New York, NY
In a larger sense, I want to preserve history, to tell inspirational personal stories that educate, move, and motivate others.
I am an aspiring writer and socially minded entrepreneur. At an early age, as I grew up in Canada, my parents instilled a strong sense of Taiwanese identity in me, but it is my curiosity and personal journey of understanding that has made me someone who is proud of my heritage. After several years of organizing within the Taiwanese American community, which began when I helped to found the Intercollegiate Taiwanese American Students Association, I decided to move to Taiwan in 2001 to do some soul searching. While I was there, I had a creative breakthrough and decided that I wanted to write and ended up staying there for six years when I “discovered” and met Su Beng, the amazing man whose biography I am now working on. These days, I continue to do community work by being involved with organizations that take an entrepreneurial approach to dealing with social issues and charitable causes.
What do you do?
Currently, I am working on a project to document the life of Su Beng, Marxist revolutionary, historian, and author of “Taiwan’s 400 Year History,” and lifelong Taiwan independence activist. I began this project in 2004, and in 2007 I began blogging about Su Beng and the experience of being his biographer.
After spending six years in Taiwan, I returned to New York where I am now working on perfecting my craft, which is writing. I am always looking for opportunities to connect people, to be an agent of change, to make things happen, to challenge myself creatively, and above all to nurture the artist in me. In a larger sense, I want to preserve history, to tell inspirational personal stories that educate, move, and motivate others. To learn more about Su Beng and my project to document his life, please visit my blog at: www.aboutsubeng.blogspot.com.
Why are you proud to be of Taiwanese heritage?
Three things come to mind, although there are many more reasons:
I believe that the Taiwanese have an entrepreneurial, innovative spirit. After World War II Taiwan was in a shambles. It was the hard work and perseverance of the Taiwanese that gradually transformed Taiwan from a poor agrarian economy into a manufacturing, highly industrialized and now high tech economy. The Taiwanese truly deserve credit for the “economic miracle” of Taiwan.
With a peaceful transformation from a totalitarian regime in to a free, democratic society, Taiwan serves as a model of democratization for many developing countries.
Third, many of the Taiwanese who were able to escape the Kuomintang’s authoritarianism and to immigrate to the U.S. and other countries in the 1960s and 70s were brave pioneers. Free from the Kuomintang, they discovered the truth about Taiwan and their Taiwanese identity, and they and their offspring have and continue to made great contributions to their adopted countries.
What does the future of Taiwanese America look like to you?
I see “Taiwantowns” – marketplaces and communities of Taiwanese goods, food and culture – sprouting up throughout the country. I’d like to see Taiwan night markets held as events during Taiwanese American Heritage week, and becoming unique nighttime, outdoor community events held throughout the country, throughout the year. I see Taiwan Studies programs becoming more widespread, being established at more and colleges and universities across the country. And I see more and more Taiwanese Americans following their entrepreneurial spirit, making breakthroughs in as yet uncharted territory, making our voices heard. Sky’s the limit! It’s hard to predict what the world and the workforce will look like in ten years from now. Much of the technology and jobs of the future are not probably even in existence yet.
Any additional information you would like to share?