Featured Writers

MARGARET OUYE… “Your name is now Margaret”
On Masako Kitashima’s first day at school in Centerville, California in the 1920’s, her teacher Miss Diaz asked her what her name was. When she answered, Masako Kitashima, her teacher said “No, no…that’s too hard. We’ll call you Margaret from now on”. What Margaret didn’t realize was that it was a sign of things to come which would deeply affect her based on her Japanese ancestry. She didn’t know that her life’s journey had begun and would entail many twists and turns that led her to speak to us on this warm April day in 2008.
read more…

FELICIA CURTIS… No Memories of My Mother
When Felicia Curtis was four years old, her parents gave her up for adoption along with her older sister and brother. Her mother decided that she no longer wanted the responsibility of raising them and her father was incarcerated in prison. Fortunately for Felicia, her family was designated a sibling adoption meaning that the 3 of them would be adopted as a family and would not be split apart but raised together.
read more…

AILEEN HERNANDEZ… “This is going to be a hard class”
When Aileen Hernandez attended Howard University as a young African American woman, she remembered enrolling in a Political Science class. There was a male teacher whom she recalled announcing on the first day “If you are planning to attend this class, this is going to be a very hard one. If you don’t want to work hard, perhaps you should take home economics”. Aileen would not move out of the room and the next day she came back and attended the class for the rest of the session.
read more…

MARIA TERESA PETERSON… Latino Cultural Ambassadors
As Executive Director Voto Latino.org, Maria Teresa Peterson has learned a lot about how young Latinos are using New media technologies to communicate, share and network with one another. Her organization is one of the leading sites that targets young Latinos under age 30 to educate, encourage and help them register to vote. Started a few years ago as a non-profit that aired Public Service Announcements (PSA) over the air, it has developed into a big powerhouse organization.
read more…

JANIS HIROHAMA… “You look like Yoko Ono
Janis Hirohama was born in Japan on an U.S. Army base as a third generation Sansei. She spent most of her time growing up in Hawthorne, California . A working class neighborhood where many families were employed by the local Aerospace industry. Her neighborhood was mixed with second to fourth generation Latinos, a handful of African Americans and Whites. She grew up in a traditional Japanese American household where their family projected their cultural values on her: study hard and get a good education, uphold the family honor, never dishonor your family, be accountable to your community and always behave honorably. Her mother used to tell her “Comb your hair, you look like Yoko Ono” and there was nothing worse than being married to a hippie. Janis had to go to Japanese school to learn Japanese in Gardena, a nearby city where many Japanese Americans lived. Janis’ family shopped, bought their food, and went to all the local service providers in their community.
read more…

delicious | digg | reddit | facebook | technorati | stumbleupon | savetheurl