Advancing Philanthropy October 2020 - 27

Community and Diversity

From Borderlands
to Belonging
By Marco A. Corona

These were the loving words regularly said to me by my
cousins during my visits to México. To them, I was the
furthest thing from a Mexican. At home in the United
States, as much as I was fully immersed in the mainstream
culture, I didn't see myself in it. Not on MTV. Not in the
'80s sitcoms I loved so dearly. Not even in the Saturday
morning cartoons I watched.
When I did see characters of Latin American or
Mexican descent, they were usually gang members or
immigrants under threat of deportation. The latter was
such a cliché that my elementary school friends and I
would regularly rib each other by shouting, "la migra,
la migra" (immigration officers), and someone would
feign running away. Even as kids, we understood that we
didn't belong.
So, where do we belong?
For a long time, I have been comfortable existing
in the space between cultures and countries, in "the
borderlands," as some professors of cultural studies
have called it.
But I don't think I want to exist there anymore. I don't
want to feel like I'm on the periphery looking into a
culture that doesn't welcome me or look like me.
To belong means that you are meant to be a part of
something. It means you are included in its design and
have been accounted for and intended to be there.
That's the challenge facing us at this moment in history.
We have identified that systemic racism keeps some people
from advancing and achieving success. And in many ways,
October 2020 / www.afpglobal.org	

Advancing Philanthropy	

27

© Photo: rrodrickbeiler

"TÚ ERES UN GRINGO." IT TRANSLATES
TO MEAN, "YOU ARE A GRINGO."


http://www.afpglobal.org

Advancing Philanthropy October 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Advancing Philanthropy October 2020

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Advancing Philanthropy October 2020 - 1
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