Angry Reader of the Week: Mary Yu Danico

Hey, everybody! About that time again. It is my pleasure to introduce you to the Angry Reader of the Week, spotlighting you, the very special readers of this website. Over the years, I've been able to connect with a lot of cool folks, and this is a way of showing some appreciation and attention to the people who help make this blog what it is. This week's Angry Reader is Mary Yu Danico.

Who are you?

I'm a partner, mother, daughter, advocate, public scholar, mentor, mentee, and lifetime learner. I'm also a foodie, closeted nore bang/karaoke lover, and lover of world travel.

What are you?

A 1.5 generation Korean American who learned recently that I am also Japanese. I'm an ally, social justice oriented, and a diasporic person.

Where are you?

Today, I'm working in Pomona, CA at Cal Poly Pomona looking out into a courtyard at stressed out students preparing for finals.

Where are you from?

I was born in Seoul, Korea and immigrated to the U.S. when I was 6 years old. I consider San Francisco home and my second home is Honolulu, Hawaii, where I became politicized about being Asian American.

What do you do?

I'm a professor invested in social justice and community engagement. I try to be the professor I never had by advocating for and promoting those who do great work. I have served as a leader of the Michi and Walter Weglyn Endowed Chair for multicultural Studies, which has been such a privilege. I love working with students, community organizations, and leaders who strive to build coalitions around social justice work. I guess, I like to connect folks and work across disciplines, communities, and borders. Currently, my goal is to really examine Asian American transnational communities and really highlight the interconnections and complexities of our stories.

What are you all about?

End of the day, I'm all about my family. Raising two feminist young girls to have racial consciousness is a challenge in this hyper masculine-patriarchal, heteronormative, racialized society, but I'm fortunate to have met a life partner who shares this commitment. I'm also about giving back and sharing knowledge, social-cultural capital with those who care to share back. I am committed to advancing the issues and stories of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. As the past president of the Association for Asian American Studies I was fortunate to have met giants in our field who have galvanized communities across the globe to take action. Folks like Kekuni Blaisdell, Yuri Kochiyama, Renee Tajima-Pena and Helen Zia inspire me to stay engaged and work toward coalitions of activists who genuinely care and fight for social justice for all.

What makes you angry?

Where do I begin? Bigots, Ignoramus and Hypocrites come to mind, but I think Catcher in the Rye's Holden Caulfield's statement "I hate phony people" really hit a chord with me. I really can't stand opportunists who don't really stand for anything but themselves. I also am frustrated with internalized racists who forget very quickly what it's like to be the "other." I also get angry with folks who complain but won't participate in finding a solution. Apathy is a sad state and I wish more folks would see how all inequalities are connected and they can be a part of a solution. Beyond just the "I" or the "me" but really taking on the "we" would be a great start. I guess I really am angry! LOL

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