Today’s event is about community togetherness. What does it mean to you?
I’ve been a member of a lot of different communities: the small town I grew up in, my extended family and friends—all people just like me. But the communities I enjoy the most and learn the most from are the groups with diverse members.
I love different. I love variety. My favorite scene from Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves is when a little English peasant girl approaches Morgan Freeman, the Moorish enemy, and says, “Why did God paint you?”
“Because Allah loves wondrous variety.”
Four years ago, my husband and I decided to adopt a child. We’d tried to conceive for 15 year, but no luck. We filled out our family profile, describing the kind of child we wished for. When we were asked to select a race, we chose to be open to any. We wanted a family, and it wasn’t important that our child look just like us. After a year and a half on the waiting list, our caseworker called and said they’d matched us to an African-American baby girl. We met her two days later and fell in love instantly. She’s the most beautiful child I’ve ever seen.
So to me, community togetherness means embracing diversity, and discovering that inside we’re more similar than we look.