In just a few hours, I’m going to travel south from Cleveland to Columbus to participate in the Intercollegiate Taiwanese American Student Association Midwest conference. The theme is called “Taiwan Taking Root”, and I have been asked to talk about “Learn to Love Your Rust Belt City.”
One amazing aspect of Asian American community is how networked we are. I’d like to propose that the greater community in the U.S. is linked by only 2 degrees. (For example, I have personally found multiple paths through which I am linked to Jeremy Lin by 2 degrees!) When such communities work together in cities like Cleveland, we don’t need to just survive by maintaining our population of young adults, but to thrive by using what resources we have to be creators and makers of businesses, artifacts, and systems. This is stirring in already in Cleveland!
I’m excited to join alongside other civically engaged workshop speakers (like my former Michigan classmate, Stephanie Gray Chang, an activist in Detroit, and my friend Julia Kuo, illustrator for “New to Cleveland”) to inspire a new generation of Taiwanese Americans to work for the greater, common good!