Chicago Public Library is pleased to welcome Julissa Arce author of You Sound Like A White Girl: The Case for Rejecting Assimilation as part of our Voices for Justice series and in celebration of Latinx Heritage Month.
Julissa Arce is a writer, activist, and social changemaker. She is the nationally best-selling author of My (Underground) American Dream and Someone Like Me. Her writing has appeared in the New York Times, TIME Magazine, CNN, CNBC, Vogue and other outlets. Her newest book, You Sound Like a White Girl: The Case for Rejecting Assimilation, is a powerful dual polemic and manifesto against the myth that assimilation leads to happiness and belonging for immigrants in America. Instead, she calls for a celebration of our uniqueness, our origins, our heritage, and the beauty of the differences that actually make us Americans.
Prior to becoming an author and immigrant rights activist, Julissa built a successful career on Wall Street working for Goldman Sachs and Merrill Lynch, and had seemingly achieved the American Dream—yet she was not part of what legally defined an American.
Julissa immigrated to America from Mexico at the age of 11 and was undocumented for almost 15 years, some of them spent rising to prominence on Wall Street. In order to help other young people in similar circumstances, she co-founded the Ascend Educational Fund (AEF). AEF is a college scholarship and mentorship program for immigrant students in New York City, regardless of their ethnicity, national origin or immigration status.
Julissa was named one of People en Español’s 25 Most Powerful Women of 2017 and 2022, and 2018’s Woman of the Year by the City of Los Angeles. She is a leading voice in the fight for social justice, immigrant rights and education equality.
Julissa serves on the board of directors of the National Immigration Law Center. She was officially sworn in as an American citizen in August of 2014 and currently lives in Los Angeles with her husband and their two cats, Nikko and Pancho.
She will be in conversation with Kelly Garcia. Kelly Garcia is a bilingual staff writer for the Chicago Reader, the city's bi-weekly alternative newspaper, where she writes about politics, police, and intra community issues on the Southwest Side. She was previously a summer reporting resident for Injustice Watch and a Civic Reporting Fellow for City Bureau. She also has bylines at a variety of Chicago-based outlets including The TRiiBE, South Side Weekly, and The Daily Line. She's from the sunny state of Florida, but has roots in Peru.
This program is made possible thanks to generous support from the Chicago Public Library Foundation. For more information on the Foundation, visit cplfoundation.org.
The book can also be purchased online from Latinx owned bookstores and other outlets.
How to Attend:
This event will take place live on CPL's YouTube channel and CPL's Facebook page. You'll be able to ask questions during the event as well! Can't make it to the live stream? We'll archive the video on YouTube to watch later.
Automatic captioning is available via Facebook and YouTube's closed captioning setting. Need sign language interpretation or other accommodations for this event? Please call (312) 747-8184. Requests must be made at least 14 business days before the event.