Anjuli Sastry

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SARAH MCCAMMON, HOST:

When Ritu Krishna first arrived in the U.S., ingredients for her Indian recipes were hard to come by.

Over time, Ritu's cooking started to evolve. The biggest influence was watching cooking programs on TV.

"I had really unknowingly embarked on an educational endeavor where watching TV was the way I was teaching myself. Julia Child was probably the most influential," Ritu says.

She started to learn basic French cooking techniques and recipes, like corn timbale, even if the execution wasn't always successful.

Colette Baptiste-Mombo, a television engineer and community organizer, was born in 1958, at the height of the civil rights movement.

Baptiste-Mombo's parents came from different immigrant backgrounds — while her mother was from northern England and immigrated to the U.S. from Wales, her father was born in the Bronx. His family was from Jamaica.

While Baptiste-Mombo was growing up in New York City, African Americans across the country were fighting to end racial discrimination.

On June 7, 2021, a Supreme Court ruling found that many TPS holders are ineligible to apply for permanent residency.

César Magaña Linares is a committed immigration activist, whether he's attending rallies or in his law school classes studying to become an immigration lawyer.

Our Histories. Our Voices.

Where are you really from? It's a question that immigrant communities of color across different generations are asked all the time. In this audio and video series, we take back the narrative and answer that question on our own terms, one conversation at a time — with family, friends and experts. These are our stories.

NPR Short Wave host and reporter Emily Kwong is a third generation Chinese American, but she's never spoken her family's language.

Until now.

At age 30, she's trying to learn the language for the first time, and unpacking why she never learned it in the first place.

We have all heard the old saying: America is a melting pot. But exactly who makes up this melting pot?

Immigrant communities of color don't always see or hear their histories and culture portrayed in mainstream media. They may not learn about their stories in American textbooks, but they hear them at home. Often, it is oral stories informally passed down from generation to generation--stories of struggle, triumph, and creating a new life in a foreign land.

Imagine this: Someone you admire sets aside time to meet, sharing how they accomplished their goals, cheering you on and giving you feedback and advice. That is what we call a mentor.

The right mentoring relationship can be a powerful tool for professional growth — it can lead to a new job, a promotion or even a better work-life balance.