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So my story is talking about this moment where someone assumed a lot about me just because I looked a certain way. Basically because of the race she assumed upon me. So, the summer after my sophomore year I was back here on campus and I was doing a research job. It was one of the first like professional jobs I had ever had, I would say. I needed to wear, I had to buy a whole new wardrobe. I needed to wear, I had to buy a whole new wardrobe. I remember going to Goodwill when I went back home, and like all these pants and suits that I’d never had before because e had to go to the office every day in business casual. I was excited and nervous because I had never been in an environment like this before and I was working with cognitive behavioral therapy. So analyzing it and trying to fit this kind of therapy into like minority communities, specifically Latinx communities. So kind of like fitting it, like translating it into Spanish and making the tools in Spanish for the community that we were working in. The community we were working with was in Chelsea, MA. So, uh, towards the end of the summer, we started, when we were finishing up the process of making these new tools we wanted to observe them in action. So we went to this program that kind of worked with both young men who had been incarcerated or had experienced some kind of trauma associated with being in the community and a program that kind of worked with young mothers. So my first trip to the program I went with my supervisor who was slightly older and she was white. And she had been to the program before, so they knew her. And she was talking to one of the program advisors and I was just standing there because, you know, what is there for me to do? Like, I, there was no one else to talk to and I was just kind of like listening on their conversation. Of course, I wasn’t wearing my badge because we were not supposed to be wearing anything that was identifying. But I was wearing, what I thought to be like a nice pair of pants and like a nice appropriate business casual shirt. And this woman, I assume another program advisor, comes up to me. She immediately starts speaking Spanish, and she asks me in Spanish, like “Oh are you a new person to the program? Are you going to come for the unwed [young] mothers group?” And I was like, “No, no I’m one of the research assistants here. I’m here with my supervisor. I’ll be observing.” And she like. “Oh.” And she just laughed it off. And was saying, “like it was just because you were standing there next to her, not saying anything and just like smiling. I assumed that you were here for the program.” Which that doesn’t make any sense in my opinion because it was not like my research program was bringing in people. That’s not what we did. So it didn’t make any sense why my supervisor would bring in a random person to join the group. But, ok. Sure. So we went, observed the group and we left. And so when we were leaving, my supervisor was driving us back to the lab I asked her if I was dressed inappropriately. Like did I not look business casual/business formal? Is there is something I did wrong to make her think that I wasn’t a research assistant and instead I was just an unwed 19 year old mother? She was like, “No no. She probably didn’t mean anything by it. I wouldn’t worry about it. You’re dressed fine. You’re ok. If you weren’t dressed fine, I’d let you know.” We drove the rest of the way back in silence. And, like, all that kept ringing in my ears was, “I wouldn’t think too much about it. I wouldn’t worry about it. It didn’t mean anything.” And I kept thinking how easy it must be for her to not let something like that mean anything to her. Because for me, especially on the latina side of my family, most of my cousins were this age and were unwed mothers and weren’t just on their first child, but maybe their second, their third child. Those were the choices they made with their life, but I was so proud to have gotten this far and not be pregnant and to be at this amazing school. And then, to realize it doesn’t matter what I do. I could be the most accomplished 19 year old person in the world and to so many people I would still be, I would still look like a Latina unwed mother. I called my friend, while at the lab, crying and saying, “It wasn’t fair.” It wasn’t fair that no matter what I do there’s going to be a way that people look at me and the way that they see me and I can’t change it. And they’re going to laugh it off and certain people are going to say not to worry about it. But for me, it means that anything I do doesn’t matter

Video Details

Duration: 5 minutes and 34 seconds
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Language: English
License: Dotsub - Standard License
Genre: None
Views: 3
Posted by: kaymc on May 8, 2018

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