Caren King Choi is an artist, writer, and nonstop doodler from New Jersey. She studied art and writing at Colgate University and works as the Associate Director of Programs at Rutgers University-Newark. She and her husband live in a one-bedroom apartment that is steadily being overrun by books (hers) and guitars (his).
I had done my fair share of activism in college and post-graduation, but never quite long enough to see actual change on an institutional level. On paper, JoAnne Kagiwada had an impressive roster that placed her in the history books, and I was readying myself to meet a force of nature in this small-framed, Japanese American grandmother.
By now, many of us are at least casually acquainted with “the model minority myth” that Asian Americans are naturally (or “culturally”) hyper-disciplined, obedient, intelligent, and industrious. Good at math, capable doctors — bad at sports, nerdy at heart. Other people of color should “be more like them”.