Growing up Puerto Rican in the South Bronx of the 1950s and 60s was tough. Poverty, alcoholism, domestic violence, and being the "invisible minority" were daily occurrences. Yet Sonia Manzano found her refuge in the performing arts, and the young dancer was poised to accept the job of a lifetime when the Children's Television Workshop cast her as Maria on the now-acclaimed Sesame Street children's program. After four decades of performing on PBS, author Manzano reflects on the importance of children of color seeing themselves represented in the media--both on the stage and behind the camera.

   
  
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        “My time spent with the Feel Like You Belong show was not only fun and engaging, but also important. The topics that were covered are really close to my heart, and the message that they bring to the world is absolutely essential.”     – Richard Blanco, Inaugural Poet, Obama 2nd Inauguration (photo credit: ew.com)

“My time spent with the Feel Like You Belong show was not only fun and engaging, but also important. The topics that were covered are really close to my heart, and the message that they bring to the world is absolutely essential.”

– Richard Blanco, Inaugural Poet, Obama 2nd Inauguration (photo credit: ew.com)

FeelLikeYouBelong.com archives all our TV programming along with acculturation tips, language exercises, and resources—all geared to connecting newcomers and making them feel welcome, all the while giving U.S. natives fascinating insights into their own culture and language.

Please use the form on our Contact page to submit interview requests or make suggestions for future shows.

Click on the icons located in the sidebar to the right to follow Feel Like You Belong on social media or to sign up for our eNewsletter.

 

About Alan

Alan Headbloom is an interculturalist and applied linguist building international bridges across a variety of industries. He gives workshops and presentations on global communication as well as domestic HR issues such as unconscious bias and microaggressions in the workplace.

Learn more about Alan here, and on his website: headbloom.com.

Follow Alan on Twitter: @headbloom

Share your story of adaptation and belonging by using the form provided on the Contact page. 




COMING NEXT

Mercedes Lopez-Duran and Paola Mendivil: Mother/Daughter Team Cooking Up Tasty, Authentic Mexican Fare for a Decade

 Paola Mendivil poses with her mom, Mercedes Lopez-Duran. Daughter handles the catering and finances while Mom creates the recipes and rules  la cocina  (the kitchen)!

Paola Mendivil poses with her mom, Mercedes Lopez-Duran. Daughter handles the catering and finances while Mom creates the recipes and rules la cocina (the kitchen)!

Back in Mexico, Mercedes Lopez-Duran got important advice when she started as a restaurant dishwasher: You are the one responsible for your own career trajectory. Taking that guidance to heart, she worked her way up to cook and moved with her daughter to the United States. When a Mexican restaurant came up for sale, the intrepid duo took a deep breath, leapt into the void, and never looked back. Today, El Granjero Mexican Grill celebrates 10 years of good cooking in the Bridge Street neighborhood of Grand Rapids, Michigan. In the process, they created a place for locals to feel like they belong.

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