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Meet Javoni Henderson

What does humankind mean to you?

To me, humankind has dual meanings. It defines the past, present, and future of the human race as well as the interconnected experiences that we all share. I’m reminded of Maya Angelou’s poem “Human Family,” where she writes, “We are more alike, my friends, than we are unalike.” 


What’s the best advice that you could give to someone who wants to be an ally?

As a queer Black woman, the best advice I would like to give someone who wants to be an ally is to LISTEN and be prepared to unpack the issues and unlearn your own bias.    

Can you tell us a time when you might have been discriminated against? Or felt unimportant? Or a time when you had self-doubt? How did you overcome that type of adversity?

As a little queer Black girl in the United States, feeling unimportant is laid in the fabric of many messagings received. Inside my family circle, I was affirmed and felt valuable and important but through socialization in the community at large and media, non-black people and even school curriculum lacked positive representation of people who looked or loved liked me. The messages being received from childhood into adulthood on a day to day basis was that my lived experience is not Important or as important as someone who is white.  


What’s your greatest wish for the world?

My greatest wish for the world is for empathy to be normalized within relationships, even relationships with strangers. The more we step outside of ourselves to experience the way others are feeling or thinking can deepen our connections and create better bonds. Empathy is an antidote of hate and selfishness in my opinion.   

This month is pride month. Through recent events this word extends beyond the LGBTQ+ community. What is pride to you?

Pride to me is feeling empowered by knowing, understanding and accepting parts of who you are and loving it.


If there were one word that you could use to solve the world’s problems, what would it be and why?

Love is the first to come to mind. When people love something they care, nurture and consider it. We would listen to understand the needs of people who are unlike us and ultimately be more attuned and considerate of the well-being of one another. Connecting through a common language rather than creating divisions which cause so many problems in all relationships.

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