Office of Minority Affairs & Diversity

June 16, 2015

No Longer Invisible: Lanna Lee

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.

Lanna Lee

Name: Lanna Lee

Identity: Cham, Vietnamese, Chinese

Major: Social Work

Personal Interests: “My favorite food is spaghetti and my favorite movie genre is horror.”

“My home is my grandparents’ home because that is where I was raised. I think one’s childhood plays an extremely important role as it shapes individuals into the person they”ll be for the rest of their lives.”

“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. I would especially like to acknowledge my Cham roots because this particular ethnicity is very underrepresented. The Cham people derive from Central Vietnam, if fact, Vietnam was the Kingdom of Champa before it was overthrown. Therefore, I wouldn’t call us a minority, but indigenous. So call us the indigenous people of what is now Central Vietnam.

It is important for me and the Asian/Asian American and Pacific Islander community to be visible because this allows for us to have a voice. As any other culture or ethnicity, we are just as important. Everyone comes from different backgrounds and I believe it’s important to share them as that is what makes each individual unique and feel empowered in their own way.

I believe that we can reach our full empowerment and that we as a community need to advocate for our culture and background. With that being said, I dream for the day that a minority won’t see themselves as a someone less, because that’s what it truly is. I envision a community that will show for what it truly is: strong, powerful, and intellectual individuals.”

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