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Organizations that don’t embrace diversity will likely pay for it later on.

Whenever I walk into a department store, I can always find the beauty products I need – ivory-colored makeup, hair products for my straight blonde hair and Band-Aids for my fair skin. However, this isn’t the case for everyone. Growing up in the small, mostly homogeneous town of Tillamook, Ore., living without these things never crossed my mind until I took a sociology class in college, where we discussed racial, gender and economic inequities, and the topic of everyday conveniences, such as the simple act of finding a Band-Aid or makeup to match your skin tone, came up.

It’s not that I didn’t think racism existed, it’s just that I was oblivious to it because it was never in my face. The world had, up to that point, accommodated my whiteness in a way that did not force me to think about race. To put it bluntly, I was extremely naïve.

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Tahira Hayes


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