As Fazana said, our ‘strength comes from our diversity’

To the Editor:

I am very sad to learn of the death of Fazana Saleem-Ismail. Thank you for writing a beautiful and informative tribute to her [July 9, 2020: “Embracing a common humanity: A lot of different flowers make a bouquet.”].

I was fortunate to be present in the Guilderland Library when Fazana and three other women presented a very interesting program about Islam and the way they honor it in their daily lives. It was clear that Fazana was a bright, articulate person and a loving mother.

She was willing to step up and talk about her life and religion in order to educate, dispel fear, and build bridges.

This editorial appears in the same edition as a lengthy article about racism in the Guilderland School District [July 9, 2020: “GCSD reckoning with race was pushed by Black alumnae after George Floyd's death”].

They are not separate issues.

My hope is that we as a community can recognize, as Fazana said, that our “strength comes from our diversity.” Let us move forward and replace fear with understanding, and build bridges that unite us.

Mary Batters



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