WE ARE: A Nation of Immigrants - New Haven 2018
Trinity Church on the Green C2
Current occupation: Photographer and activist
Arrival in the US: 1999
Commentary: When I moved here, I didn’t speak English so I couldn’t understand what people were saying. Often people would speak too loud to me and I would have to tell them, “I’m not stupid. I just don’t speak the language. I just need you to speak slower so I can understand.” As an awkward teenager, high school was very hard for me but eventually I went to college and got a Bachelor of Science in studio art, specialized in photography, with a minor in psychology.
I am a mother now with two young children. I want them to be proud that their mother, their grandparents, are immigrants who have much to contribute to this society. I am raising them bilingual and teaching them that there are other people and cultures in the world. It is OK to be different. (delete this paragraph??)
I remember one night after listening to a presidential debate, I realized that there was a risk that every right that I had been given, that my children had been given, could be taken away completely. So I decided to become an activist and utilize the arts as a way of doing social justice and unifying people. I began by organizing an exhibition of art work protesting the policies of the current administration. We ended up with submissions from 350 artists. Over 1000 people attended opening night and we blocked off lower Chapel Street. From that experience, I learned that we can all do something. We just have to believe that we can make change happen. I just tell people. “Don’t sit back. Share your stories. They need to be heard!”