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© 2016 Irma Herrera

About Irma

 

Welcome to my online casa, where I share my thoughts about living in a multicultural world as we navigate moments of opportunity and discomfort. All of us affiliate and identify with groups based on different criteria: racial or ethnic identity, gender, socioeconomic class, trade or profession, taste in music, where we went to school. And as night follows day, we quickly stereotype and make judgments about others based on these criteria. 

Many of these stereotypes have been at the root of the historical discrimination that has disadvantaged many communities. Over the decades legal battles and legislation have expanded equal treatment under law to people of color, religious minorities, the disabled, and all women. The reality however is that the civil rights of many are routinely violated.

 

Civil right laws adopted in the 1960s opened doors of educational opportunity unimagined by my parents. Education, the birthright for generations of people in the country, was routinely denied to the majority of people of color for centuries. My interests and passion for justice and equality led me to pursue a law degree and to rewarding careers in law, journalism, and now performance art. 

In my work I explore what it is to be a class migrant who benefited from expanded opportunity, and I am committed to fighting the well-financed efforts presently underway to shut down these paths for marginalized communities. 

I am a refugee from a racially polarized South Texas town, who fell in love with big cities: San Antonio, New Orleans, Seattle, Rome, and San Francisco. I am both urbanite and anonymous small town girl.  Mexican-American by birth, world citizen by choice, and proud speaker of Spanish, the greatest gift my parents bestowed.  The study of languages and discovering how words from different languages connect is something I find downright thrilling. I love comedy, mimicry, puns, and anything that gets a genuine response from people, whether laughter or even a groan.

My multiple identities are indivisible. At all times I am all of these: Chicana, Latina, madre, lawyer, playwright, mentor, criticona, writer, stand-up comic, feminist, world-traveler, outdoors woman, avid hiker (accompanying photo taken on path towards Machu Picchu).

My 30-plus years as a civil rights lawyer has provided me a front-row seat to the most exciting and challenging societal tectonic shifts. Living in the Bay Area’s rich multicultural milieu, allows me to build deep and lasting friendships and loyalty to people whose racial, ethnic, and social backgrounds bear no resemblance to mine. I’ve got plenty to say about navigating in an increasingly multicultural world, especially when what I see and feel makes me most uncomfortable.

Check out my blog where I’ll muse, rant, throw shade, and celebrate the beauty and goodness that surrounds us, mainly though words, but sometimes only a picture can tell the story. Bienvenidos y adelante.

Love travel and hiking especially when I can combine the two. Photo taken during rest break on the long and steep Inca Trail to the Sun Gate at  Machu Picchu