Crystal Zaragoza is an advocate of health justice at Trans Queer Pueblo. Working to provide resources and access to health care for community members, Zaragoza emphasizes the importance of combining traditional and cultural healing with standard health care, so that people can heal physically and emotionally, in an inclusive way. It's this merging that makes her insightful of the future of health care for LGBTQ+ and migrant communities of color.
Cheyenne Wyzzard-Jones and Florcy Romero founded Women of Color in Solidarity to create a network of women of color working to help, protect, and liberate black and brown lives, not just within the United States, but globally.
Obehi Janice’s work speaks to her ethos: a combination of painful (and joyous) honesty and comedic relief. A proud Lowell, Massachusetts native, born to Nigerian immigrant parents, Obehi grew up “hyper[-]aware of being a Nigerian girl.” She has since learned to trust her inner power and her faith in guiding her work. While Obehi is intentional in her politicization of the personal and fiercely embracing of her Blackness, her work’s focus is on creating meaningful representations that are honest to herself as an individual, and on “simply thriving” as an artist.
Moana’s indigenous roots is the foundation of her work as a community muralist. She tells us that she is “just the conduit of [a] mural” that a community commissions. As someone who understands what it’s like to have people take from her, Moana’s work is thoughtfully created with community members and it is emblematic of their resistance, pride, and ownership. This Spotlight beams, not only with Moana’s passion, but also with the vigor of the people she’s come to know.
Janit Von Saechao (she/they) is a writer and creator whose work (and presence) is an embodiment of their ancestral pride and their resistance to the erasure of their community. In this Spotlight, Janit shares with us the rich history and resilience of their indigenous roots and what it means to be a part of the Southeast Asian diaspora. [Photo courtesy of Lara Sidhu]
While society often tries to confine us to a singular identity, Amanda Pericles breaks that linearity through Afrolatinas_, an Instagram account that “highlight[s] the diversity and beauty among black women of Latin-American descent.” Boasting over 10K followers, Afrolatinas_ is a testament to the multiple identities within this community and an affirmation of the need for a more global representation of black people.
Women are complex and dynamic. While each woman's story is different, they all deserve and call for a platform from which to share and inspire others. With Trust Your Vision, Estefany Herrera provides just that through a digital platform that shares the motivational journeys of diverse women overcoming adversity.
Marian Guerra is a leader in the political and activist communities. Specifically, she is the communications director for New York City council member Margaret Chin and a part of Asian American Millennials Unite. In our current social and political climate, she emphasizes the importance of organizing within communities for systemic reform and concrete change.
KJ Miller and Amanda E. Johnson are the founders of Mented Cosmetics, a beauty line for women of color. Unlike many other companies and pop culture figures in the makeup industry, Mented isn’t mistaking diversity for a trend. It's devoted to celebrating the beauty of women of color through accurate representation.
It's no surprise that today's media continue to highlight white narratives. Even when a network or film's director decide to show a person of color, they usually do it without nuance and with plenty of inaccuracies. Paloma Valenzuela saw and felt this lack of identity in media and created The Pineapple Diaries, a comedic web series on YouTube. It surrounds the lives of four Latinx women in Boston's Jamaica Plain, maneuvering their way through their 20s and 30s.
Naiomy Guerrero is the creative voice behind GalleryGirl.nyc, a platform devoted to the discussion of contemporary art. Not only has Naiomy Guerrero found harmony in her own identity as a "proud Latinx New Yorker," she is bridging the gap between the art world and artists of color.