Episode 05: Dissecting Immigrant Assimilation with Julissa Arce

In this episode of Momentum: A Race Forward Podcast, Julissa Arce, a nationally recognized author, speaker, and social justice advocate, joins Momentum Co-host Chevon to discuss her journey from being undocumented and working at Goldman’s Sack to sharing her story with thousands of people through her writing. 

Julissa shares with us the various nuances and sacrifices undocumented people have to go through in the immigration system. She also gives us insight into her thought process while writing her new book, You Sound Like A White Girl: The Case for Rejecting Assimilation, where she came to the realization that assimilation to whiteness is often mistaken for assimilating to American culture. 

Hear more about the different obstacles undocumented people are currently facing by tuning in to Episode 1 of Race Forward’s new podcast Reflections: Immigrant Rights Movement –  a limited podcast series. 

And don’t forget to plan to attend Facing Race: the largest multiracial, inter-generational gathering for organizers, educators, creatives, and other leaders. 

Resources (by order of mention)

My (Underground) American Dream: My True Story as an Undocumented Immigrant Who Became a Wall Street Executive



Ascend Educational Fund  



The Nap Ministry – We examine the liberating power of naps. We believe rest is a form of resistance and reparations. We install Nap Experiences. Founded in 2016.



You Sound Like A White Girl: The Case for Rejecting Assimilation 



Title 42 - On March 20, 2020, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued an emergency regulation to implement a specific aspect of U.S. health law. Section 265 of U.S. Code Title 42 permits the Director of the CDC to “prohibit … the introduction” into the United States of individuals when the director believes that “there is serious danger of the introduction of [a communicable] disease into the United States.” 



Julissa Arce 

Official Website 








About Race Forward: 

Race Forward catalyzes movement building for racial justice. In partnership with communities, organizations, and sectors, we build strategies to advance racial justice in our policies, institutions, and culture. Race Forward imagines a just, multiracial, democratic society, free from oppression and exploitation, in which people of color thrive with power and purpose.


Follow Race Forward on social media

 Follow us on Facebook:



Follow us on Twitter: 



Follow us on Instagram: 



Building Racial Equity (BRE) Trainings  



Subscribe to our newsletter:



Executive Producers: 

Hendel Leiva, Cheryl Cato Blakemore


Associate Producer/ Editor: 

Kendy Solis

Momentum: A Race Forward Podcast

White text on black background “Momentum a Race Forward Podcast” with Race Forward logo. Various images of people expressing joy and solidarity and signs of protest in background.
Photo credit (small photo in upper right):
Pax Ahimsa Gethen / Wikicommons

Momentum: A Race Forward Podcast features movement voices, stories, and strategies for racial justice. Co-hosts Chevon and Hiba give their unique takes on race and pop culture, and uplift narratives of hope, struggle, and joy, as we continue to build the momentum needed to advance racial justice in our policies, institutions, and culture. Build on your racial justice lens and get inspired to drive action by learning from organizational leaders and community activists.


Subscribe today!

Listen on Apple Podcasts


Listen on Spotify


Get it on Google Play