Introducing 'Home Away from Home': Illuminating Cincinnati's Immigrant Women

Updated: Feb 12




It's always nice to feel like you belong. To feel like you are among your tribe of people. To feel like you have people you can relate to, and that what you say resonates with them. I have many of these tribes, and each fulfills a different need in me. 

Among them all, the one I can say feeds my soul is the tribe of immigrant women. I’m excited to introduce a new column here at Women of Cincy called “Home Away from Home.” I’m thrilled to be involved with this fab publication and to share illuminating stories of Cincinnati's immigrant women.


Why immigrant women?

They have awesome inspiring stories that deserve to be showcased. Each month I'll share a story of a first-generation immigrant woman. I love these stories because I identify with many of their trials, tribulations, and joys, and they inspire me. Many of these women lead everyday, heroic lives, unsung. Each has reasons for her choices, but woven through the fabric of their stories and choices are the memories of where they come from and the values they bring with them. 

Some of these values are tangible, like the waist chain a woman from Togo swears by. Some are intangible, like the value of the word "unhu" (dignity) to the woman from Zimbabwe. Others are romantic, like the Russian woman who, after 30 years in the U.S., still corresponds with a first love left behind. That love has sustained her. These are the kind of stories I will share. 

You see these women in your everyday lives, but you may not notice them. They are your heavily accented foreign coworkers, your impeccable house cleaner, your demanding boss, the most loving caregiver, the notorious professor, and the shy hotel maids. They are sheroes whose stories you are yet to discover. I’m excited to discover them and take you on the journey with me.


How can you be a part of this?


In many ways. As with all things Women of Cincy, this is a crowdsourced platform. Send in the names of immigrant women you think I ought to meet and write about. What makes them unique? What are some BOLD initiatives they are working on? What is that je ne sais quoi they bring to the community? I want to know. I want to meet the extraordinary women who have come to the greater Cincinnati area from across the seven continents. Join me!

Catch the first chapter of “Home Away from Home” here with Clara’s interview with Zvisinei Dzepasi Mamutse.


The Home Away from Home series can be originally read at: womenofcincy.org


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