Introducing Juliet Shen: The Tiger’s Eye
My name is Juliet Shen. I’m very excited and honored to be part of ALIST and the team that’s been assembled (I envision it as an Asian Avengers team). I’ve been involved with the Asian American advocacy community for some time and writing about it frenziedly for the past year. This column will be examining racism and politics in the United States and how Asian Americans are changing the field.
I grew up in Scottsdale, Arizona where the grass was green and the people were racist. By the time I moved away for university, I was frustrated, angry, and ready to write about my experiences. Finally, I discovered the history and culture of my identity! I devoured literature from Helen Zia, Grace Lee Boggs, Daniel J. Maeda, and bell hooks. I found out that there were people that looked like me in the Black Panthers. I discovered an entire world that had been hidden from me for so long, and I fell in love.
I am currently an undergraduate student at SUNY Albany studying Sociology and Political Science. As a student, I sit on the National Board of the East Coast Asian American Student Union as Director of Communications and on the board for the New York State Young Democrats Caucus of Color as Community Service Chair. I work for a public relations firm in Albany called Relentless Awareness where we focus on campaigns and elections in the Capital District. These collective experiences have taken hold of the fledgling love for politics and controversy and shaped it into a passion for public service and social justice.
I’ve been writing for my blog, Fascinasians, for the past year and have been lucky enough to meet people who challenge and support me in my ongoing quest for knowledge. When I’m not writing for Fascinasians or ALIST, I’m writing for Hyphen Magazine. I’m a big fan of higher education, worker’s rights, feminism, and racial justice. My parents came to the United States in the 1980’s to study for their PhD’s and possibly secure a better life for their kids. The struggles and hardships they faced are ones we face today in terms of discrimination, hate crimes, tuition and curriculum changes that hinder the progress of people of color, and not seeing adequate representation in the government or in the media.
Writing for ALIST is my way of showing the world that there are people fighting for Asian American rights, there is legislation that protects our communities and our futures, and there is an entire world of frenzied action going on that many people don’t know about. I hope to highlight the great work individuals are doing as Asian American professionals in the political spectrum, call out racist ads and legislation, and discuss important issues and current events that affect our society.