Table Talk | Between Worlds: Life & Death a Mixed-Race Asian
Together, we’ll unpack the hefty but important topic of feeling stuck in-between worlds when it comes time to honor and grieve family, friends, and community.
What does it mean to live, grieve, and die well as someone of mixed AAPI heritage? Which parts of your heritage and experiences do you honor and hold on to, and which parts do you wrestle with, or even let go? How can they coexist? Perhaps it is in experiencing loss--in the end of an existence--that we find our various identities in dialogue, shaping our understandings of grief and what it means to live well, and fully.
Join us for a discussion with Asian American Pacific Islander mixed-race and “third culture kids,” as we unpack the complexity of feeling in-between worlds when it comes time to honor and grieve family, friends, and community.
Aisha Fukushima - Performance Lecturer, Justice Strategist, Singer/Songwriter, and RAPtivist
Aisha Fukushima is a Performance Lecturer, Justice Strategist, Singer/Songwriter, and RAPtivist (rap activist). Fukushima founded RAPtivism (Rap Activism), a hip hop project spanning 20 countries and four continents, amplifying universal efforts for freedom and justice. She is a multilingual, multiracial African American Japanese woman who has done lectures and performances everywhere from the United States to France, Morocco, Japan, Germany, England, South Africa, Senegal, India, Denmark and beyond. Fukushima’s ‘RAPtivism’ work has been featured on Oprah Magazine, TEDx, KQED Public Television, The Seattle Times, TV 2M Morocco, The Bangalore Mirror, HYPE, South Africa’s #1 Hip Hop Magazine, and Tour highlights include performing for audiences of over 20,000 people in Nepal, speaking with the President of Estonia about the power of music to create change, and sharing stages with the likes of Bernie Sanders, Angela Davis, Emory Douglas (Black Panthers), KRS-One, Herbie Hancock, Christian McBride, The Isley Brothers, and M1 (Dead Prez). As a public speaker, Aisha combines the art of performance and lecture. In her keynotes she links themes such as hip hop, global citizenship, empowerment, feminism and cultural activism through storytelling as well as live musical performance.
Sarah Mac - Facilitator, Educator
As a half-Chinese, half-white former English teacher in China, Sarah is passionate about building interpersonal connections and creating spaces to share stories about being in the “gray area” as a “Third Culture Kid”/mixed-race person. She is a University of Washington graduate, having received her B.A. in Asian Studies with a minor in Chinese. She has also lived, studied, and worked in various parts of China since 2012.
Jessica Rothwell - Bioarchaeology Ph.D. Candidate, ASU
Jessica is a Bioarchaeology Ph.D. student at Arizona State University's School of Human Evolution and Social Change. She was awarded a 2015 National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship as well as an Honorable Mention for the 2015 Ford Foundation Pre-Doctoral Fellowship. In 2015, she received her B.A. in Anthropology (cum laude with high honors in Anthropology) from New York University. In 2017, she received her M.A. in Anthropology from Arizona State University.
Crystal Chan - Author, Speaker, Activist
Crystal Meisaan Chan is a justice activist and sacred activist, claiming her liminal, mixed race lineage to extract from binaries what is life-giving and fuse them together, creating something new. Under her English name, Crystal, she is a published children’s novelist and justice activist on social media. Under her Chinese name, Meisaan, she is a sacred activist, using the wellspring of compassion and Spirit to propel her and others deeper along the paths of healing and justice. She gives author talks to children, teens, and adults; creates and hosts virtual self-care retreats and interspiritual prayer sessions; and provides one-on-one companionship to those who want to deepen their path into justice, healing, and spirit.
About Table Talk
Table Talk is an honest, lively, and unscripted conversation among health professionals, spiritual and faith-based leaders, artists and other creative individuals to address this central question: "What does it mean to live and die well in our respective communities?"
Every community and culture -- Black, Indigenous, Latinx, Asian American, Disabled, LGBTQ+, etc. -- has its own unique perspective and shared truth. How do we deal with serious illness, dying, grief, discrimination, and inequity? What does it mean to flourish, celebrate, honor, and connect?
Many of us describe more than one of these groups as home, and many of us have experienced oppression based on multiple aspects of our intersecting identities: race, ethnicity, gender, religion, sexual orientation, and more. At present, we have few spaces to talk about these questions freely, in ways that make sense for who we are. That’s why Reimagine launched Table Talk. While this ongoing series is explicitly created by and for underrepresented communities, we invite people of all backgrounds to join us to witness, listen and learn. Ultimately we are creating space rooted in the principles of Justice, Equity, Diversity & Inclusion in order for everyone to thrive.
About the Organizers
Elizabeth Wong has been a registered nurse since 2003 supporting women in childbirth and advocating for family-centered care. Out of her passion for empowering adult children who are confronted with aging parents, like her, she trained to become an elder care and end-of-life doula. She is committed to sharing this role with the Chinese American community through outreach and education. From this endeavor, she and Holly created Death Over Dim Sum. She also volunteers for Hospice by the Bay.
Based in Seattle, Holly Chan is a user experience designer who has been intrigued by designing for death ever since she was a teenager. Inspired by their shared experiences as Chinese American women passionate about improving end-of-life care, she and Elizabeth met in San Francisco and founded Death over Dim Sum. This event series was envisioned to adapt the conversation about end-of-life to the unique needs of Asian Americans. Besides brainstorming the myriad of ways the end-of-life experiences of Americans can be improved for individuals and their families, Holly is also an advocate for social justice through design.