Community Health, Youth Voices
Just before she started middle school, Isabella Ordaz’s farmworker parents moved their family from Antioch to Danville in search of better schools and safer streets; both cities are in Contra Costa County, but Antioch is known for gang-related crime, whereas in Danville, violent crime is almost nonexistent. But the lifestyle upgrade does not come without its difficulties. Isabella’s classmates, raised in racially homogenous Danville, openly express bigotry against Mexicans. “I felt like a little brown pebble stuck in a glistening pile of white sand. And the sand, it didn’t want me there. I sat next to classmates who flatly called Mexicans ‘stupid’ and ‘illegal’… Even now, in high school, I tense up when I hear the word Mexican, because often something disturbing follows it.” She told her story on the air for Youth Radio.