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To my niece,

Dear little girl, for every protest I go to, for every election I work, for every petition I sign, for every tree I plant: It has been for you. I want to see you grow up in world that not only accepts you, but cherishes you and continues to flourish for you. I worked tirelessly that year, your mom will tell you. I went door to door, I stood in the cold, I worked through my birthday, and I made endless phone calls. When our organizer asked us why we wanted to see change, I said I want my little girl to grow up to see herself as a part of this community, this country, and this world. I want her to see not only women that look like her, but women who look like her in positions of power, making change. That year it may not have worked out, but I cried four years later when the first Black Indian American woman gave her acceptance speech to be the Vice President. I am committing to using less and fixing more. I am committing to donating and reusing. I am committing to using my voice to tell our law makers that my beautiful, Black, disabled niece has a place in this world. They will hear me tell them we need to commit to ending the abuse of this planet by the major corporations who fund them so that my little girl can have a home where she can be the next law maker, or hairstylist, or scientist, or engineer, or activist, or mom. Whatever you want to be, I want there to be a world where you thrive in those things. I can’t wait to meet you at age 36. You’ll still be my little baby bug in 30 years, but hopefully we’ll have a cleaner planet then too.

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