On March 2nd, a $7000 grant to St. John’s Episcopal Church to bring Project Ñ to west Michigan became a reality.

Denise Soler Cox presented her documentary “Being ñ,” which documents her personal journey of self-discovery as an “ñ”, and led a panel discussion by three local Latina women: Reyna Orellana Masko, Pat VerDuin and Joanne Lemieux. Each woman shared her unique story of growing up in a culture that isn’t always accepting of what it views as outsiders, then took questions from the audience.

An “ñ” is a first-generation American-born Latino who has at least one parent from a Spanish-speaking country.

Project Ñ is an unorthodox, multi-platform documentary about first generation American-born Latinos that uses cultural and familial stories to build community among this large and growing population. Local diversity groups have spent the past few years raising awareness of unintentional bias and racial and cultural homogeneity in our community, but with a Latino population of only 2.4% in the City of Grand Haven, it’s an issue that still needs to be addressed.

The goal of this project is that those who attend will engage in real, uncensored, and memorable conversations about their personal identity, develop an awareness of their own cultural experience, reflect on individual biases, and develop a personal cultural foundation.

You can learn more about Project ñ at http://projectenye.com/.