My name is Kristen Mun and I am Filipina, Chinese, born and raised on the island of Oahu. I moved to the mainland in 2005 to go to school in Oregon. When I first started undergrad, I knew I was different. I knew I would have to explain to classmates that I did not live in a grass shack, or that yes; Hawaii has paved roads. But I wasn't ready for the implicit cues that told me I had to leave my race and my culture behind. I started to change little things about myself to fit in. My accent faded away, I changed the food I ate, I surrounded myself with Whiteness.
Through my racial justice journey I have rediscovered my self-worth, I have reconnected with my culture, and I have found my voice. As a facilitator with Racial Justice from the HEART, I speak my truth about what it is like to live as a Asian, Pacific Islander in America. I have learned to love myself, to empower myself, and honor my ancestors.
Here is an interview Dr. Amanda and I did with Matthew Reynolds about the importance of self care and loving yourself:
I am PROUD to be an Asian, Pacific Islander and I belong here. For continued education about how Asian stereotypes harm Asians, in particular Asian women, I recommend this video by Khadija Mbowe:
And here is this wonderfully honest interview that Dr. Amanda did with Andrea J. Lee about Implicit Bias and how it shows up for People of Color:
To learn some Hawaiian history, here is a story about the last sovereign of the Kalākaua dynasty, Queen Liliʻuokalani. She was held prisoner in 'Iolani Palace (her home) after the monarchy was overthrown by the US Government. She led with compassion and love for her people.
Listen to the story here on one of my favorite podcasts, Noble Blood:
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