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Empowerment is her passion, and writing is the magic wand. 

Because of writing, Thasfia has been able to empower and be empowered. 

One of her most vivid memory dates back to age twelve, in South Asia during her winterbreak. Her mother's dull childhood home opened up to the most stunning scene: a country away, the Himalayas outlined the sky from a far distance, and cattle grazed the glistening grass just adjacent to our boring, brick, and cement building. Home, she thought, would welcome me. Shaking with excitement, Thasfia begged to go outside. Her request was met with hesitance. That year, she experienced first hand what it meant to be a woman in a third world country. But upon her arrival back to the states, Thasfia's naivety was more shattered when she discovered the same objectification and misogyny lingering in our daily 'American' lives as well. She found Girls Write Now by herself, in the library during the summer. Her mission for empowerment and empathy had sparked once she came to the astronomical realization that people care about girls like her, like us. Writing is important because it means you can take your thoughts, and somehow translate them into words. Words, have the power to build civilizations, while also destroy them. Therefore, she has chosen to write with honesty in a way that is fulfilling to the world and empowering to her colleagues. Thasfia writes so that she can listen, and so that others can be heard. Ever since Girls Write Now, Thasfia has vowed to always leave cities better than when she found them.



Yamberlie M. Tavarez is a New School alumna, with a bachelor’s in Literary Studies. She is the mother to a five year old spirited little person, Ryan Nathaniel. Currently navigating through motherhood, attempting to find the mythical work/life balance, and discovering new perspectives along the way. Yamberlie is a New York born Latina essayist and poet; her writing focuses on parenting, gender roles in society, race, and the dynamics of human relationships. She is currently the Development Director at the Feminist Press. You can find her recent essay in "The Feminist Utopia Project," an anthology of essays, interviews, poetry, illustrations, and short stories,  that challenges the status quo that accepts inequality and violence as a given—and inspires us to demand a radically better future.

As an immigrant, Muslim, and woman of color, there are a lot of rights I have to reclaim.

These are my words, and this is my story.

—Thasfia Chowdhury

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