This weekend, the United States of America commemorates the 245th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence and its founding on July 4, 1776.

Our founding principles were rooted in the belief that all men are created and endowed with certain unalienable rights including life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Yet, contrary to this Declaration of Independence, Black and Brown people are still disenfranchised after 400 years of slavery, the Emancipation Proclamation, Juneteenth, and the Civil Rights Movement.

The fight for equity and justice is not over and therefore we must continue to push until these ideals become reality. The American dream must be attainable by all – regardless of race, national origin, gender, sexuality, or religion.  

We must strive each and every day to stop prejudice, racism, and xenophobia that continues to sow division across the nation. Our voices can only be heard when we stand up to vote in every election or be counted in every census. These are the steps forward that we must continue to take to promote inclusion and celebrate our cultural diversity.  

On this Fourth of July, I encourage you to join the revolution to ensure that the freedoms, rights, and protections synonymous with being an American are applicable to all.