In 1975, 18-year-old college student Anh Vu Sawyer, her parents and her three siblings were among the 120,000 Vietnamese who fled the country after the Fall of Saigon. As a refugee, Sawyer arrived in the United States with only the clothes on her back and dreams of building a life in her new home. Now, as executive director of the Southeast Asian Coalition of Central Massachusetts (SEACMA), she helps fellow immigrants and refugees do just that—and more.
As the chair of Ohio Progressive Asian Women's Leadership (OPAWL), Tessa Xuan fights every day to combat anti-Asian racism. In 2014, Xuan was already an active member of the Asian American community in her area, but didn't consider herself an organizer. However, the suicide of Emily Olson, a 13-year-old transracial adoptee from China, ignited Xuan's desire to fight for justice and set her on the path to her current position with OPAWL.
Japanese Americans fought two wars during World War II. More than 30,000 served in the U.S. military at the same time some 120,000 were incarcerated in camps on the homefront. In an address welcoming home the 442nd Regimental Combat Team—a segregated Japanese American unit that fought in the European Theatre and became one of the most decorated in U.S. military history—President Harry Truman said, "You fought not only the enemy…you fought prejudice and won."
For Imam Khalid Latif, one of the purposes of religion is to lead you to take on societal injustices and help people in need, which he does every day in his work as the University Chaplain for New York University and the Executive Director of the school's Islamic Center.
Author, professor and filmmaker Stephane Dunn knows the power of a good story. Whether it is recollections of her family's history or the words of her favorite authors, Dunn knows the positive impact storytelling can have on a person—and the negative consequences when you don't see yourself reflected in a narrative.
The CEO and National Director of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) discusses joining forces with civil rights leader John Lewis, how being the grandson of a Holocaust survivor guides his work and why the next generation gives him hope.