Redefining the Constraints of Living with Undocumented Status

Alonso was born in Mexico and immigrated with his family to the United States as a child. He shares his experience of living undocumented in the United States. Under the Obama administration, he applied for DACA and became DACAmented. However, there were still constraints to living with an undocumented status that influenced his decision to leave the United States and find a home for himself elsewhere. He now lives and works in France. "Over time, I realize it's the US context that constrains me is the US context that prevents me from finding a job. Of course, there were many…

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Season 2 Finale The Journey Towards Self-Determination: US Virgin Islands’ Perspective

In a recent interview with Dr. Malik Sekou, he shed light on the significance of the Constitution as a small step toward decolonization. Dr. Sekou emphasized the importance of getting our people to recognize this constitution as a crucial milestone in the journey toward greater self-governance. According to Dr. Sekou, while the constitution may not be equivalent to a massive stride towards complete independence or stakeholder-free association, it paves the way for increased autonomy. He poignantly stated, "It is not the same as a big step towards independence or stakeholder-free association, but it's a small step towards greater self-governance." One…

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Exploring Identity, Writing, and Diaspora

In this blog post, we delve into the captivating conversation from the Labyrinth of the First Gen podcast with Dorothy, an author based in Puerto Rico. Dorothy describes herself as a feminist and discusses various themes that emerge in her work. Join us as we explore her unique journey and the thought-provoking insights she provides. Setting the Stage In this episode, Weyu Shameka introduces Dorothy as an author and a feminist. She challenges conventional notions of identity and explores the complexities of her own experiences. In this episode, she engages in a conversation about identity with the podcast host, Weyu,…

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Healing Rooted Overseas

In this blog post, we delve into the inspiring story of Rokhaya, a mompreneur who embarked on a journey of self-discovery and entrepreneurship in Jamaica. From her multicultural background to her determination to break generational barriers, Rokhaya's story is a testament to resilience, passion, and the pursuit of personal and professional fulfillment. Join us as we explore her experiences and the valuable lessons she has learned along the way. Podcast Introduction Rokhaya opens her narrative by acknowledging the importance of creating a safe space for first-generation individuals and highlighting the significance of community. This blog post serves as an extension…

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Part 2 One L.U.V: Activism, Vision, and Allyship for the LGBTQ+ Community in the Caribbean

Title: One Luv Part 2: Creating Safe Spaces for the LGBTQ+ Community in the Caribbean Introduction:Welcome back to the Labyrinth of the First Gen! In this week's episode, we continue our conversation with One Luv, an organization based in St. Croix that is dedicated to activism, visibility, and allyship for the LGBTQ+ population in the Virgin Islands and the Caribbean. Today, we delve deeper into their mission and the challenges they face in creating safe spaces for the community. Join me as we explore their inspiring journey and the vision they have for the future. The Importance of One One…

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Part 1: One L.U.V (Love, Unity, and Victory) Creating Safe Spaces for Black and Brown Caribbean Queers in the US Virgin Islands

Welcome to the Labyrinth of the First Gen, where we explore the stories and wisdom of leaders of African descent, breaking barriers across Central America and the Caribbean. In this episode, we shine a light on One Love, a beautiful organization focused on activism, allyship, and empowering the black queer community in St. Croix and the US Virgin Islands. Join us as we delve into their journey, the challenges they've faced, and the impactful work they continue to do. The Birth of One L.U.V One L.U.V was born out of the need to create a safe space for LGBTQ students…

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Part 2 Discussing Anti-Racism Work in Puerto Rico with Collective Ilé: Challenges, Victories and Dreams

Introduction: In today's blog post, we will delve into the world of Colectivo Ille, an organization dedicated to anti-racism work in Puerto Rico. Through an engaging conversation with Maya and Kimberly, two influential members of Colectivo Ille, we will learn about their impactful projects and campaigns. This post aims to shed light on the importance of addressing racism in Puerto Rico and the extraordinary efforts made by Colectivo Ille to create a more inclusive and equitable society. Section 1: The Work of Colectivo Ille Colectivo Ille is an organization committed to eradicating racism in Puerto Rico. Last week, we discussed…

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Colectivo Ilé Advocacy Antiracism & Affirming Black Identity in the US Census in Puerto Rico

Introduction: In today's blog post, we want to shine a spotlight on an incredible organization in Puerto Rico called Colectivo Ilé. For over 25 years, this group of dedicated women has been at the forefront of anti-racist work on the island. In this post, we will delve into their mission, their impact on Puerto Rican society, their involvement in community engagement, and their efforts to shift cultural perspectives. Join us on this journey as we explore the work of Colectivo Ilé and the importance of amplifying Afro-descendant voices in Puerto Rico. Colectivo Ilé: A Labor of Love for an Anti-Racist…

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Ingrid Gamboa’s Fight Against HIV/AIDS, Stigma and Systemic Racism in Guatemala

Introduction While the global community works towards eradicating social injustices, some societies face historical systemic racism that goes beyond contemporary dialogue. A prime example is the Garifuna population in Guatemala, particularly Livingston. This population, rich in African descent, embodies individuals who have bravely fought against the onslaught of deeply embedded systemic racism that tends to marginalize them. Fighting Stigma Through Public Health Initiatives At the forefront of this battle stands Ingrid Gamboa, the founder of Iseri Ibagari, a local public health organization. Iseri Ibagari, which was started amidst the HIV/AIDS pandemic that swept through the Garifuna population in the 1980s…

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Bringing Visibility to the History & Contributions of Jamaicans in Guatemala

Introduction Gloria, an Afro-Guatemalan and authority of Afro-Jamaican history in Guatemala has provided rich insights into her inspiring journey of identity exploration, cultural preservation and the untold history of Afro-Jamaican communities in Guatemala. Unearthing a Hidden Culture In the "Gloria Afro-Jamiacians in Guatemala" episode of Labyrinth of the First Gen, Gloria talks about her book, "Guillaume, Los Otros Negros", or "The Other Blacks", a historical account of the contributions and achievements of Afro-Jamaicans in Guatemala. This book was born out of Gloria’s need to illuminate the history and contributions of oft-overlooked Afro-Jamaican communities in Guatemala. Due to scant research available,…

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The Restaurant Las Tres Garifunas, Black Activism through food in Guatemala

Introduction: Welcome back to season two of Labyrinth of the First Gen! In this season, we delve into the diverse experiences of first-generation individuals who are paving their own paths and making a significant impact within their communities. Today, we are excited to introduce you to Diana Martinez, the owner of Las Tres Garifunas, a renowned restaurant in Livingston, Guatemala. Join us as we explore Diana's journey, her commitment to preserving Garifuna cuisine, and her inspiring activism. Diana's Journey: Diana's family restaurant, Las Tres Garifunas, is not simply a place to share delicious meals, but also a symbol of cultural…

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Season 2 Paths Created & Barriers Broken

When I think of first-generation I think about how it does not mean one thing. To be first-generation means that you  navigated and continue to navigate the labyrinth without a roadmap and carve a path out of the maze with little to no guidance. Season two called Paths Created and Barriers Broken will highlight the expansive definition of what it means to be first gen. We will share stories of black leaders in Latin America and the Caribbean who are first gens that have created paths for themselves  and for their communities. Stay in Touch with the Labyrinth of the…

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