Editor's Note: Sayu Bhojwani is the former commissioner of immigrant affairs for New York City and the founding director of The New American Leaders Project. She is also a Ph.D. candidate in politics and education at Teachers College, Columbia University. Born in India, and raised in Belize, she is a naturalized citizen of the United States.
(CNN) - Something is strikingly similar about both conventions - a strong, underlying narrative that seeks to personally connect the speakers to viewers.
On the stage in Tampa, Florida, and Charlotte, North Carolina, we’re hearing many American stories, rooted in the values that all Americans respect - hard work, individualism, family, community.
American voters want to know the person they’re entrusting with the important business of running our country, and the convention speakers are trying to offer us perspectives on who they are by sharing key details of their biographies.
At the Republican National Convention, Condoleezza Rice shared her parents' hope that, though she could not sit at a Woolworth lunch counter as a child, she could be anything she wanted to be as an adult. Marco Rubio was influenced by his grandfather's understanding that his grandson had no limit because he was an American.
At the Democratic National Convention, Julian Castro told how his mother's work enabled him to now hold a microphone, rather than a mop. Michelle Obama shared how her father's hard work, despite having multiple sclerosis, was rooted in his desire to build a better life for his kids.
By the CNN Wire Staff
(CNN) - A federal judge on Wednesday denied a request to block the "show me your papers" provision in Arizona's immigration law, bringing officials one step closer to enforcing one of the most controversial parts of the 2010 measure.
Opponents had argued that new evidence of racial discrimination showed that the judge should block the provision, which allows local law enforcement, when performing other state law enforcement functions, to check on the immigration status of those people they stop for another reason.
But U.S. District Judge Susan R. Bolton ruled that the court could not block the provision based on the possibility of racial profiling. She cited the U.S. Supreme Court's June decision that upheld that part of the law.
"Without a set of as-applied facts, the Supreme Court has held that it would be speculative to decide as a matter of law that (the provision) will be enforced in an unconstitutional manner," she wrote.
Bolton was the same judge who originally blocked the provision in a July 2010 ruling that was praised by immigrant advocates and decried by those who supported the measure. The Supreme Court reversed her ruling on that part of the law nearly two years later.
Undocumented immigrants face arrest as they proclaim, 'No papers, no fear'
In a separate order Wednesday, Bolton indicated that her original injunction - the last judicial roadblock stopping authorities from enforcing the "show me your papers" provision - could be lifted within days.
Read the full story
By Alina Cho, CNN
(TIME.com) - Just before heading to bed one night in August, I got a text message from Bibhu Mohapatra. It contained a photo of First Lady Michelle Obama in a citrus-print sleeveless sheer yoke cocktail dress. Above it, a message: "Just found out, Michelle is wearing the yellow dress."
Mohapatra has dressed Kristen Wiig, Hilary Swank and Glenn Close, but this was different. There she was, America's fashion icon on The Tonight Show, validating Mohapatra's work before a national audience.
It is Mohapatra's moment, but it's a story that almost wasn't. He had never been on a plane before 1995, when he left his native Orissa, India, at age 23 with a one-way ticket to Logan, Utah, to pursue a master's degree in economics on an academic scholarship to Utah State University.
Between homework assignments, he'd sketch. And sketch. Until, by chance, a professor saw his sketchbook of dresses, jackets and coats and said, "You're in the wrong business." So Mohapatra called his dad, who told him, "Close your eyes and picture yourself 10 years from now, having the most fun, being the most happy - that's your answer."
Mohapatra packed his bags, moved to New York City and landed a spot at the Fashion Institute of Technology, where he could finally pursue his lifelong passion.
Now 40 and a newly minted member of the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA), Mohapatra launched his namesake label in 2009 after nine years at J. Mendel, where he worked his way up from assistant to design director.
By Sarah Aarthun, CNN
Charlotte, North Carolina (CNN) - They've traveled for nearly 40 days, risking arrest, or worse, deportation.
Their home for the past month: a 40-year-old converted Greyhound bus dubbed "Priscilla."
Among them are day laborers, students, stay-at-home moms and leaders of nonprofit organizations.
And at each stop along the way, in states with some of the most stringent laws against undocumented immigrants, they chant: "No papers, no fear. Dignity is standing here."
The group's cross-country journey ended this week in Charlotte, site of the Democratic National Convention.
The timing is strategic. Their goal while they're here is to call Democrats' attention to the need for comprehensive immigration reform. FULL POST
What defines you? Maybe it’s the shade of your skin, the place you grew up, the accent in your words, the make up of your family, the gender you were born with, the intimate relationships you chose to have or your generation? As the American identity changes we will be there to report it. In America is a venue for creative and timely sharing of news that explores who we are. Reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Send Feedback | Subscribe