This personal submission is a part of the “No Longer Invisible: In Their Own Words” project, a story series established to celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month at the UW.
Name: Bryan Dosono
Major: PhD Candidate, Information Science & Technology, Syracuse University
Degree: B.S. Degree, Informatics: Human-Computer Interaction, University of Washington
Identity: Filipino American
“Once clueless and uninformed, I now maintain a firm grasp on how to combat social inequities, appreciate cultural traditions and activate silent AAPI voices around me. Today I no longer feel invisible, and I envision the AAPI narrative of struggle, devotion and triumph to emerge as one of the most pronounced stories on the shelf of American history.”
“AAPI Heritage Month prompts a moment for me to reflect on my personal journey of AAPI activism and reaffirms the importance of celebrating diversity within the greater community. This heightened awareness for advancing the Asian American movement motivated my engagement with Lambda Phi Epsilon, an Asian American interest fraternity and high-level decision making in university leadership. I served on the UW Office of Minority Affairs and Diversity’s Student Advisory Board, where I directly influenced policy formulation for campus diversity initiatives and creating a more inclusive and culturally sensitive campus climate.
‘So what are you, really?’ remained a frequently asked question from my peers and teachers. I identify as Filipino American, and though Filipino Americans comprise the second largest Asian American ethnic group in the United States, they fall subject to the scrutiny of racial ambiguity. Facing difficulty in explaining my heritage to others as I knew so little about it, I sometimes found it easier to blend in with the identities of other students of color than to stand out as a Filipino American.
My parents immigrated from the Philippines to settle down on the Yakama Reservation in Washington state, where I was born. Growing up on a Native reservation, I did not identify with other students with similar cultural backgrounds because AAPIs accounted for less than one percent of the county’s demographic.”
Learn more about Bryan on his personal web site.