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Jonathan Pillot, Founder & Chief Creative Director, 18
As a native New Yorker, I have had the unique (and shared) experience of growing up and living in the People Watching Capital of the world. I often feel that it’s why the entire world is drawn to be here…to experience the breadth and depth of the variety of life, in all its forms, that only exist in NYC. There is no other place like it, no other city of the extraordinary cities in this world bring together the melting pot of cultures (in all aspects of life) and the subcultures and sects within the melting pot of possibilities that exist on this vast universe. And it is on these streets, and from the minds and hearts of those who live here, that #WeAreAll18 was born. I sometimes feel as though that is my mission in life: to bring the Diversity from this DiverCITY out into the greater world, to show people from places where there are more limited experiences and opportunities to see people UNlike their own that truly, different does not have to be scary. We have to figure out, as those who live here, how to get along with EVERYONE as best as possible. It’s what happens when we are all thrown together – on sidewalks, on subways and busses, pretty much everywhere – and have to coexist. WE, wherever we live, need to create spaces and places where people can feel safe, where they are elevated and supported to be themselves AND to listen better to others who simply want the same, basic “things” in life. Only through collaboration and openness can we truly transform this country, as it starts with US.