Hey, I am excited to share my new article series with you, titled: Short Stories of International Students Experiences with the G20 Labor Laws. The title was inspired by my experience over six months ago, where I was privileged to be invited to an executive luncheon. One of the guest speakers was an African with an executive role in a global organization. At the end of his speech, he encouraged all the international students present, that while discrimination in the labor market exists in G20 countries, that shouldn’t stop them from chasing their career goals.

Then, one of the attendees who happens to be from the Middle-East asked: “How can you say such a thing, when from my experience I have to change the name on my CV, so that I can be considered for an interview.”

For me, that encounter caused a glitch in what I thought I knew about the world. I left the encounter with the determination that the next generation won’t have to experience such an encounter.

After a month of my determination, I realized that the reason I witnessed the encounter, is because the generation before my generation, and the generation that preceded that generation, refused to share their stories and experiences, with the world. Either because they did not have the avenue or channels my generation presently has. And, if they did, maybe the legislators of these laws would see how the laws encourages the labor market to demean the human dignity of international students, and makes us question our self-worth.

Hence, I sought out to find brave and courageous past and present international students that will be willing to share their stories with the world.

I know you will ask: “Fisayo, what difference can you make, when there have been others before you who have attempted to do the same?”

To that I will answer that those who have tried in the past, did it before George Floyd, the pandemic, and the recent #LekkiMassacre, in Lagos, Nigeria.

If you further ask: “Fisayo who are you to talk about such an issue?” To that I will answer, “That’s a great question,”because I ruminated upon it weeks upon weeks. And, the only answer my sub-conscious replied with is that “Fisayo, you’re simply a concerned global citizen, that believes that the international organizations and the G20 countries championing these noble virtues about equality and justice are not just paying lip service to these virtues.”

And, I will add that I like to think of myself cut from the same cloth that John F Kennedy is cut from, when he said:
“Some men see things and ask why? I dream things that are not and I ask Why Not?”

With that said, I will like to thank Olivia, for redefining ‘bravery’, by accepting to share her story with the world. And extend an invitation to any past or present international Students, from countries in Latin or South America, the Middle East, or Africa who are willing to share their stories with the world, and together we can add our own ten cents in making our world, a more equitable and just place to live, to study and work in, for us and the next generation. Thank you.

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