“I believe in the power of words to create change and inspire others” said writer Nicole Draffen, originally from California, whom tries to spread her message through her most recent book Hyphened-Nation, Don’t check the box.
Draffen, with curiosity, compassion and creativity that distinguishes her, always seeks to learn more about the world around her. Nicole’s passion and motivation has led to commit herself to the defense of equality and social justice.
In an exclusive interview for perlarico.com, Nicole Draffen, writer, activist and advocate for social justice, speaks to us about her efforts to raise awareness and promote understanding of important social issues through her writing. Plus, hopes via this medium to have a more diverse society, equitable and inclusive environment where everyone can thrive regardless of race or ethnicity.
1. Thanks for the interview. Tell us a little about yourself, your childhood and family.
Nicole: I grew up in sunny Southern California in a family that valued education, work, and community involvement. My parents instilled in me a love of learning and a passion for making a positive impact in the world. I was fortunate to have access to great schools and opportunities that allowed me to explore my interests and develop my talents. Growing up in a diverse, multicultural community played a big role in shaping my worldview and values.
For Nicole Draffen, her curiosity has led to seek new challenges and opportunities to learn from, traveling the world and exploring new cultures has always been her source of inspiration. Thus, studies the social and cultural values of people who she meets along the way in her professional and personal life.
2. What does the United Kingdom represent to you?
Nicole: It represents a rich and diverse cultural tapestry woven by its people. It is a place where people from all over the world can come together to create a community that is greater than the sum of its parts. I appreciate the UK’s commitment to social justice and its efforts to promote equality and human rights.
3. How was your love for writing born?
Nicole: I have always loved it, I started writing creatively at a young age and as I got older I began to realize the power of writing to inspire change and promote understanding.
“Writing allows me to explore complex ideas and communicate them in a way that is accessible to others.”Nicole Draffen, Writer, Hyphened-Nation, Don’t check the box.
4. How did the idea to write Hyphened-Nation come about?
Nicole: It came about as a result of my experiences as an American. I was frustrated with the ways people were forced to choose between their different identities and felt that the separation of nationalities contributed to a culture of division and inequality.
Nicole continues, “I wanted to explore these themes in depth and offer a new perspective on what it means to be an American in the 21st century. I wanted to explore other people’s experiences and shed light on the ways in which language and terminology can affect our perceptions and attitudes towards different ethnic groups.”
Hyphened-Nation, Don’t check the box, discusses institutional racism and the danger of labels. It is a thought-provoking exploration of the impact of separate identities on society. It examines the ways in which separation can contribute to division, inequality, and offers a new vision for a more inclusive and equitable society.
The book draws on the experiences of separated people from across the United States and examines the ways in which language and terminology can perpetuate racism and discrimination. It was published in 2020 and has been critically acclaimed for its insightful and thought-provoking approach to a major social issues occurring in the United States.
5. How do you define institutional racism?
Nicole: Institutional racism refers to the ways in which systemic policies and practices perpetuate racial inequality and discrimination. It can be seen in areas such as the judicial system, housing, health care, and education, and often leads to marginalized and excluded communities.
6. There’s factors such as the justice system, housing, healthcare and education. Which of them do you think the government should work on to help these social groups more?
Nicole: I believe that all of these factors are interconnected and must be addressed to create a more equal society. However, I do believe that government has a particular responsibility to address inequalities in the education system, as it is through education that we can promote understanding and inclusion from an early age.
“Education is the foundation for upward mobility and can help break the cycle of poverty and inequality.”Nicole Draffen, Writer, Hyphened-Nation, Don’t check the box.
7. Do you think that society should be better prepared to understand that we can be a more united nation regardless of our place of origin?
Nicole: Absolutely, it’s important to recognize that diversity is a strength and that our differences are what make us unique and valuable. As a society, we must work to create an environment where everyone feels included and valued, regardless of their place of origin or ethnicity.
8. In the middle of the 21st century, is there much left to do regarding institutional racism?
Nicole: Unfortunately, yes. While there has been some progress in recent years in the fight against institutional racism, there is still a long way to go. Racism remains deeply entrenched in many institutions, from the criminal justice system to education and healthcare.
9. Have you had the opportunity to learn about various cultures, which one have you identified with the most?
Nicole: I believe that every culture has something unique and valuable to offer. While I appreciate and value all cultures, I have a special connection to my own mixed-race heritage. I grew up in Southern California where I was exposed to a wide range of cultures and backgrounds, which helped shape my understanding and appreciation of different ways of life.
10. What would be your message to people who feel excluded in a country where they have lived or live.
Nicole: I want to tell you that you are not alone. It is important to remember that you have value and that your experiences and perspectives are important. I encourage you to connect with others who share your experiences and seek resources and support in your community.
“Don’t be afraid to speak up and share your experiences and know that your voice matters. Together, we can work to create a world where everyone is valued and included, regardless of background.”Nicole Draffen, Writer, Hyphened-Nation, Don’t check the box.
Thank you Nicole Draffen, for contributing through your book to a better culture for equality and respect for social groups in the world.