Zoe: It feels like that's all my purpose is here. I walk into a room and, as the only person of color, I transform from being just Zoe to the voice of “the minority.” It doesn’t matter that my life is just one facet of the kaleidoscope of stories that make up our community. Someone comments on what they see as an observer looking into my “marginalized” community. I cringe when I have to begin my sentences with “As a Latina…”, because suddenly I feel like the weight of my words have grown to carry the voice of my entire ethnicity. That’s my only value. All that matters is that I have brown skin and can articulate a sentence. That I can be their walking, talking, visible diversity.
To our brothers and sisters on campus. To our mothers and fathers back home. To every person who has taught us what our Latinidad is supposed to be. Who we are is a result of what you’ve instilled in us. The strength, resilience, and compassion that nuestra historia, has gifted you, you’ve in turn given to us. Your stories, struggles, joys, and sorrows seep into our skin, our soul, and our Latinx identity–creating Latinidad.
I saw, for the first time in my life, a television screen filled with so many women of color like myself. The shades of their skin—so similar to my own and that of my community—took center stage as a symbol of the best that our country has to offer.