Welcome Janine Joseph - Assistant Professor at Oklahoma State and author of the award winning book “Driving Without A License” to Immigration MIC!
In this interview, we go in-depth into Janine’s personal immigration story, and how her undocumented status inspires her work as part of Undocupoets, which includes:
🔵 Growing up in the Philippines (as a child star!), her father’s work in the government working for President Aquino and the impact activism had on her at an early age.
🔴 Her personal story in immigrating with her family to the US tp California, and her candid take on how she sees her family’s experiences.
⚫️ How her family became a mixed status unit - and how being scammed by lawyers led to her undocumented status.
🔵 The moments that defined her journey: learning she was undocumented through filling out FAFSA forms, and her family’s reaction to her questions about her status.
🔴 Her journey to becoming the published author she is today: how Cecilia Woloch and other authors inspired what came to be “Driving Without A License” after attending a writing retreat.
⚫️ Janine was able to adjust her status, but keeps details of it close to her, only saying “on some days there were good guys, on some days there were bad guys” - so profound.
🔵 How her book went from being a dissertation, to her mentor’s encouragement, to initially feeling panic knowing her story was out in the world, Janine shares these experiences, and a couple of poems that she sees as relevant to today’s immigration conversation.
🔴 Her role as an educator after the 2016 election - and how she helped her students process their emotions that day.
⚫️ Her work as part of the Undocupoets Fellowship which works to “promote the work of undocumented poets and raise consciousness about the structural barriers that they face in the literary community” — and how she sees her part in paying her experiences forward to other aspiring writers.
Undocupoets Website: https://siblingrivalrypress.com/undocupoets-fellowship/