During grade school, at times I felt ashamed of being different, coming from a culture and background that is not western enough. It starts with microaggressions that, to me as a young child, were portrayed as suggestions or advice. It created a sense of cultural dissonance. I felt as though I was being tugged back and forth between my Sri Lankan identity and my American one. There was no room for coexistence, they were mutually exclusive.
Moving from Los Angeles to the San Francisco Bay Area for university was a massive shift. From the cultures in the cities, the way of life, and conversations, not to mention being fresh out of high school.
Diversity, equity, and inclusion was a topic that was news to my ears. I first learned about it during training to become a resident assistant in the dorm halls. It was shocking and overwhelmingly exciting that this was a topic of conversation. I felt my thoughts, my ideas, and background mattered. With time, I began celebrating my identity, my culture with the people around me.
Today, I am a Patient Success Coordinator at Leapcure and learning more about the impact diversity, equity, and inclusion has on our team, clients, and patients as we continue these conversations. One actionable item I am excited to cultivate is being open to learning how we can build an inclusive environment for all. And soon, as a Clinical Psychology PhD candidate, I will take these learnings with me to make an impact in my program and beyond.