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World Day of Social Justice: A Stroll With Jessica Minhas by Ebeneza Wikina

February 20 of every year is World Day of Social Justice. It is a special day set aside to bring the world’s attention to issues of social justice in our society today. In various countries across the world, including Nigeria, social injustice is actually rising.

With our collaboration with UN Volunteer Ebeneza Wikina, a young and visionary Nigerian at Write Paragraphs, we bring to you his stroll with Jesseca Minhas. Against the background of social injustice, Jesseca Minhas grew up to become a jewel in her neighbourhood, and a voice for social justice in the globe.

Enjoy the interview, and don’t forget to drop a comment, and share! Happy World Social Justice Day!

“In keeping silent about evil, in burying it so deep within us that no sign of it appears on the surface, we are implanting it, and it will rise up in a thousand fold in the future.” ~ Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

jessica5F8143E4-4A1D-413F-9F42-A48F74E965B3Image Credit: Jessica Minhas
Jessica grew up in an environment no parent will wish for their child.
One filled with addiction, racism, and curse words, and these in turn had so much negative effect on her mind that at a point she even began to think she was black–no thanks to how Grand Pa treated her. Now all this can set-up a child for a sad, depressed, inferiority complex-filled adulthood right? Well, that’s the twist in today’s story. Just as gold passes through the heat of the mine to become pure, Jess grew above the limitations of her childhood into an
adulthood filled with hope, love, and beauty. Jessica is a speaker, activist, TV Host and producer specializing on culture and media’s impact on women. Her work has taken her around the globe exploring issues such as human trafficking, child labour, medical tourism, youth advocacy, and much more.

Also former Miss Florida USA and 4th Runner-up for Miss USA in 2003; Jessica told me about her passion for volunteering and fighting for justice; and also explained how she grew from the very many ugly things said to her as a child to winning beauty pageants. Here’s my stroll with Jess;

Ebenezar: So let’s start from where it all began. What point in your life did you look at yourself in the mirror and say, “I want to become a social Justice activist, and a humanitarian”?

Jessica: You know, growing up in a house where all you see is abuse and addiction day in, and day out, can make you really start to question life, humanity and, “What does all of this mean?” For me, I felt so silenced and broken that I started from a pretty early age trying to help others live better lives because it gave me hope in the midst of my circumstance. So I was constantly volunteering to; one, get out of my house; and two, to see that life could get better. So I think the first time I actually did something in line with my future calling as an “activist” was when I was in middle school and I convinced my best friend, Lindsey Knight, to make wreaths and decorated pine cones for the neighborhood nursing home. We spent a few weeks every day after school with hot glue guns making this pathetic Christmas ornaments and then went to the
nursing home after school where I tried to slowly make my way through Christmas Carols key by key on the piano, and Lindsey sang with the elderly. It was quite a pitiful show but it reminded me that even the talents we think we are miserable at can be a part of making an impact in the lives of others.

Ebenezar: Awww, that was cute. The UN says we advance social justice when we remove the barriers people face because of gender, age, race, ethnicity, religion, and the likes. My question is, why do you think we still have these barriers in this 21st Century Internet age? Despite all the civilization.

Jessica: Yeah, that’s a great question. I am sure we have all wondered why there’s so much hate, and how it’s possible for humans to treat each other the way we do. I think the first thing that comes to mind is one of the first stories in the Bible, where God kills an animal to cover Adam’s shame. So this idea that shame is the strongest human emotion next to love, I think dictates the way we interact with one another. Our behavior and choices are likely always coming from a place of love or of fear and shame. I think having conversations around the difficult topics like war and inter-religious conflict will, and have already, continue to break down the barriers between us by creating understanding and working towards peace together.

To continue with this interesting and inspiring interview, simply click here

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