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How Did I Become an Activist?

Editorial | September 14th, 2022

By Faith Dixon 

Faithshieldsdixon@gmail.com

Guest editorial: ‘I am here to create, make and sustain true change’

Being an activist is my purpose, it’s why I was born, it courses through my blood and is in my DNA. The becoming of it is the story of my life, the adversities I have experienced and seen. My becoming an activist is the maturing of my life cultivating and harnessing the fight.

Little did I know, being born and raised in Chicago, that coming to Fargo in 2002 would be what would launch this platform. When my family and I moved to Fargo, it was an immense culture shock and unveiling of how racism was still very much alive and well.

We went from living in a city that thrived in diversity to a town that saw us and other people of color as threats. It was scary, sad, angering and at times unbelievable to experience and see and listen to the stories of other BIPOCs being treated so unjustly, being seen as less than human.

These experiences only reinforced my parents instilling in me to always stand up for what you believe in. I have built my values upon that, and my foundational beliefs are rooted in serving people that are less fortunate and treated unfairly. These values are how my activism built me, Faith Dixon, the activist.

There is not a lack of work in our community, society and nation today for activism. We the People are a divided people focused on tearing one another down, not building up one another and being united. These divisions make being an activist one of my greatest passions because I am here to create, make and sustain true change for the BIPOC and underserved populations.

My activism has taken shape in Fargo through my business endeavors. In 2012, I opened my first business, Children of Hope Childcare, which was focused on providing affordable daycare to single mothers and low-income families. During this time, I was able to get a bigger look at the gaping levels of poverty and food insecurities that were and are on the rise.

From this, Faith4Hope was born. It is a non-profit I founded that focuses on helping individuals sustain independence and eliminate poverty. However, there was still this growing sadness and anger in me that was lit every time I would hear about the unlawful killings of black men, women and children. In May 2020, the nation watched the murder of George Floyd and witnessed the implosions of the beautiful city of Minneapolis.

It’s something I will never forget, and is what made me declare, enough is enough! No longer could I only hear and watch, I had to take an active stand to be part of the solution and not continue to watch the problem in silence.

It was through the tragedy in 2020 that I met and teamed up with Wess Philome, the founder of One Fargo, a very prominent activist and world changer. We came together to take our stand with and for the BIPOC population and tackle these issues in our own community, Fargo-Moorhead. The BIPOC community is part of the F-M community. We need to be seen as the community as everyone else is, and to be treated in the same regard.

In these times, transparency is demanded; it is not an option. This town has an opportunity to turn these negatives into the foundation blocks to regroup as ONE, build trust and communicate with one another. My primary focus in all my efforts is to bring about change for inequality with a focus on anti-racism and giving back.

At this time in my life, it’s about learning from different people, networking, and broadening my reach in the community to create and impact lasting change for human equality and equity. Creating these changes starts with normalizing conversations about diversity, equity, and inclusion across this community.

I believe that the more of us who take on the assignment, not as a burden, but as an opportunity, and who are willing to do the work of helping us move forward, the sooner we get there. Getting there requires a true desire on both sides to communicate, listen, understand and come together in compassion, respect and trust.

Activism requires a team effort. It is an essential in rebuilding a better community, environment and space for humanity to flourish. Myself as an activist, my voice, my platform, is to do just that. I am here for human equality and equity.

I am here to see the work, initiatives, and challenges through to the changes, corrections and positive outcomes. I am here to be part of making our community better now and for the future.

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