Gianina Nakagawa

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Gianina Nakagawa

Anticipated graduation year: 2016

Major: Cross-Cultural Studies

Hometown: Guam

I know I've always been different. I am a Japanese and Filipino girl living in the United States. I've learned to embrace the differences in all three cultures. I've even learned to adapt and integrate the conflicting ideologies. I am so grateful for my parents who have exposed me to these different aspects of life. Growing up, I have been encouraged to think outside the box and have an open mind.

My ethnic background and experiences have influenced me to become a Cultural Diversity Advocate on campus. I want to let people know that it's okay to be different. It's okay to be afraid as long as they know that they are not alone. I want people to know that you don't necessarily have to accept someone else's opinion, but that doesn't give you the right to judge them. For me, acceptance and tolerance are two different things. I believe that in order to promote diversity and equality, we must listen to each other first. No one's going to accept or listen to you unless you give him or her the opportunity to tell you his/her story. Give and take, that's all it is to it.