“Whoever tells the story writes history.” – The OpEd Project
Last Friday was the final convening for our 2019 Dallas Public Voices Fellowship. This has been one of the most rewarding, challenging, and transformative experiences of my life. In the span of three months, I wrote about…
- what we could learn from the L.A. Riots,
- why Edward Blum (the man behind recent affirmative action lawsuits) is no friend to Asian Americans,
- how fashion bloggers can leverage their influence for social impact,
- the complex meaning of heritage for transracial adoptees,
- being adopted AND pro-choice,
- the need for more Asian American representation in Hollywood,
- and the importance of family preservation for immigrant families at the border.
Additionally, the Dallas Observer featured my adoption story in an article, I was asked to be interviewed for a public radio show/podcast, and the fellowship inspired me to create a new online publication called VISIBLE Magazine.
I couldn’t have accomplished any of this without the support of our OpEd Project facilitators, my rockstar mentor-editor, peer coach, and fellow Fellows. Also, huge shout out to my husband, family, and friends for their encouragement and understanding all the times I would say, “Sorry, I can’t… I have to write.”
I’m so sad for the conclusion of this experience, but – at the same time – energized to continue the work we’ve started and pay it forward by working to amplify more underrepresented voices and important stories.
On our last day, The OpEd Project asked us to answer the question, Why do you do what you do? After several minutes of free-writing, we had to boil our thoughts down to one short statement. My answer was simply: Because it matters to someone.
Armed with this renewed purpose and knowledge accumulated from the fellowship, I’m ready to keep writing to change the world. Although, I might need a couple more days to catch my breath and recover from the process. In the meantime, read these articles written by my Dallas Public Voices sisters and bask in their brilliance:
2019 Dallas Public Voices
Lead Like Daenerys Targaryen (Michelle Kinder)
What cancer patients can learn from The Hulk (Aidee Granados)
Tokenism and the New Blackface: Combatting the Inequity That Exists in the Quest for Equity (Anyika McMillan-Herod)
Question Your Surroundings (Jennifer Rangel)
The Breath (Ebony Smith)
Wading in the Water of the Trinity (Yvette Blair-Lavallais)
Food is Political: How Food Apartheid is Deeply Impacting Black Communities (Yvette Blair-Lavallais)
Why We Need More Third Culture Kids (Michelle Kinder)
Let’s Celebrate, Not Just Tolerate The Trans Community (Joli Angel Robinson)
Women in the House: Best Decision Practices for Women Leaders (Michelle Kinder)
What I Learned from my Two-Year Running Streak (Michelle Kinder)
The Problem With Being a Bridge (Anna Clark)
How are we funding financial capability? (Amanda Arizola)
Advice for Our Next Mayor (Michelle Kinder)
Menopausal in my 30s: Welcoming the Transition (Aidee Granados)
Not My Party (Iram Hasan)
Talking Politics at Juneteenth Cookout (Yvette Blair-Lavallais)
Dallas must focus on preserving the 10th Street historic district (Jennifer Rangel)
It’s Time to be Unified in our Outrage (Michelle Kinder)
Teacher Firing Shows Why Educators Need Educating on Latinos and Immigration (Amanda Arizola, Aidée Granados and Olga Martinez Hickman)
Click here to learn more about The OpEd Project and Public Voices Fellowship. To the rest of my cohort- it’s been the absolute greatest privilege to share this experience with you all. Write on!