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RESTART FALL 2020:   See FIT’s plans and guidelines for fall campus operations, teaching, and learning.

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Members

Dr. Ronald A. Milon

Dr. Ronald A. Milon, Chief Diversity Officer, Office of the President, Co-Chair of the Diversity Council

Dr. Milon provides leadership and vision for diversity and inclusion initiatives, ensuring their alignment with the principles and goals of the college’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Strategic Plan. Milon has long been active in diversity activities. At the New School, Dr. Milon master's thesis focused on human rights and the application of such rights to non-Western cultures. He has attended diversity conferences and LGBT training sessions. At Bergen Community College, he managed a federal and Kessler MOSAIC grant designed to place people with disabilities in jobs.

For seven years prior to his arrival at FIT, he conducted diversity workshops for students---and retreats for students and staff---at Bergen Community College and at DeVry University. In 2014, he ran a diversity workshop for staff in the division of Enrollment Management and Student Success entitled, "Training across cultures."

"Diversity is my reality. A reality of wonderful differences and that makes life interesting and worth living.  It encourages positive dialogue, which leads to an appreciation of such differences in our everyday lives. Inclusion is the work we do each day in examining our values and how we can move from the "self", to "them" and finally a community of "us".

Joe Plutz

Joseph Plutz, Director, Office of Disability Services, FIT-ABLE, Co-Chair of the Diversity Council

Joseph Plutz has been working in the FIT-ABLE Office since March 2007. He completed his Master's Degree in Disability Studies at the CUNY School of Professional Studies (SPS) in December 2013 and currently teaches an online Masters course there in Disability Studies.  He works closely with students, faculty, and staff to promote disability awareness on the FIT campus to foster dialog and understanding of disability as a category of diversity and identity.

"I feel that it is important that we all understand that people experience diversity differently.  Diversity is such a wide ranging topic in which people fall into multiple areas.  Increased knowledge of diversity enhances what each of us does and represents inclusion, mutual respect, civility, collaboration and innovation across the campus."

 Anabella Bergero

Anabella BergeroAlumni, Fashion Design, MFA 

Born Argentinean, raised in Mexico, and nomad by heart. Anabella Bergero is a transcultural artist and designer. She relishes the exploration of multidisciplinary spaces where fashion, design, and art function as platforms to explore concepts of gender, culture, performance, and identity. She enjoys redefining and challenging the boundaries of her practice, creating spaces of representation, and nurturing a sense of community wherever she goes. Anabella is a community-driven professional passionately committed to working towards inclusivity, equality, and socially sustainable practices within fashion. She firmly believes in the power of transformation when we all bring our best selves to the equation of change. 

Sarah Blazer

Sarah Blazer, Assistant Professor and Associate Director of The Writing & Speaking Studio

Professor Blazer is Associate Director of The Writing & Speaking Studio and teaches in the English and Communication Studies Department. Her teaching and scholarship are guided by her longstanding commitment to advancing linguistically and epistemically inclusive and productive teaching and learning. She aims to bring awareness to the value of supporting students to harness--not deny--their unique cultural and linguistic resources to communicate effectively and powerfully. She has administered writing programs and taught undergraduate and graduate writing courses at Lehman College (CUNY) and Long Island University, Brooklyn.

Within and beyond FIT, Sarah is passionate about increasing access to professional, civic, and creative opportunities for underrepresented students, colleagues, and community members and to providing ongoing support and mentorship as individuals forge a path for themselves and others.

Her work has been published in The Writing Center Journal and College English.

Patrick Boylan

Patrick Boylan, Adjunct Professor, Fashion Design

A proud alumnus of FIT, Patrick Boylan has been an Adjunct Professor in the apparel area of the Fashion Design department since 2010. Since 2015, he has been a visiting professor at Zhejiang Sci-Tech University in Hangzhou, China. Beyond the academic studios of FIT, Patrick balances a ‘diverse’ design career. He is currently a design development and production consultant for small start-up brands. His work in this arena led him to pen, Making It – A Guide to Producing a Fashion Collection soon to be published by Thames & Hudson. Patrick is also the owner and designer of Grace Liturgical Vestments, an internationally recognized ecclesiastical design business that he founded in 2000. He is an out and proud family man sharing life’s adventures with his husband and their son and daughter.

“If ever there were a moment to recognize, foster and support diversity…this is it”

Jennifer Brady

Jennifer Brady, Library Associate, Office of Library Directors

Jennifer has been a part of the FIT Office of Library Directors since 2014. She provides marketing communications and event publicity; content production and management for publications; social media workflow evaluation, coordination and strategy; and website CMS support for various units of the Library. Jennifer serves on the Love Your Library Events Committee, the Web Management Team and is Chair of the Social Media Team. She holds a dual BA from the University of West Florida, an MFA from The New School and a certificate in French from NYU. She is currently pursuing specializations in Social Media Strategy and Content Strategy and Management from Northwestern University. Previous to her position at FIT, Jennifer was the Graduate Student Affairs Coordinator for the Institute of French Studies at NYU.

Outside of her work, Jennifer is a founding member of the Vanguard Advisory Council for The Global Fund For Women. She serves on the Marketing Committee for UN Women, Metro NY, and is a digital ambassador for the Hetrick Martin Institute.

Ivana Cepeda

Ivana Cepeda, Media Relations Assistant, Office of Communications and External Relations

Ms. Cepeda has served as media relations assistant in CER for nearly five years. In her role at FIT, she has focused on securing media placements that showcase our dedication to diversity. She holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Advertising and Marketing Communications from FIT and is a proud Alumna.

 Faith Cooper

Faith Cooper, Education assistant at The Museum at FIT

Faith Cooper has been working in the education department at The Museum at FIT since 2014. During her time at the museum, she has contributed to the book  Exhibitionism: 50 Years of The Museum at FIT (Skira, 2019).  She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Art History and Museum Professions from FIT and is currently a graduate student in FIT's Fashion and Textile Studies: History, Theory, Museum Practice program. Her past work experiences include Vogue, Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt Museum, Christie's, Condé Nast International, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Most recently, Faith completed the Studio Museum in Harlem's Museum Education Practicum and serves on the Conference Committee board for the NYC Museum Educators Roundtable.

 Steven Cutting Diversity

Steven Cutting, Professor, Fashion Design Art

Native New Yorker  Steven Cutting, has been an integral part of the FIT community for over twenty -five years, first as a student, alumnus and now as Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Fashion Department. He holds an MA in Adult Education.  Besides being an educator, he is a fashion consultant  in womenswear, menswear, and travel accessories.

Since 2015 he has been a visiting professor at Zhejiang Sci- Tech University in Hangzhou, China, and conducts  fashion seminars in the Caribbean, and at NIFT (National Institute of Technology) in India. Cutting has a strong belief in integrating technology into the classroom, and through his association with SUNY COIL(Collaborative Online International Learning) he has  designed and administered a  cross - cultural fashion course focused on the emerging field of Global Networking  for his students in NY with fashion universities in Venezuela, and Chile to foster innovative collective development.

Aside from his educational endeavors, Cutting in 2003 was appointed the President of the Fashion & Arts Xchange, a networking organization for people of color in fashion and the arts.  In 2006 he became a board member and  health advocate at GMHC, joining the fight against people suffering from AIDS.  He also is involved with Children’s of Promise, a agency that embraces children of incarcerated parents & empowers them to break the cycle of inter generational involvement in the criminal justice system.

 “Diversity and inclusion are absolute necessities in today’s business of education. Together we, faculty/students and staff, must strive to realize the common good for community engagement to flourish”.

 

Lucia DeRespinis

Lucia DeRespinis, Executive Director, Office of Grants & Sponsored Programs 

Lucia joined FIT in 2016 with 25 years of senior management experience at leading nonprofit cultural and educational institutions. For most of that time, she supervised Advancement offices, raising support from foundations, government, corporations, individuals, and special events. This included 10 years as head of fundraising, communications and visitor services at the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of the American Indian in New York, and serving as Senior Vice President and Chief Development Officer at China Institute. Lucia received her BA in Art History from Sarah Lawrence College and her MS in Non-profit Management from The New School's Milano School of International Affairs, Management & Urban Policy. She is a graduate of the Smithsonian's Leadership & Development Program.

 

Arthur Dunn

Arthur Dunn, Assistant Coordinator for Professional Studies, School of Continuing and Professional Studies

Arthur has been an employee of FIT for 20 years, starting as a part time Office Assistant to his current position where he serves as the Assistant Coordinator for Professional Studies/Company Training in the Center of Continuing and Professional Studies. His responsibilities consist of training for Corporations, Trade Associations, and International Business Schools. After going back to school and obtaining his B.S. in Fashion Merchandise Management, he was offered a position working at the institution that gave me most of my fashion knowledge, The Fashion Institute of Technology.

“While attending FIT, I noticed that Fashion Design students, Advertising students, Cosmetic Marketing, students etc. socialized together! There was no diversity in groups outside of their Liberal Arts classes. Growing up I’ve always had a diverse group of friends.”

“I believe in Diversity as a way of Opening People’s Minds and awareness of other cultures.”

 

Jocelin Engel, EEO & Title IX Training Associate

Jocelin is a proud alumna of FIT, with a MPS in Global Fashion Management, a BS in International Trade & Marketing, and a BFA in Fashion Design. Jocelin returned to work at FIT after some time in the luxury goods industry, and finds the diverse, creative community on campus to be endlessly inspiring. She spent over 9 years in FIT's Residential Life department, working closely with students to create an inclusive and welcoming environment on campus. Jocelin is a Safe Zone trainer who has facilitated LGBTQ+ awareness and ally workshops for FIT and Rutgers University. She is also certified in Mental Health First Aid through the National Council for Behavioral Health. In her free time Jocelin volunteers for Dress for Success, an organization committed to the empowerment and advancement of women.

 

Stephenie Futch

Stephenie Futch, Coordinator of Procedure and Communication for the Division of Information Technology

Stephenie is a FIT graduate with Baccalaureate degrees in Fashion Merchandising Management (2009) and International Trade and Marketing (2014). She began working for the Division of Information Technology at FIT as a Student Aid in 2005 and has since risen to the position of Procedure and Communication Coordinator, improving IT’s communications, digital presence, and compliance. She continually seeks to do her part in ensuring technology at FIT advances and supports the college's goals of inclusivity and accessibility.

 

Meira Goldberg

Dr. K. Meira Goldberg, Adjunct Associate Professor, Film, Media, and Performing Arts

Meira performed as a dancer in the tablaos of Madrid in the 1980s, Los Cabales, Los Canasteros, and El Arco de Cuchilleros, having the privilege and the opportunity there to learn from maestros such as Antonio Canales, Arturo Pavón, Diego Carrasco, Ramón El Portugués, Manolo Soler, and many more. Returning to the United States, she was first dancer with Carlota Santana, Fred Darsow, and Pasión y Arte, and began pursuing MFA and doctoral studies in dance at Temple University under the advisement of the preeminent theorist of Digging the Africanist Presence in American Performance (1996), Brenda Dixon Gottschild. Her doctoral dissertation on Carmen Amaya (1995) is based on interviews with family members and colleagues of Amaya who had settled in New York and in México, such as the brother of Sabicas, Diego Castellón, and Amaya’s sisters, but employing emerging theories of black performance in relation to dance. She co-curated 100 Years of Flamenco in NYC (NYC Public Library for the Performing Arts, 2013), co-edited Flamenco on the Global Stage (McFarland, 2015), The Global Reach of the Fandango in Music, Song and Dance (2016), and Transatlantic Malagueñas and Zapateados in Music, Song, and Dance (forthcoming, 2018). She is Scholar in Residence at the Foundation for Iberian Music (CUNY). Her monograph, Sonidos Negros: On the Blackness of Flamenco is published at Oxford University Press (2019).

“If there is a common ground … then we must all find our way to it.”

Rick Hoar

Rick Hoar, Execuitve Director of Media and Event Technology Serivces

Rick is FIT’s Executive Director of Media & Event Technology Services.  Prior to joining FIT in that role in 2016, he had worked within major organizations in the healthcare, hospitality, retail, and broadcast news industries as a designer and director of communications and live event productions.

As trends in integrated technology and digital media have become more attentive to the quality of user experiences, Rick has found a calling to advocate for diversity and accessibility perspectives at the technical design level.  He is a founding member of the Diversity Council of AVIXA (formerly known as InfoComm International) and is currently driving multiple initiatives to institutionalize advanced accessibility technologies for electronically-aided presentations and productions.

 Ze-Enna Jenkins

Ze-Enna Jenkins, Student, International Trade and Marketing Program 

Ze-Enna is a proud Texan and a member of the Phi Theta Kappa Society. She earned her Associate’s degree in Marketing from SUNY Westchester Community College while she worked in the Office of Admissions. Ze-Enna is currently the Senior Office Assistant at an elementary school in Pleasantville, NY while studying International Trade and Marketing at FIT. Her professional career is broad, ranging from broadcast media in Dallas to working for New York Urban League (NYUL), a non-profit dedicated to civil rights. There, she increased the visibility of their programs, fundraisers and events through social media, and other marketing initiatives.  

Ze-Enna is an emerging entrepreneur; she hand makes gemstone jewelry and manages her online store. She serves as a Pro Bono Consultant and Lead for the merchandising ministry at her church, FCBC in Harlem. She’s encouraged by FCBC’s purpose statement, specifically “to love beyond the limits of our prejudices...to Live, Love, Serve”.  Social justice, culture, equity, and inclusion are all essential to her. Whether it’s professional or community service, Ze-Enna will remain committed to this important and necessary work. She is excited about bridging the divide by creating spaces and opportunities to celebrate all our differences while acknowledging out commonalities.  

Walter Kerner

Walter Kerner,  AVP and Chief Information Security Officer

Walter joined FIT in 2016 and in his role as CISO is responsible for building and maintaining programs to protect the information assets of FIT and its community members against an increasingly complex and well-organized threat landscape.  In that role he relies on everyone in the FIT community to contribute to a safer cyber environment, with a particular emphasis on cyber civility, the idea that uncivil conduct on-line can have serious consequences in the real world.  He has held senior IT and IT Security positions at several organizations, including a three-year stint at St. John’s University where he designed and led the Academic Computing Initiative, an innovative program that involved providing a laptop computer to every incoming freshman, spanning the digital divide to bring the academic benefits of computing to underserved community members.

Walter is proud to be a graduate of SUNY, earning a degree in American History from Binghamton University.  He also has an MBA from NYU’s Stern School of Business and is a Certified Computer Information Security Professional (CISSP).

Cody Kirkpatrick

Cody Kirkpatrick, Housing Operations Associate

Cody has held various positions within FIT's Residential Life department since 2008, serves as the campus Safe Zone trainer and is the advisor to LGBTQ Students United club. In 2011, Cody was awarded the President's Diversity Grant to bring the Safe Zone program to FIT, which has since become institutionalized and resulted in over 400 faculty, staff, and student leaders receiving the training. As a member of the Council's strategic planning subcommittee, Cody helped develop FIT's Diversity Strategic Plan. He also serves as a member of Residential Life's Diversity & Inclusion committee, where he has led numerous diversity and leadership training sessions for Resident Assistants, Orientation Leaders, and Leadership Ambassadors. Prior to coming to FIT, Cody worked as an R.A. throughout undergrad, was Vice-President of his college class, and worked as a psycho-social educator for socioeconomically disadvantaged kids/teens with mental illness. He holds a BFA degree from Emerson College and a Masters in Clinical Psychology: Psychology in Education from Columbia University.

"As a state college located in one of the most diverse cities in the world and preparing its students to work in global industries, FIT is in a fortunate position to embody what diversity and inclusion looks like on a college campus", Cody says. "The Diversity Council, for me, is about listening to all the voices present on our campus, particularly the ones that may not get heard as often, and figuring out a way to elevate those voices".

 

Jennifer Lee, Assistant Professor, Fashion Business Management

Jennifer Lee joined Fashion Business Management department in Fall 2018. She has held several executive positions in industry, including eight years at Samsung in merchandising, product development, and emerging technology to include work as a task force manager responsible for ERP and PLM systems while based in Seoul, Korea. Jennifer has published seven research manuscripts on sustainability and technology of fashion. She also has expertise in designing active sportswear integrating wearable technology device. Two of her garment designs were awarded by Cotton Incorporated and Optitex. 

 Andrea moore

Andrea Moore, Adjunct Professor Omni-Channel certificate program, Center for Continuing and Professional Studies

Andrea Moore is a Digital and Omni-channel retail executive with 20 years' experience launching and growing omni-channel consumer brands. She has extensive experience in brand strategy; digital transformation; online and offline marketing; CRM/loyalty; web redesign, re-platform and omni-channel integration; team and talent assessment. Andrea has always worked at the intersection of the digital world and physical stores, creating exceptional customer experiences that leverage the unique capabilities of both channels, utilizing data and analytics to drive results. Andrea has experience in both highly matrixed organizations as well as small, nimble startups, and can apply the strengths of both business models to create effective solutions.

AnneMarie Nasello

AnneMarie Tamis-Nasello, Adjunct Associate Professor, School of Liberal Arts

AnneMarie Tamis-Nasello holds a Ph.D. in Italian Studies from New York University. She is currently Adjunct Associate Professor of Italian in the Department of Modern Languages & Cultures. Her research area is Italian colonial cinema, with focus on the ethnographic component in 1930s feature films. AnneMarie has taught all levels of Italian language and culture at FIT since January 2001 and has lead the short-term study abroad program in Florence, Italy for 5 years.

Taur Orange

Taur Orange, Director, Office of Educational Opportunity Programs

Taur D. Orange serves as the director of FIT's Office of Educational Opportunity Programs, providing oversight for programs that service talented New York State students with significant socioeconomic needs. An assistant professor in the Student Affairs division, she is a 2004 recipient of the SUNY Chancellor Award for Professional Services. She has spent than twenty-five years designing and administering programs that foster student development and retention at the secondary and post-secondary school levels and has served as a consultant to various agencies, community-based organizations, and churches seeking to implement youth empowerment initiatives and rites-of-passage programs. Taur holds a bachelor's degree in psychology from Wesleyan University and a master's degree in human relations from New York Institute of Technology.

Carl Rutberg

Dr. G. Carl Rutberg, Adjunct Associate Professor, American History.

 As the supervisory curator of exhibitions at Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty, Dr. Rutberg widened the mission of the sites to include not only turn-of-the-century European immigrants, but also the experiences of those who cross the border today.  As the executive director of the Alice Austen House, dedicated to one of America’s first and most prolific female photographers, Dr. Rutberg insisted that Ms. Austen’s lover of 40 years, Gertrude Tate, be included in the interpretation of the house.  And in 2017, the National Register of Historic Places designated the Austen House a national LGBT site.

Dr. Rutberg earned a BA from the Stockholm School of Economics, a MID from Pratt Institute, and a Ph.D. from New York University.

 “The fight for the right to be different is more important today than it has been decades. It is time for all of us who believe that diversity is what makes America great to step up to the plate.”

Christie Shin

Christie Shin, Assistant Professor, Communication Design Pathways

Christie Shin has more than 25 years of professional experience as an educator, creative consultant, and graphic designer specializing in branding, typography, and digital product design, which includes digital publishing and mobile app design. Currently, Shin is the coordinator of the Creative Technology & Design Program Area at FIT, where she was recently awarded the 2017 FIT Faculty Excellence Award. Before joining FIT, she taught digital design and new media courses at the Graduate School of Art and Design at Pratt Institute and at Hofstra University. Shin earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts, a Master of Science, and a Master of Fine Arts degree from Pratt.

In 2013, Shin joined Cynda Media Lab as partner and design director. Her clients include Hearst, UNESCO APCEIU, Kaplan Inc., Sony, and GUND. Her design work has won numerous international awards from The Type Directors Club, Communication Arts, Print Regional Design Annual, and HOW Magazine.

Shin has lectured and discussed her creative work and research internationally at some of the world’s most prestigious art schools, including the Rhode Island School of Design, Cornell University, the National Taiwan University of Arts, and Hongik University in South Korea. Recent conferences where Shin has presented are the International Conferences on Design Principles & Practices held in Toronto, Canada, as well as in Barcelona, Spain. In addition, Shin presented at the 2018 Annual College Art Association Conference in Los Angeles, CA.

Marjorie Silverman

Marjorie Silverman, Chair and Associate Professor for the Internship Studies department

Silverman holds an MA in Organizational Psychology from Columbia University and sits on the Statewide SUNY Applied Learning Experts Group and the FIT Applied Learning Group. Silverman focuses on career development within an experiential education setting. Areas of concentration include expanding opportunities and commitments for non-traditional age (NTA) students. She is a recipient of a 2017 Diversity Council event grant for an upcoming career panel event featuring NTA FIT alumni.

An enthusiastic and extensive traveler, she also embraces “everything New York” and supports Open House New York (OHNY). OHNY is a non-profit organization that promotes a greater appreciation of the City’s built environment (architecture, engineering and design) by awareness and opening doors to diverse audiences.

Silverman upholds the message that "we have more in common with each other than we may think" as depicted in the recent Denmark TV1 video: All That We Share. She was the recipient of a Diversity Council event grant for an Over Age 25 Career Panel held on March 15, 2018 featuring three Non-Traditional Age (NTA) FIT alumni.

Christina Solomon

Christina Solomon, Administrative Coordinator, Office of Academic Affairs

Ms. Solomon has served as the administrative coordinator to FIT’s associate vice president for Academic Affairs for five years. She came to FIT after working in a variety of administrative roles at investment banks in New York City. She is a graduate of the School of Communication and Theater at Temple University. She is an avid knitter who mixes her love of the craft of knitting with technology to inspire others to be more creative.

“Diversity should inform the work we do as staff and faculty. Recognizing and acknowledging differences leads to a more productive and creative environment, and ensures that no matter who you are, individuality does matter, and at FIT, there is a seat at the table and a place for one's voice to be heard.” 

Carli Spina

Carli Spina, Associate Professor-Librarian, Head of Research and Instructional Services 

Carli joined the FIT Library in 2018. Before coming to FIT, she gained experience as the Head Librarian for Assessment & Outreach at the Boston College Libraries and as the Emerging Technologies and Research Librarian at the Harvard Law School Library. Prior to becoming a librarian, she was an Associate Attorney in a Boston law firm for several years. Carli holds an Ed.M from Harvard Graduate School of Education, an MLIS from Simmons College, a J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School, and a BA from Harvard College. She also has a professional graduate certificate in museum studies from the Harvard Extension School.

 Natacha Unelus

Natacha UnelusHuman Resources Business Partner

Natacha is a Human Resources Business Partner with FIT Human Resources Management & Labor Relations. Before coming to FIT, she worked at City University of New York's central office HR department where she also worked very closely with the Chief Diversity office.  She believes that diversity is one of the areas that is not only impactful on FIT grounds, but also in our communities at large. Ready to roll up her sleeves in the name of justice, she is also conscious of the power of listening and hearing from voices different from her own. She encourages brave spaces and opportunities to participate in those difficult and sometimes uncomfortable conversations and queries that perhaps won't produce any immediate resolutions, but instead, at minimum, spark something in our community to get us all on common ground. She is a parent diversity representative in the National Association for Independent Schools and was also afforded the opportunity to attend SUNY's diversity conference.

Wendy Yothers

Wendy Yothers, Assistant Professor, Jewelry Design Department.

After earning a BFA from the College of Architecture and Design at the University of Michigan, she traveled to Finland and Denmark to become a professional artist/silversmith.  Upon earning her diploma from the Institute of Design and Production for Precious Metals from Copenhagen’s Guldsmedehojiskolen, she returned to America to spend the next twenty-five years working in industry.  Her professional practice includes many years at Tiffany & Co.  In her parallel career as an artist,   her work has been exhibited internationally, and resides in the permanent collections of the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Corning Museum of Glass, the Museum of the City of New York, and private collections.

Since 2012, Yothers has been a member of the full-time faculty of the Jewelry Design Department at FIT.  In 2017, she was awarded the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Scholarly and Creative Activities.  Since 2017, Yothers has woven “Empathy as a Catalyst for Design” into the content of the courses she teaches.  An essay she authored on incorporating cross cultural  empathy into design curriculum will be published in 2020 by the National Institute of Fashion Technologies in New Delhi in the annals of their international conference,  “Rediscovering Culture, Transforming Fashion”. (New Delhi, 2018)

“Diversity means an open-hearted acknowledgment of how we are the same, and how we are different.”

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