Winter 2017 - Diversity Issue

By Elias Flores, Heidi Steed, and Alexander Barton Many people who ride public transit in Salt Lake City still pay with cash even though there is a cheaper and possibly more convenient method of payment available. FAREPAY, an electronic fare card sponsored by UTA (Utah Transit Authority), could save riders up to 40 percent off local bus fares and 20 percent off TRAX and FrontRunner tickets. The UTA FAREPAY card is available at most grocery…
by Dan Potts The muskrat is a very common medium-sized, semi-aquatic rodent found in western marshes, ponds, lakes, canals, and rivers like our own Jordan. Although similar in appearance to younger American beaver the most significant differences are their size and tails. Beaver can grow up to 40 pounds and have large flattened, “paddle-like” tails. Muskrat are much smaller and have a skinnier tail that undulates from side to side, propelling them as they swim.…
by Nigel Swaby National elections receive a lot of attention and money yet don’t impact the day-to-day lives of America’s citizens nearly as much as local policies and politics. After the contention and fatigue of a hard-fought election like the one we just went through, people tend to respond by either completely withdrawing or recommitting to their causes with new resolve. If you’re committed to making the world a better place, there is a movement…
By Sonia Cordero There are a lot of changes this year concerning income tax. While most taxpayers in the U.S. have a social security number to file their income taxes, some people will file their income taxes with an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, or ITIN. In 1996 the IRS created the ITIN for individuals who are required to have a U.S. taxpayer identification number, but who are not eligible to obtain a Social Security number.…
By Elizabeth Gamarra The WAVES Project was born in 2016 through the Westside Leadership Institute course. Our group was interested in a project that celebrates the customs, traditions and cultures of New Americans in Utah. Therefore, we created an online academic journal with a collection of true stories written by people who have overcome challenges associated with becoming New Americans. We chose the name WAVES for this collection of stories because waves dynamically change and…
By Atticus Agustin In today’s tumultuous socio-political climate, diversity is at the forefront of political discussions. It can create discomfort for those with power as well as those without. Who wants to live with such a complicated subject in their head all the time? As someone who is deeply interested in linguistics and political science, and who was raised in diverse west Salt Lake City neighborhoods, I do! Growing up here left a permanent impression…
By Amy Jordan As anxious children wait outside the cafeteria doors for breakfast at our neighborhood school I spot Mr. Kjar, a third grade teacher with his camera, snapping portraits. “I’m collecting faces,” he says. He’s working on a painting that will showcase the spectrum of skin tones at our school. “I want to show that we are all shades of brown, from the darkest to the lightest. Aren’t they beautiful?” he says as he…
By Lilliana Ceceña My mother moved my four siblings and me to Salt Lake City, Utah from San Diego, California on December 19, 1994. We had three suitcases of clothes in our possession. Our ages ranged from two to 16 years of age. My mother wanted to get away from the dangers we were exposed to in San Diego. Thinking back, she had to have been the bravest person I know to love herself and…
by Jaehee Yi I was born and raised in Korea. I started cooking, I mean seriously cooking for family, at about 8 years old with a keen interest in food and its preparation. As I grew up I took as many cooking classes as my time allowed – from baking to Korean Royal Palace cooking. Before I came to the United States in 2003, I agonized over two options: pursuing a Master’s of Social Work…
by Gabriela Serrás, interpreted by José Bernardo Fanjúl and Charlotte Fife-Jepperson When I was a young girl in Mexico, my mother always cooked for our family. I was often in the kitchen watching her cook and sometimes I was allowed to help with small tasks. When I was about eight years old, I surprised my mom by preparing an entire meal – pasta soup with vegetables – for the whole family. From this moment on,…
By Charlotte Fife-Jepperson The keynote speaker at the Fall 2016 Westside Leadership Institute (WLI) graduation told an inspirational story of how hard work and determination helped his family achieve the “American Dream.” His family emigrated from Somalia in the late ‘80s, and became the first black family to live in their affluent neighborhood in Cache County. Mohamed “Mo” Abdullahi told WLI graduates and their families and how he, his mother and brother came to Logan,…
Salt Lake City’s west side is home to a great variety of ethnicities and cultures; we are an international community made up of people from all over the world, from different religious, political, and socio-economic backgrounds. We are people of different ages, gender and sexual orientation. Diversity is touted as one of our community’s greatest assets. According to the 2010 U.S. Census, 65.9 percent of Salt Lake City's west side population in the 84104 and…
By Gabriella Huggins “Wow, you’re so articulate,” notes a pleasantly surprised classmate, implying that I am somehow special for speaking the way I do. “Is that your real hair?” a stranger asks as they reach out to feel a kinky-coiled lock, assuming I will not mind being touched and questioned by someone I’ve never met at the grocery store. “You don’t need sunscreen,” insisted a co-worker in a previous workplace, the suggestion being I am…
By Judy Rohner If you have been searching for a local restaurant that serves mouth-watering Taco Al Pastor, a central Mexico-style marinated pork dish, you will find it at Chunga’s restaurant. After tasting their unique style of cooking, friends encouraged Roberto Contreras, his wife, and his brother Horacio to share their culinary talents. Using Horacio’s nickname, Chunga’s opened about seven years ago at 180 S 900 W. It replaced the former eatery, Freeway Pizza. Chunga’s…
By Chris Ginzton It’s a busy Saturday morning in December for the Islamic Society of Bosniaks. They are hosting an open house to share their culture with the wider community and to celebrate the recent renovation of their new mosque. (“Bosniak” refers to Bosnians who are Muslim.) There is a group of people listening to a children’s choir perform in the main space. On the floor listening to the performance are two little girls sitting…
Many west Salt Lake City residents participated in the March for Refugees at the Utah State Capitol on February 4, 2016. They were among thousands of Utahns from all backgrounds who marched from the Federal Building to the capitol in opposition to President Trump’s executive orders that temporarily halted acceptance of refugees and banned travel from seven predominantly Muslim countries into the U.S. Photos by David Ricketts