I know this space is one that primarily shares my love of expressing myself through personal style, but I would truly be remiss to not also use this space to share things which are far more important to me. 

There is so much that I'm passionate about. Naturally, I think many of us are wired to find something we feel is under served and give of ourselves in some capacity because we realize that life is bigger than just us. After all, isn't the ultimate purpose in life to give back in ways that will ultimately make the world a better place than we found it? 

While I've primarily focused my time and energy over the last 14 years to our country's youth/adolescents, something that I truly believe should be an interest to every single one of us is systemic racism. No matter what you might take a personal interest in devoting your time to serve, I would be deeply saddened if we can't all agree that tolerance of hate is the ultimate demise. As so called "progression" has transpired in our country over the last 50+ years, there continues to be an alarming disadvantage for people of color. Hate continues to fill the heart of far too many people solely based on the color of someone's skin vs. the creed and integrity of their character. Innocent people are dying as a result of something that seems as though it should be a basic human right - to love everyone no matter how different they might look, think, walk and talk from you. Yet that is not our reality. But why? Why is that happening when we have laws in place that are supposed to prohibit such behavior and keep everyone safe? (Which the mere fact that we have to have LAWS to keep people of color alive and “safe” should in and of itself leave you a little shook).

There is a deep rooted problem in our country that deserves honest and uncomfortable dialogue. We are plagued with an epidemic of institutionalized hate against oppressed groups of people that will never go away until we teach otherwise. So then that prompts the question of how can we control what someone chooses to teach their children and their children's children and so on and so on? We can't. It truly breaks my heart to even have to comprehend that, but we can't. We can only control ourselves. Which is why I find it profoundly important to use this space to spread a message of love, free from fear of things I may not understand. Because I'm hopeful the more we each use our voices to speak up and speak out against this epidemic, the less room we leave for hateful ones to be heard and thus taught.


LIFESTYLEAshley Griffin