Reading for me has always been about one of two things – gaining perspective, and engaging with the essential questions of what it means to be human – what experiences do some of us endure? How does that shape our character? How we trust? Who we let close? How does it shape who we may admire and then emulate? What we value and believe? I love a good heart ache, so beware! My selection ranges from stark and witty memoirs, to playful yet investigative fantasies, to fiction that asks us to take pause and bear witness to the experiences of oppressed peoples. Stories that, as a teen, would have made me feel truly seen and heard, which was something that such a Eurocentric narrative throughout grade school genuinely lacked.
Otisha Sousa is a 31-year-old biracial woman from Calgary. A second-generation immigrant, her mother was born in Portugal, with Nigerian heritage on her father’s side. She obtained a Journalism diploma at SAIT Polytechnic in 2012 and went on to obtain two degrees with honors from the University of Calgary- in English & Education in 2018. Sousa has been employed as a secondary Humanities teacher in northeast Calgary since 2018 and currently teaches at Lester B. Pearson High School. Her passion is to decolonize the curriculum and encourage students to question the Eurocentric institutions around them.