In the past, we used our annual Alt-Family Issue for any number of things. There were articles ranging in topics from eating habits and kid-friendly apps, to more nuanced pieces about postpartum alienation and raising children to be artists. And while those features were certainly a great example of service journalism, we found ourselves struggling when it came time to pick a theme for this year’s issue. After all, the issue would be coming out the same week as the presidential inauguration. We wanted to make a statement.
So rather than dealing in listicles and hokey, feel-good content, we wanted to showcase the familial stories of five extraordinary locals, all of whom are here as a result of immigration. The topic of immigration will remain contentious in 2017 and San Diego continues to be a leader in taking in refugees and immigrants. This fact should not change and we felt it was important to showcase the people and families who are either living or just now beginning their American experience. What’s more, we hope that our readers will see these stories and think of these people not simply as immigrants, but as our friends and neighbors. Because, in the end, there’s no such thing as an “alt-family.” There’s just family.
Special thanks to local literary arts organization So Say We All for the assist in compiling these stories.