We’re kicking off this post with a “great read” recommendation from our Executive Director, Jeremy Robbins. “Citizen Kahn” is the story of “how a South Asian immigrant became a Wyoming fast-food legend and received American citizenship—twice.” The New Yorker’s Kathryn Shulz profiles a man who “had been selling tamales in Sheridan [WY] since Buffalo Bill rode in the town parade, sold them when President Taft came to visit, was still selling them when the Russians sent Sputnik into space and the British sent the Beatles to America.” He is “Hot Tamale Louie.”
Moving to a modern day living-legend, the Washington Post introduced readers to “the undocumented immigrant soon to be a Dallas school district’s youngest teacher.” Meet Melisa Simon, who moved with her family to the United States from Mexico at age three. At 17, “Simon graduated from W.W. Samuell High School, part of the Dallas school district, on Thursday, but the ceremony might not feel like a milestone. She has already obtained her associate’s degree through Samuell Early College High School. And, if all goes well, in just another year, she’ll have her bachelor’s degree and teaching degree through the TechTeach program at Texas Tech University. After that, she’ll be put in a classroom for two years—the program partners with school districts around Texas in an effort to place teachers in high-need areas.”
This week was the launch of the #IAmAnImmigrant campaign, which encourages individuals to explore their heritages and stand in solidarity with New Americans. The campaign, which features numerous celebrities, includes a video by “Beasts of No Nation” director Cary Fukunaga, the son of a third-generation Japanese-American father, Anthony Shuzo Fukunaga, who was born in a Japanese incarceration camp during World War II. The campaign is part of Immigrant Heritage Month, celebrated every June. In honor of Immigrant Heritage Month, tune into Billboard editor Griselda Flores’s playlist of iconic Latin songs that “narrate the immigrant experience through powerful and nostalgic lyrics.”
In case you missed it:
Check out this week’s “Reason for Reform” feature on the successful education startup, HSTRY, which faces challenges as its founders straddle three continents.