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I would warn any minority student today against the temptations of self-segregation: take support and comfort from your own group as you can, but don’t hide within it.
The challenges I have faced—among them material poverty, chronic illness, and being raised by a single mother—are not uncommon, but neither have they kept me from uncommon achievements.
[T]he habit of living as if in the shadow of death has remained with me, and I consider that, too, a gift.
We educated, privileged lawyers have a professional and moral duty to represent the underrepresented in our society, to ensure that justice exists for all, both legal and economic justice.
I couldn’t even tell if I had any sadness of my own, because I was so full of Abuelita’s sadness.
It seems obvious now: the child who spends school days in a fog of semi-comprehension has no way to know her problem is not that she is slow-witted.
...you cannot value dreams according to the odds of their coming true. The real value is in stirring within us the will to aspire.
... a surplus of effort could overcome a deficit of confidence. Page 115
In my experience when a friend unloaded about a boyfriend or spouse, the listener soaked up the complaint and remembered it long after the speaker had forgiven the offense.
Until we get equality in education, we won't have an equal society.
I think that even someone who got into an institution through affirmative action could prove they were qualified by what they accomplished there. Page 188
I strive never to forget the real world consequences of my decisions on individuals, businesses and government.
I was fifteen years old when I understood how it is that things break down: people can't imagine someone else's point of view.
I accepted what the Sisters taught in religion class: that God is loving, merciful, charitable, forgiving. That message didn't jibe with adults smacking kids.
I am a New Yorker, and 7:00 A.M. is a civilized hour to finish the day, not to start it.
The Latino community anchored me, but I didn't want it to isolate me from the full extent of what Princeton had to offer, including engagement with the larger community. Page 148
[T]he more critical lesson I learned that day is still one too many kids never figure out: don't be shy about making a teacher of any willing party who knows what he or she is doing.
The dynamism of any diverse community depends not only on the diversity itself but on promoting a sense of belonging among those who formerly would have been considered and felt themselves outsiders.
Sonia lives her life fully. If she dies tomorrow, she'll die happy. If she lives the way you want her to live, she'll die miserable. So leave her alone, okay?
I have never, ever focused on the negative of things. I always look at the positive.