As we prepare to celebrate AAPI Heritage Month starting May 1st, Our Voices Matter Podcast is sharing one woman’s story. It’s an immigrant story of heartbreak, hope and the power of love. It’s an especially poignant story as hate crimes against Asian Americans are on the rise.
Grace Mase emigrated to America from Taiwan when she was a child. Those early days in her new homeland were fraught with challenges. Grace buried many of those memories, but recent events have brought them to the surface, leading her to reprocess what happened so many years ago. As our conversation unfolds, she surprises herself and shares a particularly painful memory in hopes that it might help someone who needs to hear it.
Grace went on to earn her Bachelor’s degree in architecture from UC Berkley and her Master’s from Yale University. Today, she is a successful Los Angeles architect and owner of a home improvement and reconstruction firm called BEYREP. She has built upon the strength she developed during the early days of her immigrant journey and the lessons she learned — to pay it forward.
Grace and I met in a room on the new social audio app, Clubhouse. Her message of empathy, emotional intelligence and love resonated so deeply that I reached out to her. At that moment, I didn’t know her story, but I knew that her voice mattered. This is the perfect time to elevate that voice.
Stories from the AAPI community will be front and center during AAPI Heritage Month in May. We will learn more about the history, the culture, the struggles and the triumphs of our fellow Americans. As we do so, I urge all of us to do more than just read stories, watch movies or listen to podcasts. Reach out. Talk. Engage. Encourage. Not just in May — but every day. And not just with the AAPI community — but with all communities. If we do this, we will begin to understand that there’s a little of each of us, in all of us — if only we’ll take a moment to see it.