Unfortunately, there are too many people who know the familiar and painful sting of discrimination. It doesn't matter what form of discrimination one experiences whether it is age, disability, employment, gender, racial or sexual, it all hurts the same. Unless you've felt it, you cannot understand the scars of shock and confusion it leaves behind.
It is so sad that we continue to see the pervasive effects of discrimination on people from all walks of life from racial minorities, gays, women to the disabled. How one chooses to respond to these disturbing instances says everything about who you are as a person.
Last year I wrapped up a four-year long legal battle with a girls group over racial and disability discrimination. It was a very painful and emotional experience that I would not wish on anyone. What emerged from this experience is the inspiration to help others rail against discrimination in its many forms.
Recently a friend of mine sought my help in addressing her experience with employment discrimination. I felt her pain as she explained to me what happened to her on her job after over 30 years of faithful service this company. She was angry, hurt, and confused just like I was and she was ready to fight back! She asked me to help her and I obliged.
As her advocate, I had to help explain as if it was not already abundantly clear, why what happened to my friend was disturbing even to the untrained eye. The employment discrimination she experienced was extremely hard for her to accept. What seemed to bother her most was that in both instances, she had been passed over for positions that were been given to individuals with far less experience with much weaker skill sets.
The more I investigated the incidents surrounding her experience, the easier it was to see how methodical and manipulative people can be when they have a hidden agenda, which means you must be just as savvy at uncovering it.
I will say my friend's decision to fight back did not come without reservations as she was very concerned about reprisals, which can and do happen sometimes. She had to decide what was more important to her--taking a stand for herself or relaxing in her fear of what could happen instead of what should happen.
Angela Greene is the author of Unnecessary Roughness-The Story of a Mother's Fight for Justice coming Spring 2016. She is also an advocacy expert and media professional. She is the founder of, Change Agents Advocacy Group, a social justice advocacy group that seeks to educate and empower people about social injustices. They specialize in helping clients with conflict resolutions.