The Importance of Inclusion
By Anne Avilez
As the world is constantly changing, my generation upholds a significant responsibility in ensuring the future of our world is more equitable to prosper towards a better future. An important component of this goal is ensuring greater diversity and representation is present in roles of power.
Being born in Mexico City and coming to the US at 5 years old, I had no idea what to expect nor how to even begin to navigate the ins and outs of what was to come. Naturally, I was terrified because even at 5 years old, part of me felt like I wouldn’t be welcome here. I was raised by a single father whose biggest desire for me was to receive a better education than what he had access to. A similar story is what many first generation immigrant students experience. Growing up, I greatly valued the privilege of receiving the level of education that I had. However, when it came to career goals, I was stunned by the statistics of Hispanic female representation in the roles I aspired to be in.
As a Hispanic woman seeking to enter the legal arena and business realm to spark positive impactful change, it can often feel discouraging to see the lack of female or POC representation in these fields. According to the American Bar Association Statistics, attorney demographics in the United States are currently 86% white, 5% Black, 5% Hispanic, 2% Asian, 2% Mixed Background, and 0.4% Native American respectively. However, my goal from the start has always been to be the representation that I wished to see.
This is one of the reasons why now that I am in college at the University of California San Diego, my role as Vice President External of the Society of Hispanic Students in Law is of paramount importance to me. At my university, our organization alongside a pre-law fraternity were the only two pre-law organizations available to students. The problem is that historically underrepresented groups rarely receive access to resources without any additional barriers. As a result, the Society of Hispanic Students in Law at UCSD was formed to welcome Hispanic students and allies to form an inclusive community uplifting the next generation of lawyers, justices, and policy makers through community empowerment.
We all have the power to change the dynamic of how our world operates. Through the simple act of being present in certain spaces, we contribute to the inspiration and motivation that is paramount to assuring my generation and younger generations that their dreams are not just dreams, but attainable realities. Together we inspire.