In 2015 when I was pregnant with my daughter, there was a night I sat in our bathtub, hands on my seemingly enormous stomach, and with every kick I felt more and more tears welling up in my eyes. I felt so overwhelmed by all the negativity, hatred, sadness, and anger that I was hearing every day on the news and online. How could I be bringing a child into a world that is so flawed? I have always considered myself a persistently positive person, but these feelings have reared their head more times than I wish the entire first year of her life.

This is not the narrative I want for my daughter. I want her to know this world has more kindness than hatred; more hope than fear; more good than bad; more love than anger. I want her to know that many of her identities hold an enormous amount of privilege in this society and that she has the responsibility to work for a more equitable and socially just world. I want her to know her voice matters and that she is powerful. And in order for her to believe this, she has to see it in me. I have to role model action. I have to be an ally to the communities than need it. I have to acknowledge how my privileged identities have given me access to resources and opportunities that are not as readily available to marginalized identities. I have to work to dismantle systems of oppression. I have to know she will see me and that my actions, and the actions of all those who are doing good work in our community, will do more to counter the barrage of negativity she will see elsewhere.

This is why I have pledged four years of service.