Ruby Chacon, a lifelong Utahn, didn't realize that she had internalized the story of her as told to her by others who were not so flattering.
“I didn't know I was not an immigrant until I graduated from college,” says Chacon. That is what the absence of a story can do to a person.
When her nephew was killed during her last year of college, she realized that people can write things that were based on gossip and untrue, and those things become a part of that person’s story.
When she found out that she wasn't an immigrant among the feelings she felt were anger and relief.
“I had to go internally to find out who I was,” says Chacon.
As an artist, she didn't see any examples of what she wanted to be.
“I didn't know how to translate art into action,” says Chacon.
Chacon is co-director at Mestizo Institute of Culture and Arts that provides space for artists who are from underrepresented communities or using art to work toward social change.
Chacon, an artist, won a 2013 Martin Luther King Humanitarian Embracing the Dream Award winner. She received her award on Jan. 29, 2013 and took part in a panel discussion with other winners and Michele Goodwin, who was the keynote speaker for Salt Lake Community College’s Martin Luther King Jr. celebration.
Read what the 2013 MLK award winners had to say about President Obama.