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We Choose Freedom, Diversity, Human Rights, and Opportunity for All People

We Choose Freedom, Diversity, Human Rights, and Opportunity for All People

Kweighbaye Kotee

November 7th, 2016

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Dear Friends,

As Election Day approaches, I wanted to take a moment to share some of my personal history and beliefs with you, the artists and supporters of the Bushwick Film Festival community. For those of you who don’t know my background: I was born in Liberia when the country was just on the brink of the Liberian Civil War. Fortunately, my family and I received asylum in the United States, where we had the chance to rebuild our lives.

I am so grateful to live in a country where someone like me can receive opportunities for self-improvement through hard work and perseverance, like the scholarships which ultimately landed me in two top-tier schools – Blair Academy and New York University. I am also so grateful to be a woman of color who felt empowered enough to dream big, become an entrepreneur, put myself into leadership roles and give back to my community through the Bushwick Film Festival.

To say that this election has given me much anxiety is a gross understatement. I am deeply saddened that everything that is sacred to me and people like me is at stake. I am shocked that the country which provided me with the opportunity and support to become who I am today , is the same country that is possibly threatening to take away those circumstances and support for certain groups of people.

I believe in everyone’s freedom to choose. I also believe that more often than not, society will choose diversity, freedom, human rights, and opportunity for all people, over fear, anger, exclusion, and bigotry. That being said, it’s clear that I stand with Hillary Clinton, and I hope that the majority of Americans stand with her too.

Happy Voting!

Sincerely,
Kweighbaye Kotee
Festival Founder & Director

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