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Human Library @ MCC: Our Books (2019 Event)

Amani - Sudanese Muslim-American

Ignorance and intolerance are one of the largest issues plaguing the United States right now. As a plus-sized, 6 ft tall, female, hijabi, Muslim American, I would love to educate and aid in the process of understanding one another as human beings. I love to tell my story and have people ask as many questions as they want because that is how we become a more understanding and tolerant community.

Sonya - Living Fully with Major Depression

I have a dx of Major Depression from 2012. I'm still being treated but with meds and therapy I'm much better than I used to be. I am a volunteer moderator for DBSA.org (Depression Bipolar  Support Alliance) in Hartford that meets weekly. I'm also signing up to volunteer and train for the crisis text line. I'm married and a mom to two wonderful boys. I'm changing my career focus into the health field but haven't picked a direction yet. I graduated with my Associates in Health in Exercise Science, but my previous carrier was web design and web marketing.

Heather - Keeping the Beat of My Own Drum

I think sometimes it is hard to ask for help or important questions when you are struggling with mental illness or find yourself in abusive situations, especially if you also have a disability. I would like to help others who have struggled as I have with bullying, mental illness and disabilities.

Albert - Fun/ny Stories from This Korean-American Life

I would like to share experiences of my 20+ years working in the both the radio & the recording industries, including personal "brushes w/ greatness" include uber-producer David Foster, and pop stars Katy Perry & Nick Jonas! I hope you'll walk away encouraged to pursue your life-dreams at MCC no matter what your background or age. I'm also happy to give personal recommendations for good pizza, delicious omelettes, and genuinely good Korean food around Greater Hartford!

Sarah - I Am the Caregiver

I have been a CNA for seven years, from home care, hospitals, long-term care, geriatric psych, dementia care-- you name it. When I graduated high school I wanted to be a nurse, but my academic advisor said that because math and science were not my strongest subjects, I would not be successful. I worked in food service for many years, but discovered the CNA program at Naugatuck Valley Community College. Through this program I've found one of my callings in life and learned about many other medical professionals that are equally important. There are more careers than just a nurse or a doctor.

Burcin - Living with ADHD, Chronic Depression & Anxiety

Depression, Anxiety, ADHD or other mental health challenges are no different than the visible disabilities or illnesses. They are not weaknesses or a choice that we make. I was lucky to give medication a chance twenty years ago.The twenty years have been a bumpy ride with lots of ups and downs due to mismanagement of medication at times, but I thrived when my medications worked well. I want people to know that all of these problems are treatable, but not curable. I know that I will need to be on medications for the rest of my life so that I can continue to be a good mom, an inspiring teacher, and a great friend. But most importantly I can take a deep breath without feeling the emotional pain that depression causes. I want everyone to know that they do not need to suffer in silence. I am living a very fulfilling and productive life, and I am living proof that the correct set of medicines can give you a second chance in life which you all deserve.

Sara -

As a first-generation college student, MCC alum, and now adjunct professor, I think I can relate to our students and the obstacles they work through to become successful. I hope that my story, with all of its ups and downs, can help students see that our early circumstances and setbacks do not have to be a limiting factor in what we can achieve in the future. I also hope that by sharing my struggles, I can not only teach students things I wish I had known, but also help them realize that professors were students once, too, and are more like them than they probably realize.

Michelle - How I Overcame Negative Thinking

I am interested to share my own personal story of my past experiences and how I got through it to be the kind of person I am today. I hope my story would help others to be positive about everyone around them and also about themselves, especially people who have been affected by negative thinking.

Human Library Dahiana - Coming Out as LGBTQ+

I want to reduce the stigma and discrimination about being in the LGBTQ+ community. Coming out is an important process for everybody that has to go through it. Some experiences are difficult while others are heart-warming and inspiring. People in general love labels but I believe it’s just a way to “fit” in somewhere. Some people prefer to spread negative things about the LGBTQ+ community rather than be positive, but I prefer to spread positivity to others.

Gordon - Journey of Discovery

I would like to share a story of my personal transformation, from a low point of suffering, suicidal ideation and addiction to a beautiful life filled with a sense of purpose.

Mariafernanda - "Why don't you speak English?" Immigrant Stigma

I am the child of an immigrant and my significant other is an immigrant, so throughout my childhood, and now into adulthood, I've seen discrimination firsthand and stigmas affecting younger generations. My goal is to properly educate generations that one "thug" or one "bad person" doesn't define a whole population. Immigrants need to be advocated for. They are people too.

Nelizabeth - Figuring Out Who I Am

I want to help others who are struggling to be themselves and listening to what others may think about them. I want them not to let the words of others define who they are or should be.

Grace - It's Never Too Late to Change Course

I dropped out of high school as a teen. When you're young it's difficult to imagine there are second (or third or fourth) chances in life, but there truly are. I now have a master's degree and help students to achieve their goals and aspirations. 

Kiersten - Disabled Living

I want to break the stereotype that disabled people are just a burden or not worth people's time.

Mike - Calming the Mind: The Art of Zen

I feel my story will help people learn to cope with stress and depression through Zen Buddhism. The goal is not to get people to follow Buddhism as a religion but as a philosophy to ease the mind and live a more fulfilling life. As someone who has been bullied since elementary school and had no way of coping with the depression, I later turned to Zen Buddhism to help me become at peace with myself and the world.

Olivia - Growing Up Biracial

Figuring out "who one is" is one of the most important aspects of being a human. It can be more challenging when one's family background is complex. I hope to share my own story of exploring my heritage and identity in hopes that others will feel they are not alone in the difficulty of this journey.

Human Library Marissa - The Power of Free Thought

I was raised in a cult in which my freedom to make decisions, and even think for myself were severely limited by the organization I followed. Since I have escaped I have been able to develop critical thinking skills and research anything and everything I can so I know what is truth and what is not. While observing people on social media and through life, I have noticed a lot of people take being able to think and act for themselves for granted.I want to tell my story of waking up from that cult and how it has changed the way I view the world.

Allison - Wow, You Look Great for a Diabetic

I have had Type 1 Diabetes for the past 27 years. I hope to share the story of living with a chronic illness that is somewhat invisible and oftentimes viewed negatively. Although not always, many folks will think it is my fault or my behavior that landed me with the diagnosis, which is not the case. There are also perceptions that an individual with a chronic illness is "sick" or should look "sickly." Many are surprised that I have been a healthy, competitive athlete most of my life and continue to maintain a great level of fitness. I hope to give the readers a peek into the life of a diabetic, the challenges as well as the blessings!

Lois - As Time Passes (As My Mother Would Have Said)

My story mirrors that of many African American women raised in mid-20th-century America. My perspective may be helpful to others in gaining perspective.

Geeta - Open Heart

I would like to share short stories told by my parents which influenced my positive upbringing in life.

Jake - Life After Adversity

I am transgender and I grew up in a home that wasn't accepting or supportive. I was also diagnosed with cancer when I was 18, just two months before I was set to graduate. I worked really hard to get my diploma and go to college, and now I am graduating and moving on to get my bachelor's. I would like to help others by showing that people can overcome several challenges and still make it in life.

Human Library Denise - Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis

Physical disabilities are not always visible. I am an older student but no one knows I am disabled unless I tell them. So, please never judge a book by its cover. I would just like to encourage everyone, no matter what, Don't Give Up! Some days are very difficult days for me, and you would never know how hard it is to just get up out of bed and walk across the floor. Some days I can barely brush my hair, take care of myself and get to class.

Susan - My Stint Working in the Comic Book Arena

There's a preconceived notion that Comic Books aren't legitimate literature, or that readers and fans are all nerds: not so!

Daniel - Real Christianity

I believe there is a stigma around Christians, that they are judgmental and hypocritical, due to personal bad experiences with either people or the church, or maybe because of what they've heard from others. I hope to show what it really means to be a Christian, that it isn't about judgment but about loving one another. My hope is that people would have a better understanding of what it means to be Christian in today's society as a young person, both the struggles and the joy.

Luz - Defying the Odds to Get an Education

Societal expectations are low for ethnic minorities born in poverty.

Deidre - Faith in Jesus and Mental Health Problems

In communities of color, there is a stigma attached to you if you seek mental health services. My story will break down the stereotypes that people of color do struggle with mental illness. Even though I am a Christian, I also go to therapy and take prescribed medication. Many in the Faith community just say pray about it only, but therapy and medication help my mental health illnesses as well.

Nasreen - American Muslim

I think that I break the stereotype of a Muslim women who covers not only her body and hair but also her face. Many people assume that I am Arab, don't speak English and not American. None of these are true.

Jasmyne - Geeky Gamer Girl

I love to share stories about myself and give people advice based on past experiences I've had. I'd like to talk about being a girl interested in video games and nerdy stuff to show people that it's not a display and a lot of girls are truly interested in this stuff.

Ayinalem - Battle of Adwa

The Battle of Adwa is the victory of Ethiopians and also Africans. The battle between Ethiopia and Italy was led by a woman called Taytu Betul about 123 years ago (1896). Thousands of women fought during this battle. Since it's women's history month I want to talk about women's strength, power and success to help break down stereotypes associated with women in Africa or in any other part of the world.

I have cerebral palsy and am non-verbal and non-ambulatory, but CAN do most anything I set out to do. I want to dispel stereotypes on people with disabilities.

Avery - No Child Left Behind

I feel like my story will challenge students who have myriad of disabilities but also inspire others who do not to stay determined and never give up when they are faced with challenges. I am trying to show that even with a disability a person can conquer anything in life and achieve greatness.

Lucy Hurston - Zora Neale Hurston

Zora Neale Hurston was an influential author and anthropologist who became a central figure in the Harlem Renaissance. She is also Professor Huston's aunt and someone about whom she has extensively researched and written. Prof. Hurston will share the story of Zora Neale Hurston, not only as a towering literary figure but also a family member, a daughter, sister, and aunt.  

Linda - Living on the Crane Place

I was raised in rural Thomaston, Alabama. I have very fond memories growing up in what we called the "country”. The home we lived in was the Big-house since my grandmother took care of Mr. Crain until he passed. I can vividly recall smelling the sulfur coming from the paper mill just like in rural Maine. My goal is to show the difference and similarities of the North and the South, although the racism and biases that folks associate with the South are more real to me here in the North than in the actual South.

Faith - Hard-Headed: A Post Trauma Memoir

I feel like my journey of recovery after my car accident has a lot of really important lessons and it's something I wouldn't hesitate to share with the world. I've dealt with such horrific prejudices on top of the ones I already face on a daily basis. There's a lot of good notes on the concept of comparative suffering and the people who helped me through.