I Am Not A Representative
a poem on tokenization
When I share my stories
I do not speak on behalf
of a larger group.
I speak as me.
You might find similarities
between my story
and the story
with a similar background,
but know that deep down
they are not the same.
Do not take my story
to invalidate someone else
who is in similar shoes,
but felt differently.
Do not read my story
and assume that you
have the full picture
of what it means to be someone like me.
Do not argue my story
by citing another’s differing viewpoint —
hers is as valid as mine.
I am not a representative,
not someone who can speak about
all the aspects of what it means
to be part of a group,
but rather one part of the whole.
Seek out the stories of others like me
the diversity within diversity.
Poetry Prompt: Reflect on what aspect of your writing you wish more people cued into, or noticed. What message do you want to shine a spotlight on? What values?
Lucy (The Eggcademic) has been invited to write diversity, equity and inclusion statements simply because she has spoken about her experiences with racism a few times. Know that she is not an expert in policy, sociocultural experience, but rather that she can only share her own experiences as part of a whole. She is not a representative, but rather one sharing a unique set of experiences that will have some commonalities with others. She has much of her own anti-racism and decolonization work to do.
This poem was first published here.
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