What I have for you today is a simple idea that will change the way you see yourself in the world and the way the world sees you. My name is Denise Soler Cox and I am co- founder of Project Enye (ñ). I have been developing this idea, and distilling it for more than 17 years. I am talking about when I realized that I was not alone and the pain that I’ve lived with for so long of not knowing where I fit in. This is actually central to the shared experience that defines first generation born Latinos with a parent from a Spanish speaking country. By the way, we are known as Enyes (ñ)s, and if you are the friend of an you are a Fr’enye. When I was in elementary school in Westchester County a suburb of Manhattan every day my mom packed me a lunch I knew that she put a lot of love into those lunches and she also put a lot of plátanos. In the cafeteria, eating lunch with my friends my food made me feel different; all the other kids had PB&J and sandwiches or mac and cheese. The way that I was different meant that I wasn’t American like them. At the same time I had a similar but opposite experience in the Puerto Rican community, I was either acting too white or my Spanish just wasn’t good enough. Somehow I wasn’t Latina or Puerto Rican enough. My experience is a result of being part of a group of Latinos in this country who are first generation, who are just as American as they are Latino, the Enye (ñ) culture.
As Enyes (ñ)s, when we share these stories with each other we get the chance to reduce the shame we feel individually and as a group. When we talk about our internalized feelings of shame and get them out in the open we can look at them from a new perspective. P. S. there is nothing wrong with me and there is nothing wrong with you. We are ENYES and this where we belong. With the Enyes (ñ)s count campaign I am keeping a promise I made almost 20 years ago. I want to inspire Enyes (ñ)s to let go of the internal messages that can paralyze us and embrace a new identity. You are here, you found us, you are watching this video and maybe you get it. Join our community, put yourself on the map and consider contributing to the campaign so that I can continue this work of creating connections and a sense of belonging among the 16000,000 Enyes (ñ)s in the United States today. Thank you so much for taking the time to consider what project Enye (ñ) is about and I hope that you will consider joining me and taking the next step. Are you an Enye (ñ)? Fill out the form to the right or below to find out!