One Small Square

The sigh was collective. Weighted with a tangible disappointment it was all we could do to make space for it as we gathered after class one day. Numerous stories of police violence against Black women were being highlighted within the national consciousness and our emotions were all over the place. Female members of the student […]

Coming of Age in This American Life

I. As a girl, I learned about racism from my white father. He taught me it was evil which was the exact opposite of his upbringing where racism was as natural as a Carolinian drawl and black eyed peas with salty cured ham hocks and collard greens.  His blonde haired blue-eyed roots were soaked in […]

Mestizaje: A Prophetic Identity

After months and months of crazy busy schedules, I finally got some time with my husband to sit down and watch the movie Concussion.  It is a movie all about the NFL and how a meticulous neuropathologist stumbles upon a diagnosis found in retired football players connected to the chronic concussions they sustain during their […]

I Am Not White

I am not white. Don’t laugh because I know some of you might. I’ve heard the laughter. When I’m invited to speak on the topic of race and racism I often start out my presentation with that line, and it often is received with laughter. There is a hint of righteous indignation in the laughter […]

I Don’t Fit a Label

When it comes to race and culture, I am confused just like I am with most things in life. I have so many roots that it makes it very hard for anyone to put a label on me. It makes most people uncomfortable. We like our labels; we like to know exactly what or who […]

Always a Foreigner, Never Home

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 foreigner. It creates distance, division, and tension. It brings up questions of heritage and place and […]

Remembering Vincent Chin

His last words were, “It’s not fair.” I remember the first time I read the story about Vincent Chin. It was in Helen Zia’s book, Asian American Dreams: The Emergence of an American People. I was reading it for my senior thesis in seminary, which also became a huge influence on my writing Making Paper […]

In Memoriam of Morality: end quote

It’s hard to look for a good laugh when so many of our channels expose the madness of what seems to be consistent harassment of what some might call . . .   How do you converse and talk about videos and uploads from people on their walk about showing millions and millions what to […]

Ojala Primero Dios

The 9 year old girl had arrived from El Salvador two days before. Her mother was listening desperately to a lawyer giving an orientation to a group of women about how to file their own asylum applications, being as there is no possible way we can provide them all with legal representation. I had given […]