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Rooted: A Sense of Belonging

Funded by the MindHandHeart Community Innovation Fund, MIT Asian American Initiative has produced a zine focused on the immigrant experience. The zine, Rooted: A Sense of Belonging, includes creative submissions sourced from 25 MIT students hailing from all over the world. Here is an excerpt from the zine:

“The collection of art, poems, and photos within this zine breathes life into the immigration stories that shape our communities — its pages spill with experiences and memories ranging from hardships to immense pride. In a society that demands assimilation, we are often pushed to question whether it is necessary to shed our immigrant identities to become truly “American.” With this zine, we stand in proud defiance. By highlighting our unique backgrounds, we pay tribute to our heritage and hope to inspire appreciation for a mosaic of experiences.

In the age of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are bitterly reminded that our country is still rife with xenophobia. Our country suffers from systemic racism at the hands of inhumane immigration policies, police brutality, healthcare inequity, and countless other injustices. We are inspired by the resurgence of the Black Lives Matter Movement to come together as students hailing from immigrant families that do not conform to hegemonic America. Our differences are the threads that stitch us together.

Through these pages, we are reminded of our childhoods, our upbringings, our families. We see ourselves in the stories that follow our fingertips; we embrace our roots.”

Read the zine: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4.