Tracy Anderson                                                                


Listen…A Silent Conversation
“What do you want people to understand about you the most?”


I am a 24 year-old woman from a small town in Minnesota that is trying to make sense of the world around me, and my place in it. I’ve always been a person who loves to joke, be around people and learn and try new things, but for many years I struggled with identity and self-worth. I often wasn’t proud of my Middle Eastern roots or the fact that I carry that piece of me in my appearance the most. This stemmed from a lack of diversity in the town I grew up in, often sticking out in the crowd of predominately blond hair and blue eyes. This started to change when I got to college, and I developed a love for culture and humanitarian efforts. For the past two years, I worked as a teacher in an inner city school in Indianapolis, and they were the most definitive years of my life. My heart was broken many times as I watched injustices happen to children who didn’t deserve it. There were times when I was cynical and angry for the way my students were viewed and treated, but it made me want to work harder for them. Teaching young adolescents about the importance of loving and accepting themselves helped me to do just that, and I have never been prouder to be who I am. We are each beautifully and intricately different, each shaped by our own unique experiences. Mine have given me a drive and passion to fight for human rights. Each human life matters, has worth, has meaning. If nothing else, I want people to understand the importance of compassion, empathy and acceptance, not only of others but of ourselves as well. These were fundamental pillars that I worked hard to instill in my classroom. Working with my students encouraged me to find the good in people, and gave me hope throughout my experience that progress is possible, and that change is going to come.

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