Sheng Xiong (she/hers) is a first generation Hmong American born and raised in Merced, California. As the daughter of Hmong refugees who fled the American war in Vietnam, Sheng reflects on her identity and living in California’s Central Valley. She describes her favorite childhood memories (which included the Donut Man) and what it is like for a person of color to navigate white society. She explains how these factors have led her to a career in environmental and housing justice. Interview conducted by Julianne Woo.Read More →

Asiyah Ali is a San Diego born Somali American currently in the fifth-grade. She has been a part of the United Women of East Africa’s culturally tailored Girl Scouts Program for 4 years, which focuses on fostering leadership skills, maintaining healthy relationships, and financial literacy. In this interview Asiyah, the daughter of Somali refugees, shares what it is like growing up as a Muslim Somali-American, discussing her experience one of the only Muslim students in her fifth grade class, what quirky skills she wants to teach her younger brothers, and how to cook her favorite Somali food. Asiyah’s interview gives us insight on how someRead More →

This has been the most unconventional class I have taken, and in the best ways possible. It’s nice to be surrounded by people who share the same vision of the world as you so you can all grow together with integrity. I had never conducted an oral history before, and was not even familiar with the process. My initial understanding of an interview was very superficial, but as I began conducting my own oral history, I began to appreciate more of the process that often gets overlooked. There is a lot of preparation that goes into an oral history for it to run smoothly. IRead More →

This was my first visit to Chicano Park. I’ve only caught glimpses of it while driving over the Coronado Bridge, so it was really nice to walk through it to see the murals up close. It was also nice to get Professor Alvarez’s crash course on Chicano Park to reinforce what I have learned about the park from my other U.S. history courses. I was in such awe about how beautiful the murals were and the massive scale of them. My favorite pieces were the water fountain, “The Undocumented Worker,” and the Che Guevara piece. The symbolism of “The Undocumented Worker” piece is very powerful:Read More →

We volunteer with the UWEAST Girl Scouts program, where most of the girls are in elementary school. When we first met them, they made me remember what it was like to be that age. I’m all old but they wanted to play tag and their energy was infectious. We were guiding the girls on how to cook; showing them how to peel potatoes, marinate chicken, and chop onions. While we were dicing onions, I talked with the girls about helping their parents cook, what kind of music they like, and what crazy foods they want to try (marshmallows with tomatoes, what?). The physical space inRead More →