DMP Podcast: Episode 5
In this episode, DMP founder Dr. Amanda R. Martinez interviews Itziri Gonzalez-Barcenas, Davidson alum from North Carolina & Mexico, and her partner Brice Rosette, a Martinican-Parisian, about the complicated, often tension-filled decisions fueled by restrictive migration policies and personal desire to experience the world beyond border limitations to pursue academic, personal, and professional goals. Itziri and Brice started the Traveling Migrants Instagram page to share their experiences and lend insight to their followers about how borders and policy can often present limited opportunities and also how they resist the negative impact of these challenges by finding joy and beauty as they navigate spaces. They discuss their identity shifts, both self-reflectively and other-imposed, and the microaggressions they experience as they move among transnational spaces as young people of color from different racial, ethnic, and cultural groups. Interrogating topics like anti-blackness among white and people of color, whether and how to address microaggressors as a worthwhile educational corrective, and what we all must do for ourselves and our communities to keep these conversations going openly –especially with those closest to us, like family members– Itziri and Brice offer ideas about how we can all act from any positionality.
Itziri (pronounced It’s-Siri) Gonzalez-Barcenas was born in Aguascalientes, Mexico. The illusion of the “American Dream” tangled with their low prospects for a good life in rural Central Mexico caused her family to risk everything and cross the U.S.-MX border. They lacked stability and went back and forth crossing that border until they finally stayed in the U.S. when she was five. She grew up confused and undocumented. In 2012, she obtained DACA and gained hope for something permanent. Her experiences have largely shaped her passion: human rights work, specifically regarding immigration, education, and women’s rights. She is a bilingual, avid learner, listener and lover of people, food, and new places.
She graduated from Davidson College (‘19) where she studied Political Science and Africana Studies. As a low-income, first-generation college student, she struggled A LOT but had a wonderful support system that helped her get back on her feet every time. She took what she learned during her four years in undergrad and shared it with high schoolers in her role as an AmeriCorp College Advisor in rural North Carolina. After the accumulation of coronavirus, the 2020 election, expiring immigration statuses and more, she decided to embark on the journey of a lifetime: recrossing the border into Mexico as a young adult. She is now taking a much needed gap year to reconnect with her roots, start personal projects and explore the notion of “home.” Next fall, she will travel to Europe for the first time to begin her Master’s in Human Rights and Humanitarian Action with a concentration in Migration and an Advanced Certification in Gender Studies at Sciences Po Paris.
Itziri’s Recommended Resources:
- Adichie, C. N. (2014). We should all be feminists. New York: Anchor Books.
- Baldwin, J. (1998). The discovery of what it means to be an American. In T. Morrison. (Ed.), Collected essays (pp. 137-142). New York: Penguin Random House Inc.
- Mills, Charles W. (1997). The racial contract. New York: Cornell University Press.
- Hernández, Daisy. (2014). A Cup of Water Under my Bed: A Memoir. Boston: Beacon Press.
- Vargas, José Antonio. (2018). Dear America: Notes of an undocumented citizen. New York: Dey Street Books.
The Self-ish Latina Podcast
NPR’s Latino USA Podcast
Social Media – Instagram
Introspective. Trilingual. Former sales consultant.
His experiences as a Martinican born and raised in Paris have shaped his passions for sociology, communication, tech and travel. Growing up, hearing his dad’s stories about working abroad made him wonder if he could do the same. A decade later Brice’s dream came true. He pursued a Master’s in Business Management at EM Strasbourg and completed his final year abroad at Howard University in D.C, which allowed him to grapple with the importance and complexity of diversity and inclusion within the business space. After three years in the United States, he realized that leaving home to start a new life in a foreign place is possibly one of the hardest and riskiest things anyone can do. Most importantly, he discovered immigration as an invaluable experience to reflect on one’s identity and life mission. Taking a gap year in Mexico, he decided to work on a personal project – My Access Abroad – to help underrepresented communities explore the world and find purpose by providing needed resources.
Brice’s Recommended Resources:
- How Europe Underdeveloped Africa, Walter Rodney
- Black Skins White Masks, Frantz Fanon
- Something Torn and New: An African Renaissance, Ngugi wa Thiong’o
- How to Win Friends and Influence People, Dale Carnegie
Follow Itziri & Brice on Instagram @travelingmigrants