An email I sent to a student with some help from Grace.
At dinner the other night you said you had had a discussion with another student about how you couldn’t think of an Asian American Shero. When you told me this I was flummoxed and angry because, you know what, I couldn’t either. Recently I have been noticing more and more the lack of conversation around racial diversity at our school and the glaring lack in the media/news and it totally sucks.
I was talking to my friend Grace today (who also happens to be Asian American) about what you said and she sent me the attached article. I would like to say the woman who wrote it is a Shero not a loud one doing loud things but writing in a way that made me think. I would like to be able to write you a list of famous Asian American Shero’s but I don’t think I can off the top of my head and that in itself is unacceptable.
If you want to read the attached article and talk to me about it I would love that. If not, that’s okay too but I want you to know that I have no doubt in my mind that you have the ability to be loud. That you will do things that will make future students dress up as you and that just for making me think, you are a Shero of mine (even though I hate that word).
I included your mom in this in case she is interested in the article and also cause I always want her to know how awesome I think you are.
Lastly, this article is written by a Japanese not Taiwanese woman, but I didn’t think you’d mind.
See you tomorrow,
The article referenced is “Invisibility is an Unnatural Disaster”- Mitsuye Yamada
I followed with this email to Faculty today with some help from Jason.
I had the distinct privilege of being on weekend duty this weekend and while out to dinner with a group of students we had a conversation about Shero day. One student said to me, “I can’t just be white, I’m Asian American and I don’t know any Asian Sheros.” As I sat there racking my brain I came to the same conclusion. I didn’t either. And, well, that was something.
I asked around to a couple friends and came out with Grace Lee Boggs and Yuri Kochiyama. The names themselves were valuable but as I dug deeper I realized just how important these women are. You see the women holding Malcom’s X head in this picture? That’s Yuri.
I’m sending this email because there is a documentary about Grace Lee Boggs coming out right now. It focuses around her being an American revolutionary. The trailer is absolutely worth watching. If we get a chance in the coming years the girls should really see it.
Anyway, if you get asked the question/comment you will be more prepared than me. Here are two of my (new) personal Sheros (who happen to be Asian American).
Sometimes we have all school events without educating the students. Sometimes we don’t know how. I hope that you can get a little piece of information out of this that helps your students.
2 thoughts on “A little piece of work.”
Can the shero be a goddess? I love the stories of Amaterasu, Japanese sun goddess. (I don’t know what versions are most authentic, so I can’t include a good link, but I saw lots of articles when I googled just now.) If you want a real person, and she doesn’t have to be a big name, I nominate Fawn Nguyen, who is making a huge contribution to math teachers everywhere with her blog and the visualpatterns.org site she created.
I would have to agree.