Fateme Banishoeib lives in Basel, Switzerland. The daughter of an Italian mother and a Persian father, she is an author, speaker, and executive seeking meaning through poetry.
The other morning I was getting ready for work and going through my make-up I found a red lipstick I bought for a party and never wore again. I decided I was going to wear it to go to the office. It was my personal sign of embodying the equal humanity mission I am on. I wore my red lipstick and head to the office holding hands with the good girl who is afraid to appear less smart, less credible, too feminine and with the wild woman so excited to fight for her freedom. Walking in my vulnerability and trying to integrate the two parts debating in my mind. I was afraid of being noticed and to be judged.
Silly comments on my red lips arrived both from men and women.
Vanessa Couto works for the law firm Davis Wright Tremaine LLP in Portland, Oregon. She is also an artist; check out ArtbyNessa.
December 23, 1983 was the day my childhood ended and my life was changed forever. On that day, I learned that once you leave your home country, you are never the same.
In 1983, I was 10 years old and my parents decided to come to America. My father had just been laid off, and there was no way they would be able to afford their hefty mortgage with just my mother’s salary as a teacher. But behind the financial reasons was the fact that my father had dreamed of coming to America for quite some time. The plan was for us to stay only 2 years, save enough money to pay off the condo they had just bought, and hopefully buy a home for my maternal grandmother.
Naomi Raquel Enright lives in Brooklyn, New York. She is a teacher at the Manhattan Country School.
“From one exile to another.” This is what my mother once asked Chinua Achebe to write in her copy of ‘Things Fall Apart.’ I stood right next to her and in that moment I realized the impact of my mother’s experience coming to study at Tulane University from Guayaquil, Ecuador at the age of 19 in 1965. She subsequently married my Jewish-American father, had two bilingual children with multiple citizenships, and was an impassioned, influential English Teacher at the Horace Mann School in Bronx, NY for 10 years. Her entire adult life has been spent in a foreign land, and when she returns to Ecuador, she has now become the foreigner.
In my home growing up discussions of race, culture, and identity were commonplace, and in fact were encouraged as a way for me and my brother to feel confident in a world where we could and often would be questioned or challenged.