One of the best things about going to high school in the south suburbs was the ethnic diversity of my all girls high school. I had graduated from an all Caucasian grade school, and did not live in an ethnically diverse community. High school was my first chance to get to know girls of different races. I’m so grateful that my parents chose to send me to a diverse high school. One of my best friends was an African American girl, still the funniest girl I’ve ever met in my life, Sirena Jones. Ruth Carlos, who was a mix of Asian and Mexican descent, was the number one girl in the class and often (when I was lucky!) my study partner. One of the most talented singers at our school, a mix of African American and Caucasian backgrounds, is now a music professor at Oberlin College. Some of the girls I’ve lost contact with, but many of them I will never forget. Racism is born of ignorance and fear. I’m glad my parents passed on to me at a young age the gift of an open mind and heart. It’s something I am passing on to my children, and I believe the most potent antidote to racism.