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Join us for a conversation between Jennifer De Leon, former Boston public school teacher and author of Don't Ask Me Where I'm From, and Sujeidy Palmer, former Lawrence public school teacher and current Managing Director of the Teacher Preparation Program at Teach for America. This talk will be a candid and lively discussion of code-switching, immigration, social justice, and what it means to be an anti-racist teen.
Don't Ask Me Where I'm From
First-generation American LatinX Liliana Cruz does what it takes to fit in at her new school. But when family secrets spill out and racism at school ramps up, she must decide what she believes in and take a stand.
To survive rich Westburg High, Liliana decides, she can’t just lighten up--she has to whiten up. So what if she changes her name? So what if she changes the way she talks? So what if she’s seeing her neighborhood in a different way? That's how she justifies it, until hard truths come to light: her absent father isn't gone because he wants to be, and her whole family is in jeopardy. And when racial tensions at school reach a fever pitch, the walls that divide feel insurmountable.
But a wall isn’t always a barrier. It can be a foundation for something better. And Liliana must choose: will she use this foundation as a platform to speak her truth, or risk crumbling under its weight?
Jennifer De Leon is an author, editor, speaker, and creative writing professor who lives outside of Boston. She is the editor of Wise Latinas: Writers on Higher Education, the 2015–2016 Writer-in-Residence at the Boston Public Library, and a 2016–2017 City of Boston Artist-in-Residence. She is also the second recipient of the We Need Diverse Books grant. Don’t Ask Me Where I’m From is her debut novel.