Segregated Minds

In my mind I had quickly slipped into the “Because I’m black trance.” We thanked her and carried on to find food elsewhere. This was a test of my practice, of not assuming I’m being oppressed. Not assuming I’m being discriminated against because I’m black.


Trifle has cake and jam, whipped cream, pudding and fruit. It is made like lasagna, in layers. Trifle is festive. You make it in a big bowl and dive in with a big spoon to serve it. It is sensual, decadent, the way a party dessert should be.

How to Cub Mov (Steam Rice), Hmong Style

The following is a chapter from Yia Vang’s cookbook memoir showcasing Hmong food and her experience as a first generation Hmong American learning to cook from her mom.

Doors Open to Everyone

When I was homeless, I didn’t have a choice of what to eat. If it was cold food, milk, bread, peanut butter and jelly, an apple, I’d eat it. At Free Food, the food is great. We make it ourselves. We make it out of our hearts.

4th of July in Chi town

I sat on the couch of our 17th floor apartment, staring out the floor to ceiling windows and seeing a sea of fireworks that stretched across the city of Chicago. A city I had never seen before, where my first memory of it is glowing and lit up with vibrant color. 4th of July has […]

“How Much for a Flower?”

We were loading all our bags of food and supplies up on the curb for the short drive over to the church when a man stopped me to ask about the flowers. We had a bucket stuffed to capacity with colorful roses and peonies, all donations from a local flower shop in New York, Eros […]