To commemorate Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month in May, AAPI UW students, staff, faculty and alumni shared their personal stories of identity in a project titled “No Longer Invisible: In Their Own Words.”
Stories that highlighted the diversity in language, religion, culture and tradition of the AAPI communities are featured here and were displayed as a poster exhibit in the Kelly Ethnic Cultural Center (ECC). A reception on May 29, 2014, at the Kelly ECC kicked off the one-week exhibit and included remarks from students and staff whose stories were featured in the project. A total of 30 stories were included.
The project is a collaboration between the Office of Minority Affairs and Diversity, Undergraduate Academic Affairs, the Asian Student Commission and the Asian Pacific Islander American Faculty & Staff Association. For more information, contact Linda Ando (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Chanira Reang Sperry (email@example.com).
In Their Own Words
May 30, 2014
"I am not just an American, Korean, and a follower of Mormon faith. I am so much more than that. I am a person of wonder, heart, gratitude, and unique struggles and aspirations - just like everyone else."
May 29, 2014
"My mother was forced to leave her homeland following the Khmer Rouge, a genocide led by communists who killed over two thirds of Cambodia's population. She lost her entire family, including her husband, who was killed when he was forced to enlist in the war and her children who died soon after from starvation and…
May 27, 2014
"There's a common misconception that diverse or ethnic cultures can be experienced through food alone. 'Let us share this spring roll, and upon digestion, our two minds shall become one.'"
May 21, 2014
"Growing up, I tried to make sense of my ethnic and cultural heritage. Not quite Chinese. Not quite Burmese. Not quite American. I would listen and understand the adults in my family speak Burmese and while I understand, I never learned to speak the language."
May 20, 2014
"I am a first generation Tongan immigrant. My mother and I came to the United States when I was 14 years old, leaving behind life on the islands of the Kingdom of Tonga with a total population of about 110,000 people."
May 16, 2014
"Hmong are an ethnic minority from Southwest China and the northern regions of Burma, Thailand, Laos and Vietnam. Many of the Hmong people in the United States are from the highlands of Laos."
May 15, 2014
"My name is Muhamed Manhsour. People look at me and see an Asian face. They wonder why I have an Arabic name. This is because of my wonderful heritage and I aim to preserve my culture so that succeeding generations will be enriched."
May 12, 2014
"Pacific Islanders are often misunderstood and stereotyped in society. We need to be seen so that we can share our knowledge and culture. There are stories behind our customs and language that may benefit the dominant society and culture."
May 9, 2014
"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…
May 6, 2014
"I speak Khmer. Most Khmer Krom people from South Vietnam are bilingual in Khmer and Vietnamese, with Khmer being their first language and Vietnamese their second. Therefore our dialect of Khmer has some Vietnamese loanwords."