Social Justice

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 […]

On “Racial Reconciliation” and “Getting Your Cousins”

“Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection…” -Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., “Letter from a Birmingham Jail”, 1963 Reconcile: to cause people or groups to become friendly again after an argument or disagreement (Merriam-Webster Dictionary) […]

What I Wish My White Friends Knew

When I listen to the talk about diversity, equity and inclusion, I have started to notice a pattern. We talk about diversity in terms of us and other; seeking to understand differences. Dialogue becomes about how my experience, as a person of color is distinct, unique and cumbersome compared to my white friends. We converse […]

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 […]

Sankofa and the Ministry of Reconciliation

“Racism is a philosophy based on contempt for life. It is the arrogant assertion that one race is the center of value and object of devotion, before which other races must kneel in submission. It is the absurd dogma that one race is responsible for all the progress of history and alone can assure the […]

Oreos and the Image of God

I’m not a white girl in a black girl’s body. I am a black girl in a black girl’s body. Since I was a teen, it bothered me to hear someone call me an oreo, whether friend or family. I am just as much ashamed at the times I used those words too. I see […]

The Spiritual Practice of Protest

We received the news not so long ago; a potential; 39% cut across the board, not counting huge sums already lost this year. 1.1 million for one school, 1.8 million for the other. The devastation coming for these schools is frightening, so when I saw the note telling us buses were loading up parents to […]

Do We Idolize the Brokenness?

I was 17 and living in my small town with two stoplights when I declared I wanted to grow up and become an urban missionary. And I was 19 when I left college to spend a year serving in downtown Atlanta. It was a crash course on life in the margins, and I was hooked. […]

An Urban Mayberry

Large, inviting front porches. Walkable, well-lit streets. Shared green spaces. Sidewalks to encourage pedestrian traffic. Affordable, gorgeous, well-built homes. Close proximity to downtown. Block parties. Diversity. Children playing basketball on makeshift street courts. Neighbors greeting each other as they walk their dogs or shovel snow. Access to great schools. Bike lanes. Nearby, mixed-use commercial corridors. […]

Killing Off the Mythos of America

“There is no substitute for the America that each and every one of us loves with all of our heart, that we believe in with all of our heart and that together we will restore as a shining city on the hill for every generation to come.” – Ted Cruz “The fact that I have […]

Suffering Is Not for Its Own Sake

I know I’m supposed to write a brilliant, moving post about the amazing people of Guatemala and how God is doing incredible things and how deeply I was touched and changed by the experience. I don’t know if I can write that post. I have been changed by the experience but I know I will […]