Why Representation Matters

Representation is not limited only to one circumstance. Representation is immense and is supported by the intersectionality that creates a world of different lived experiences due to several factors associated with all the pieces that build diversity: race, ethnicity, native language, sexual orientation, disability, etc.

Eliana Tardío is a Latina Influencer, Diversity Leader, and Inclusion Advocate. Originally published at ElianaTardio.com

I have known that representation matters for a long time, or I used to believe I knew. I have learned that my voice is unique and will always be biased around my own needs and perceptions of the world throughout the years. I can speak on behalf of many in different areas, but I will never have the ability to represent anyone other than my family and me.

This is how it’s impossible to work or advocate from assumptions. Everyone needs to find a place around the table. And even though we will never have a large enough table for everyone to sit simultaneously, that door needs to remain open 24/7 through different ways of accessing the table when people are ready with no delay.

In a world of hierarchies and idolatry for superiority and seniority, it’s hard to come to the table from the heart and without scientific support or academic knowledge. Still, we have to keep fighting to go back to the absolute truth that love is a powerful force that is strengthened by individuality and projected through passion, faith, and commitment.

Minorities experience the weight of the challenges associated with disability. Still, they also have to deal with the pressure of never feeling enough due to the biases that society often labels as moral values or mandatory requirements that need to be met to be considered worthy of respect and consideration. Those dangerous beliefs leave behind those who are unable to achieve these expectations, erasing their voices, contributions, and human dignity.

These are complex and absurd thoughts for many, and still, they are real, and they need to be addressed if we ever want to understand why representation matters.

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