Posts Tagged ‘DNA’

Exploring Diversity: On a Personal Level from Kayo Jijina

In Company Management, Internship, Kayo Jijina on May 2, 2013 at 3:06 PM


Kayo Jijina

This is my second week as an intern with OSF under the auspices of the FAIR Apprentice program. OSF is a warm and friendly community; I feel welcomed and supported by everyone I meet. In addition to my responsibilities with the Company Management group, I am responsible for attending a FAIR Forum, which is held once a week from 9am to 12pm at OSF with other FAIR members.

The FAIR Forum, under the direction of Sharifa Johka, provides “enrichment activities… talks by company members and guests regarding their roles at OSF, other education events…” A few of the topics for discussion have included Terminology for Anti-Bias Language, OSF Audience Development Manifesto and Stages of Racial Identity Development.

I am encouraged by the level of discussions and sharing that has taken place in the FAIR Forum. I am beginning to gain a better understanding of OSF’s commitment to education, diversity and community outreach.

On a personal level these topics have provided me with an opportunity for self-reflection, a chance to face my own fears regarding these topics and a desire to know more about the rich heritage that inherently seems to follow me around everywhere I go.

My parents were both born in India, as were their parents and their parents before them going back I don’t know how many generations. Independently, my mother’s family and my father moved from India to Iran for work; they met and I was born. After my father passed away and we began searching through his reams and paperwork/ documents (as he never threw anything away) much to my surprise I found I had two birth certificates; one from Iran and a second from India. A year after my father passed away my cousin on my father’s side sent in a DNA sample and participated in National Geographic’s – “The Genographic Project.”

The results show my last name – Jijina is of Russian origin and traces our family origins to Ossetia, Georgia. For all of this to make some semblance of sense to me, I have come to the conclusion the trail I must follow is not one of geography but one of religion – it is the story of the Zoroastrians. Now some of the pieces of the puzzle may begin to come together for me and allow for a sharing.

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