A Beautiful Tapestry of Women Rising Together

You’d think she was a celebrity, the way I watched her from across the room. I tried to work up the nerve to speak to her but the taste of salt in the back of my throat gave me pause. I didn’t want to embarrass her and I didn’t want to cry. But I wanted […]

She is Valor

Tell me your brush with greatness. How often have we danced around this one—in ice-breakers, job interviews, admissions essays? Predictability aside, it’s an intriguing litmus test. This was the first speech I assigned students in my Public Speaking & Discussion course. Because, really, who doesn’t want to stand in front of a college classroom of […]

A Baby Bird and a Woman of Valor

“Who can find a woman of valor? For her worth is far above rubies.” ~ Proverbs 31:10 At my eldest daughter’s fifth grade graduation, the teacher presiding over the ceremonies gave each child a word as they crossed the stage to receive their elementary school diploma. My feelings on elementary school graduations aside, I was […]

Rachel Held Evans’ Call to Valor

In Honor of Women’s History Month, our March theme, “Women of Valor,” is dedicated to Rachel Held Evans.   In 2012 Rachel Held Evans published The Year of Biblical Womanhood: How a Liberated Woman Found Herself Sitting on Her Roof, Covering Her Head, and Calling Her Husband “Master.” In its pages, she gave us a […]

Choosing to be Black Living History

won’t you celebrate with me   won’t you celebrate with me what i have shaped into a kind of life? i had no model. born in babylon both nonwhite and woman what did i see to be except myself? i made it up here on this bridge between starshine and clay, my one hand holding […]

Disruptive Love

When a foreigner resides among you in your land, do not mistreat them. The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt. I am the Lord your God. (Leviticus 19:33-34) I am talking to my neighbor and friend, Rosa. I’m sitting in her […]

The Scarcity of Enough

There is a daughter I mother A daughter I love But she is not mine & I am not hers, Forever. There is a mother she loves A mother who loves her, Forever. For love is like water. No human border can keep it out. Yes, love is like water It moves above in clouds, […]

I Won’t Look Away

Our eyes grew wide in disbelief at the yelling, shoving crowd. We had been warned, to be fair, that our trip to the Mogamma, the towering government building in Tahrir Square, would be difficult. But this was something entirely otherworldly. We clutched our passports to our chests and braced ourselves against elbows to the ribs. […]

5 Things I Learned From an Immigrant Church

It’s been over a decade since I completed my dissertation, but I still have fond memories of my research project. I observed a Slavic church community, which supplied translators  for me and U.S.-born spouses of church members. I studied the ways in which the participants experienced a collective sense of identity through their interactions with […]

Meet the Princess of the Press: Ida B. Wells

This was first published in March 2015.  Southern trees bear strange fruit Blood on the leaves and blood at the root Black bodies swinging in the southern breeze Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees Before Billie Holiday sang the lyrics above at Cafe Society, the first integrated nightclub in New York, another icon of […]

Always a Foreigner, Never Home

This post was originally pushed in 2017, then again in 2019. It is timeless and profound.  My face is the filter through which people see me. It can’t be helped. When people look at me, they see an Asian girl. To some, it’s the face of familiarity, but to most it’s the face of a […]

Welcome to The Mudroom

This is the first-ever post written for The Mudroom, back in February 2015. It’s as relevant now as it was then! Back in the day, I used to write for Cornerstone magazine. The staff was a community inside of a community: artists, proofreaders, marketing, writers, mailroom. It was frantic and insane and glorious. I miss […]