Office of Minority Affairs & Diversity

May 29, 2015

No Longer Invisible: Jes Phillip

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.

Jes Phillip

Name: Jes Phillip

Identity: Chuukese

School: Portland State

Major: Business

Minor: Community Development

UW Involvement: Attended the Asian Coalition for Equality Conference

“The most important thing that my parents always remind me to keep practicing as part of the culture is to keep my family close, love them, and show them respect. I love seeing my family grow bigger and closer. No matter how many generations we have, my 13th cousins are still as close as my first cousins. I still consider them as my real family. That’s the most beautiful thing I love about the Chuukese culture. It’s unique, beautiful, and unselfish.”

“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 of us to the U.S. Thank you to my Mama and Papa for the choice they made that positively influenced my life. Kinisou Chapur!

Being visible in a diverse community is very important to me. Because I came from such a small island in Micronesia that not a lot of people know of, I want everyone to know that there’s an island in Micronesia named Chuuk and that’s where I’m from.

I’m so tired of people asking me the same question over and over again; “Where are you from? Oh, where in the world is that?” It’s important for the Asian American and Pacific Islander community to be visible rather than just letting others assume who we are.”

View mores stories from the “No Longer Invisible: In Their Own Words” project.