WHO WE ARE
Vivekae is a senior at Harvard University studying Social Anthropology with a minor in History. She’s a proud Chicagoan with a passion for migrant justice rooted in a belief in the interconnectedness of all struggles. She co-founded Stories from the Border during a summer spent in Arizona with the hope of elevating the complex, under-told stories of the borderlands and those who call it home. When she’s not editing Stories from the Border, Vivekae acts as the editor-at-large for The Harvard Crimson’s weekly news magazine, Fifteen Minutes, & an organizer with a coalition of Chicago Public Schools alumni working for investment in critical student resources across the city. She is also a digital organizer for Pima County Justice for All, a ballot initiative campaign in Southern Arizona that seeks to institutionalize the right to counsel for all people in immigration court.
Meena is a senior at Harvard University studying English literature and South Asian studies. Hailing from Tucson, Arizona, Meena grew up in the Arizona-Mexico borderlands and has always been passionate about immigration and border issues. She co-founded Stories from the Border to shed light on these issues through the narratives she learned as an independent reporting fellow back home in Southern Arizona during the summer of 2019, and is excited to grow the publication while amplifying more voices and stories that have long lingered in the shadows. Aside from Stories from the Border, Meena is the founder of South Asian Americans in Public Service and edits creative nonfiction for The Harvard Advocate's Migration Issue. In her free time, she enjoys talking (too fast) about U.S. politics, rhetorically analyzing rap music, unabashedly reading medieval literature on the elliptical, and trying different varieties of tea.
Anna Kate Cannon
Anna Kate is a senior at Harvard University studying History and Literature with a secondary in Ethnicity, Migration and Rights. She is a citizen of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, and grew up in Texarkana, Texas. As a student, Anna Kate has always been interested in the questions of sovereignty, borders, and what it means to be a nation-state. She often jokes that she studies the American history that high school history teachers won't talk about – as such, she is a firm believer in immigrants' and refugees' rights, and wants to work toward creating a more equitable and inclusive society for everyone in the United States, regardless of their immigration status. She is excited to continue contributing to Stories from the Border's mission and looks forward to helping expand our coverage to reach more people and create an even greater impact. Aside from contributing to Stories from the Border, Anna Kate is the co-president of Natives at Harvard College and a writer for The Harvard Crimson’s magazine, Fifteen Minutes.
Jeromel Dela Rosa Lara
Hello! I am Jeromel, and I am a sophomore at Harvard University intending to study Comparative Study of Religion and Ethnicity, Migration, and Rights. I was born in the Philippines, and I lived there for 11 years before immigrating here to the U.S. with my mother in 2011. Upon moving, we first lived in San Diego for a year then due to some pressing circumstances, we had to move out, and we lived in Chicago for the next 7 years. We moved to Boston in the summer of 2019, but we then moved back to San Diego this past January. Our lives as immigrants facing the pressures of assimilation and other struggles have made me connect deeply with immigrant communities and their experiences. It’s what drew me to Stories from the Border where these narratives are sought, valued, and featured. I am so honored to be able to contribute to bringing out these stories that I have come to relate and empathize with. And I hope more people hear them. Going along in my interest in storytelling, my biggest passions in life are journalism and the humanities. I love reading, hearing, and seeing people’s stories as reflected in books, art, and music where you would almost always see me in libraries, museums, and cultural events (before the pandemic). On the side, I am also an amateur Philippine historian and researcher doing a project that looks into my country during the Marcos Dictatorship especially with the rise of historical revisionism through which telling this history is altered today to praise and glorify an authoritarian regime.
I joined Stories from the Border because I love telling stories through art, especially stories that often go unvoiced. In high school I used photography as a way to cope with mental health. Seeing how little mental health was addressed encouraged me to continue making art about vulnerable topics like anxiety, depression, or loneliness. This made me want to tell others’ stories as well; I started volunteering as an event photographer and am currently making graphics for a women’s media company called The Tempest. As an illustrator for Stories from the Border and child of immigrants, hopefully I can humanize immigration issues and help put the spotlight on people from the U.S.-Mexico border region.
Christian is a senior at Northwestern University, where he’s majoring in journalism and creative writing, with a poetry concentration. He joined Stories from the Border because he believes there’s been enough written about people who look like him, and that we have an urgent need to listen to and love those who don’t. He passionately believes that visual reporting and creative nonfiction are the most sincere journalistic platforms to which he can contribute. His immediate family, closest friends, and most respected role models are all immigrants. In his own words: "Not telling their stories, and failing to advocate for millions more — well, it would be hypocritical to even hold a pen." Away from the team, Christian’s poetry has been read and published in local outlets, and he’s committed to developing the intersection of poetic language and reporting. He writes often on music and local artists, and is the Patner Fellow this summer at WFMT/WTTW in Chicago.
Director of Special Projects
Jess is a rising senior at Harvard University studying Folklore and Mythology and Statistics. At Stories from the Border, Jess has enthusiastically jumped into graphics, podcasts, code, and other special projects. She’s excited to join a publication dedicating to telling stories on border issues and design graphics to complement writers’ stories. This summer, she’s working as a Data Science Intern on the Washington Post News Engineering Team for the 2020 Election. Ask her about food history, culture and writing, photography, dance, crafting, and music recs!