Reason #1: I’ve always felt like an outsider in my different communities. Those of you who know me know that I proudly identify as POC, as a black woman. However, I’ve found myself pushed away in from these communities through some words and actions of some people. Maybe becauseof the assumed privileges I have, (by which I do not mean to discount any of those privileges, in fact I work to acknowledge and confront them in my work), my authenticity was/is continuously questioned. This is especially tough for me in writing communities, where we often expose the most vulnerable parts of ourselves. When I was invited to read at the festival in 2011, my work was taken seriously, my experience was valued, and I was able to be surrounded by professional writers who were encouraging and supportive. It was (and still is) an honor to become the Literary Coordinator; to be able to help create/ maintain this space that embraces diverse, mixed experiences. This space has become sacred to me as a mixed person and a Mixed Writer. I love all my literary communities, however, the Mixed Remixed festival gave me the space to me in the truest way; it allowed me the space and support to do the work of loving my whole self.
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