Summer in Taiwan and #blacklivesmatter

The police officer suspected of murdering Philando Castile looks like he could be my father, my uncle, my brother. Asians and Asian Americans do not deserve to be silent. I’m spending the summer in Taiwan, learning and unlearning what it means to occupy a Taiwanese body in an American space; an American body in a Taiwanese space.My thirteen-year-old cousin asks me about my two best friends in college. They are handsome, black, and male. A computer programmer and a gifted medical student.She…

2016 Taiwan Gay Pride Parade in NY

HELP Taiwan be represented at the 2016 New York Gay Pride Parade! Did you know that Taiwan is the home of Asia’s largest Gay Pride parade? But the last time there was a float representing Taiwan in the New York Pride Parade was in 2010! There hasn’t been a Taiwan float these past couple of years because registration fees and the cost of a putting together a float are quite high. Now more than ever, in the wake of the June 12th shooting at the Orlando nightclub Pulse, we need to show our support…

228 and the Power of Storytelling

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="735"] "For those of us who remember that every struggle is for a glory beyond our own." Drawing by Leona Chen, December 2015[/caption] (Amma, I may be studying Walt Whitman, but I am writing my way back to you.) I was born in 1996, the year of Taiwan’s first direct presidential election. Exactly two decades later, we have named the first woman president of Taiwan (and the second female head of state in the history of East Asia). And while we have tremendous…

Rally for United Nations Membership for Taiwan

Despite being one of the world's youngest successful democracies, Taiwan continues to be excluded from the United Nations. Among many consequences, that means Taiwan is unable to fully participate in and contribute its resources to global institutions such as the World Health Organization and forced to enter international competitions under the name of "Chinese Taipei."The United Nations Membership for Taiwan – Keep Taiwan Free March & Rally has become a well-known event for many residing…

In Honor of Taiwanese Ancestry and Identity

Throughout my own life, the Taiwanese American community has been synonymous with family. The people around me inherently understood Taiwan’s culture and history; these were so deeply embedded that we could even claim polarizing political differences within our Taiwanese ethnicities. This upbringing was such a privilege; I am grateful to my elders and surrounding friends for fostering this sense of awareness.But I have come to realize that simply identifying as “Taiwanese American” or…

Tongues like Swords: American Privilege in Taiwan

Being an American is a funny thing. Because, being an American carries some serious cultural currency in most parts of the world, mostly due to the fact that since the end of WWII the US has held hegemonic power, both militarily and economically. (Not to say we are or are not necessarily well-liked, but that’s a different question altogether). In many parts of the world, the sort of idea that “West is best” has been very pervasive, and this manifests itself in all facets of life. This is…

Taiwanese Americans in Solidarity

Although systemic racism is the oldest motif in American history, recent events – including the Michael Brown shooting in Ferguson and the protests in Baltimore – have prompted us to thoroughly confront what it means to be a person of color in the United States.As Taiwanese Americans, our phenotype generally assigns us to a vague “Asian” aesthetic.This “Asian” aesthetic then ascribes us to certain privileges and disadvantages.Historically, the Asian American community has…

Sunflower Occupation Documentary Tours North America

A year after the historic occupation of Taiwan's Legislative Yuan, a 9-part collaboration documentary has been made featuring the stories and timeline of events during this student-led "Sunflower Movement."The Sunflower Student Movement, driven by a coalition of students and civic groups, protested the passing of the Cross-Strait Service Trade Agreement by the Kuomintang party in the legislature without a clause-by-clause review. The Sunflower image was associated with this massive student…

Apply to be a Formosa Foundation Ambassador Copy

The Formosa Foundation is now accepting applications for the 2015 Formosa Foundation Ambassador Program. For over a decade, this premier Taiwanese American program has provided opportunities for hundreds of college students from Taiwan and the US to experience the effectiveness of political advocacy within the halls of Washington D.C. The Ambassador Program combines in-house training with on-the-ground activist work. Participants in the Program develop the expertise, analytical framework,…