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  • Writer's pictureRachel Abel

Why You Should Demand Representation

Everyone one of us is shaped by the society we live in. For some, the societies they live in reflect who they are. But for many others, they do not. And that is why representation matters. The truth is, we contribute to whatever community we are a part of. Whether we are proactive or passive about it is up to us.

We believe it's important for us as citizens of the world to be proactive in shaping the societies we live in and the communities we are part of. All of us belong to numerous communities where there is undoubtedly a lack of representation in some way, shape or form. It can be in your workplace, your school, your religious or local community. Each one of these communities can be improved through better representation.

Is there someone that looks like you on the management team at your place of work? Is the racial or gender makeup of your student body reflected in the school’s leadership?

Too often we complain about lack of representation not realising that we have the power to affect the change we want to see.

Don’t sell yourself short and be silent because you don’t think you’re powerful enough to change the status quo. You may not have the power but someone who is listening does.

You owe to yourself and your community to hold it accountable and make sure that you are represented. Especially if you're dissatisfied with the status quo. Realise that nothing changes if the same people are always making the decisions. So ask the questions. Make the suggestions. Look up the organisations that are already in place that can help you advance your cause. Join the committee or, better yet, form the committee. Sometimes we get disheartened when we feel like our communities are failing us and while that may be true and disappointing, something can be done about it. It all starts with having the courage to make the necessary demands.

Remember change takes time, so be patient. There may be others that have gone before you and have laid the groundwork but it is up to you to walk that path so that future generations can run. Whatever the case may be, you should know that demanding change through representation won’t happen unless you ask for it. Be part of making a difference.

“Nothing can be changed until it is faced” - James Baldwin


Next Up - Rachel’s Take: Why You Should Use Your Voice

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