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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Letter to the editor: A letter of thanks

To the Editor,
I want to take this opportunity to state how happy I am to come back from leave and be returned to my position as intercultural affairs associate for the College. I extend a thank you to President Kington and Kristin Lovig in the human resources office for their willingness and efforts to resolve this matter as quickly as possible and to work with me to develop mutually agreed upon accommodations. I applaud the College for continuing to honor its commitment to people with disabilities.

I also want to send a heartfelt thank you to all of you who kept me in your thoughts, prayers and took the time to reach out to me while I was away from campus and to let me know you cared. Your concern for me gave me strength, buoyed my spirit and optimism for a positive resolution to my situation. This is the beauty of Grinnell College and why I love working here so much! We are a community who strives to live by our ideals of “true” community, let me explain what that means to me as a Mestiza, an Indigenous woman. In First Nations communities we have spiritual beliefs and cultural values amongst The People, which guide us in our behaviors, words, thoughts and actions. In these tribal communities everyone is cared for, everyone has a purpose in life and we are all a part of this Creation. The Nations that continue living these spiritual beliefs and cultural values make sure that everyone is fed, clothed and sheltered, generosity of spirit is highly valued, kindness and harmony are cultivated and no individual is thrown out or removed from the community because they are no longer of use or not “behaving” as the rest of the community … there is an interconnectedness that is understood, if one suffers, we all suffer. In the past and even today, there are times when individuals have been banished from the community—it rarely happened and it was considered the last resort and only after all workable solutions had failed. First Nations communities like all other communities experience conflicts, disagreements and tensions which are addressed through conversations, listening to each other to understand the issues and concerns, and while it takes time to ultimately reach consensus, resolution is reached because all thoughts, feelings, perspectives and facts are taken into consideration and eventually everyone comes to an agreement as to how to move forward in unity and the matter is settled.

Living in true community is not easy and it takes work, effort, understanding, communication, honesty, integrity, openness and a willingness to listen, to be influenced by others and to change. When I look at the founders of this institution, I believe they too lived these ideals to the best of their abilities. They did their best to live a life of virtue, honor, courage, compassion and to develop the intellect which were all grounded in a spiritual foundation that guided them to do what is right and to serve others in order to contribute to the greater good of all human beings. I am proud to be a member of this community and I do my best every day to serve The People in the best way I know how. I want to thank all those individuals who live these ideals to the best of their abilities every day. I thank all of you for your love and support, and there are so many to mention that it’s impossible to include everyone’s names in this letter, you know who you are. I do want to especially thank these individuals below for the extra efforts they made on my behalf. My deepest gratitude to:

Joe Hiller ’12, Mario Macias ’11, Ragnar Thorisson ’11, Alicia Afrah-Boateng ’12, Luz Aleman ’13, Jumoke Bello ’13, Rosal Chavira ’11, Hiba Elnour ’12, Mona Ghadiri ’12, Lizeth Gutierrez ’12, Johana Lozano ’11, Charisma Montfort ’11, James Ng ’12, Michelle Okafor ’11, Casey Strickler ’12, Jess Cheney ’09, Heidi Conner ’09, Ami Freeberg ’10, Latona Giwa ’09.5, Leah Krandel ’09, Jess Issacharoff ’09, Paula Matallana ’10, Alyssa Penner ’10, Brian Perbix ’09, Jacob Sagrans ’09, Alisha Saville ’09, Jose Segebre ’09, Karla Erickson, Associate Professor of Sociology, Samuel Rebelsky, Professor of Computer Science, David Romano, Assistant Professor of Mathematics and Statistics, Rebecca Stuhr, Associate Professor, Library, Val Vetter, Coordinator of the Peace Studies Program, Steve Andrews, Associate Professor of English, Sheeree Andrews, colleague and friend and finally, all those people who helped me in other ways that I may never know.

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