Covid took my fiance. I’m still learning to let go.

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“There is no me without you” — a cliché that is often referred to when speaking about lovers. Looking at his pictures defined a time in my life that was incredible, and for some reason, I thought that I had been the source of my own happiness. It was long after he died that I realized that I was not the one that made my life incredible and adventurous but it was him. It was him that built me up and lifted my spirits when I was losing hope. It was him who encouraged me to build a home from…


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Recognizing Not All Spaces Are Empty

My fiancé, David, was diagnosed with COVID-19 in March 2020 before most people even had a chance to purchase masks and quarantine for the year that would follow. I dropped him off outside the hospital and went home to wait by the phone. Imaginable pain flowed through my veins as I waited by the phone until later that evening to hear rather he would return home to me that evening. Another 19 days would follow with doctors giving updates as if I had a medical degree and understood what some medical terms meant. …


A New Normal Doesn’t Exist

Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

‘They’ say the world would never be the same. Talks of a new normal loom. Many believe the pandemic is over but few really understand what that means to some of us. “We are heading back to the way things were,” many argue. To me, there is no discussion. Reentry back into the communities, work, and world is like watching a child learning to walk. They cautiously stand and take that one small step before realizing they are losing their balance. …


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The Separation Between You and Your Loved ‘ONE’

Dear Friend,

It hurt me that I had to be the bearer of bad news when I informed you that we had to go our separate ways. You had been with me since we were young. You were there when I was born and I assumed you would be there when we both died in our old age. You always hung around even when I attempted to keep you hidden from view. You went everywhere with me. The playground. The birthday parties. School. And of course, hanging out at the YMCA. …


We Lost Loved Ones To COVID-19

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Now that society has appeared to slowly be opening up, people are returning to ‘normal’ after a year or more of what appeared to be everyone’s worst nightmare. For over a million people however, returning to normal is a luxury held by a small few. The ‘normal’ that was previous in life is forever changed and altered by this deadly virus that we have coined as COVID-19.

As the world begins to open up and move forward, there will be challenges that we, the surviving family members, will have to deal with even after the masks and social distancing disappear…


Ally is A Verb, Not a Noun!

Photo by Colin Lloyd on Unsplash

How can I help people of color (POC) and LGBTQIA+ groups? How can I advocate for the less fortunate? How can I support Asian Americans being attacked by US terrorists? You have heard the term ‘allies’ but what does that really mean to you? What steps will you take to help marginalized groups of people? Marginalized is defined as relegating a person or a group of people to a powerless position. POCs, non-binary people, or different religious groups that are not considered to be a part of the mainstream are in one or more marginalized groups.

When people think of…


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Think for a moment about a time when you judged someone based on their appearance, the car they were driving, or even their accent. If I say ‘southern born’ what is the first thing that comes to your mind? Large figure? Disabled veteran? African American? Transgender? Jewish? Single parent? Women in technology? What were some of your first thoughts when you heard those words or phrases? Think about it.

One thing is for certain. We all have bias. Mostly unconscious bias. So what is bias? Bias is a decision we make so quickly that it simply occurs as data or…


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Using Your JEDI Skills

An effective leader is an individual who can be a leader to all employees, at all levels, and during both good and bad times. However, when the leader is in the role of a diversity director, manager, or supervisor this person needs to be a forward thinker. A diversity leader should not be assigned the position because they hold an identity that people deem worthy of diversity leadership. The best candidate for this role is not an African American lesbian woman just because she holds the identities of a marginalized group.

Here’s a story — there was a young woman…


And will never forget until I die…

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I bet each of you will never forget this turbulent year, but I especially have things that I will take away as lessons learned. In 2020, we, as a people, had to learn how to adjust our ideology about living our lives in harmony with plenty of surpluses. Most of us took things for granted. Most were living the life that they were privileged to have all of these years. We had come to expect our “privileged” life. Last year, and so far 2021, have shown us that we need to not only…


Photo by Christina @ wocintechchat.com on Unsplash

The term microaggression was not familiar to me growing up in Detroit during the mid 1980s. Attending a diverse, Catholic school led me to believe the entire world held the same beliefs and values as our middle class neighborhood.

A microaggression is simply defined as the everyday, subtle, intentional or unintentional interactions or behaviors that communicate bias toward marginalized groups. The tricky part about a microaggression statement or action, is that people who commit microaggressions might not understand how they are offending marginalized groups.

My first encounter with microaggressions was when I was working in a clothing store at a…

Monica Hickson

Author of The COVID Diaries, Freelance Writer, Instructional Designer and Life-long Learner and Educator

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