This began as a way to take action and to try and make a small difference in this crazy world we are living in right now. In a country founded by immigrants, "immigrant" has somehow become a bad word (Lin-Manuel Miranda - Hamilton MixTape). I want to change that.
So I made some t-shirts for my friends, many of whom are immigrants. People liked them, so I made a few more, more people liked them so I made a few more, you see where this is going... So now they are ready for anyone and everyone, immigrant or not, that believes in the power, importance and necessity of diversity and inclusion. My hope is to remind people all around us, and to show this country founded by immigrants, what immigrants look like - all shades, ages, genders, religions, sizes, shapes - we are your neighbours, your friends, your store keepers, your bosses, your employees, your CEOs, your cleaning staff, your taxi cab drivers, your accountants, your baristas, - we deliver your mail , teach your children, we are your doctors, your lawyers, your engineers, your favourite singers, actors, we start companies you love, we invent things you use - we, along with you, are America. Let's embrace that.
Radical Optimism, Radical Kindness, Radical Inclusion, Radical Mind.Set.™
I do want to take an important pause here to note that I am by no means conflating or equating those kidnapped and brought to America in chains, and the systemic and institutionalized racism that exists as a result of that history, with immigrants. I pause to honour that history, to recognize the importance of that history and to ensure that no one thought I was having a Ben Carson moment. This is an enormous issue in America and one that needs to be addressed in a multitude of ways that go well beyond me making a few t-shirts. I do hope, however, that in some small way the acceptance and bringing together of the varying faces of immigrants can help bring greater appreciation of the importance and contribution of everyone. Idealistic? Perhaps. But I thought I would try to start somewhere.
These t-shirts are made with love and with the belief that we all matter and we all contribute and none of us can ever do this thing called life, alone. So speak up for those who may not be able to speak up for themselves right now. Be brave. Profits go to help immigrants and refugees. Follow us on Instagram @mind.set.series.
Take a picture with your t-shirt on and tag us @mind.set.series.
Last but not least, send us your story, we want to hear it.