Saturday January 28 also happened to be the Lunar New Year. Of course, this is a big deal to me because I am Chinese American. Right after Wintry Mix ended, I bolted back to my room to change and literally ran to the R100 train station with two Mawrter friends. Philadelphia Chinatown Development Corporation was hosting a lion dance parade around Chinatown. Chinese tradition calls for firecrackers to scare away bad spirits and lion dances in front of business store fronts to welcome good fortune. The streets were quite crowded, but my friends and I were down for some late night adventures. Continue reading
The Philadelphia Asian American community is quite tight knit and welcoming. Knowing one person or attending an event often leads to acquaintances and friendships with others who care about the same things you believe in. You soon find that you run into the same people at town halls or community events. That is how I got to know Andy Toy, who is the Development and Communications Director at SEAMAAC (Southeast Asian Mutual Assistance Association Coalition). I first ran into him at an Asian Masculinity discussion at Asian Arts Initiative two summers ago, then ran into him again at an Asian American Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy (AAPIP) get together. Coincidentally, he also happens to be my cousin’s uncle! Inspired by his deep involvement in Philly and with Asian Americans, I contacted him to set up an informational interview on his career path and his work at SEAMAAC. Continue reading
On Friday November 18, I ventured out to Philly for the Asian Mosaic Fund and Asian American Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy (AAPIP) gathering. Friends of mine I knew from volunteering in the Philly Asian American community invited me. Although the crowded was a little older, I think it was good to introduce myself to a different crowd of involved Asian Americans. Continue reading
With this weekend being the final push before election day on Tuesday November 8, VietLead dispatched a team of volunteers to door knock in Southwest Philadelphia encouraging residents to get out to vote. I joined the team as an independent volunteer, as did two other people, but there were also four first year Swarthmore Asian Organization students, two representatives from the Asian Pacific American Labor Association in D.C., and four VietLead members, including the president of VietLead Nancy Nguyen. Continue reading
On October 25, the Bryn Mawr College Asian Students Association invited the president of CAAAV: Organizing Communities Cathy Dang to speak on the current state of race relations and CAAAV’s record of helping Asian Americans in the New York City community. CAAAV is one of the most established Asian American activism organizations in the New York area, and their dedication to lobbying for housing rights, workers unions, and police reform can be traced back to the early 1980s.
One spontaneous night out in Philly this Saturday October 22, my friends and I decided to go to Penn Philippine Association’s (PPA) Kamayan food event, which then lead to a bubble tea outing, the Hillary/Kaine rally, and some new friends. Like I mentioned in a previous post about The Senior Year Mentality, I am trying to explore more outside of the Bryn Mawr bubble.
On Wednesday October 19, I participated in my first phone banking on behalf of the Democratic National Party. The event was hosted by Pennsylvania AAPI for Hillary (AAPI = Asian American Pacific Islander), and the goal of the night was to get registered Democrats in Philadelphia to volunteer for the campaign. Volunteer efforts include door knocking and phone banking to encourage people to vote. ABC Series Fresh Off the Boat star Constance Wu was also present to cheer us on and to talk about her support for Hillary. The phone banking event was followed by a debate watch party, also with Constance, at the Field House. Continue reading
On Sunday October 2, I volunteered with VietLead, a Vietnamese community organization in Philly. If you remember from my previous post on Grassroots AAPI Voter Registration, I was trained on how to help people register to vote. My friend I knew from working on an ECAASU Philly bid two years ago reached out to me to get involved. This was my first time doing voter registration, and I think I can say that it is a very rewarding experience I hope to continue. Continue reading
This past Saturday October 1, the Bryn Mawr College Asian Students Association hosted their culture show in Goodhart Hall for a mostly full house audience.
“A Work in Translation” aims to explore issues such as language translation, identity translation, and empowerment in translation. Performers include Afreen, Choom Boom, Hometown Hero, Mayuri, Rhea Manglani, and Tai-One, as well as comedian Subhah Agarwal, spoken word artist Rachel Rostad, and taiko drumming group Kyo Daiko. Free food will be served in the Goodhart Music Room after the show. Continue reading
This past Saturday, I attended a voter registration workshop hosted by Asian Americans United, APIAVote, Cambodian Associations of Greater Philadelphia, and VietLead. The goal was to increase voter participation among Asian Americans in Chinatown. I had never registered anyone else to vote except myself, so I was curious what the process looked like on the grassroots level. Continue reading