who they are without stereotypes and judgements blocking them from safety? Innocent people are not safe in their homes, in their skin, in their communities, or in this country. This country makes attempts at equality, but the stereotypes suppress any attempts made. This isn’t the land of the free; it’s the land of the unsafe and the land of the vicious stereotypes.

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  19. Emily Malinowski

    I believe in eye glasses. In third grade, I got my first pair of glasses. I was amazed that I could distinguish each individual leaf on the trees, instead of a blur of green which I was used to. My glasses gave me the power to see each leaf by itself, each having its own shape and form. Each leaf was so different from the next. My glasses helped me see the beauty in differences and truth.
    I believe if I take the time to see people individually instead of a crowd of nameless faces, I will have better relationships with the people I meet. I will see them as individuals and take the time to get to know them for who they really are, not letting them fall into the blur of the crowd. The more I put on my glasses and get to really know people before I judge them blindly, the better person I will become. Being able to see past people’s vague exterior will let me make more friends and better allow people to use their glasses to see me as more than just another face in the crowd.
    I believe if more people used their glasses to see the true character of the people around them, the world would be a lot happier and safer of a place. People need to be able to see others clearly. Get to know other people, don’t just assume what you think you know about them is actually true. After all, leaves are so much more beautiful the clearer you are able to see them. I believe in eye glasses.

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  20. Kellie Plucinski

    I believe in veganism. Humans do not need to eat animals or animal byproducts to live. Veganism is not eating, wearing, testing, animals or using them for entertainment purposes. They do not to be slaughtered for a meal or fashion statement. Animals do no need to test the safety and efficiency of human medicine and cosmetics. Animals should not be used as entertainment in cruel and confining spaces and sports that inflict pain or will kill: animal races, hunting, rodeos, dogfighting (or any animal fighting), zoos aquariums, and animal performances. I believe in being vegan in every aspect of my life, that animals lives are not less than my own life. Meaning that I am no better than they are and they are not less than me, so why eat and torture them? I am vegan because one person will not stop animal industries from operating, but when many people protest these industries it is noticed. I want to be in the group that realizes what is wrong and did something more than make an excuse. If the industries notice that they have less consumers, then they will not produce as much without the demand. If everyone was vegan, they would not exist. More and more restaurants and markets are selling vegan products because of the growing number. One person cannot be the change but when all those one persons are added up, together they are more and together will make the changes they want to see in the world.

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  21. Matt Correia

    I believe that everybody should be treated equal regardless of there differences. I really don’t get why people are judged off of their skin color, nationality, sex, sexual orientation, religion ect. It doesn’t make sense to me at all, we’re all just people. Even though we might look different on the outside, on the inside we’re all the same. We were all put on the earth for the same reason and we should have the same goal. We need to work to build a society that gives everybody an equal opportunity to find happiness, love and peace.
    It’s pretty heartbreaking that a lot of people in America don’t see that there is a problem with equality because it doesn’t effect them directly. A lot of people are more angry over Colin Kaepernick not standing for the national anthem then when people get murdered by police or if a drone strike kills innocent people. How can you ridicule a person for standing up for something worth fighting for? If you don’t see where Colin is coming from theres a good chance you’re part of the problem. I know that might upset some people but the truth hurts sometimes but its necessary for it to be told. You can’t hide from it or the problems will never be fixed. Theres people saying he should be ashamed for not being a proud American, to be honest I’m kind of ashamed to be an American. I’m ashamed that 100 million plus Native Americans were killed and their land was stolen, I’m ashamed to have a government that allowed African’s to be bought and sold as slaves for 300 years, I’m ashamed that America has been at war 93% of the time since 1776.

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  22. Jiahnna Clairzie

    I believe that my generation realizes the severity of the acts of racism that occurs on a daily basis and that they will take a step in the right direction to push for equality. I believe this because we are at the age where we are learning, maturing and becoming adults; this gives us the perfect opportunity to make changes in our country. “As a country, we are in denial about issues of race. And too many of our leaders have concluded that the way to remedy racism is to stop talking about racism”. This is where the problem is. We must speak more about this topic despite its sensitivity. We cannot continue to sweep this global issue under the rug. For anyone that is enraged by all the police brutality, prejudice and or discrimination toward different ethnic groups, what can be done to better the situation? Many of us can speak about how horrible these situations are but nothing is being done to change it. We complain about the system meanwhile the power to fix it lies in our hands. Racism is a global issue that has always been present and will continue to be present since it has been deeply rooted in our nation’s history. It is very sad to say that in this day and age, however it is something we must deal with. Although it is a sensitive topic to talk about, it must be addressed and something must be done.

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  23. Angelica Morales

    I believe in equality. The thought of people not being able to do things because of their race, gender, age, sexuality, religion is unfair. Everyone and anyone should be able to accomplish their goals and desires no matter what. There are many times you walk around and hear people saying “women can’t do this” or “women aren’t strong enough”, and that’s not true. I believe women can do the same things men can do even better and the other way around. It’s certain stereotypes like these that makes it harder for people to make equality come to light.
    This brings us back to the time when slaves existed and wasn’t a problem. People owned other people; owned them as if they were a piece of property. Just because someone isn’t the same skin tone as you doesn’t make them less of a person than you are, and just because someone is older or a different gender doesn’t mean they aren’t strong enough for the job. People need to start opening their eyes and seeing that the world needs to work together to become a better place and not a place of segregation and hatred. They need to take out the thought of one being in a higher position or being superior to one another because everyone is equal. There are some people who have slower readings skills than others, but they can still get the same job done as the faster reader. Don’t say you can’t do it. Anythings possible.

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  24. Vasiliqi Doko

    Equality is such a big word. Eight letters long and a whole lifetime of pain. To me this word has the deepest most gratifying meaning. Equality is what I believe in. My family, being mostly made up of boys, and we did not always see eye to eye. They called me their little princess and kept me in the house. Around middle school I met the most amazing person that taught me that both genders are equally strong and amazing. My school at that time did not believe in gym but they decided to give us martial arts. My sensei asked why I always sat at the side and didn’t part take. I looked at him and said I am to weak and would never be as good as the boys. He laughed at that and said “A girl is just as strong” I looked at him confused and he continued. “when a girl fights she fights with her heart her mind. When a boy fights he fights with strength. My job. My job is to teach a boy to fight with his head as well as his strength and to teach a girl to fight with strength as well as her head.” I looked at him bewildered but did as he said. Not to long after, approximately three years after that exchange I began to get better to the point of taking competition I began to gather award after awards for my work, and my family, my brothers and my cousins no longer pushed me aside but embraced me and looked up to me. I became there equal. I became the girl that isn’t like the rest. I was no longer a princess but an equal.

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  25. I believe in gender equality. I believe that women and men should not have norms or standards that we must obey to. The idea of what a woman or a man should be is flawed, since everyone has their own idea of who they are. To have a guideline to follow right when you enter this world is toxic and only hurts and entraps someone’s true personality. It is already a difficult world to live in because of constant clashing of ideas but no one has the right to tell someone who they are is wrong. In this world, we should never expect life to go by smoothly. There will be disagreements followed by arguments or maybe even a civil conversation. What I believe in though, is not something I would think should have a counter argument. Maybe that is arrogant but gender equality is something that has been constantly fought for even when it was from the spark of feminism. Going against gender norms is something that should not even be a thing rather, it should just be called being yourself. These standards that everyone has to live up to has more cons than pros. Women are expected to cook, clean, raise the children. Men are expected to work endless hours and provide his family with financial stability. When the roles are switched, men are referred to as a wuss or less than he is and women are told, “What does your husband do for a living?” or “How come you aren’t the one taking care of the kids?”
    Through time, some things have changed because women now have thicker skin and are learning to be more independent than ever. They are starting to realize that choosing to put their career over society’s law, that women need to settle down and have kids, is okay. Sexism still does exist today, but hopefully we will only grow forwards from today.

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  26. Rebecca Lorantos

    I believe in fairness and giving everyone an equal chance in life. There is never a reason for someone to take something away from another person. Every person deserves a chance at whatever they choose to purse in life no matter their skin color, faith or sexuality. These are three qualities of a person that have no affect on what they can and can not do. These qualities are often what people first think of when accessing who someone truly is, essentially judging one another and this deprives people from achieving their goals.
    The color of someone’s skin is only that, a color. It shows their ethnicity compared to others around them. There is no difference in their physical, mental or emotional capabilities.
    People find the light in the darkest of times through faith and religion. In times of hardship faith gives them the push they need to push on and continue to fight.
    Love can come in different forms. Love of family is the most common, although the most controversial forms are those that sadly hold many people back. The love between a man and a woman is what first comes to mind. A man should be able to love a man the same as a woman should be able to love a woman. There is no difference and there is no less love between two people just because of the gender similarity between them.
    Putting others down is cruel and wrong. However unfair the many criticisms may be, no matter our differences we should all be able to achieve our goals.

    Like

  27. Liana Figueroa

    I believe in equality. I believe that no one should be judged by the color of their skin. I believe that the oppressed and minorities have the power to succumb to the stereotypes that have been placed upon them and that they can overcome the burdens that they did not ask for. It troubles me that in this day in age gender inequalities are still existent. In the United States a woman earns close to ⅓ of what a man makes for doing the same job. Why is that? Why do some people believe that a man should earn more money than a woman for doing the same job? Who are you to tell me that I don’t deserve to make the exact same amount of money than the man standing next to me. It troubles me that in this day in age people are still being judged by the color of their skin and that our country is in an uproar against the people who we rely on for protection. It seems like every other day I log on to one of my social medias and see yet another hashtag of an African American who has been killed for no apparent reason. It troubles me that in 2016 a presidential candidate can stand up and speak in front of national television and make a mockery out of African Americans. It troubles me that some people who have been oppressed or minorities don’t take a stance against the future that people might typically expect from them and instead do something that no one would expect.

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  28. Ryan Lindstrom

    When I am asked about my own core beliefs the first thing that comes to mind is equality and acceptance for all people. What is truly sad is that in today’s society “equality” does not exist. Everyday I wake up and turn on the news and see awful headlines that all stem from hatred and ignorance that lives inside people. Devastating events from the tragic incident in Orlando, to the awful reality of the racial discrimination exemplified in this country’s own law force and government, show that we are a long way from having true equality. All people deserve to be treated equally regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, class, or religion. I believe that our generation has taken more steps than any generation before us to create an equal society, however we still have a long way to go. On a smaller scale as students it is easy for us to make sure that we create a learning environment that is accepting for all of our peers. It is easy to make sure that everyone is included in study groups, friend groups, and get togethers. Everyone deserves an equal opportunity in all aspects of life and in the classroom is a perfect way for us to start. I believe that one day we will live in a world where racism no longer exists, same sex couples will have all the rights straight couples do, wars with reasons rooted in religion will no longer exist, women will earn the same wages as men, and judgement of a person based on a preconceived idea will be a thing of the past. Once we reach true equality I believe society will be able to accomplish unimaginable things.

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  29. Emily D'Addieco

    Humility and Acceptance
    To me these are integral values for us as humans to uphold. With humility comes acceptance; being humble in my life has always been important to me because when I’m not so aware of my own importance I find that I am able to understand and help others more. this is a lot of the reason why I am pursuing a liberal arts degree, to work with people from all over the world in different fields. I may not know exactly what it is that I’ll be doing but I hope to interact with and assist many fellow humans using the two values I believe most in. Acceptance is important to me because I grew up in a very diverse town and met so many amazing individuals throughout my schooling there. It pains me to see people written off or given less of a
    chance because of who they are or where they come from. In America we preach constantly how we are the land of opportunity, but we forget to mention the ever-present sense of intolerance here. Probably because it’s all around the world. Though hatred and bigotry is greatly lessened in our modern age, it is still active. I believe that practicing acceptance in all walks of life is vital because of this. I believe that through the concepts of humility and acceptance I find purpose, even in a world that seems to be drowning purposeless hatred. Current issues such as racism, terrorism and brutality all stem from general prejudice. The concepts I believe in combat prejudice. Living with acceptance and humility in my life won’t end these issues, but spreading the meaning and actions associated with these words to my peers throughout my existence will lessen the hatred. I truly believe that if I can practice these values for the rest of my time here, I will have lived a fulfilling life. Through people who accept others and stay humble, I find hope, community and purpose.

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  30. Anna Ho

    Why is white a superior color to be? Most people think white is the only beautiful skin tone. All colors of every type are beautiful! It all has it’s own unique beauty. I believe no skin color is superior to another. Some people do not like their skin. Many change their skin to become a lighter shade, by using bleaching products. These products make us realize how many people out there, who are willing to do this. Women face many challenges of how they are supposed to look. They are the ones to drench themselves in bleach to there death. In Vietnam, they cover their skin when the sun is out in order for them not to get dark. My family members have commented on my skin color and offered bleaching cream, but I refused. They say dark is ugly, white is in. I felt self-conscious every time someone comments on my skin. I would always say, “don’t listen to them, you are beautiful,” but hearing those comments everyday made me furious. Sometimes I wanted to take the bleaching cream and be beautiful like everyone says. It felt wrong to change my color. I wanted to accept my color. I should not care about what others say about me and to accept who I am, instead of changing. I am proud of my color, proud of being me. I believe we should all embrace our true colors instead of changing them. Every color is beautiful no matter what anyone says!

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  31. Emily Cabral

    I believe in tearing down boundaries. At the beginning of my junior year in high school there was minimal inclusion between special education and regular education students. Simultaneously, our school received a grant from Special Olympics to start a Unified Track team.
    The Unified Track team started as six athletes, seven partners, and two coaches. The program was centered around the different events in spring track, but our main goal as a team was to create an opportunity for the special needs students in our school to participate in our student body and help increase their confidence and social skills. We wanted to prove that everyone has a special gift, no matter their physical and intellectual abilities.
    At the beginning of the season most of the athletes were shy or didn’t know how to interact with the partners. But as the season progressed, friendships began to grow. There were no longer boundaries between abilities, but instead everyone got along as friends, like any group of kids would.
    Our team went on to place second in our league, but the true reward was seeing how proud each of the athletes were because they finally belonged to a team.
    Unified Track was the first step in creating a more inclusive student body. The program has been fully supported, and will continue to grow. When everyone has a chance to promote their achievements, to feel as though they belong, and to use the skills that are unique to them, the whole community can truly begin to grow.

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  32. Aaron Fastino

    An individual can hold many core beliefs and values close to his heart, such as courage, bravery, compassion, honesty and so on. For me, my core belief in my life is common decency. To me common decency can carry a numerous amount of connotations. To be decent, it is to be generally kind and welcoming to a fellow peer, to be honest, and to some degree be respectful.

    From my upbringing, I have adapted my own way of being decent. The way I chose to be decent is to just try and do what I would want done onto me, such as being relatively friendly to everyone I come into contact with, holding the door open for someone and so on. What I do is incredibly basic and may not even seem like decency to anyone but myself, however, I see such a constant lack of reciprocated kindness that I’ve grown to love all the little things that one individual will do for another, such as the kind gesture of giving someone a ride someone, or helping another with their school work.

    Now the reason why common decency is so important to me arises. As I was growing up, I started to see how important decency was for my own family’s survival, since our family was so close, if any of use acted disrespectful and damaged the bond we all had, it would cause massive issues, so in a sense, I paired the feeling of togetherness and unity with decency.

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  33. Joselee Pontes

    I believe in respect. If there is one thing that a person cannot live without, it is respect. The only way to get anything done in this world is to have respect, not only for yourself, but for other people as well. If everyone in this world respected other people’s wishes, thoughts, and beliefs, the world would be a better place. All the turmoil in today’s world could be avoided if people were able to put differences aside and simply respect one another. A lot of people in today’s society are afraid of what is different from them, and that is where a lot of this world’s problems stem from. If everyone was able to take a step back and realize that differences are okay, differences are not scary, and that differences should be embraced and respected, all the hatred in the world cease to exist. Homophobia, racism, islamophobia, and other hate-fueled beliefs all boil down to the same principle; there is a lack of understanding, tolerance, and respect in this world. A lot of these problems are deep-rooted in our country, and if everyone was able to realize people that are different from them, whether it be the color of their skin, their sexuality, or their religion, are still people at the end of the day. We all bleed the same. The key to living a happy, healthy, positive life is to have a happy, healthy, positive mind, and the first step to achieving that is to have respect.

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  34. Rebecca Lorantos

    I believe in fairness and giving everyone an equal chance in life. There is never a reason for someone to take something away from another person. Every person deserves a chance at whatever they choose to purse in life no matter their skin color, faith or sexuality. These are three qualities of a person that have no affect on what they can and can not do. These qualities are often what people first think of when accessing who someone truly is, essentially judging one another and this deprives people from achieving their goals.
    The color of someone’s skin is only that, a color. It shows their ethnicity compared to others around them. There is no difference in their physical, mental or emotional capabilities.
    People find the light in the darkest of times through faith and religion. In times of hardship faith gives them the push they need to push on and continue to fight.
    Love can come in different forms. Love of family is the most common, although the most controversial forms are those that sadly hold many people back. The love between a man and a woman is what first comes to mind. A man should be able to love a man the same as a woman should be able to love a woman. There is no difference and there is no less love between two people just because of the gender similarity between them.
    Putting others down is cruel and wrong. However unfair the many criticisms may be, no matter our differences we should all be able to achieve our goals.

    Like

  35. Melissa

    Beliefs are personal. Beliefs are opinions that are not always shared by others. Beliefs can change from year to year, month to month, week to week, and even day to day. This can lead a single solitary person to hold multiple different beliefs about the same topic throughout their lifespan. But, some beliefs just don’t change…well, not yet anyway. I believe in reserving judgments when it comes to people and situations we know very little about. I believe in accepting the differences among the human population.
    I came to the realization that nobody should judge another individual based on race, gender, sexual orientation, body shape, height, religious preference, accent, hair color, shoe size, fingernail length, or any other minute characteristic of a person when I was just a kid in middle school. The harsh names that students would use on their peers who were presumed to be homosexual would (and still does) boggle my mind. The absolutely ridiculous insults that kids would throw at the overweight students, or the socially and mentally challenged would boil my blood. I’m not quite sure if I was born being a nonjudgemental person, or if my parents and environment helped show me that there is much more to a person than what we see (or think we see) on the surface.
    All I know is, one who can so easily pass judgements on others clearly needs to reevaluate his or her life. How come it is so easy for people to look at an obese person and assume that he or she is lazy and unmotivated? Why is it the norm for people with facial piercings, purple hair, and tattoos from head to toe to be labeled as “goth” or “weird”?. Why do we as a human race not realize that these differences amongst all of us are not something to judge, but rather something we should accept without even having the slightest question of doubt in our minds? These few examples I have listed do not even begin to cover the tip of the iceberg; for there are many other judgments that I have experienced daily that I can not comprehend.
    The best thing to live by is “do not judge a book by its cover”. Just because a person is obese does not mean he or she is lazy and unmotivated. Just because a person has facial piercings, purple hair, and tattoos does not mean he or she is “goth” or “weird”. We should not judge based on looks. We should not make assumptions without knowing a person’s story. What we should do is reserve judgements and restrain ourselves from making assumptions.

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  36. Linsay Alcindor

    I believe that black lives matter. That is what i believe in. Just cause i believe that black lives matter does not mean i don’t believe that all lives matter because i do. But at the end of the day let’s be honest real quick if ALL lives did matter, why do people get offended when black people say their lives matter? How come people only started saying all lives matter when blacks started saying their lives matter? This proves that people don’t really care about the movement all lives matter it is just a way to shut the “minorities” aka blacks for speaking up for change. The movement black lives matter only started because of the lack of consequences are taken at the hand of police. On February 2012, Trayvon Martin an unarmed African American 17 years old was fatally shot by a neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman. He argues that it was self defense and the charges against him were dropped. A few years later he brags and tries to sell the gun he killed an innocent teenager with online. The sad part about is that people actually tries to buy the gun. He was unarmed his life was taking away only because he was black. Since when being black was crime. Not only did he kill unarmed boy and he got paid to leave he also got away with it and was bragging about it. Now tell me do all lives really matter? This is reason like we need to understand the Black lives matter movement. On April 30, 2014 Dontre Hamilton an unarmed 31-year-old African American with a history of mental illness, was shot 14 times in a downtown park. He was shot by a white officer named Christopher Manney who argues it was self defense, who was fired in October but was not charged in the shooting. Eric Garner dies after he was wrestled to the ground by 4 officers who attempted to arrest him for selling illegal cigarettes. In a cell-phone video recorded by a bystander, Garner can be heard repeatedly saying, “I can’t breathe.” Even when he said he couldn’t breath they did not stop until he was out of last breath. Tamir Rice a 12 years old black boy who was fatally shot and killed in a park for having a fake gun on him. The person who called 911 said it was a fake one and the officer still argues saying he did not know it was fake. He killed the poor kid the minute he got to the scene. Even after the officer killed Tamir, he tries to blame on the mother for giving her a bb gun to play with. A 22 years old white male from New Hampshire firing a BB gun to white white police officer . He was arrested And he was already on probation for the same incident The judge reciting over the case and was worried of his safety. A white male can get away with firing a BB gun while a innocent child was killed on sight for having it in the first place because of incidents like this that is why the black lives matter movement started it in the first place. Why is it okay to kill a child for having it while a white male can get away with firing it not once but multiple times. But do all lives really matter ? where is the justice for this innocent child? Yes all lives matter , It’s just right now we are focusing on black lives because judicial system does not know that.

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  37. Karee Vertus

    As a Haitian-American, practicing my culture is a crucial part of my daily life mainly because it provides me with a sense of belonging and meaning. This sense of belonging provides me with a clear path to not only spiritual but mental growth. From the moment a Haitian child is able to speak and walk, they are taught the importance of respecting others for who they are as a person despite their status in society, religion or even sexual orientation. Furthermore, the love I possess for my culture and my nationality is the same type of love I would want another individual to have for theirs because being from a specific background makes us unique and interesting in the utmost desirable ways. Culture is all around us; it comes as easily to us as breathing in oxygen. Culture is celebrated and appreciated throughout the world in multiple ways and rituals. It also sets the foundation for social equality and how everyone should be treated fairly and just without judgment as human beings despite race, ethnicity, gender or sexual orientation. I personally believe that we, as a people need to come together as one to prevent further discrimination amongst our own species. We are who we are. We’re all different in our own ways and have multiple contributions that can be beneficial to society and our survival. Equality for all begins with acceptance which means to genuinely accept people for who they are instead of who we want them to be.

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  38. Shane Fleury

    I believe in people, specifically that there is some amount of goodness in every one on this planet. We really are all the same, we are all human beings. As human beings, we all have the same anatomy and we all have the ability to feel the same emotions. We all have an innate nature to know right from wrong and the free will to make that choice. I believe that every person on this planet knows what love is and has at least one person in their life that they love and/or that loves them. There are currently seven billion four hundred million people in the world, and every day approximately three hundred and fifty thousand people are born and one hundred fifty three thousand people die. Can you imagine what this world would be like if all of these people did what is right and acted in a way that benefited their fellow humans above themselves?
    So why don’t we? It is because we are different in the way we look and/or in the way we think. We look different due to our gender, weight, height, and skin, hair, and eye color. We think differently because of our ideologies. The country of the world in which we are born or raised attribute to these differences. Instead of developing respect and tolerance for others, human beings tend to develop fear or hatred for others outside their ideology or country. There always seems to be evil operating in the world somewhere. But, what if those people choose to do what is right and practice tolerance instead of hatred. I believe that this is possible as I believe that everyone is born with some amount of goodness in them.

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  39. Christian Lewis

    “The world ain’t fair”, That is what I believe. The world’s unfair to people who are poor, colored, different and free. This world is dictated by social norms and the beliefs of other people, it’s getting harder and harder to have your own beliefs. Growing up on a small island in the Caribbean I saw it first hand how unfairly people were treated because they were different. They were scorned and hated, I always wondered how this much hate could plague a island no more than 2000 square miles.
    I soon learned that this unfairness did not only inhabit my small island. I saw it again first hand in “The greatest country in the world”. The stare of the eyes of vultures as I was walking with my homeboys through the busy streets of Boston. The hot breath of police officers onto my neck as they slapped cold cuffs onto my boney wrist. The feeling of my cheek grinding against still warm asphalt from the midday sun.
    The world will never be fair until people stop getting or trying to gain unfair advantages over other people. Until all people are given the same opportunities to be happy and successful taking only one factor into account, that their human. Currently this is just a dream, based on what is happening in the world today I think it’s clear. “The world ain’t fair” , This is what I believe.

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  40. Cassie Vivar

    You look at me and see a round face, light brown skin and long brown hair. You think to yourself she must be Spanish. You think to yourself she’s not White. You think to yourself she’s not American. Yes, my appearance is the first thing you see but it shouldn’t be the first thing you judge. Everyone these days, is seen as the color of their skin and not by the way they act and the things they believe in. There are stereotypes of every race and when a person looks like that race those stereotypes follow. I read a lot about equality when I was younger from Martin Luther King’s perspective and I always use to think how someone could treat another human being like that. And I would ask myself why people thought just because the color of their skin they had more privilege then someone who looked different. The thing that I never connected is why did I love reading about these sad stories on how people were discriminated against and treated like an animal and it was because I felt that people looked at me and say things to me that made me feel like I didn’t belong. I look Guatemalan but I don’t speak it and I have a white mother but I don’t look like her. But I feel the people stare and ask me what I am and people come up to my mom and ask where she adopted me from. They look at me and think about all the Spanish stereotypes but why is that the first thing that comes to their minds. People should be judged on the way they act and the way they express themselves to others and not by the way they look. Equality was meant to get people of different races, genders and cultures to come together and become friends and family. But unfortunately when you look at the news you see things different and we see hatred for another race. Such things like a black man who was shot by a white cop or a white cop shot by a black man or a Muslim bombing a place. This shows us that equality has not been fully achieved and that for equality, people need to be judged on their actions. When speaking out about such things the color of one’s skin and their religion should not be mentioned. I truly believe that everyone is equal therefore we should all work together to learn about each other’s cultures, beliefs and goals. I think then we could truly understand one another and learn to live together in harmony and help each other. One of things we do in our town is try to bring our community together through soccer or community gardens. This we have seen truly through away the barriers and come together as one. We just need the United states to start developing this as well.

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  41. Erica Gomes

    Theodore Roosevelt expresses his views on immigration in a speech given in 1919. “In the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the person’s becoming in every facet an American, and nothing but an American…There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn’t an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag… We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language…. and we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people.” These are the ideologies that America has been stuck on for centuries. Those seeking citizenship in the United States must abide by the American beliefs, rituals, language, and traditions, and abolish their own. Theses notions are unjust and discriminatory. The United States was built on the backs of immigrants, yet they can not enjoy the fruits of their own labor.

    Immigration is a personal topic for me because most of my family members are or were immigrants. My family immigrated from the Cape Verdean islands, located on the west coast of Africa. Immigration in Cape Verde is looked upon as the only way to achieve personal, family, and social success. The resources and educational opportunities are extremely limited in Cape Verde. I strongly believe in working towards strengthening the immigration system in America, and creating social, political, and economic equality for all American Immigrants.

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  42. Hannah Leedberg

    It was 96 degrees out on my last day of school junior year. At my high school, we substituted normal classes with a half day of barbecue chicken and yearbook signing, where we spent about three of the four hours outdoors. As I walked outside with Brittany, a close friend of mine, we were stopped by the athletic director who seemed to be baffled at something.
    “Brittany, many faculty members have expressed a sort of… discomfort with your outfit today.”
    This statement was followed by a blank stare, which I assume was because he expected her to go to the lost and found and try to find a sweaty, unwashed extra-large long sleeve shirt and sweatpants, regardless of the temperature outside. He continued, “I mean, your boobs are pretty much just out.” I refused to allow the female body to be stigmatized.
    Being emerged into a group where the fight for gender equality was commonly mistaken for misandry was both liberating and disappointing. I learned more in depth about the different communities that had been ignored for eons, but taking that information and trying to educate others often seemed to leave me feeling frustrated. If I tried to have a productive conversation with someone who followed The Meninist on Twitter, or someone who believes male politicians should have a place in a woman’s uterus, that always proved to be insurmountable.
    What many people seem to conveniently overlook is that equal doesn’t mean the same. If a woman’s menstrual cycle is both necessary and deemed “disgusting,” then why do pads and tampons have an additional luxury tax on them? If pregnancy is a both mutual decision between two people (excluding the instance in which a single woman chooses to impregnate herself through a sperm donor) and carried out by a woman, why do men then get to force a woman into a potentially unwanted pregnancy, but also have the choice to leave if they don’t want a child?
    When faced with injustice, reject it and ruthlessly fight for what you want and don’t apologize for changing the world. This I believe.

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  43. Spencer Lathrop

    I believe in freedom. Freedom is the ability to choose; the ability to have an open mind and to act on your decisions. Freedom is the foundation of happiness and sadness. It is the beginning to every story both good and bad. Without freedom everyone is constrained and cannot do as they choose. Without freedom life is not as interesting and there would be no variation in day to day life. Without freedom people cannot travel the world and see new places.
    I believe in freedom because I feel that freedom is the basis of everything we do in life. Every day we make decisions with a free and clear mind that affects the rest of our lives. Without freedom we would not live our lives the way we live, today and everything would be different; we would all live similar lives and there would be nothing to make us unique. Freedom is the idea of choice and the ability to have a free and open mind. An open mind allows us to be creative and choose our next path. All of these ideas of freedom show what makes us who we are. I believe in freedom because I feel that without it we are not human. Freedom is necessary for us to live the way we want to and is necessary for happiness. I believe in freedom.

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  44. John Riordan

    One of the most prevalent and ignorant of issues that still lingers today is race; specifically with African Americans. Although great progress has been made to improve equality, negative stigmas still exist and racism against African Americans is systematically built into society. Ghettos and projects in cities confine its populations to the morals and taboos within it. People who grow up within are consumed by the streets they’re raised in; including the crime within it.They are raised knowing the confines of their society and only that, thus giving them a hardened outlook on life that is unmalleable by viewpoints other than their own.

    A human’s identity can be often misconceptualized as mainly being intrinsic. Its extrinsic influences; mainly the society that gives the person their values should absolutely not be ignored. Throwing people from these societies into jails do not help and only create a cycle of incarceration. The environments African Americans and other minorities reside in must be looked at and improved. Without looking at the indirect causes that create their situation, nothing will change and nothing will improve.

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  45. Daniel Stillman

    I believe in honor. I believe in personal honor which should guide one’s actions. I believe in societal honor which favors justice and equality for all members, and I believe in respecting the honor of others. Though honor itself falls under a fairly loose definition, I believe it is akin to morality and one’s concept of humanity. Honor is the strength of a person’s reputation: how trustworthy they are, how upstanding they are, and how much they will do for their fellow people.
    It is much harder to list what makes a person honorable than it is to list what makes them dishonorable. Do they act without regard for others? Do they lie, cheat, or steal? If they value themselves over the common person, they embrace a life without honor. When we think about a life without honor, these are all fairly easy conclusions to which we can come. However, one facet of honor is the esteem for other people’s honor. Their autonomy, their ability to decide for themselves, and your respect for their decisions are all governed under the definition of honor.
    Honoring others means treating them cordially and without unwarranted cruelty. However, honor also means stepping up against the dishonorable. Honor calls people to action to fight injustice and evil, and it demands an immediate response to those who act outside of code of honor. For each crime there must be a punishment, and each punishment must be fair. Simply put, honor is doing the right thing and acting against individuals who do not.

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  46. Taylor Burns

    I believe in equality. I think that equality is one of the most important things to believe in and support. I say this because every person is a person; so how could one person be “more important” than the other? Their job? Their social status? It shouldn’t matter that just because of your job you are deemed “better” than say someone who has a job without a degree. But, say Phil worked his whole life right out of high school and Jeff didn’t. Jeff went to college and then even got his masters after that and got some crazy international relations job. So is Jeff a better person than Phil? No but Jeff put in the work to get that international relations job, yes Jeff is making more and probably enjoying his job a lot more than Phil but that doesn’t mean Phil is a lesser person to Jeff. Another example is where someone came from, (past, financially etc.) Over the years I have witnessed a lot of “bullying” I guess you could call it, because of a families wealth. This disgusts me. No one knows what the other person or family has been through. There could be someone that hinders them from doing something, a road block, a relative, etc. So no matter what, think before you say something that could have a huge impact on someone else. No matter how rich or how poor they still have their own problems we know nothing about. An easy way to avoid this is to just say kind things and don’t expect them to have a perfect life, because they don’t.

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  47. Makensie Brown

    In the year 2016, you would never think that the things that happen in such a developed age, happens. Hatred among people, whether its different races, religions, or political backgrounds. I’ve learned that every person is different, no matter how much you think you may have in common with them, you’re different.
    These past couple of years I have been introduced to two boys with autism, whom I have become very close with. Becoming close to these two boys has changed my life. No one really understands them, or gives them the time of day. They just look at them as retarded or not normal. Looking at the world through the boys eyes is one of my favorite things to do. They don’t see anything bad in this world, everything they look at has a positive outcome. Among all of the hatred the goes on around us, spending time with these boys is one of my favorite things to do, to escape from it all.
    Just because someone has Autism, or Down Syndrome, or any special need for that matter, does not make them less than us. We should not discriminate anyone because of the way their brain works. Everyone’s brains work different. There is not one of us that have the same brain, and the same way of thinking.
    I am very thankful for the opportunity that I do, to take care of these two boys. They have changed my outlook on life. It has made my outlook on the world change, my relationships with people change. I believe in equality among the people. No matter who you are, what you believe in, we should all love one another.

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  48. Zachary Wedge

    This may be the Libertarian in me, but I thoroughly believe that no matter who you are, you should feel safe and secure in your own skin, and shouldn’t be treated as lesser than anybody else, regardless of race, gender, religion, sexuality, income, or even interests. Nobody is better than anybody else, and shouldn’t act as such. We’re all human beings. We are all fundamentally exactly the same. We need to stop seeing differences as a way to divide people up. We should see past differences and accept that everybody around us, even if they may look or act differently, aren’t all that different from us. Life is hard enough for everyone, let alone for those who are treated differently due to their skin color, or gender, or sexuality. On a personal level, I can’t really say that I’ve really felt disadvantaged for anything about me, but I can say that people often get angry over and try to change my religious views. I have been an atheist for years now, and I’ve been quite open about it. There are still people I know, including extended family members, who resent me and constantly try to convert me. I’m not going to sit here and say that I’ve been “oppressed” or even really disadvantaged because of this, but I can say I do know what it feels like to be treated differently by people who should love you for who you are no matter what. People always sit there waving their american flags and constantly talk about “The best country on earth” and “The home of the free.” If we really are either of those things, then why did gay people in the U.S. just get the right to marry in 2015? Can we really be an equal country when I’ve heard people call our president things you would hear in a documentary about the Jim Crow laws in the 1960’s. We can truly never be equal until we look past each other’s individual differences, and see ourselves as what we truly are: one species.

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  49. Brandon Vieira

    I strongly believe that everyone deserves to be treated as an equal no matter what. There was a time in my life that I was not treated as an equal and it was the worst pain I’ve ever felt. I remember coming home from school uncontrollably crying with bruises all down my back. At school other students would attack me not only verbally, but physically as well, all because I was gay. My mother would hold me in her arms as I wept and asked her why they were doing this to me. I never understood why I was singled out and attacked for something I had no control over. Why did I have to be punished for being myself? There are so many people out there who are unable to live comfortably in their own skin because of the terrible people in this world who do not share the same beliefs as I do. I believe that under no circumstance is it okay to single someone out and treat them as if the value of your life is greater than the value of theirs. There are people out there who are afraid to embrace who they really are because they fear that they will not be accepted. I believe that we should be able to live in a world where everyone is proud of who they are. I want to live in a world where every single human being is allowed to walk out of their house with confidence in who they are. Unfortunately this goal cannot be achieved unless we work together to make sure that we treat our neighbors with the respect that they deserve despite the color of their skin or their sexual orientation. It was only just recently members of the LGBTQ community were able to legally get married in the United States. To me it is absurd that it took this long for the legalization of same sex marriage. Why did it take people so long to realize that we have the same rights as everyone else and deserve to be treated as equals? Despite the long wait it was well worth it and it was definitely a giant step in the right direction for assuring equality in this world. I hope that this world never has to go through another tragedy like the one that happened in Orlando where innocent people lost their lives celebrating and being proud of who they really are. It is never okay to punish someone for being proud of who they, every person on this earth deserves to have the same rights and to be proud of who they are.

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