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Meron Benti

Middlebury Magazine has just published my cover story featuring Meron Benti, an Ethiopian student who suffers from albinism, a rare genetic trait that dramatically reduces the body's ability to produce the pigment melanin. Her appearance drew unwanted attention on the streets in Ethiopia and difficulty in fitting in with the schools:

She doesn't remember her first day of kindergarten, or much of kindergarten at all. Of course, she wasn't privy to the fact that the school in her neighborhood didn't want to take her, that the teachers didn’t want to teach her, that she was thought to be incapable of learning in a "regular" classroom, and that the school administrators felt they had no way to accommodate "her differences."
She soon left Ethiopia to live with her brother in Italy, and later on, the United States. Head over to the Middlebury Magazine website to read more about Meron's struggle.

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The 'somebody-ness' of everybody

"You've got to recognize the 'somebody-ness' of everybody" – John H. White
Pulitzer-price winning photojournalist John H. White recently gave a talk at Middlebury College. Afterward, he took some time to connect with a young admirer.

You can learn more about John at the Lucie Awards page, look at some of his work from the DOCUMERICA project at Flickr, or his Portrait of Black Chicago at the U.S. National Archives.
"I'm faithful to my purpose, my mission, my assignment, my work, my dreams. I stay focused on what I'm doing and what's important. And I keep in flight—I spread my wings and do it." – John H. White