Welcome to AMPLIFY, a mini-series by THE TRUE NORTH COLLECTIVE℠ PODCAST, dedicated to highlighting the untold stories of everyday BIPOC fearlessly finding and living their true north amidst the current systemic realities – past, present, and future.
In the wake of George Floyd’s murder, co-hosts Rachel Bellotti (she/her) and Jenell Riesner (she/her), recognized their own ignorance to the racial atrocities that have plagued history. They chose to use this platform to create a space that centers real stories of genuine authenticity from marginalized communities whom society has attempted to keep silent for far too long. These conversations amplify the ways in which our society + culture has oppressed certain folx from being their authentic selves, as told through the voices of those experiencing the oppression first-hand. We thank every single guest who joins this space to courageously share their story and provide invaluable insight into a perspective that should never have been hidden. Listen, learn, unlearn, donate, support, change, grow, and make right.
This series is inspired by the original #amplifymelanatedvoices movement, created by @jessicawilson.msrd and @blackandembodied in June 2020 in an effort to elevate BIPOC voices, listen more deeply, and support anti-racism.
Today, we hear from Minji Lew, a people developer, coach, enneagram 3, child of Korean immigrants, a southern California transplant, partner to a British Australian Expat, and a mother to a sassy silky terrier. We chat about being in service of your people, self-care, balancing being a pusher with allowing others to set their own pacing, breaking stereotypes, making mistakes as a way to learn, not knowing where you fit in, assimilation, how to acknowledge your ancestry, being loved + hated at the same time, blending in, finding the community that looks like you, calling in other cultural ideas around living with your parents as an adult, generational gifts, boundaries with parents, lack of respect for elders, and embracing perspectives + cultures different from your + integrating what feels authentic to you. This is a very honest, work-in-progress conversation about the unfolding realities of what it means to be Asian in America in the 21st Century + Minji says it beautifully, “We are all being woken up right now + we all have a stake in it.” Thank you for your heart, Minji. It’s an honor to hold space with you. <3
TAKE ACTION: This episode, we have donated to Minji’s selected cause, STOP AAPI HATE. In response to the alarming escalation of xenophobia and bigotry resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, the Asian Pacific Planning and Policy Council (A3PCON), Chinese for Affirmative Action (CAA), and the Asian American Studies Departments of San Francisco State University launched the Stop AAPI Hate reporting center on March 19, 2020. The center tracks and responds to incidents of hate, violence, harassment, discrimination, shunning, and child bullying against Asian Americans and Pacific Islandders in the United States. We are strongly encouraging our listeners who feel inspired to also donate what you can to support. Donate or give today here.
*note: this episode includes explicit language appropriate for those ages 16+
**note: this episode is a bit choppy + abrupt at times due to the Wifi connection.
- MSLC at Northwestern
- Co-active Training Institute (CTI)
- DISC assessment
- Crazy Rich Asians
- Fresh of the Boat
- Music from: https://www.premiumbeat.com/home
3 KEY TAKEAWAYS:
- You cannot leapfrog your life. In order to be fully you, you must allow yourself to experience life. The ups, the downs, the wins, the mistakes, the boredom, the confusion. All of it must be experienced. We cannot avoid any of it and expect to truly be ourselves. Every experience is an opportunity to better know + refine who we are. For ourselves and for the world.
- Not feeling like you fit in or belong is a lonely place. Where in your life do you feel isolated for being yourself? What would it look like to find support? And on the flip side, where might you be creating spaces where others don’t feel like they can belong as they are? What could you do to ensure that you are making space for more people to show up as they are with you and in your groups of friends and communities? If you’re not sure, start the conversation within your friend groups and see what you all come up with so we all can start to break down these cages/walls/barriers/biases and become more inclusive for all people in all spaces.
- As Americans, we are so focused on youth culture that we have lost the generational gifts and respect and dignity of elders. There are so many stories forgotten and wisdom lost when we decide that people over the age of X (you decide…) are no longer valuable. We also lose incredible lessons and the ability to learn from those who have come before us. Plus, we are preemptively deciding that we are on our way to being invaluable by choosing to view our elders in this way. Because spoiler alert…we all become elders. No one escapes it. How can you begin to build relationships with those older than you? What can you open up to and learn from? What would it mean for you to make time for those who have come before you? Even if they have ideas that seem outdated, how can you use that to learn how to have respectful curiosity around where they came from and how they got there? We all have things we can learn from each other, especially those who have come before us because who they are lives within us, too. And ignoring previous generations is actually ignoring ourselves.
TIME-STAMPED SHOW NOTES:
- [1:00] Welcome, Minji!
- [3:00] Being of service to your people, while practicing true self-care
- [8:12] Balancing being a pusher with allowing others to pick their pace
- [11:15] Rites of passage
- [14:40] Breaking stereotypes
- [17:40] Feeling shame, embarrassment, + isolation for being me
- [22:30] Being a child of Korean immigrants who love America + are very westernized
- [26:20] AD: To be a stand for impact + action, each guest on Amplify selects a cause that they recommend supporting as an extension of the conversation that we have here. For this episode, TNC has donated on behalf of Minji’s chosen organization, Stop AAPI Hate, and we strongly encourage our community to check out this social impact coalition, learn what they are up to and how you can support, and consider donating here. Thank you <3
- [27:30] Where do I fit in?
- [33:00] Being the first, the pioneers
- [36:00] Things are changing
- [38:00] To be loved + hated at the same time
- [44:00] Finding your community to process together
- [47:40] Becoming a “real” adult
- [52:00] Calling in the idea that there is something funny or embarrassing about living with your parents as an adult – a very white American idea
- [54:00] Generational gifts
- [56:00] Parenting/managing up + boundaries
- [58:00] Lack of respect for elders
- [1:03:00] Embracing perspectives + cultures different from mine + integrating what feels authentic to me
- [1:08:00] We’re all being woken up right now + we all have a stake in this
- [1:09:50] How do you live your TRUE NORTH?