"My father passed away a few months ago. He was from India and when he moved to the United States he didn't want to maintain strong connections with his roots. Eight years ago I went to India and I got to know my Indian family. One of the happiest days of my life was when I realized I had didis. "Didi" means older sister in Hindi and can include cousins. My didis are the eldest daughters of my father's youngest sister. The warmth and love between us was immediate. It was unconditional. They didn't know me and I didn't know them. I didn't know I had didis growing up. I mean WTF. Now we have a didis group on Whatsapp. My Father wanted me to take a safe path, be a lawyer and I pursued a different path. We butted heads until my mid-30's and then this trip to India was a new beginning for my father and me. He started telling me stories about the bumpy path of his immigration. When he was on his deathbed, he told my brother to bring his ashes to the Ganges River. It is the son who has to bury the father. There's no role for the woman in the ritual, as my mother told me. I couldn't take the trip to India this year, to the Ganges - the day my mother and brother went there I cried so hard. But I was with them in spirit. And I'm so glad our Indian family took such good care of them." - Kirin Kalia is the Director of Communications at KITE.
"If I were not a woman, I would not have had such intimate access photographing nuns. They gave me a ticket to enter their lives and document everything from death to deep prayer. They were comfortable with me because I am a woman. It was this project that launched my transition from photojournalism to fine art which has been a wonderful adventure where I am able to find my true voice, be appreciated and be heard." - Laura Husar Garcia is a fine art photographer who lives in Chicago.
"My Dad told us we could do anything we wanted to do. My sister and I were too young to know that at that time, it wasn't really true. He raised us to think more like boys, to be independent, adventurous, and he believed in us. My sister and I took a cargo ship to Argentina when we were young, we traveled across the country alone. My Mother was aware of the danger of two girls traveling alone - and she worried about us, but my father believed we could do anything." - Jacquie McArdle is a fashion designer.