Wednesday, October 14, 2015

No Judgement Zone

I just returned from NYC where I was able to meet with NAMI’s NYC office and executive board. I was also able to attend the 9th Annual AdColor Awards Show. This was actually my 3rd time attending the show, but my first as Miss International! I always leave the show feeling very inspired to live a life that is free of judgement and promotes diversity. You see, the AdColor organization celebrates diversity in every sense of the word from race to gender to physical disabilities. Specifically they honor those in the advertising and entertainment industry who promote diversity in their work. 

With Tiffany R. Warren, founder of AdColor

Being a woman who is also African American, I can tell you story after story of how my gender and the color of my skin has had a negative impact on my life and the lives of my ancestors due to the intolerant actions of some. It causes me to greatly appreciate the awareness of the importance of diversity that Adcolor is building. Another reason I appreciate the work that Adcolor is doing is because the community that I care deeply about -the community of people that suffer with mental illness - are not always treated with the same respect as those with physical disabilities. They are often judged as a 'danger to society' when in fact the majority of people with mental illness simply need access to the right treatment. So being involved in an event that has no tolerance for judgement and negativity towards diversity is extremely important to me. No matter how I feel about certain issues within diversity, there is one thing that I stand committed to…I will not judge. I have always stood under the quote “Only God can judge”, because at the end of the day, how a person is uniquely made and how they choose to live their life is between that person and God. I encourage all of us to make a commitment towards really getting to know a person instead of passing judgement. Often times, if we just spend a few minutes getting to hear a person’s story, it really changes how we view them going forward!

Breaking the stigma,

Elise Banks
Miss International 2015

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