My Family’s Refugee Story

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This is the first in a series of four photos by award-winning Getty Images photographer John Moore. Here, a Honduran mother seeking asylum nurses her toddler just inside the Texas border. They’ve been traveling for about a month, she tells Moore.

Yesterday, we marked World Refugee Day, and we did so under surreal circumstances. The uproar over the current administration’s policy of forcibly taking migrant children from the arms of their parents and sending them en masse to shelters far away continued to burn, despite the president’s signing an executive order supposedly stopping the practice. The same day, the administration’s Secretary of State praised the “strength, courage, and resilience” of refugees.

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Dr. Mai Khanh Tran: Slaying Giants

Last Friday, I met up with Dr. Mai Khanh Tran, who’s running for the House of Representatives in California’s 39th Congressional District. Our meetup took place only a few hours after news outlets reported the mass shooting at Santa Fe High School outside of Houston.

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Chatting in Rowland Heights.

Feminist Asian Dad (F.A.D.): That high school is less than 15 miles from my own.

Dr. Tran: I’m so heartbroken by what’s happening.

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#RepresentationMatters for My Daughters – and Me

I’m not joking: I feel afraid. Of what, I don’t yet know.

I’ve only just been watching some of cultural savant Will Yu’s magical videos for #SeeAsAmStar. If you haven’t yet seen them on social media, they’re part of his hashtag initiative to help movie lovers envision legit Asian American leading actors and actresses in really prominent film roles. Will does this by taking short movie clips and replacing a lead character’s face in each with either John Cho’s, Constance Wu’s, Arden Cho’s, or Steve Yeun’s face. It’s quite seamless visually, and much more affecting than I anticipated, at least for me.

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Barbara Bush and the End We All Face

Update: About a day after I posted this piece, Barbara Bush passed away. I pray for comfort for those close to her.

It’s truly sad news: former First Lady and longtime Houstonian Barbara Bush, surely one of the quickest wits to ever grace the White House, has decided to forego further medical efforts to cure the illnesses that will end her life. She is 92 years old.

Many of you don’t remember her, given that she last was First Lady 25 years ago. So I’d like to share my own Barbara Bush story.

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In the Name of the Alma Mater

Based on what I’ve heard in conversations, and on what I’ve seen on news sites and social media, the grown-ups of America have been really surprised and super-impressed by the students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. That’s the Parkland, Florida, school that experienced 17 lives lost, dozens of others injured, and countless others traumatized due to one man’s violence on Valentine’s Day. Baby Boomers, Gen Xers (of whom I’m one), and Millennials have all marveled at the courage, eloquence, savvy, and passion demonstrated by the Gen Z teens who, having seen their friends and teachers killed in front of their own eyes, are taking the fight for gun reform to politicians beholden to the National Rifle Association – and even to the gun lobby itself.

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Going Back to School with CARE

Hi friends! It’s been way too long since we last met on these pages. I’ve very much been wanting to write, but my regular routine has changed considerably since my last post in early December. The biggest difference between then and now? I’ve gone back to school!

Well, not in the usual sense of going “back to school.” I’m not working on another degree. Rather, I’m working for a school, the University of California, Irvine, to be specific! I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to get back into anti-violence work, something I’ve longed to do ever since I had to step away from my role with Man Up Campaign a couple of years ago. UC Irvine has hired me, on an interim basis, to serve in its Campus Assault Resources and Education (CARE) office as the school’s Violence Prevention Coordinator! That means I’ll be helping to lead the university’s efforts to educate and train members of its community in recognizing and stopping gender-based violence, including dating and domestic violence, rape and sexual assault, sexual harassment and stalking, and other forms of intimate partner violence. I’m excited to have this chance!

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My colleagues!

My appointment is a temporary one, as I just mentioned, while UC Irvine looks for a permanent Violence Prevention Coordinator. But I hope I’ll prove worthy of the long-term position, which I’ve already applied for.

As for the work itself, so far, it’s going well. There’s still a lot for me to learn as I get up to speed on policies and procedures, but working alongside my colleagues and connecting with the students has been truly delightful.

And hopefully, as I get settled into my new routine, I’ll be able to get back into the regular rhythm of posting on this site! Take CARE until then!

O Brothers and Sisters, Where Art Thou?

Little Boy with Bible
Back when “King James” had nothing to do with LeBron James.

Beginnings

I still have my very first Bible. I was five years old when it first overwhelmed my small hands – a heavy, black hardcover edition of the King James Version with “Holy Bible” stamped in golden, old English lettering on the front.

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