I Am My Ancestors’ Wildest Dream
I am part African-American, part Native American, and part Chinese-Malaysian. Try filling that out on the SOL test scantron before “bi-racial”, “multi-racial”, or even “other” was an option. My mother was born and raised in Penang, Malaysia and my father grew up in Charles City County, Virginia. As individuals of differing ethnicities (from complete opposite sides of the world) who came of age during the American Civil Rights Movement, to say their union was unlikely would be understatement.
Today, I work for an organization that promotes diversity in leadership. I manage their communications and events while also running my own small business on the side. My small business hosts the elegant experience of afternoon tea at the venue of your choice. No matter which hat I’m wearing, this work that I love is far beyond my ancestors’ wildest dreams: A woman in a management role for an organization that connects leaders who differ in age, gender, race, socioeconomic status, profession and even city/county of residence in order to learn about and wrestle with regional issues such as education, transportation, and food access; A young American minority who built a business out of a passion for a centuries-old tradition historically reserved for only the upper echelons of British society; An independent, single female in her early 30s working to live instead of living to work.
I am proud of my mixed heritage. Many sacrificed in order for me to live this wonderful life I have today (my parents included). I feel blessed to live in a country that allows me to unapolegetically be my most authentic self, and I see an even brighter future ahead because I am standing on the shoulders of giants.
Editor’s Note: Want to join the 2019 Commemoration in honoring trailblazing women from Virginia and beyond? Mark your calendar for the Women’s Achieve Summit.