Stories For Liberation
This month, we are focusing on the harrowing tales of crossing the border and the difficult, almost impossible, decisions, that lead up to such a journey. They’re told by anonymous students from Central Islip High School.
A Message From Erika Duncan, Founder Of Herstory Writers Workshop
What does it mean to give voice without a name? At a time when writers are not safe to read their own stories, what will happen next?
It is with sadness, but also with urgency and pride, that we anonymously share the writing of five young people who crossed the border, most of them alone, because it wouldn’t be safe to share these stories in a traceable way.
We share the hope and the light in their voices at this moment of time when, in the words of Nancy Pelosi, “the Statue of Liberty has tears in her eyes.”
These young people are part of a movement to gather stories from those whose voices have been silenced and unsung—started 21 years ago by Herstory Writers Workshop, working with women and adolescent girls in Long Island’s three jails, with women in domestic violence shelters, with students struggling with poverty, racism and inequality of opportunity, and with communities torn apart by violence and hatred.
Can their stories help hold up the torch of compassion and welcome, and bring back the light that the oppressors are trying to extinguish? Can they help the most vulnerable among us hold on through the darkness, uncertainty, and danger?
As we read these brave stories, we are struck by the quiet and forceful wisdom that shines through, giving testimony to the strength of the human spirit and the hope within us all to be heard. We think of a time when the students will again be able to claim their own stories, with their names attached, when we will be able to bind these stories and many others into a book with photographs of these heroes and have a true celebration, of their heroism, spirit, and hope.