Who is Grace Banvunyaki? Noticeably she is a quiet, calm, girl with fiery red hair that sits in the back of the classroom. Although those are qualities that describe her, there is a passion that Grace has for her family and her heritage. Grace was born in Uganda/Congo. Her parents have many children, Grace being one of the middle children. Back in Africa, her father was approached by people who helped them come to the United States. They had to keep their journey a secret in order to make it to America safely. Grace explained that in Africa there are two places that people live. Those who are rich live in the city, others live in villages. In the villages, people struggled to provide. There was a long growth process in order to have enough food. Unfortunately there are many people who long for a better life in the Americas and are willing to kill for it. Grace’s family had to keep their departure a secret until right before they left. The day that they left, they left behind friends, family, and their home in order to meet a better life here in the States. It was a long journey but throughout the hardships, all of the Banvunyki’s are beyond grateful to be where they are now.
“I am LCC” is an ethnographic project that brings together students to interview each other and share their stories of cultural heritage and migration through words and photos, making the exotic familiar and the familiar exotic. The students develop interviewing skills, and learn that researcher and interviewee are both subjects and thus together create meaning.