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BERKELEY'S NEWS • JANUARY 31, 2023

Ring in the New Year with our 2023 New Year's Special Issue!

Arina Stadnyk

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I’ve always felt a sense of responsibility for collecting intergenerational stories because I understood people live as long as our memories of them do.
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I’ve always felt a sense of responsibility for collecting intergenerational stories because I understood people live as long as our memories of them do.
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From a young age, I was afraid of being expressive and taking up space. I learned to make myself smaller and quieter so white people would feel comfortable. 
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From a young age, I was afraid of being expressive and taking up space. I learned to make myself smaller and quieter so white people would feel comfortable. 
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Obviously, I knew that I was Brown. But in their attempts to make me feel included, my Ukrainian family made me feel even more othered.
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Obviously, I knew that I was Brown. But in their attempts to make me feel included, my Ukrainian family made me feel even more othered.
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There's an initial pinprick of fear that makes me wonder whether knowing that I transferred from a community college would make people see me differently.
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There's an initial pinprick of fear that makes me wonder whether knowing that I transferred from a community college would make people see me differently.
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For some immigrants and BIPOC like me, being expressive with our identities can be more challenging than it is for white, non-immigrant people. 
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For some immigrants and BIPOC like me, being expressive with our identities can be more challenging than it is for white, non-immigrant people. 
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She’d assumed I was a cleaning lady rather than a kid doing a chore for her parents. I wondered if she would have assumed the same had I been white-passing. 
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She’d assumed I was a cleaning lady rather than a kid doing a chore for her parents. I wondered if she would have assumed the same had I been white-passing. 
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As a biracial, multicultural immigrant, I am always drifting across these lines, not quite belonging on either side, perpetually gliding over boundaries.
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As a biracial, multicultural immigrant, I am always drifting across these lines, not quite belonging on either side, perpetually gliding over boundaries.
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Skin color is deterministic in our society. Though we walk side by side, my white family and I walk through different worlds.
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Skin color is deterministic in our society. Though we walk side by side, my white family and I walk through different worlds.
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Being a BIPOC who had a traditionally white upbringing, I come from an odd position: I am both racially privileged and not privileged.
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Being a BIPOC who had a traditionally white upbringing, I come from an odd position: I am both racially privileged and not privileged.
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As much as I enjoy the opportunity of sharing the wonderful tangle of my background, multiracial people are expected to constantly explain our existences.
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As much as I enjoy the opportunity of sharing the wonderful tangle of my background, multiracial people are expected to constantly explain our existences.
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