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Abandoned as a baby in China, Jessica Kelly has felt out of place her whole life. Growing up in a town with little diversity and her American mother’s culture, Kelly struggled to find a place where she belonged. Searching for purpose and a sense of belonging, Kelly joined TYS Dance Crew last year. Now going into her fifth year, Kelly leads the team as a co-director and finally feels she has found a place where she can be herself. Over 76,000 children from Asian countries have been adopted by American families. By incorporating their Asian children into American life, many adoptees feel that they do not have a culture for themselves. Although every adoption case is different, Kelly represents many of these children. “To put it simply, it isn’t a piece of cake,” Kay Johnson, a professor of Asian studies at Hampshire College, said. “People tend to have a biogenetic…

Hannah Mellor works at the Lawrence Alloway Memorial Art Gallery in Stony Brook University’s Melville Library, sitting at a desk just inside the gallery door. During her shifts, she has enough time to do some homework, but every time she looked up from her books, she said, what she saw was both beautiful and depressing. One exhibit this semester included metal birds in cages hanging from the ceiling with the birds’ wings outstretched as if they were trying to fly. In another, logs lay haphazardly at the bottom of a mock hourglass as if time were running out. Outside, the world was bright and hot, but down in the woods-in the shade underneath the trees–it was much cooler. Mellor moved through the shrubs and the baby trees in the woods surrounding Stony Brook, and she was happy. She took out a roll of orange tape and marked several trees along…