Student Art Contest: Senior Division, Second Place
9th Grade – Oregon Episcopal School
Minoru Yasui once said “We are born in this world for a purpose, and that purpose is to make it a better place.” As a mixed-race Asian American I am disheartened by the rise in anti-Asian hate crimes since the start of the COVID pandemic in 2020. As a member of the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community it is my responsibility to protest racist incidents and bring attention to microaggressions and discrimination occurring in my community because “what is done to the least of us can be done to all of us” (Yasui). It is my responsibility to inspire individuals of Asian descent to vote and to run for office in order to initiate change. Because of my mixed-race background I have the unique ability to help others appreciate and celebrate different cultures and perspectives in order to create a thriving and diverse community. As an aspiring visual artist and dancer, I strive to use my art as a catalyst for social change. Direct actions I currently take to help my community stand up to racism include letter writing. I recently wrote to State Senator Joel Carter Jr. from Mississippi challenging the ongoing anti-Chinese rhetoric in his tweets. I encourage my friends of Asian descent to claim space and not be invisible. I joined the Gold Standard Arts Foundation to support the accomplishments of Asian artists and community changemakers. Above all, it is my responsibility to listen, learn, and teach others to have compassion. I hope to defend the civil liberties of the AAPI community and others just like Minoru Yasui did during World War II. Throughout his life, Minoru Yasui relentlessly fought for the civil rights of many and I aspire to continue his legacy.