Christina Pardo

Antioch College
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00:00:25 - Intro and Early Life

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Segment Synopsis: Christina talks about where she grew up in Queens, NY. She describes the Haitian community she grew up in as close knit and speaks about her moves within NY from Queens to Long Island. Christina talks about how the diversity or lack thereof in her primary and secondary schools settings helped shape her decision to go to Howard University.

00:02:12 - College

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Partial Transcript: "My favorite subject was history but my best subject was science"; "I wanted to help people"

Segment Synopsis: Christina talks about changing from a Physician Assistant to a Bio/Pre-Med Major after her first semester at Howard and how she was discouraged by her high school guidance counselor from pursuing Pre-Med.

00:05:33 - A 1st-generation Haitian American household

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Partial Transcript: "You grow up with a certain culture, a certain upbringing"; "It didn't really mean much until...when I was older"

00:06:49 - What circumstances brought your first family member over and Why?

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Partial Transcript: "There were the 3 sisters and the oldest one had to leave because of a political situation in Haiti"

Segment Synopsis: Christina talks about her grandmother, Man Ali's decision to go to United States amid the Duvalier regime and the desire for better opportunity.

00:08:10 - Family Values

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Partial Transcript: "Work ethic, respect, pride in culture and family. The importance of family."

Segment Synopsis: Christina says that that work ethic, respect, and pride in culture and family are definitely family values.

00:08:45 - How did you come to identify as Haitian

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Partial Transcript: "I didn't know anything else"; " I didn't even know other music besides Haitian music until I was older"

Segment Synopsis: Christina talks about Haitianess as a sort of given. Her first language was French, she grew up listening to Haitian music, eating Haitian food and participating in Haitian customs.

00:10:03 - Haitian Culture: Language

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Partial Transcript: "There was more of the focus on the French but I understood both always"; "Compared to many others it was easier for me to work with people in Haiti"

Segment Synopsis: Christina talks about being around French and Kreyol growing up and we talk about how her linguistic prowess is useful when she does Doctors without Borders work in Haiti.

00:11:55 - Haitian-American

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Partial Transcript: "I feel like it's its own thing"; "I'm very proud to say Haitian-American"

Segment Synopsis: Christina talks about how cultural ideas from both Haiti and the United States shape the way that she operates.

00:13:29 - Haitian and Black

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Partial Transcript: "Black is a race, Haitian is an ethnicity"; "There are Haitians who are Caucasian, There are Haitians who are Asian"; "When somebody looks at me, they see a black person. They don't see Haitian"

Segment Synopsis: Christina identifies as black and explains her struggles with people in college rejecting this identification due her different cultural background. Christina clarifies that Ethiopia was never colonized and has therefore always been an independent black nation whereas Haiti was the first black nation to gain their own independence.

00:16:08 - What does being black mean to you? What does being Haitian mean to you?

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Partial Transcript: "It's my race, my racial background"; "They both impact my life"

Segment Synopsis: Christina talks about how being black and Haitian are both points of pride for her but that she identifies more with being Haitian.

00:17:34 - What does being a Haitian woman mean to you?

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Partial Transcript: "That one, I find as being more complex. In Haitian culture there can be a lot of misogyny"

Segment Synopsis: Christina speaks about grappling with the complexities of her identity as a Haitian woman. She mentions that there can be a lot of misogyny in Haitian culture and that she strays away from tradition in this area.

00:19:06 - Being a Haitian Man

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Partial Transcript: "There's a certain dynamic in the haitian culture where there's still a more traditional view"

Segment Synopsis: Christina talks about straying from tradition in terms of her view of gender. She shares an example of some gendered constraints that she's come across in her work in Haiti. Structurally, most female doctors are pediatricians and there are few female OB/GYNs. Christina also talks experiencing blatant sexism in her work Haiti that she felt was tied to her particular status as Haitian woman and not just as a woman.

00:24:27 - Women Run The Show In This Family

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Partial Transcript: "There are women in this family that are trailblazers"

Segment Synopsis: Christina talks about how strong female role models showed her examples of how to handle sexism in the larger world.

00:27:17 - Has your understanding of being Haitian changed over time?

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Partial Transcript: "You learn more, I don't think it's changed. It's just that you learn"

Segment Synopsis: Christina says that on the whole no however she has definitely learned more

00:28:08 - Do you feel a responsibility to Haiti?

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Partial Transcript: "Yes, I do"; "This is the culture that I know and that I love and then you go to Haiti and there's poverty and despair"

Segment Synopsis: Christina talks about seeing examples of service and going to Haiti at 2 years old and 10 years old. She talks about her initial feeling of shock at the conditions in Haiti. She shares how she saw her aunt, who we call "Tatie Poupette", doing such positive work in Haiti and how it inspired her to follow those footsteps.

00:30:24 - Extended Family

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Partial Transcript: "For us, our cousins were our friends"; "There was no other way"

Segment Synopsis: Christina talks about having her closest friends be cousins and doing things in unison with her cousins. She talks about the ingrained nature of family to her life. She talks about how the extended family structure is actively reproduced by her in some of her decisions as a mother.

00:33:02 - Haitian Motherhood

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Partial Transcript: "I want her to be raised exactly how I was raised"

Segment Synopsis: She talks about the insulatory aspects of the way she was raised but the value in knowing the importance of oneself in the context of family.

00:34:04 - How have spiritual and religious practices shaped you, If they have ?

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Segment Synopsis: Christina talks about obligatory attendance of Catholic church growing up and she touches upon making a choice later in life to pick up spirituality. She says she doesn't know anyone that has any direct ties to Vodou.

00:36:07 - Haitianess and Sexuality

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Partial Transcript: "These are the areas where I think I'm more aligned with the American"; "Not just in sexuality, I think with many things there's a more progressive mindset";

Segment Synopsis: Christina talks a little bit about homophobia as a part of Haitian tradition and she shares a vignette about how one of our cousins came out as lesbian, married a woman and her process of being a part of the family.

00:42:28 - Values and Mindset

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Partial Transcript: "I think that the core values and the core everything is there but as far as a mindset in being like very traditional and strict about things...I think there's more of a progressive mindset"

Segment Synopsis: Christina talks about the expectations of being a doctors or engineers being common in Haitian community and how she feels that there is room for other things as long as core values are adhered to. She uses the fact that she wasn't pressured to get married when she got pregnant as an example of the negotiations tradition taking place.