Impact and Awareness

Pamini

What does it mean to be a woman of color? Often, that's a question that plays in my mind. Living in a world where if you are not white, affluent, and often times, male it is hard to see the worth in yourself. Throughout my early years and later on as an adult woman, I struggled with my brownness and identity.  As I’ve grown older, I’ve developed a fond appreciation for women who look like me and or share struggles of being a woman of color. Today, I find myself humbled by the many beautiful women of color in my life who inspire me on a daily basis. Some of them are my relatives, some of them are close friends, and some of them are strangers.  Women of color, to borrow a common metaphor, have been forged in the fire and come out glowing. So many of us have had to build resilience by thriving and loving in situations where we could have failed. That for me, being women of color, means constantly qualifying my legitimacy and my belonging in the country where I’ve lived my whole life. Because the thing is that you can speak perfect English, you can receive a “North American education,” you can surround yourself with whiteness, and people will still ask you, “No, but where are you from from?” Being an outsider - that is what we carry with us every day, sometimes unknowingly. But once you do know it, it can’t be undone or unseen.  To me, being a women of color is more than a simple definition, it’s a way of life and requires self-loving and healing work every single day. It’s unfortunate that those whom have been disenfranchised and historically marginalized still bear the responsibility of educating privileged folks, questioning white entitlement, and defending spaces. But the truth is: no one is going to do that work for you. You can’t ask, you can’t wait. You have to do it for yourself.

Pamini

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