In The Community

College graduate walking with her cap and gown.

Alexia Sánchez imagined a different ending for her final semester at the University of Iowa (UI), but she found out shortly before spring break that she wouldn’t be returning to campus because of COVID-19. Her remaining classes would be conducted online, and all events, including her graduation ceremony, were cancelled. “Never in my life would I have expected to end my college career in a pandemic and not finish it out,” Sánchez said in a recent phone interview with Luz Collective.

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Tanya Saracho looking off into the distance.

Tanya Saracho believes if anyone is going to write about Latinas, it should be Latinas. “When you’re writing about culture and society in a moment in time, I think you better access the people who are living that moment in time,” said Saracho.

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cartoon image of a latina superhero

Film director/writer Kayden Phoenix was tired of seeing how Latinas were portrayed in films. “We’re much more than the typical chola, maid, sex worker, or ‘illegal’ that doesn’t speak English,” said Phoenix.

As her own act of breaking down stereotypes, she created the graphic novel Jalisco, a crime-fighting folklorico dancer who is searching for her mom in the midst of the femicide in Mexico.

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