An ism has been defined as follows:
1. a distinctive doctrine, cause, or theory
2. an oppressive and especially discriminatory attitude or belief
While the 21st century can be characterized by progress in many ways, there are daily reminders that our society still suffers from the isms that perpetuate fear, hatred and misunderstanding. Deeply held beliefs are formed in early childhood and lack of exposure to certain human experiences can inhibit us from adapting our beliefs to foster inclusivity.
Inclusivity relies upon a concerted willingness to overcome the isms each of us hold (and we do all hold them, consciously or unconsciously). The best way to accomplish this is to reduce the stigma associated with isms by creating opportunity for story-telling. When you look at each of the individuals in this photograph, what story do you tell yourself? What story would they tell if you each sat down with an open heart and an open mind?