It’s here! Voces Sin Fronteras: Our Stories, Our Truth, Shout Mouse’s first graphic memoir collection has officially launched. Voces Sin Fronteras, a collection of 16 bilingual side-by-side graphic memoir collections, is a product of a month-long workshop with the Latin American Youth Center’s Latino Youth Leadership council, a passionate group of young people dedicated to social justice in their community.
At the book launch, we gathered with the authors, their families, and supporters to celebrate this powerful book. Each author in attendance took the stage to tell the audience why they wrote what they wrote. Their stories were diverse and dealt with the various ways in which immigration impacts family, identity, and politics.
From the beginning, the authors aimed to inspire and to educate. On the very first day of workshop, one year ago, the authors made it clear that the book was aimed at two audiences: other immigrant youth who experience similar hardships, and Americans who did not know or understand the immigrant experience. The authors wanted to encourage their fellow immigrants to “seguir adelante,” (continue forward) through personal, community, and political challenges.
The authors also wanted the general public to know that Latino immigrants are so much more than the worst stereotypes.
April, author of “Coming out of the Bubble,” passionately reminded that “before being migrants, of different color, and different culture, we have something great in common and that is that we are human, and hence, we all have feelings, we all have value and a purpose. We are humans!”
Erminia, author of “I Cross Barriers for Change Myself,” told the crowd that though her journey to the U.S. was “a tough battle, it was for a reason.” She continued: “Just as I managed to leave my country to seek a better future and spend a long trip putting my life at risk, still with the pain of separating from my family, at this point, it was worth it.”
“Lost in the Dark” writer Yesi reflected on her choice to write about the impact immigration had on her family: “I choose to talk about my feelings and what was happening inside me, about how I felt because I was separated from [my parents] for a long time… I know that like me there are many young people who were separated from their parents.”
Based on reflections collected from the audience, it is clear the authors made an impact on the crowd. One audience member wrote, “You, the authors of Voces Sin Fronteras, inspire me to be a better person, teacher, and activist with your courage, your honesty, your determination, your truth!”
Throughout the writing process and their presentations last night, the authors of Voces Sin Fronteras have demonstrated courage, vulnerability, and creativity in writing, drawing, and sharing their stories. We were delighted to share this event with the authors, their family, the Latin American Youth Center, and everyone who came out to celebrate this exciting moment and exciting new book. You can buy Voces Sin Fronteras here.