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12.21.2018

Angry Reader of the Week: Dawn Lee Tu

"I am a shape shifter. I am what you least expect."



Hello, internet friends. It is time, once again, to meet 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 Dawn Lee Tu.


Who are you?

Fam and friends call me Dawn or D. Students sometimes call me Dr. Lee or Professor Lee. Grad students sometimes call me DLT. My son calls me Mom. For the past decade and a half, I've been trying to be a change agent and educator for equity and justice in higher education. I've also been a mom and a partner, and have tried to build a strong justice-oriented family environment for my amazing son. Sometimes I am a writer and creative. I often find myself imagining a world in which everyone has freedom and everything they need to live up to their fullest potential.

What are you?

I am Asian American and Chinese American. I am a strong, intelligent woman. I use she/they pronouns. I am a shape shifter. I am what you least expect.

Where are you?

Home. The SF Bay Area.

Where are you from?

My parents are from Hong Kong and Guangdong, respectively. My dad basically grew up in Arizona and I was born in Arizona and grew up in San Francisco in Chinatown, the Inner Sunset, and then the Outer Sunset. I also lived in New York City for a little.

What do you do?

I am currently the Faculty Director of Professional and Organizational Development at De Anza College, in Cupertino, California, where I basically help college teachers be the best, most awesomest, student-centered college teachers they can be for community college students. I also spend my time as a college instructor teaching classes in areas such as Higher Education, Sociology, and Asian American Studies. I'm also a strategic equity and inclusion consultant and trainer for colleges and universities, K-12, non-profits, and more recently, tech companies. I am occasionally a freelance writer. In my
spare time I'm currently the PTA President for my son's school.

What are you all about?

I am about having infinite hope in a time when there are incredibly messed up, oppressive things happening everywhere. I am about bringing radical love to and being strategic with the things we need to do to bring about systemic change. I am about truth telling, listening to the brilliance of our youth, and honoring and learning from the work and sacrifices of the elders and communities of struggle who came before all of us. I speak loudly, listen fiercely, and am still figuring out my voice.

What makes you angry?

I get hella mad at myself when an order is ready and I can't tell if the barista called my name or actually said "John," "Sean," or "Tom," at Starbucks.

But seriously, I get hella angry when people blame women for sexual violence and harassment, anti-Blackness in Asian American communities, voter suppression, non-sensical anti-affirmative action logic, conservative media outlets that spread misinformation and lies, judges who have a track record of letting white male rapists off easy, the way progressive folks try to out-"woke" each other and tear each other down instead of lifting each other up, tear gassing and harming women and children in the migrant caravan, when people are called "too sensitive" when they call out oppression, toxic masculinity... yeah, that's all right now.