Hello, my name is Elle Pierre, a Multiracial teen. A day in my life can involve cooking. When I was younger I vividly remember my great-grandmother’s, GG’s, porch and her gumbo. Both sides of my family come together on her porch for one thing – her gumbo. My mother’s side of the family is a variety of white European, and my father’s side is black Creole. My family genealogy is incredibly diverse, and I am the sum total of all that. With a family history ranging from beliefs, it can be hard to relate to a specific “side”. However, the two different ethnic sides of my family and their shared love of gumbo demonstrate the intersection of these cultures in my life. When we sit together on GG’s porch with her gumbo, we view each other with kindness and respect due to our respect for GG.

I took the initiative to learn how to make gumbo. With my limited knowledge, I set out with the goal of not recreating my GG’s gumbo but instead creating my version of gumbo for my family to enjoy. After spending large amounts of time scrolling through the internet, reaching out to family members, and failed cooking attempts, I finally created my own acceptable gumbo.

Now every time both sides of my family visit, I have the pleasure of making gumbo and becoming a link between my two families.

The lesson I have learned is that I can connect with people who don’t always agree. This discovery has enabled me to search for other ways to be a bridge builder in my community. I am comfortable giving space and creating safe for open conversations between diverse groups of people. This lived experience permitted me to create my own version of something good. Sometimes the recipe needs to change because I might have access to limited or different ingredients or the roux might take longer than expected. Both are enough.


Elle Pierre

Project Race Teen Vice-President

Photo Credit: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gumbo#/media/File:Gumbo.JPG