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Olivia L.'s Paperweight

Glass paperweight with a flower inside of it
This paperweight represents the power of my history.

At my first board meeting for a national organization, it was hard to shake the feeling of being watched. Were they expecting a stereotypical, quiet Asian woman? Did they perceive me as a foreigner? If I spoke up, would people even listen?

Once I did, I found that people respected my perspective as a fifth-generation Chinese American and the daughter of immigrants. It opened up a great dialogue between everyone in the room.

This paperweight was a gift from my grandmother who grew up in China. Her legacy of experiencing hardship and being separated from her family reminds me to speak out. I bring that with me when I'm interacting with others who struggle to find their voice.
Olivia L.
California

Olivia L.m4a

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