Meet the 2012 Eva Lowe Fellows!!!

Welcome the 2012 Eva Lowe Fellows

CPA is excited to announce the 2012 Class of the Eva Lowe Fellowship for Social Justice. The 2012 class is CPA's 3rd cohort of ELFs. We are excited to welcome our amazing fellows who will be joining us this summer to support CPA's organizing and campaign work.

Mabel Tsang, Palo Alto

 I was raised by a single mother who works multiple jobs at a time for the opportunities that were offered to my sister and me. Her employers only desire her energy, her hands, her feet, and the love she has for their children. She was the first to show me the experiences that we face at the intersections of being Asian, a womyn and working-class. Her love, compassion, generosity, humility and strength have always been an inspiration for how I want to live my life. She motivated my choice to pursue Ethnic Studies and Critical Gender Studies in college; and she is the reason that I devote my future to empowering people of color, improving labor and working-class conditions, to focus on the experiences of women of color, and to work towards ending gender discrimination and violence.

As a fellow, I hope to be able to further put into practice theories, skills and experiences I have grown to know to support and learn from communities organizing within itself and collectively with others. I want to continue to be aware of how mechanisms of power and inequality affect individuals differently. This summer I hope to develop ways of support that are beyond the political and economic that also support the livelihood, happiness and sustainability of womyn of color and immigrant communities.

 

Ruodi Duan, Temple City/Los Angeles

I am here because I would like to learn about more active and radical methods to confronting the realities of economic injustice, labor exploitation, and racial oppression that has shaped Chinatown history, methods outside the dominant social and political paradigm. I hope to better understand the Chinese immigrant community and the challenges it faces, the side so often ignored in the popular discourse on Asian America largely oriented around culture and identity.

With this summer as an Eva Lowe Fellow, I am excited to learn first-hand about grassroots organizing and campaigns for justice in Chinatown. There is no real Asian American community in small-town Massachusetts where I go to school. Coming from an ethnic enclave in Southern California, I suppose that's one of the things that shocked me most when I arrived in Amherst. But I believe that the lessons I can take away, about bridging theory with praxis and fighting for substantive structural change, will be applicable everywhere.

Heidi Hong, Boyds/Maryland

I am excited to be organizing this summer with the CPA. I was born in Urumqi, China and came to the United States with my parents when I was 8 years old. I have lived in Baltimore, Maryland and Rockville, Maryland before moving to Southern California to attend Scripps College. I graduated from Scripps in May 2012 and hope to attend graduate school in American Studies after taking a gap year.

My passion for social justice stems from my relationship with my parents and my background as a Chinese immigrant and seeing my personal experience as connected to larger multiracial struggles in the U.S.  On campus, I have been involved in the Asian American Student Union and the Asian American Sponsor Program. Outside of Scripps, I have been involved with the Bus Riders Union campaign in Los Angeles organizing bus riders for transportation justice. I am most excited to hear and document the stories of the Chinese American community in San Francisco. In my free time, I love to write fiction, poetry, and experiment with watercolors. I also love deep conversations, browsing bookstores, and long walks.

 

Sherman Gee, San Francisco

I am San Francisco native who grew up here in San Francisco’s Chinatown. The last seven years, I served as a youth mentor at Donaldina Cameron House. There, I was able to see the many challenges faced by families in Chinatown, particularly those faced by new immigrant families. I saw that there was a lack of resources and that people felt alone in their struggles. It inspired me to become a community advocate. My passion is to work toward improving access to resources, awareness, and education for all.

By being a fellow, I hope to learn from the experiences of my peers and add them to my own perspective. I hope to identify my specific strengths and how I can us best utilize them as I collaborate with other leaders in the community. Moving forward, the skills that I gain from this fellowship will be invaluable. It will provide new ways for me serve the low-income, immigrant community that I care about. It will also allow me to grow as a leader while staying connected with my roots.

 

Annelisa Luong, San Francisco

I am a child to two Chinese-Vietnamese refugee parents who, after years of moving around, decided to settle in San Francisco. I went to public schools and had the chance to learn Chinese both in my Chinese Immersion program and at St. Mary’s in Chinatown. I attended UC Berkeley where my academic interests were in environmental issues. 

At Berkeley, I started organizing on campus around access to education through REACH!, the Recruitment and Retention Center for A/PI’s and learned that the education gap is just one way in which the people in our country are still facing many inequalities and institutional barriers.

As a Fellow, I hope to learn more about the City’s politics and how to create strategies to achieve specific goals, as well as from people of all ages and backgrounds because I think that individual stories are an important part of our hystory.  After the Fellowship, I hope to continue organizing and mobilizing for social justice, whether as a career or as a lifelong interest. I believe that organizing with CPA will provide some foundational skills and a critical lens to address injustices upon those who are marginalized.

 

Victor Yang, Lexington/Kentucky

I am a product of the American immigrant experience, of a Chinese family practicing the ethos of the American Dream.  My father went from milking cows in rural China to teaching chemistry in Kentucky; my mother left a programming career in Beijing to raise my little brother and me.

It was in college that I met community organizers and role models that influenced me not to bear such educational privilege as a burden, but rather to utilize it as an empowering weapon of advocacy for others.  Their calls drew me to work with families of color in inner city Boston, where I witnessed the resilience of the human spirit against systemic barriers of class discrimination and neglect.  These families taught me the beauty but also the limits of direct service—that sustainable social change comes only in combination with grassroots engagement and empowerment. 

It I aim to engage in lifelong work to advocate for the health and social rights for people of color; and for that reason, I am incredibly excited to find myself at CPA’s multigenerational, multi-issue nexus of education and organizing.  The Eva Lowe Fellowship presents a beautiful opportunity to turn the personal into the political, practice a multiethnic approach to social change, and become inspired by my fellow peers and mentors.