“I do not have any experience doing activism or social justice work on an international level, but I did a politically-focused research project abroad that examined Taiwanese identity versus American identity. To be more specific, I wanted to focus on what it was that contributed to the shaping of a person’s identifying as Taiwanese. This was primarily driven by my desire to better understand my own Taiwanese-American background and a desire to understand how the political environment related to both cultures influenced the way I understood politics and such. I also really wanted to know why I had certain political leanings as a Taiwanese person.
With reference to this year’s Women’s March, I was not personally able to participate but I think it probably could have gone better if it had been handled more effectively. I say this because I have a friend who actually got injured at one of the events and I also heard that someone actually flipped a table that was being run by Republicans.
I think solidarity means taking a look at the different types of circumstances and lack of privileges people might have and being able to listen and care about those problems and to see people as humans that can be empowered to rise above where they are but I do not think they should be seen as enablers of their own victimization. I think being in solidarity means looking at issues as more than just a black and white perspective because there is a lot of grey as well. Also, because people groups might all be lumped under stereotypes or assumptions that are difficult to dismantle, being in solidarity means looking at how social justice issues affect each ethnicity and sub-ethnicity. For example, in the news immigration is largely portrayed as only a Latino issue but in fact, Asian-Americans are the largest/fastest-growing immigrant group in this country, but that does not get highlighted as much.” — Esther Lu, University of California, Santa Cruz