Neelamjit K. Dhaliwal

I came to SEED by kismat. It was the spring of 2012 and my Director of Diversity invited me to apply to SEED. I had no idea what it was, but I had a great deal of respect and admiration for her, so without looking it up I agreed to apply.

Two years later, I’ve had the opportunity to lead two SEED groups for teachers as well as to create a student SEED group. The work has been transformative, to say the least.

I grew up in the Sikh faith, often hearing the phrase “Chardi Kala.” It loosely means a “positive, buoyant and optimistic” attitude to life and the future. I tried to live by these words, yet I often found it difficult in the face of so much injustice and inequity. I didn’t know how change was possible. And then SEED happened.

Through SEED, I truly believe we can build and create a more just and equitable world. SEED to me means love, courage, compassion, imperfection, sadness, but ultimately hope, and so much more. And it’s all made possible by the simplest and oldest practice in our history: storytelling.

I look forward to meeting new SEED participants, hearing their stories, and sharing mine!

— Cheryl Robinson, Supervisor, Office of Minority Achievement, Arlington Public Schools, Virginia

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