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We sat huddled on the couch in our living room, eyes glued to a CNN livestream on a 13” laptop screen flashing blue and red. As the news became known to us, mourning and grieving replaced the previous hope that had filled our optimistic hearts. We held each other’s distressed beings; it was in each other that we dealt with his win. It was with each other that we felt this loss; it is with each other that we will rise above it, stronger with every step we take together, stronger with the solidarity we preach and practice, stronger in the fight. That is the only way. – SIYA BAHAL / SAN FRANCISCO, CA

I am a proud member of the LGBTQ+ community so this is a self-portrait to show that we will not be silenced and we will stand tall with pride because people are still people no matter what their sexuality or gender. – SARAH LOOK / CHICAGO, IL (ABOVE) Unity starts with us. Peace is something we can create. The power is in our words and in our actions. We can't undermine the significance of being on each other's side. Unity isn't conformity it doesn't mean we have to be the same, it just means we have to work together. For us to pursue unity we have to swallow our pride. To be able to love each other we have to look past contradictory opinions, that's what being unified reflects. It is essential to root ourselves in what is important and grow together. We fear and that leaves us divided, and once we create a bond there's no doubt that love will win. Peace will win. – RILEY MORAN & PAIGE GILLON / FORT LAUDERDALE, FL This is not the world we dreamed of. We did not dream of bigotry and discrimination. We did not dream of being killed by each other for things such as the color of our complexion. We did not dream of living in fear. We did not dream of this. We never dreamed of this. We dream of a blend of white, caramel, and chocolate. We dream of a world where all people, of all genders, races, and religions can cooperate with each other. We dream of a place where our fingers will be intertwined, and when they are intertwined, we respect and love each other. We will not let bigotry and hatred define who we are. We will fight for what we believe in, and not let anything, or anyone, stand in our way. We will love like never before. We will unify like never before. – RYAN HALL / EDMONTON, AB


It was a chilly, spring evening when I first learned what unity meant. My friends and I drove from our high school to Cal State Dominguez Hills to participate in Bernie’s Political Rally. The vibes I felt while standing in the middle of the crowd left me breathless. I would do anything to feel that sense of complete openness and vulnerability for allowing all the passion we felt to be exposed. It was everything. That day was only eight months ago. Oh, how much has changed since then. I can’t sit at the bus stop without an anti-Trump supporter wanting to hurt a Trump supporter and vice versa. I can’t watch the morning news without seeing another violent outbreak. I can’t shake the feeling of a man spitting on my shoes for having a Bernie pin on my backpack. I can’t fathom another breathtaking experience like that from eight months ago. All I would like is for us to feel united again. All that I can do is walk past with my head held high, ignore the violence and focus my time and energy into something more positive. Unity between a country may be ruined, but this opportunity should be used as a way to unify ourselves with groups of people with the same positive views that don’t support or focus on the violence. So, stay brave. – KELCI BROOK ARELLANO / BELLFLOWER, CA (BELOW)

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