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Stories for Liberation Archive

Series Introductions


Stories For Liberation: Crossing Borders

November 2017


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.


‘A Longed-For Reunion’

November 22, 2017

‘No Dream Is Illegal’

November 29, 2017

Stories for Liberation: Family in Dark Times

December 2017


What happens to the human spirit in times of oppression? Can family ties grow ever stronger, as harsh and cruel policies darken each coming day?

Our December series will focus on stories by Dreamers, who have been protected under Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) through provisions made during the Obama administration, and young people who were born in this country, as they struggle with what is happening to the less protected members of their families.

As these young people experience their own increasingly fragile exemption from detention, deportation, and danger, the situation grows more and more precarious for their family members. The mandate to build solidarity, unity, and courage grows stronger.

We showcase these stories here with the hope that they will help people realize that it is not enough to exempt Dreamers from deportation without making sure that their parents, who dreamed with them and for them as they undertook dangerous journeys and risks, will be equally protected. Nor is it enough to set up one set of rules for children born in this country and another for those who were not.

We present these stories in a cry for reason, that families remain unbroken and that the desire to be together and strong be taken seriously and made real.

January 2018


We enter 2018 with more uncertainty than ever for those who have managed to establish strong roots in this country.  Minute to minute, day to day, and month to month, one cannot know what protections will be taken away, as countries of origin affected keep changing-- to be used as political footballs-- with the fate of DACA Dreamers, and those who experienced temporary protection (TPS) after natural disasters or political violence, unstable, uncertain and chaotic. 

 How then do we balance realistic caution and increasing our resilience, resistance and hope?  How do we balance the need to remain hidden and to quietly plan for the worst case scenario-- deportation and separation of families-- while gathering strength and finding new modalities of action and protection?   In our schools, in our health care system, and within the myriad of legal networks that call for revelation in order to acquire help, how do we distinguish friend from foe?

These are the questions that confront the young people who near the age of legality in this country, when they might be able to extend a helping hand. These are the questions that confront those who work with the immigrant population.  These are questions that confront the new mothers who carry babies across to border inside their bodies, trying to pass the torch of safety to those who are yet unborn.  

We are hopeful that each new voice that rises up-- whether anonymously or with a name attached-- can add to the attempt to use our stories to wake sleeping hearts to our common humanity, strengthening the web we are building, in which unity and compassion may light the way to true change.  

February 2018


Stories For Liberation: “Niños, Go To Class!”

- February 1, 2018

How can schools protect students, when our country refuses to offer protection? How can teachers and school counselors nurture achievement and learning, making sure...

Stories For Liberation: And Now It Is My Turn

- February 7, 2018

What dangers lead young people to risk all they have in order to find refuge and hope? We return to our series of border...

Stories For Liberation: ‘Every Time I Looked Back’

 - February 14, 2018

What happens when the real life stories of students are relegated to silence, instead of being celebrated and incorporated into school curriculum and community...

March 2018



Stories For Liberation: I Will Walk To The End

- March 1, 2018

How do young people even begin to process memories of being put in a “cooler” or crossing a river, only to look back to...

Stories For Liberation: By Fate’s Choice

 - March 21, 2018

For young immigrants who are compelled to migrate to the United States, they must often make the unimaginably difficult choice of leaving their childhood...

Stories For Liberation: I Have To Continue My Journey

- March 29, 2018

This week’s story is featured in Herstory Writers Workshop’s recently published Brave Journeys, a collection of poignant, first-hand accounts of immigrating to the United States....

April 2018



Stories For Liberation: Will We See Each Other Again?

 - April 5, 2018

This week, we share yet another story from Herstory's book, Brave Journeys. Just three weeks old, it is already making its way into classrooms,...

Stories For Liberation: How Do I Explain…?

 - April 12, 2018

This week, we feature another story from Herstory’s book, Brave Journeys. Leaving behind family and friends is a daunting decision that many young immigrants...

Stories For Liberation: When the Heart and Mind Don’t Agree

 - April 18, 2018

This week, we offer another story from Brave Journeys. For the students who participate in these stories and the book that has resulted, knowing...

May 2018


Stories For Liberation: My Most Melancholic Day

- May 1, 2018

As the landscape for young immigrants and their families darkens, we take heart from the reception that our new book, Brave Journeys, has garnered...

Stories For Liberation: Meeting Me Halfway

- May 17, 2018

What are the dreams of our immigrant students? Why is it important for us to hear them? As Andrea Antonellis prepares for her graduation...

Stories For Liberation: The Emptiness That We Carry In Our Hearts

- May 24, 2018

The Emptiness That We Carry In Our Hearts No one knows a person’s story or their past. We see people from different countries and cultures,...

June 2018


Stories For Liberation: For Me The World Stopped

 - June 4, 2018

When I was 7 years old, I was a very happy and smiley little girl. I liked to play a lot, especially when my...

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Stories For Liberation: A Long and Dangerous Journey

 - June 22, 2018

A Long and Dangerous Journey By Helen Dorado Alessi A mother and her 7-year-old daughter walk into the office of Long Beach Latino Civic Association; they’ve...

July 2018



Stories For Liberation: Running and Running and Running

- July 6, 2018

This story of sorrow and compassion from a young woman in high school reminds us of the need for children to stay with their...


Stories for Liberation: The River In Between

- July 20, 2018

As conditions for immigrant children reach unspeakable lows, an honors student from Central Islip High School remembers what it was like to be 8...


Stories For Liberation: At Five Years Old

- July 27, 2018

This week we present a story by a student at LIU Post who should have the whole world ahead of her as she prepares...

August 2018


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Stories For Liberation: Can A Story Make A Difference?

- August 2, 2018

Can A Story Make A Difference? By Erika Duncan Can a story make a difference? Can it wake a sleeping heart? What will it take to...


Stories For Liberation: I Had To Learn Something Different

- August 10, 2018

As we read the stories of our newcomer high school writers, we cannot help but notice how often they speak about what they need...

September 2018


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