Even if you are from the same neighborhood as someone else, you might still be coming from different places. Where you are from is a complicated question and it elicits complicated, but interesting and thought-provoking responses. We’ve shared some of those responses below.

Mai Ling Chan | Speech-Language Pathologist

I am a unique blend of Colombian and Chinese ethnicity. My mother is a first-generation American, and my father is an immigrant from Hong Kong who earned his citizenship fighting for the United States in Vietnam. Because of this very culture-rich upbringing, I have experienced many family member’s first trips to America, and have celebrated their progress and successes throughout their lives. These beautiful stories of courage, commitment, passion, and grit have shaped my own outlook on life and fueled my personal goals and vision. Read more>>

Jisun Myung | Performance Artist & Musician

I am a food performance artist who leads community based food projects with 2 cups of love and a sprinkle of humor. My research interests are authenticity, identity, and how people practice these two things through food (cooking, eating, purchasing). I think being a Korean woman in AZ led me to those topics. I often introduce myself as ‘someone who escaped from patriarchy to find racism’. As a girl who was born in the year of red tiger, I was always told I was stubborn, opinionated, loud, difficult, too fat, not pretty, ‘it’s going to be hard for you to find a man who can handle you’, ‘you should do more 애교(Ae-gyo: acting cute with certain manner of little girl)’ etc. After I moved to the USA, I FELT SUCH LIBERATION AS A WOMAN! Nobody talks about how my body should look like, how I should talk in order to make it more feminine – rather my never-ending questioning attitude was highly recognized in grad school. Read more>>

Jill Cooper | Founder & President of a Valley Nonprofit

I am a second generation native of Scottsdale, AZ, making my children third generation natives. Born in PHX in 1934, my dad grew up in the valley when my grandparents, Paul & Helen Duffy, came to Arizona from Alabama in the late 1920s. My grandfather was on his way by train to CA for a job in radiology but stopped at the train station on Van Buren Street. He wondered around town and into St Josephs Hospital, where he unexpectedly was offered an interview and they hired him on the spot. The Duffy family hasn’t moved since that move! To say I have Arizona and Scottsdale pride is an understatement. My dad especially has this pride in his home state, and the place he raised his family. My three sisters (the oldest born in 66) and I all went to Scottsdale Unified School district, then off to Arizona State University where both my parents attended. Read more>>

Austin Simmon | Rapper

I’m from Los Angeles, but I moved to Phoenix when I was 8. I’m heavily influenced by west coast hip hop in regards to flow and beat choice. Read more>>