Humans of Minneapolis: Iliah at Bryant Square Park

August 24, 2017 by Chee Xiong

Stephanie Glaros’ Humans of Minneapolis portraits of park-goers remind us of the many powerful ways that parks can connect us, heal us and make us whole. This summer, her 10-image series is exploring how parks transform human life, as told through each person’s own words and Stephanie’s boldly compassionate lens.

Here, we’re reposting Stephanie’s 2017 series. View all images in this year’s series, and in 2016’s, via the Humans of Minneapolis category link

Iliah with Amaris, Nasir, & Ariela at Bryant Square Park

“I take my kids travelling a lot. The four of us just got back from a month and a half trip through Spain and Morocco. When my oldest was almost five and my middle one was two, we travelled for four months through Southeast Asia. We stayed in hostels, we took trains. She’s nine and she’s been to twenty-five countries. She’s seven and she’s been to twenty-four. He’s not even two and he’s been to ten.

It’s really important for me to teach them how to be powerful, to be independent, and to know that they’re not limited to the script that I think this country writes about people of color. When you expose them to a bigger, brighter world, they see that they have a global identity. They belong to the world and they are limitless. There’s nothing that has to stop them.

My mom was a single teenage mother. She had five kids by the time she was twenty-four and one of my sisters is handicapped. But we went everywhere with her. There wasn’t a babysitter unless it was me. We’d take trips on the Greyhound bus to California to see our family. Just her on a bus with five kids for three days. But we would do it. She didn’t do it to be supermom. It was just her reality that if she wanted to go somewhere, we were all gonna have to go. So that was the example I had before me.

We were in Rome a couple years ago and the parks were horrible. It’s not common that you can just drive down any street and find a decent park on the corner that has playground equipment and is clean. I think that’s one of the most amazing things about living here, being able to use the park system. We’re so lucky to have it, because it really is a gift.”

Listen to Iliah’s story:

Images and content are reposted with permission from Stephanie Glaros/Humans of Minneapolis.

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