Inspiration of the Day: Yuri Kochiyama

Yuri

When news fled all over my Facebook that we had lost a well-respected Japanese-American womxn activist earlier this month named Yuri Kochiyama– I was sad to realize I had never heard her name before. I did not know who this leader of change was and had been living my life of newly found “consciousness” without even acknowledging the progressive impact she made for us, through the relationships she fostered and had the unwavering resilience to forge. I saw posts from my friends in Ethnic Studies and Asian American Studies who were thankful to have learned about such a strong-minded and will-powered Asian-American activist that they could identify with. Now, I don’t regret taking the pathway I chose at the university because in many ways, it truly shaped me to become the advocate for equality I am today– but I do hope that in the years to come, this womxn of change will be recognized and acknowledged more than our system deems appropriate. I hope stories like Yuri’s do not get pushed over to the edge of our textbook pages (if the narrative is even printed) where we often misread, misinterpret, or even skim over and miss ultimately. Reading about her crossings with Malcolm X and seeing the visual image of her holding Malcom X when he was assassinated was an inspiring moment in my online research life. Yuri Kochiyama, you truly paved the way for both Asian-American/womxn activists and played an integral part in building the bridge to heal this still-present gap between the oppressed.

Oh and– I just realized we share the same birthday… and you know I believe that’s a powerful force in itself.

“Remember that consciousness is power. Consciousness is education and knowledge. Consciousness is becoming aware. It is the perfect vehicle for students. Consciousness-raising is pertinent for power, and be sure that power will not be abusively used, but used for building trust and goodwill domestically and internationally. Tomorrow’s world is yours to build.”

Photo Credit: http://interactioninstitute.org

Re: “Uterine prolapse: The hidden agony of Nepalese women”

“The UNFPA reports that 80 percent of the women who went through surgery for uterine prolapse say they ‘lost hope in life.’ Of the women surveyed, 88 percent said the condition was caused by physical violence by their husbands and 72 percent believed they had it because they satisfied their husbands’ desire for sex.”

Intersecting the lines of public health, human rights, and gender inequality– this recurrence of uterine prolapse is so deeply embedded into Nepalese cultural values that I don’t even know where to begin. Womxn are deemed “unclean” during menstruation into childbirth and generationally submit to the social pressures of this patriarchy. Lack of resources. Lack of respect. They are expected to have all of these children LIKE HELLO CAN’T Y’ALL SEE THESE WOMXN ARE IN PAIN?!?! What’s worse is that these womxn are divided by the stigmatization they give and receive– discrimination within the gender binary and an empty void that calls for solidarity to take its place.

Now contemplating on the career pathway that will lead to the disruption and dismantling of oppressive systems such as this one…..

Full article can be found here: http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2014/6/9/uterine-prolapsethehiddenagonyofnepalesewomen.html

Inspiration of the Day: Maya Angelou

Such an amazing image  of true resilience. This beautiful womxn brought truth to this world– isn’t that what we are all meant to do? Share our own personal truths as ugly as they may be… because only through the darkness can we emerge as light carriers and finally behold the beauty that is this world and this life. Your soul and spirit lives on in us, Dr. Angelou. May we be granted with the strength and courage to bring untold stories to the forefront and live our lives as creatively and compassionately as you did. #RestinPower

Photo Credit: http://girlmeetsworlddotnet.wordpress.com/