District of Columbia:: Jessi Calzado-Esponda

District of Columbia:: Jessi Calzado-Esponda

State: District of Columbia

City of Residence: Washington

Country of origin: Cuba

Arrival in the US: 1999

Jessi Calzado-Esponda has lived an extraordinary life. At the tender age of 7, and at no fault of her own, she became a political refugee after being placed in a raft that was headed to America. In the blink of an eye, Jessi lost all contact with her immediate family (mom, dad, brother) and her beloved Cuba; and yet despite many difficulties she rose! As a child, she lived in several shelter …

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DC Pride: A Platform to Discuss Intersectionality of the LGBTQI and Refugee/Asylum Seeker Communities

Although Pride-attendees have been critiqued in recent years for coopting the LGBTQI space for “partying,” delegate Ali Bushara has reclaimed its original, grassroots history. In both the DC Black and Capital Prides, Ali worked to bring awareness in both the LGBTQI and ally community in DC about the issues facing the international LGBTQI community based on refugees’ and asylum-seekers’ experiences in their countries of origin as well as those barriers they encounter in their hosting countries.

Although Ali worked with different civil organizations and writers throughout …

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