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Library Events & Outreach, 2020-2021

Human Library: Join us Fall 2022

 

 

This Fall and Spring, Skyline College Library presented our 4rd annual series of Human Library events. At these interactive sessions, “human books” — in the form of Skyline College students, faculty and staff and community members — are “loaned out” to readers just as libraries loan physical books to library patrons. Each reader selects or “check outs” a human book and the two engage in meaningful one-on-one conversations in the comfort of a Zoom breakout room for 20 to 30 minutes. 

The inspiration for this now international movement began in Denmark almost 20 years ago. Skyline College Library has adapted the program to run virtually throughout the academic year. We'll see you in Fall 2021!

 

Human Book List: Seminar of New Editions for April 28

Book Title

Book Description

My life has taken me across the globe; from boardrooms to court rooms, to film sets, and classrooms. Driven by curiosity of self and community, my life has been one filled with stories and storytelling focused on overcoming trauma and healing. Opportunities to be a teacher and teach in schools, juvenile halls, prisons, and activist communities have served as a reminder that life is a journey and there is always more to learn. 

 

 

In 2006, this marine biology professor suffered a devastating stroke following the removal of a large brain tumor. A planned 9-day hospital stay turned into a lifetime of grueling rehabilitation. The stroke took away her ability to breathe, eat, talk, hear and move. After several weeks in the hospital, during which she was fed through a tube and breathed through machines, she was transferred to a rehabilitation center until she could function well enough to return home to her children.

 

 

This story covers the life of an up and coming musician whose life was afforded great opportunities to live a childhood dream of being a famous rock and roll star. He went from playing parties, high school dances, and festivals to headlining in Carnegie Hall, singing on American Bandstand with Dick Clark to rubbing shoulders with some to the great artists of the 70's. There was the glamorous life of luxury, from chauffeur-driven limousines to fantastic takeoffs in jets. These were the benefits of being a rock star.

But for this legend of Latin Rock, the price he was to pay far exceeded his pay scale. One of the bitter fruits...was the ability to indulge and overindulge in activities that darken the soul and begin to extinguish the light of peace and happiness. The taste for music escaped his lips and the appetite for drugs and alcohol became his love and desire. With over 20 years of fighting with substance abuse, he managed to see a glimmer of light through the darkness and found his way out of the abyss. 

 

 

For so many years, he held his experiences hidden in a private journal. This journal, a gift he accepted from and to himself, carries the silenced journey that has made up the author of Writing in Silence. Explore the moments of being raised in the Excelsior and Mission Districts of San Francisco, CA, the trials of a first generation, proud, brown student, and the changing hurdles that appear with overcoming imposter syndrome. This collection would not exist without the author's appreciation and love of being able to express his narrative through writing and poetry. Though this love was at its peak at a point in his life, our author reached a time where he felt disconnected and lost with the continuation of his journal.

Disconnected no more, and more connected than before, our author is now sharing pieces of his journal to the public. Pieces because, well, the journal has not yet been completed. As you open the first page, you will read "...there will be writings of the past, present and hopefully future if I promise myself to continue to write." Writing has been a reminder of what I have survived and what I have been able to celebrate - a sense of release that I cherish. With that, my story is meant to be shared with anyone who takes a glimpse into the words on the pages. Enjoy all its complexity and beautiful mess.

I was born in Hawai'i, the first-born child of immigrant Filipino parents. I lived in Alaska and Rhode Island before my military family settled in California. In junior high, I was bullied by students of my own race. In high school, I finally made friends and I even got good grades, but I never felt like I belonged. In college, I graduated at the top of my class, but I hardly saw any students or teachers in my major who looked like me, who understood my struggle, who I could really relate to.
Yet all of these moments, painful as they were sometimes, truly helped me become the person I am today -- a mother, a scholar, an educational leader, a Filipino martial arts enthusiast, a group exercise instructor, a pop culture nerd, and always a student. 

Human Library Book Archive

Human Library Book Archive - Fall 2018 - present

 

Browse our previous titles, some of which may reappear at future Human Library events!


 

 

Human Library Event - October 30, 2018
Hay Dios Mio ... What am I Doing in College?
They say college is challenging. But nobody can prepare you for what comes next ...what comes after you get accepted. As a first generation college student, she had to learn to navigate through an unfamiliar system, one that many times made her feel like she did not belong. However, through persistence, dedication, hard work, many tears and sleepless nights, she was able to gain academic self-confidence, reconnect and fall in love with her cultura and obtain her Bachelor's degree that represented so much of her, her familia and her community.

Immigrant or American?
Her ancestors arrived to North America in 1767, fought in the Revolutionary War and later the Civil War, but she wonders if she is still considered an immigrant? On a path of discovering her own very untypical American history, her research into her genealogy for the last 15 years has led her to wonder: immigrant or American? From farming in South Carolina to fighting the English with the 2nd South Carolina Regiment in Savannah, her family traveled the Wilderness Road north to Kentucky, crossing the Cumberland Gap, settling in Ohio, and fought battles across the south in the Civil War. After discharge from the Union Army, the family moved west to California. Yet, after seven generations in North America, is she still an immigrant or an American? How many years does it take to become an “American” and what does that mean in this changing world.

In Transit
She is a trans woman who began transitioning several years ago. She is a software engineer at YouTube and spent the better part of a decade in a PhD program. Her life has taken her from Massachusetts, to Colorado, and, presently, San Francisco.

Lowriding Professor
A professor of History and Anthropology at Skyline College uses lowriding as an entry point to discuss other issues that affect our communities of color. Utilizing Critical Race Theory and the power of personal narrative, he provides opportunities in the classroom for critical and real dialogue. Want to know more? Check him out!

Perseverance and Dedication Can Take You Places
In the early 1980s, and with dreams of a better life, she decided to leave her native country, Nicaragua, to explore and study in Budapest-Hungary. After accomplishing her educational goals and overcoming different educational challenges, she obtained both a BA in Economy and an MA in Hotel and Tourism Management. After moving back home, and encountering other life challenges, life forced her to take a different turn and ended up teaching and working as a Dean in two different Universities. Once again dedicated to pursue a different chapter in her life, in the early 2000s, she immigrated to United States with her 6-year-old son and at the age of 42 years old, she had to reinvent herself. All of these experiences have allowed her to live in places she never imagined.

The Servant Leader
Her experiences and education have allowed her to work with diverse populations from prenatal to adult learners. This has taught her the importance of understanding each community and their uniqueness and meeting people where they are to enhance learning and understanding. She sees herself as the facilitator of learning by allowing knowledge to be applied rather than trying to bank or force information upon another (Freire, 1970). As you get to know her, you will discover her passion for enhancing education by being a servant leader who encourages others to find their passion and become producers of knowledge.

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Human Library Event - November 29, 2018
Creating New Bonds
As a child growing up, she had to move every three years because her father was on active duty in the military. Consequently, she didn't grow up with her extended family, so she didn’t have the pleasure of growing up with the familiarity that comes with the familial bond and having the confidence of knowing who she was. The constant uprooting was challenging since she had to leave old friends and make new ones. However, as she matured, she learned to see the positive effect the constant moving had on her life. She adapted to new environments quickly and learned not to be afraid to speak to people she didn't know, regardless of cultural differences. Thanksgiving was especially a good time since the families on the military base came together and celebrated with one another while their love ones were overseas. Being a cornucopia of cultures, the thanksgiving meals were culturally educational and YUMMY!

Navigating Life’s Series of Firsts
He a first generation American, the fourth of six children, and grew up in a lower middle class socioeconomic environment. His parents are both for Chihuahua, Mexico and moved to the United States as teenagers to Fresno, California where they met and married and worked as agriculture laborers until they were able to open their own small business - a Mexican restaurant. He has completed an AS degree in Respiratory Care, a BS in Health Services Administration, and a Master’s in Public Health. His professional career focused on the public service sector, working in healthcare as a neonatal/pediatric Respiratory Care Practitioner and then transitioning to public education as a teacher over the span of 30 years. Navigating Life’s Series of Firsts and his husband live in San Francisco near the Mission with their adopted 16 year old son.

Never Tell Me the Odds
She arrived in the United States when she was nine years old. Her life drastically changed during her sophomore year of high school when she found out she was undocumented. She faced bullying, threats, and severe harassment due to her status. Although there was no financial aid available to undocumented students when she graduated from high school, she insisted on pursuing higher education. On her journey, she developed her passions for music, art, dance, color guard, and serving her community. She worked three jobs throughout her undergrad but never gave up. She has since received her Bachelor's degree and has been featured in the New York Times. She is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree MA in Human Rights and continues to be an advocate for the undocumented community.

A Road to Redemption
After being dismissed from the San Mateo County Community College District due to poor grades and a low GPA, she always thought, “College just isn’t for me.” After going through multiple jobs, she finally found something that she wanted to make her career for the rest of her life. But how was she going to get there when it seemed as though the college door was closed for good? Now utilizing the resources on campus, she had found the confidence to pursue her dreams and finish what she started. Trying to figure out what you’d want to be for the rest of your life can be challenging, especially if you do it on your own.

The Sunflower Who Grew From Concrete
In this story I bring readers into my world; a world in which self-deterrence, the lack of self-love and ambition all symbolize a petal of my sunflower that helped me grow. Figuring out who I was when others told me who I was not. I have come a long way through my youth. This is my story and I will bring readers into the rain which fed the sunflower that grew from concrete. This is me.

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Human Library Event - February 21, 2019
Defining First-Generation
As the first in his family to attend and graduate from college, he received his Associate’s Degree in Arts and Humanities from Skyline College. He later transferred and received a Bachelor’s of Science in Hospitality Management from San Francisco State University. Before attending Skyline College, he struggled with how to achieve his educational journey.

His inexperience in navigating through and trying to figure out how to afford a community college led to his decision to drop out and work full-time. Though working full-time, he never gave up his desired to return to a community college. Once he chose Skyline College, he connected to Skyline’s resources like Financial Aid and EOPS. These helped him financially and encouraged him to focus on becoming a successful student. He also took advantage of the opportunity to work on campus as a student assistant. He utilized the skills learned at Skyline and transferred to San Francisco State University. After receiving his Bachelor’s, he returned to Skyline where he now serves as the Program Services Coordinator for the Financial Aid office.

He continues to use his struggles and triumphs as a former student to encourage other students. Sharing his firsthand experience with students facing financial barriers and other challenges is important to their pursuit of higher education.

Lost in Translation

My parents immigrated to the United States during the Vietnam War as refugees with my four eldest siblings. In total, we have seven sisters, including myself, and three brothers. I am the second youngest of ten.

Born and raised in Merced, CA, I often find myself lost in my identities as a Hmong daughter, a Hmong wife, and a Hmong-American woman who must traverse a mixture of Hmong and American cultural beliefs and practices. Sometimes my mind is speaking in Hmong and my hands are typing in English. Other times, I’m speaking in English and thinking in Hmong.

There are many layers to being a Hmong-American woman in the modern world. Both sides of my cultural beliefs influence and impact me in every way. Occasionally making it difficult for me to make personal life-changing decisions because I have to consider the impact it will make to not only my family, but my husband’s family as well. Come listen to how I have navigated my life to this point.

Success Starts in the Mind: Take Command of your Life
After being placed in non-transferable English and Math courses in community college while working full time and competing in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, I was told to drop out and get a real job.

After three years, I, the youngest in a family of four and identifies as Mexican American -- transferred to and completed my BA degree at UC Berkeley. Throughout the years in the Bay Area, I have learned the ability to expand my mind and strive for lifelong learning, as it is critical to success. I am currently a Retention Specialist at Skyline College and coach Jiu-Jitsu to help individuals develop a growth mindset.

Success Starts in the Mind can lead readers through a series of discussion, stories, recommendations, and exercises designed to help you create a different experience in your life. He shares invaluable insights you can use to gain confidence to do what you’ve always wanted and overcome obstacles that hamper you from reaching our potential. By dedicating oneself to learning, one can get ahead in every aspect of one’s life.

When Life Throws You Lemons…Make Cranberry Juice!
In 2006, this marine biology professor suffered a devastating stroke following the removal of a large brain tumor. A planned 9-day hospital stay turned into a lifetime of grueling rehabilitation. The stroke took away her ability to breathe, eat, talk, hear and move. After several weeks in the hospital, during which she was fed through a tube and breathed through machines, she was transferred to a rehabilitation center until she could function well enough to return home to her children.

Today, she has her life back on track and founded the nonprofit Lifetime of Impact!, which provides presentations to student and professional medical groups, publishes a newsletter with stories and ideas to help maintain an attitude of empathy, and maintains a website and social media presence. Her goal? To help as many health professionals as possible instantly connect with their patients and better exhibit compassionate and empathetic treatment.

Learn about her high and low points as she continues to overcome this major life setback and the 5 mantras she lives by every day. Ultimately, it took determination, hard work, and positivity to overcome this tragedy.

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Human Library Event - March 20, 2019

Brave Starts Today
He used to be bullied in high school because of a condition in which the lower jaw stands out from the dentition of the upper jaw (Habsburg jaw). Unfortunately, some of his classmates smacked his head and laughed at him due to this condition. These experiences left him afraid to go to school and gradually he became pessimistic and even considered committing suicide. But he told himself that this is not the best way to solve his difficulties. After he graduated from high school, he underwent jaw surgery. He decided to forget his high school days and to start fresh again. Three years ago, he decided to study abroad and embarked on a journey of pursuing his dreams of becoming a sports journalist. His experiences as a study abroad student made him a confident person. From these experiences being bullied he learned that though he suffered, he still needed to be brave and deal with himself because every person is unique. He is even thankful for those bad experiences and was able to find the truth in his life.

California Dreamin’
Growing up in Southern California, just an hour and a half from Hollywood, he entertained ideas of getting into ‘show business.’ He did community theater, political theater with a now well-known TV actress, was an extra in a River Phoenix movie, played a pirate in a show at Sea World, and won a local daytime Emmy award for a TV show on the issues surrounding teens. And then he decided that this life of performing and auditions and rejections wasn’t for him. Or was it? Because teaching, too, is a kind of performing. And, ironically, it was the movie “Dangerous Minds,” with Michelle Pfeiffer, about an inner city high school teacher, which gave him the inspiration to go into teaching. He never looked back (ok, he’s still a big movie buff), and six years ago a job at Skyline College brought him to the Bay Area, where he teaches Creative Writing and English, works on his novel, publishes his writing occasionally, and dances in his kitchen with his dog.

Gratitude Speaks
Born addicted and raised in a household where drugs, violence, and chaos were the norm, she left home at 15 to fend for herself on the streets of Los Angeles. Because she was underage, she was unable to find legal, full-time work. Instead, she got involved with a gang and drug trafficking, immersing herself in a violent and unsafe world. For her, drug addiction was a natural progression, the only way that she knew how to cope with her undiagnosed PTSD. After 17 years of addiction, she finally asked for the help that was desperately needed and her recovery began. Six years in recovery has changed her entire existence, and she is here to share her journey, in gratitude.

The Indecisive Young Mom
In my junior year of high school, I found out some news that would change my life forever. I was pregnant and I didn’t know what to do. I was scared and excited but mostly scared because I didn’t know how I was going to take care of a child at 17 years old. What was my life going to become if I had this child? What was my mom going to say? She wanted me to go off to college. Am I going to be like the static that I read about in the 10th grade? How did I get here and how do I GET OUT????? Nine years later the struggle was real but with support, motivation and realization I’m currently a Skyline College student on my way to graduate and move on to a four year university which will be a whole new life changing experience all over again.

Legend of Latin Rock’s Rise From Darkness Into The Light
This story covers the life of an up and coming musician who's life was afforded great opportunities to live a childhood dream of being a famous rock and roll star. He went from playing parties, high school dances, and festivals to headlining in Carnegie Hall, singing on American Bandstand with Dick Clark to rubbing shoulders with some of the great artists of the 70's. There was the glamorous life of luxury, often chauffeur-driven limousines to fantastic takeoffs in jets. These were the benefits of being a rock star. But for this legend of Latin Rock, the price he was to pay far exceeded his pay scale. One of the bitter fruits of his successful life was the ability to indulge and over indulge in activities that darken the soul and begin to extinguish the light of peace and happiness. The taste for music escaped his lips and the appetite for drugs and alcohol became his love and desire. With over 20 years of fighting substance abuse, he managed to see a glimmer of light through the darkness and found his way out of the abyss.

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Human Library Event - April 23, 2019
AA To PHD: Join Me
Who would have guessed a young African American woman who was dismissed from community college would return to make the very most of a second chance? This is the story of intellectual and personal transformation, resilience, hope, and achievement. While our protagonist did not become the doctor her mother dreamed of, she did become a Dr. - of the educational sort. Read about her adventure from AA to PhD, about her strategies for coping with feelings of being an imposter at majority Caucasian universities and the loneliness that comes with being the lone African American woman in a competitive PhD program. Discover how her educational experiences and a deep appreciation for those who came before her continue to inspire her work in education.

Academic Probation? Me?
She earned her Bachelor's Degree in Sociology from the University of California, Santa Cruz. As the first in her family to attend and graduate college, the transition from high school to a four-year university posed a variety of challenges. Between navigating bureaucratic processes like Financial Aid and Housing, to figuring out how to enroll in a class, she struggled and ended up on academic probation in her freshman year. Read how she was responded to those challenges, graduated, and the beginnings of her career as an education professional.

Becoming Dr. B
Graduation day arrived...and she was suddenly anointed with the title of Doctor! Even though she went to school with the intention of becoming one...the path toward realizing her title and truly becoming was a mystery. After graduation, life began but the reality of how that life became authentic and meaningful was very personal. The path toward becoming was full of struggle: uncertainty, questioned authenticity, imposter syndrome, racism, ageism, misogyny, and self-imposed unconscious barriers. Truly Becoming Dr. B...is continually working to flip the script on what it means to OWN her title and the self-recognition of her expertise, experience, and perseverance.

The Belara Dream
The Belara Dream is something that will soon be turned into a reality as Nathan Belara strives to make it on Broadway. He’s been performing for live audiences through musical productions and plays since he was a kid. There is toning that brings him that much joy. As long as he knows that he’s making people laugh and cry on stage, he knows that he’s getting one step closer to making his dream come true... and that’s show business!

Immigrant or American?
Please visit above for description.

In Transit
Please visit above for description.

Navigating Life’s Series of Firsts
He a first generation American, the fourth of six children, and grew up in a lower middle class socioeconomic environment. His parents are both from Chihuahua, Mexico and moved to the United States as teenagers to Fresno, California where they met, married and worked as agriculture laborers until they were able to open their own small business - a Mexican restaurant. He has completed an AS degree in Respiratory Care, a BS in Health Services Administration, and a Master’s in Public Health. His professional career focused on the public service sector, working in healthcare as a neonatal/pediatric Respiratory Care Practitioner and then transitioning to public education as a teacher over the span of 30 years.

Navigating Life’s Series of Firsts and his husband live in San Francisco near the Mission with their adopted 16 year old son.

Ser Educada- The New Mestiza
From an intersectionality framework, this queer Chicana shares the cultural and educational work to navigate societal systems of power and privilege and the invisible borders that surround them. It is among the Borderlands, that Latinx women become experts at being a part of both worlds, home community and the academy. It is a space where the intersecting parts of one's identity come into full view and are honored. In this New Mestiza Consciousness, as Anzaldua describes, there is strength in the recognition of the sheer effort it takes to overcome barriers and obstacles that continue to oppress women of color, especially in the spaces of work and society. Ser Educada is a theoretical framework that analyzes the space in which Latinx women identify as "educada" from a home community lens with being "educada" in the academy, and how it informs this Chicana's perspective as a parent, a wife, a daughter, an educator, and a leader.

Showing Up Differently
This book explores how I translate my life experiences, commitment to social justice, and personal values into a leadership framework – One designed to transgress systems of oppression, marginalization, exclusion and domination. We can and must use our positions of influence and consequence to work on something bigger than ourselves. My honor is to have had the chance to serve this community in this way.

Stage Fright: Finding a Voice in Unexpected Places
Born in a small Midwestern town, an inquisitive young girl is pressured from an early age to constantly “fit in” and consider “what the neighbors might think.” As a young woman, lessons far and near has inspired her to question "fitting in," expectations, systemic oppression, and the paralyzing beast of everyday stage fright. Finding A Voice in Unexpected Places is a the story of a wallflower stepping into the spotlight.

When Life Throws You Lemons…Make Cranberry Juice! Please visit above for description.

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Human Library Event - October 23, 2019
I’m a Pre-Revolution American
In 1767, her ancestors sailed from England to a new land to farm and settle in Charles Town in what is now South Carolina. They came, not because they wanted to move to a new country, but because they wanted to become “landed” settlers in a distant area owned and ruled by England. Her family “became” American only after first being declared rebels fighting for their own sovereignty. After the Revolutionary War, her family sold their farm in South Carolina, took their land bounty and traveled the Wilderness Road north to Kentucky. One hundred years later, her family became soldiers once again, serving the Union Army during the Civil War before settling in the frontier of California. She was born two hundred and twenty-five years after her family arrived in North America. After 15 years of genealogy research she has discovered her own unique American history - she is not Native American, but she wonders if there can be another name for someone like her: the Pre-American Woman?

A Bear Ate a Man
H spent his youth in prison, but escaped to begin a new life in California. A seeker, a lost and fallen man, he moved through philosophies and excesses in search for meaning until he experienced the grace and epiphany of God. Passing the gate and entering the path of truth, he found himself wounded and bleeding, happily embarking on a new journey of purification and healing.

Human Being or Human Doing?

The beautiful struggle of aligning the "self" in the midst of a global crisis
Growing up, all I heard from my family was "you gotta go to college!" It was an insistent and consistent message in my house. I was focused daily on doing well in class, doing well on my homework, doing well on tests. All of it paid off, but once I arrived to college I was left with the question I did not have an answer to: "now what?" All of this attention paid to doing had left me without an understanding of myself and deeper understanding of who I was trying to be. Flirting with failure and dismissal, my purpose was revealed to me in the aftermath of 9-11. At once, I realized the things I needed to be do in order to become the person I wished to be.

Legend of Latin Rock’s Rise From Darkness Into The Light
Please visit above for description.

Finding myself in the Transition
Sitting on the shore of the beach, and appreciating the sunset was always a healthy way to connect with myself. While growing up in my beloved Guatemala, I never thought about what was going on around me. Well, they had taught me to ignore everything around me, including myself. The beach was always the place where I could find myself. From the day I was born until I was fifteen , I lived in the land that saw me grow, cry, be happy and make endless mistakes. I promised my 15-year old self that I would never leave, or well, that if I left, I would return. This land, this tropical climate of Guatemala, saw me evolve and create my own revolution against my domestication. Guatemala changed my life. I claim who I am, and who I want to be. Break with everything that bound me. Guatemala made me feel free, but it also made me feel oppressed. Maybe it wasn't Guatemala, but the people around me in Guatemala. I discovered that my sexual orientation was not at all what "my people" defined me to have. Creating an awakening in lands where the man with power demands you not to do so, and oppresses you to continue with everything that prevents your evolution as a human being, is a crime. Not a crime that is written in the constitution, but a crime that everyone will cross out.

I moved to the United States of America three years ago, exactly when I was 16, well, I turned 16 here, on November 12, 2016. The United States of America the land of the founding fathers, the foreign land of the immigrant, the dreamer, the seeker. I thought that my experience here would be much easier than in my beloved Guatemala, I said, “the United States of America is also the liberal land” and with all pride I began my liberation from sexual orientation, of an 18-year-old woman, refugee, Latinx American, foreign , and above all, a dreamer. The transition continues and every time I feel I approach a new one. The United States of America makes me claim my lost identity, lost in my ancestors who shared my same liberal dreams in this land. The United States of America makes me feel free but it also oppresses me.

I’m Not from Texas, I’m from El Paso
Growing up as the child of a father who spent over 20 years in the Army, my family moved around almost every year and a half until I was almost 12 years old. The constant moving never allowed me to develop a true sense of being and having a home. When my father approached retirement, we settled in El Paso, Texas. This allowed me to finally develop a sense of home and an understanding of the importance of the concept of home.

All who Wander are not Lost
I was born in Bogota, Colombia to a German father & Colombian mother. Being bi-racial & bi-national has informed the way I see myself--as an outsider--but in a good way. We moved a lot, from Bogota to Ohio to Los Angeles to Brazil, back to Ohio & finally San Diego, but my childhood made me a little bit of a gypsy, and I have slowly migrated up the California coastline, finally landing in South San Francisco. That spirit of being on the move has manifested in the fact that I have had over 42 jobs in my life, have lived in an RV, camped avidly, and currently live on a boat. Now I get my nomad fix by traveling to interesting places as often as I can.

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Human Library Event - November 21, 2019

Becoming global

I grew up in a small town in rural Montana on the Fort Peck Sioux-Assiniboine Reservation. My family (both immediate and large extended family) had immigrated and spent three generations in the North/South Dakota/Montana region of the US. We lived in poverty and for us survival was a priority over education or travel. I was the first in my family to leave. Now, having lived, worked, and traveled to over 40 countries, acquiring a second language and a graduate degree, and building a career in education, I have grown into a truly global citizen. Let's explore and demystify the global - because if I did it, you can do it, too.

An Akon Storya: Narratives of a Filipino Fulbright scholar in the US

I'm this year's Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant (FLTA) assigned at Skyline College. Under this program, I assist students in language arts-related courses such as English and Filipino, and take part in many cultural and educational activities.

It took me a long time and arduous work achieving a breakthrough such as this in my career and life. My story is just one of the thousands of stories in the Philippines where privileges are scarce and going beyond structural barriers is a (usually) painful process.

I really do see things differently

I have monocular vision and have done many things to overcome limitations and stereotypes. Learning to turn physical and psychological limitations into challenges to overcome and being creative in doing so. Continuing to do the things I did before I lost vision in one eye and new activities as well. It has been a journey, which continues on to new adventures.

Accidental activist: A caterpillar’s journey

From an early age, I knew that I was different. Initially, I thought that my differences made me as ugly and unlovable as the lowly caterpillar and tried desperately to hide who I was. However, just as the caterpillar undergoes a metamorphosis, once I learned to accept myself for who I am, I too got my wings.

Learning who you are by learning who you are not

I was sixteen when I made the decision to get help for all that I had been carrying with me up until that point, out of quote unquote respect for my family, out of fear of being isolated, out of fear of not being believed. But I had a sense of things not being right for me very early on. By "right" I mean not being brought in conditions that were suited for my growth.

Navigating life’s series of firsts Please visit above for description.

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Human Library Event - March 10, 2020

From Ashes to Phoenix

In my mind, I have been close to death an uncountable number of times. This is the story of my life journey that continues to unfold from challenges of being in a cisheteronormative environment and navigating my ancestor’s culture and the culture that I find myself in. Growing up thinking I was a nobody when no place in the world could ever be my home, I put myself on a path where I can search for the unknown of life’s uncertainty with the help of people who have shown me kindness along the way. To have the honor to carry on the spirit of those who have fought for my rights and privileges is a gift that allow me to rise up and be me.

Illumination

I’m from Taiwan and raised by a single mother, Vivian. Several years ago, she lost her job. She was in her early fifties while I was still in middle school. One day she came home with McDonald's uniform telling me that she had started working there and her co-workers treated her well. Everything sounded ordinary to me until one day, I passed the McDonald's where she worked. I peeped through the glass door and saw something that changed my thoughts of life.

After that, I saw her as a brave candle who lit herself up to illuminate my life, never looking down to worry how close she might be to burning out. Knowing how much she sacrificed for me, I want to pass along her caring spirit and share it with others. With Vivian’s support, I’m now in San Francisco pursuing my dream to be the best Product Designer in the world. She tells me that she can’t leave me any wealth, but she can provide me with a good education. After I become more professional in my field, I will go back to my country to teach and illuminate others' lives the way Vivian showed me.

Never a simple miracle
Born 4 1/2 months premature, my parents call me a miracle. I love the big picture with mentors, and an affinity for history, and a loving family accompanying my journey through my complex life.

Stage fright: Finding a voice in unexpected places Please visit above for description.

Teen dating violence survivor
I was in an abusive relationship at age 14. It went from verbal, to physical, to sexual abuse. I developed an eating disorder, started self-harming, and attempted suicide four times. I survived, thank God! At age 16, I started going to counseling and then traveling with a non-profit organization where I shared my experiences and and statistics on teen dating dating, violence and sexual assault. I love offering hope to other victims by letting them know they WERE victims and can be survivors!

The Yawnis
A Greek book, full of seas, skies, smiles, tears, friends, family, self-appreciation, depression, honesty, bicycles, music, films and books. A Greek book full of archaeology, history, stories, past and future. A Greek book full of islands, mountains, everyday adventures and dreams. A Greek book full of love and loss, home and immigration.

A book full of wonders, like life.

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Human Library Event - April 24, 2020 (Virtual)

Mission (Outta) Control: Barrios Sin Barreras

The story of a girl raised in poverty in SF’s Mission District by a Single Mom, Single Aunt, and Single Grandmother dodged gangs, drugs, and pitfalls of the streets. She takes what she learned in the business/finance world to build a bridge between the real world and education.

Poet Laureate

She is the Poet Laureate of San Mateo County. Her job is to celebrate and elevate the literary arts and make poetry more accessible to people in their everyday lives. But what does this mean? To find out more, check out this human book! Aileen is widely anthologized and is the author of two poetry collections and three chapbooks. She is also the publisher of Paloma Press and the editor of the online lit mag, MiGoZine.

Western Identity, Eastern Flavors: Growing up with South Asian

She is a Bay Area Native; born in San Francisco, where her parents planted their Pakistani Roots. Growing up in a Western world with Eastern influences can attribute a medley of notes within an individual character. When the two cultures collide it can also be like mixing oil and water. So, what is it like to embrace both simultaneously? How do identities within these cultures conflict? And what do both of these worlds have in common for a woman? And more particularly, for women in pursuit of a pathway and future conventionally unorthodox for women (i.e. Engineering)?

A titleless book

A trilingual book of Japanese, English, and Spanish. A Sociologist, a labor organizer, a dancer, and a mother; abhors individualism of America because her soul is shaped by the respect to the community, the collective, and social solidarity that she still carries in her blood since her childhood. Still, she fled Japan because of the shackle of the patriarchy she could not stand. Questioning, challenging, and fighting is what her father taught her, and what she teaches her daughter.

Legend of Latin Rock’s Rise From Darkness Into The Light Please visit above for description.

Ser Educada- The New Mestiza Please visit above for description.

Never Tell Me the Odds Please visit above for description.

I Really Do See Things Differently Please visit above for description.

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Human Library Event - October 29, 2020 (Virtual)

Critical Kalokohan

I was always taught that education is power, but perhaps it was only taught through a capitalist framework of opportunity. I never really understood education as a means of liberation until I graduated from college. Growing up in a Catholic school education system, I was force-fed a "Kumbaya, My Lord" version of reality through means of social reproduction, normalized oppressions, and misunderstandings of solidarity. But sometimes the most educational experiences aren't inside of a classroom, they're in our own homes and within our own communities. Let's start craving these experiences. 

Writing in Silence

For so many years, he held his experiences hidden in a private journal. This journal, a gift he accepted from and to himself, carries the silenced journey that has made up the author of Writing in Silence. Explore the moments of being raised in the Excelsior and Mission Districts of San Francisco, CA, the trials of a first generation, proud, brown student, and the changing hurdles that appear with overcoming imposter syndrome. This collection would not exist without the author's appreciation and love of being able to express his narrative through writing and poetry. Though this love was at its peak at a point in his life, our author reached a time where he felt disconnected and lost with the continuation of his journal.

Disconnected no more, and more connected than before, our author is finally sharing pieces of his journal to the public. Pieces because, well, the journal has not yet been completed. As you open the first page, you will read "...there will be writings of the past, present and hopefully future if I promise myself to continue to write. Writing has been a reminder of what I have survived and what I have been able to celebrate - a sense of release that I cherish. With that, my story is meant to be shared with anyone who takes a glimpse into the words on the pages. Enjoy all its complexity and beautiful mess.

Please find descriptions above for the following books who also participated October 29.

Finding Myself in the Transition

From Ashes to Phoenix

Legend of Latin Rock’s Rise From Darkness Into The Light

Never Tell Me the Odds

Teen Dating Survivor

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Human Library Event - April 28, 2021 (Virtual)

An Intentional Tumbleweed: The Power of Surrendering to an Organic Connection & Transformation

My life has taken me across the globe; from boardrooms to court rooms, to film sets, and classrooms. Driven by curiosity of self and community, my life has been one filled with stories and storytelling focused on overcoming trauma and healing. Opportunities to be a teacher and teach in schools, juvenile halls, prisons, and activist communities have served as a reminder that life is a journey and there is always more to learn. 

Legend of Latin Rock’s Rise From Darkness Into The Light Please visit above for description.

Lifetime of Impact

In 2006, this marine biology professor suffered a devastating stroke following the removal of a large brain tumor. A planned 9-day hospital stay turned into a lifetime of grueling rehabilitation. The stroke took away her ability to breathe, eat, talk, hear and move. After several weeks in the hospital, during which she was fed through a tube and breathed through machines, she was transferred to a rehabilitation center until she could function well enough to return home to her children.

Writing in Silence Please visit above for description.