Episode 16: Julissa Arce

AWM Author Talks
AWM Author Talks
Episode 16: Julissa Arce

This week, AWM President Carey Cranston sits down with bestselling author and immigrant rights advocate Julissa Arce to kick off National Hispanic Heritage Month.

We hope you enjoy entering the mind of a writer. Listen to more episodes here.


“I’ve been very motivated and very inspired by young undocumented people now who are out fighting for their rights and are chanting, ‘Undocumented! Unafraid!’… When I was a teenager I did not have that power to say those things. I was very much afraid.”

“I had always wanted to write and I had a really important story to tell, which is my story, my truth…I really needed to share my story. I can’t keep holding on to this.”

“I did it all. Learned English, got a college degree, got a great job, paid taxes — because undocumented people pay taxes. I mean I did everything and still it wasn’t enough. It just felt like the goal line was always moving, constantly moving.”

“When I was growing up I never read a book that had a Latina protagonist. And especially I never read a book about an udocumented girl, ever. That made me feel really lonely because I just didn’t think my story was important because nobody was telling this story. And so I thought, if I can make a difference in just one child’s life because they read my book and something in my story resonates with them and they’re able to connect with it, then they can know that their stories are so important that people are writing books about them.”

“I’ve always had really great examples of strong women in my life…My family has always been one of matriarchs and they always really encouraged me to be who I wanted to be.”

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