We are back from our conference! This will be out last update, and our way of thanking all of you by briefly sharing our experiences. Your generous support enabled Sophaline Chuong, Maribel Comparan, Malire Lozada, Pauline Nguyen, and Justine Trinh to travel to Houston and present their research. They gave poised and insightful talks and met incredible people, including Gregoria Baty Smith who represented Guam at the NWC in 1977. Helen Lee, a California Commissioner on Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs, also traveled to Texas and attended our panels!
"Upon arrival at the University of Houston, after exploring the city and seeing where the original spot of the 1977 National Women’s Conference was held, I knew that I was going to be a part of history. A precious moment for me was the opportunity to retell Gregoria Baty Smith’s story at the National Women’s Conference in front of her. Honestly, I was nervous, but looking at Ms. Smith gave me a sense of comfort. I truly became invested in retelling her history and sharing how much she advocated for her community. I wanted to share the empowerment I felt when first reading and conducting the interview with Ms. Smith. A thank you for Ms. Smith for sharing her life with me and being supportive of this project." Sophaline
"It has been an incredible journey to work with the amazing and inspiring women on my research team to the phenomenal role models I encountered at the conference. This 2017 commemorative conference has led me to identify the steps necessary for how we should move forward. First, we need to research and archive the histories of as many of the women who were in attendance at the 1977 National Women’s Conference. Second, we must change the history we retell in school and include ALL histories. It is imperative to know of the women and people of color who have shaped and influenced American history. I feel as though these women took the necessary steps to allow my generation and future generations to continue their work for the greater good." Maribel
"What was most exciting for me at the conference was just seeing that the things that mattered to me mattered to other people. I think that being a feminist can be isolating at times. However, attending this conference showed me that these issues are worth fighting for. When I reflect on the significance of the this conference, I think of Dr. Tin, a Burmese American delegate in 1977 who helped to create the Asian Pacific Islander American women’s caucus. I believe 2017 conference will have a profound personal impact for myself and how I view my own role in civic engagement." Malire
"I feel so incredibly honored to have participated in the 40th anniversary commemorative conference of the 1977 National Women’s Conference. During Marjorie Spruill’s keynote address, she asked those in the audience who were delegates at the 1977 National Women’s Conference to raise their hands. I was astounded to see how many returned to remember this historic event and continue to look forward towards positive change. During our own panel, it was beautiful to see the conversations that our research helped foster in regards to the place of AAPI women in the feminist movement. This showed me the importance of having research conferences like this one. I feel that it is now our generation’s turn to receive the torch and continue the women’s movement." Pauline
"One of my favorite part about the conference was going to the different panels and being able to hear what academics scholars are working on. We attended Professor Wu’s panel which also featured Dr. Angie Maxwell and Dr. Nancy Elizabeth Baker. I learned more about Patsy Takemoto Mink from Professor Wu’s presentation. Dr. Baker’s paper on South Asian-Australian Babette Francis illuminated the transnational influences on U.S. anti-feminist Phyllis Schlafly, and Dr. Maxwell discussed the impact of modern sexism on the 2016 election. All three presentations were phenomenal and challenged me to think about new issues." Justine
Our research team is inspired to continue expanding our project. We plan to visit more archives, conduct more interviews, and hope to present at the Association for Asian American Studies in San Francisco in March 2018. Thank you for supporting our intellectual journey!
AAPI Women on the Move!