In 2018 I started working on a book: a collection of personal stories of some of my college classmates about their experiences of coming to America. Published in 2020, I think the book is ever-relevant: even if we are different, we have our humanity in common. No matter where we’re from, we are more alike than different, and diversity is an asset.
Fear of the unfamiliar is normal, but it should not stop anyone from being willing to learn about something or someone different. Fear limits us, while communication and willingness to understand bring us a wealth of knowledge and a better perspective on life.
Pursuing an education–formally or otherwise–is important, as it presents opportunities to expand one’s horizons and abilities. Unfortunately, the cost of higher education in the US can be prohibitive. I can’t help but wonder why there is such a huge discrepancy in the price tag as compared to most institutions in Europe, where the average yearly cost is below $3,000.
Virtually unknown in many parts of the world, Berea College is a powerful community changing lives for the better. Berea College lives up to its creed: ‘God has made of one blood all peoples of the earth’ (Acts 17:26). The school is distinctive among post-secondary institutions for providing free education to students and for having been the first college in the Southern United States to be coeducational and racially integrated. Of One Blood celebrates this unique American institution and proves that cultural diversity and education are some of US’ greatest strengths.
I invite everyone to read Of One Blood, which tells the stories of real people who might look a little different and speak with an accent—but who came to the United States with the same dreams as the founders of this country: in search of liberty and better lives for their families. These people have often left behind terrible and dangerous situations—but they succeeded in navigating the unfamiliar territory of a new culture, achieved their dreams, and now give back through their knowledge and service.