December 9, 2013
From the beginning of my life, I have been among diversity, born into a multicultural family. In my teenage years I began a spiritual journey to find my beliefs and understand those of others within religious and spiritual systems when I felt uncertain of my connection to the Catholic faith I had been raised in. From my experiences: I can see diversity only for the natural state of the world that it is, and my passion is to help raise awareness of racial/cultural and religious coexistence, universal human rights, peacebuilding efforts, and other ideas related to improving the world through personal and political efforts so that every human being has the right to life, security, and happiness that they deserve.
Academically, I have degrees in Behavioral Science and Political Science--International Security and Intelligence Studies. I will soon be pursuing a MS in Clinical Counseling and am completing certification to teach meditation and Kundalini yoga, of which I have been a practitioner for ten years.
What I believe about humanitarian efforts: Improvement begins with having a strong connection to peace and compassion, and it is a process that begins personally and is applied to the greater world. We all have constant access to our nature of peace and compassion, we often simply need to choose to focus on it and the learn the best methods for doing so. Socially and politically--as evidenced by historical and current events--creating a harmonious world of equality is a much greater challenge, and one that most often appears impossible. It is the same formula, though; when a group develops compassion and peace and makes the effort to understand and reach out to other groups, peaceful coexistence can result. Every time we understand the world a little more and then take that understanding to others, little by little, more peace does result. Even if progress is slow or uneven, it is there as long as efforts are being made.
I write, work with special needs students, and am a wife and a mother. In 2008 I became Muslim, and while I have spent time educating others about Islam, I retain respect and gratitude for my Christian upbringing and also look for every opportunity to teach others about religious coexistence. I am spiritual and religious, but I write and work from a perspective that is not faith-based.