“I think it's really important to be transparent about the place from which you write and the way that place determines your relationship to that which you write about,” award-winning author of Lost Children Archive Valeria Luiselli tells Alicia in this provocative conversation about the meaning and limits of identity. Luiselli, a green card holder, fully recognizes she is “someone who has enormous privilege and therefore also enormous responsibility toward my community.” That sense of duty compelled her to volunteer as a court translator for Central American children who were being processed as asylum seekers during the Obama administration. And it continues to help her interrogate her place in the world as an artist.
Much of Western culture and religious beliefs are grounded in a bifurcated notion of an epic power struggle between dueling forces, often defined as “good” and “evil.” This underlying premise influences how we parent, how we practice faith, how we choose vocations, and how we vote. In this episode Jamsheed Choksy, chair of the Department of Central Eurasian Studies at Indiana University Bloomington, provides surprising historical context for how the West’s construction of these binary elements evolved—from Islam.
After Alicia’s conversation with advertising superstar Nancy Reyes, she wanted to make t-shirts that read, "I am undeniable." That’s how inspiring this trailblazer’s story is. From learning that “everything feels better when you earn it” to “dealing with a massive career failure” and making the decision to go from “good to great,” Nancy’s success is a testament to what happens when grit and tenacity meet opportunity.
She came to Miami on vacation from her television job in Colombia and, while visiting Telemundo with a friend, walked herself into an opportunity of a lifetime. Then Ilia Calderón really went to work, leading the country’s premier Spanish-language news program on Univision and making headlines for her intrepid reporting and intelligent disaster coverage. She talks with Alicia about confronting a KKK leader, reporting on the family separation crisis as a mother, and navigating life as a hyphenated Latina.