Susan Yawa, 1970s I am the daughter of Katherine and Preston who raised me in the company of change makers and racial dreamers. They spoke to us in the language of education, justice and freedom both in their words and actions. I entitled this conference flier ‘Osmosis’ because it has always felt to me thatContinue reading “Osmosis”

Indian Bangals

Kanika, 2000s – Current I wear these bangals every day. I actually can’t remember the last time I took them off. My mom gave them to me about six years ago. Growing up, wearing Indian clothes and jewelry was always synonymous with getting dressed up for weddings, holidays, or another special occasion. About seven yearsContinue reading “Indian Bangals”


Adriana, 2000s – Current For as long as I can remember, every big holiday is marked in my family by extraordinary piles of dishes, the slightly salty smell of boiling corn husks and notes of sweet and spicy sauces and meats, the clamoring of too many people in one kitchen, all in pursuit of preparingContinue reading “Tamales”

Tres Leches Cake World

Helmut, 5 years old, 2019 My name is Melo. I love Tres Leches Cake. I have it at family birthdays and I also have it at my birthday. It is so good that my parents even had it at their wedding. Tres Leches is my favorite cake. I love it so much that my adContinue reading “Tres Leches Cake World”

Mandarin Orange

Cheryl, P.S. 169 Sunset Park School, 2019-Current Since Chinese New Year is arriving, I would say mandarin orange/tangerine reminds me of my family’s culture. Mandarins are smaller and oblate, rather than spherical like common oranges. The taste is considered less sour, as well as sweeter and stronger. Mandarins are one the most cultivated citrus fruitsContinue reading “Mandarin Orange”


Candice, 2014 My father brought me this maneki-neko from Japan when I was a teenage girl. As a young boy growing up in poverty in Akron, Ohio, he never imagined he would leave the country. Fast forward decades later and he had a family (my mom and me)…and a career that allowed him to travelContinue reading “Maneki-neko”

Carving Pumpkins

Nicole, 2017 Culture is all around us, the traditions and the forms of self-expression that we carry forward and pass down. Every Fall, my boyfriend’s family throws a pumpkin-carving party. Around 80 people – family, friends, neighbors, friends of friends – come each year, some traveling hours to get there. We spend the day playingContinue reading “Carving Pumpkins”

El Flamboyan Tree

Marisol, 1980s When I see this painting of “El Flamboyan Tree” in my mother’s home, it transports me to Puerto Rico, where my grandparents are from. Born and raised in the South Bronx, my first trip to Puerto Rico was when I was eight years old. I remember being in awe of the sounds, theContinue reading “El Flamboyan Tree”

Panamanian Unity

Sandra, Summer 2018 I went to Panama this summer to celebrate a wedding and family reunion with my husband’s dad’s side of the family who are from there. They were all so warm, full of joy and really represented unity in my eyes. During my time in Panama, I picked up this shell from aContinue reading “Panamanian Unity”