Office of Minority Affairs & Diversity

No Longer Invisible: Asian American & Pacific Islander Voices

No Longer Invisible Header

To commemorate Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month in May, UW students, staff, faculty and alumni share their personal stories of identity in a project titled “No Longer Invisible: In Their Own Words.”

These stories highlight the diversity in language, religion, culture and tradition of the AAPI communities and are collected from interested volunteers. The project kicked off in 2014 with a reception at the Kelly Ethnic Cultural Center that included a poster exhibit and remarks from students and staff who were featured.

Now in its second year, 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 ( or Chanira Reang Sperry (

In Their Own Words – 2015 Story Collection

  • No Longer Invisible: Nandita Vishwanath

    June 24, 2015

    Office of Minority Affairs & Diversity

    Nandita Vishwanath

    I have always associated "home" as a place that is filled with love ones. Because of this, my "home" moves all around the world. I find home in Shimoga and Hyderabad, India - where I spent many summers with my extended family.

  • No Longer Invisible: Lanna Lee

    June 16, 2015

    Office of Minority Affairs & Diversity

    Lanna Lee

    "I come from a Southeast Asian background with the unique religion of Islam. I am blessed to come from the background as I do because it has provided me the understanding of diversity."

  • No Longer Invisible: Daniele Meñez

    June 12, 2015

    Office of Minority Affairs & Diversity

    Daniele Meñez

    "My parents were both overseas Filipino migrant workers (OFWs) who met while working abroad as waitstaff at the Dai Ichi Hotel in Saipan. Although I was born in Saipan, my sister was born in the Philippines."

  • No Longer Invisible: Shwe Zin

    June 11, 2015

    Office of Minority Affairs & Diversity

    Shwe Zin

    "My eldest sister was born 4 months after the 1988 uprising in Burma. Not long after she was born, my father fled across the border to Thailand, along with the many students involved in the uprising."

  • No Longer Invisible: Johnny Le

    June 5, 2015

    Office of Minority Affairs & Diversity

    Johnny Le

    "I come from a family that believes in showing vs saying. As a kid, I always found it hard that my parents never told me they "loved" me or praise me for my efforts like I saw my friend's parents do."

  • No Longer Invisible: Ly Huynh

    June 3, 2015

    Office of Minority Affairs & Diversity

    Ly Huynh

    "My father's family immigrated after the Vietnam War. My paternal grandfather was a south Vietnamese military police officer and his family was specifically targeted after the war."

  • No Longer Invisible: Nicki McClung

    June 1, 2015

    Office of Minority Affairs & Diversity

    Nicki McClung

    "One of the strongest aspects of Japanese culture is the family aspect. Even when my family came to North America there was always such an emphasis on family."

  • No Longer Invisible: Jes Phillip

    May 29, 2015

    Office of Minority Affairs & Diversity

    Jes Phillip

    "I was born and raised on the island of Chuuk, Micronesia. My family moved to the U.S for better education and job opportunities. It wasn't easy to transition from a small island to a big country, but because my parents had hope for my siblings and I, they tried their very best to move all…

  • No Longer Invisible: Benny Tran

    May 28, 2015

    Office of Minority Affairs & Diversity

    Benny Tran

    "Like many others, my family migrated to the US in hope of finding opportunity and a better life. They migrated in different waves and worked to establish themselves so that the next group of family members would have something to come to and look forward to."

  • No Longer Invisible: Faridah Abdullah

    May 27, 2015

    Office of Minority Affairs & Diversity

    Faridah Abdullah

    "In my opinion, I feel that there is a distinction between Cham culture and Cham Islam culture. The last ruler of the Kingdom of Champa was a Muslim and converted majority of the Chams under his reign to Islam. "

  • No Longer Invisible: Sumitra Chhetri

    May 26, 2015

    Office of Minority Affairs & Diversity

    Sumitra Chhetri

    "Before moving to the United States, My family lived in the Bhutanese refugee camps in Nepal for more than 20 years. I was born in the camp."

  • No Longer Invisible: Ta Kwe Say

    May 25, 2015

    Office of Minority Affairs & Diversity

    Ta Kwe Say

    "I have more than one home. I was born in Burma. So that could be my motherland. I like to call Kent, WA my home, too, because I grew up there. I belong here. I am part of this community. I'm one of the few students from Burma attending the University of Washington."

  • No Longer Invisible: Lauren Macalalad

    May 22, 2015

    Office of Minority Affairs & Diversity

    Lauren Macalalad

    "While my parents left all that they had in the Philippines in order to give my sisters and I all that we have now, the only thing my parents did not give us was their native tongue."