Learn Our Stories
Stories reflect powerful experiences that symbolize the U.S.’s current social structure as well as our own human and communal agency within it. Stories are powerful, because it is a tool that can be used for socio-political change. There is power within each person’s voice and story, and NAPAWF highlights below the voices that drive us to continually advocate for change for Asian and Pacific Islander women and girls.
As NAPAWF members and mamas in the movement, we know our work on issues, like reproductive justice and immigrant rights, have positive impacts on mothers, daughters, sons, families, and communities across the nation. Here are our own personal stories on why NAPAWF is important to us and why we keep working for justice and human rights for AAPI women & girls. — Kimberly Ford, Colorado Chapter and Kim Nguyen, Orange County, CA Chapter
Click here to read Kim and Kim’s stories
“I got arrested because, as an Asian American woman, I do not take the status quo for granted. I got arrested to defy the stereotype of the quiet, meek, Asian woman and show how fierce we are when we harness our power. And, with all my privileges, I could not justify watching things unfold complacently. I had to be a part of this. I had to dare, be bold, and fearless.”
—Kaori Sueyoshi, arrested on Monday, July 22, 2013 as part of the “Moral Mondays” protests in North Carolina
Click here to read Kaori’s full story.
“I felt that by being pro-choice, I was going against the doctrines of the Catholic Church, against eight years of Catholic school education, against my parents who brought me into the Church and especially, against God’s will. It has been a constant struggle for me to put progressive and Catholic together, to find an intersection where I can feel proud of what I stand for.”
—Nina Nguyen, NAPAWF – Orange County Chapter Leader and California Young Women’s Collaborative Alum
Click here to read Nina’s full story.
Shivana Jorawar, NAPAWF’s Reproductive Justice Fellow, describes her experience in New York City on September 11th and how its impact lived beyond that Tuesday for her and her family:
“September 11th made me an activist. Feeling personally attacked by xenophobic, racist sentiment and policies, I reacted in self-defense by joining the movement to organize my community against unjust immigration laws. Without this turning point in my life, I perhaps would not feel the solidarity I do with the South Asian community, with immigrants to this country, and with people around the world hurt by insensitive U.S. policies. This feeling of solidarity continues to be a guiding force for me.”
— Shivana Jorawar, NAPAWF Reproductive Justice Fellow
Click here to read Shivana’s full story.
Dinu Ahmed describes the impact of 9/11 with these words:
“I never think what if it didn’t happen? I can’t entertain those questions of what my life would have been like, what my politics might have been like, had the tragedy that transpired ten years ago not taken place. Honestly, it’s impossible to wander down that road, when nearly all of my adolescence took place in a post-9/11 America. It was within this historical moment after all, that foundational aspects of my identity as a visibly presenting Muslim American teenager born to Bangladeshi parents and raised in the Lower East Side were cemented.”
—Dinu Ahmed, Community Organizer at New Settlement Apartments and Co-founder of Khadijah’s Caravan
Click here to read Dinu’s full story.
Kathy describes the importance of advocating for nail salon workers in a personal perspective:
“Conversations with my mother also tend to run in circles. “My hands itch,” she says, as she scratches and massages them late at night. “What happened, mom?” Her response, as usual, is “Thì làm nail chớ gì. Làm nghề này cũng ngửi nhiều chắt độc giử lắm.” She doesn’t need me to educate her about the toxicity to one’s health when working in nail salons. What my mother needs is the will to not succumb to her work environment as a nail salon worker. Like many stories though, there is irony.”
—Kathy Huynh, NAPAWF Community Organizer
Click here to read Kathy’s full story.