Aster “Astu” was born and raised in Lynchburg, VA to Ethiopian immigrant parents in 1991. Having grown up in a small town in the rural south, Aster was very aware of her otherness and particularly aware of her ability to occupy two worlds – it is, also, through this awareness that Aster became fascinated by other people’s definition of identity and belonging and how they examined it through art and storytelling.

Her father noticed her curiosities early on and encouraged her to write and this has been the medium by which Aster has experienced, dissected and made meaning of her surroundings. While much of her formal education is rooted in the IR/Public Policy she has forged a marriage between her interests in culture and writing. Thus, birthing Stay Down.Stay Down (SD) is a blog dedicated to exploring the intersection of art, culture and public policy from the lens of a second generation immigrant. It is through this outlet that she has remained in a constant of writing, sought/created community through raw/unfiltered conversations and expanded on thoughts of “being.” Stay Down and Aster is committed to delivering witty, thought provoking and empathy inducing content guaranteed to change the way you see and experience others.

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