Julissa Arce is a nationally recognized author, speaker, and social justice advocate who, with America Ferrera, is currently developing and executive producing a television series for a major network optioned from her bestselling memoir, My (Underground) American Dream. Her young adult memoir, Someone Like Me is used in classrooms across the country. Her new book, You Sound Like a White Girl: The Case for Rejecting Assimilation is a dual polemic and manifesto, where Julissa dives into and tears apart the lie that assimilation leads to belonging. Instead, Julissa offers a bold new promise: Belonging only comes through celebrating yourself, your history, your culture, and everything that makes you uniquely you. Through unearthing veiled history and reclaiming her own identity, Julissa shows us how to do this.
Julissa has spoken at major Fortune 500 companies such as Google, Intel, Proctor & Gamble, dozens of colleges and universities, such as Yale, Harvard, and community colleges alike. She gave a captivating TedX Talk at Texas Tech University, and has performed numerous times at The Moth. She has also delivered keynotes at prestigious conferences such as the White House Latino Summit, UnidosUS, and education gatherings across the country.
She was named one of People en Español’s 25 Most Powerful Woman of 2017 and 2022 and 2019 Woman of the Year by the City of Los Angeles. She is a leading voice in the fight for social justice, immigrant rights and education equality. Julissa has contributed to The New York Times, TIME, Buzzfeed News, Crooked Media, CNBC, among other outlets. She has provided political commentary across numerous TV networks including NBC News, Bloomberg TV, CNN, and MSNBC.
In order to help other young people in similar circumstances, Julissa co-founded the Ascend Educational Fund (AEF). AEF is a college scholarship and mentorship program for immigrant students in New York City, regardless of their ethnicity, national original or immigration status. She also serves on the board of directors of the National Immigration Law Center. She was officially sworn in as an American citizen in August of 2014.Download Bio
You Sound Like a White GirlThe Case for Rejecting Assimilation
Bestselling author Julissa Arce calls for a celebration of our uniqueness, our origins, our heritage, and the beauty of the differences that make us Americans in this powerful polemic against the myth that assimilation leads to happiness and belonging for immigrants.
Debunking the Myth of Assimilation in the Workplace Julissa discusses the challenges of Latininad in the Workplace and what this new generation of talent needs to truly be empowered and what past generations can come to terms with and all reflect on a new way forward of inclusivity, leadership, orgullo, and celebration of our uniqueness, origins, and the beauty of the differences that actually make us Americans.
The Case for Rejecting Assimilation Powerful discussion against the myth that assimilation leads to happiness and belonging for immigrants in America.
Fireside Chat with Julissa Julissa's education story as an undocumented Mexican student- and what educators did to help her belong, and what they didn’t do that would have helped her to feel included. Some brief Latino history, children’s books statistics, and conclude with some food for thought to implement in the classrooms and schools.
Read Julissa Arce’s piece on her version of modern love in The New York Times.
Check out Julissa Arce’s article on the wedding challenges she faced in Vogue.
Learn about Julissa Arce’s rise on Wall Street in Time.
Read Julissa Arce’s feature in The Guardian.
—BookPage, "2022 Preview: Most Anticipated Nonfiction"
“I’m so glad Arce wrote about this important topic, and how we should resist the insidious ways colonialism affects the world.”
—Julianne Escobedo Shepherd, The Meteor
“In this unflinching book, Julissa Arce guts the idea that to live in America means immigrants must abandon their own histories, cultures and languages and assimilate to dominant norms.”