Molly Bryant: Sharing the Lives of Undocumented Immigrants

For the MSW Women’s and Gender Studies Certificate, I took the Contemporary Feminist Thought elective (which everyone should do!). This class rocked my world. My final project was a podcast-style interview that offered a glimpse into the lives of 5 of the most intelligent, lively, and compassionate women in my parenting classes at Tulsa Public Schools. These women also happen to be undocumented immigrants. In this podcast, they openly share about their lives in Mexico, their rationale for leaving their homeland, and their current situation in Oklahoma.

They have worked very hard to learn English, and it was extremely important for them to be able to share their lives with American citizens who may have preconceived assumptions about undocumented immigrants. One of my students said, “I want Americans to know that we don’t do things the right way maybe, but we do them because it is impossible to live in Mexico well. We work so hard and make little money. We want to stay in our country so bad, but we can’t. There aren’t jobs and we don’t have the opportunity there. It’s very hard to live there.”

The women were all aware of why they were discriminated against in the United States, but they rarely had an opportunity to share why they made the decisions to move here. When you hear the women tell their stories in their own words, it is deeply humanizing, and the issue of “illegals” transforms into something more personal and less polarizing - or at least I hope it does.

Please grab a tissue and listen to the podcast here: https://soundcloud.com/mollyb24-1/mexican-immigrant-women-podcast/s-4wz3P

Molly Bryant is currently an MSW student on the Tulsa campus. Her interests include feminist cross-stitching, ginger ale, Beyoncé Knowles-Carter, politics, pizza, and spending time with her partner Ryan and their neurotic dog Arlo Guthrie.

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