A letter to my family about my own dreams
By Ngan Nguyen, APIASF/GMS Scholar
To my family,
I want to tell you all a secret. I am double-majoring in American Studies and Educational Studies. As much as I enjoy Educational Studies, the classes I’ve taken in American Studies have shaped me into who I am becoming. I have struggled to find what I really care about and who I really am for a long time. Although I studied and worked on issues of educational equity and justice, I never really understood the true value of my work until I became aware of my identity as an Asian American woman.
Last semester, I took a class called Asian America: A Social History, which inspired me to be open to, and have the courage to discuss, race and racism with my peers at Macalester. The class helped me become aware of my identity and the role I play as a person of color in my own community and the country as a whole. However, I was bothered by the fact that I couldn’t bring up these discussions over the dinner table.
I hope that it is not too much of a shock that my view on race and racism is totally opposite from everyone in the family. I want to explain why I decided to study something that none of you have heard about. I want to study something that will let me stay in touch with my identity, challenge my thinking about society, and use what I learn to teach the young kids at home to be proud of their identity and be aware of the role they play in society as people of color.