By Ju Hong
The show is hosted by Ju Hong - a Korean immigrant rights activist living in the San Francisco Bay Area
ImmigrAsiansNov 07, 2022
Rehana Morita (she/her) is a Japanese-Libyan writer, chief editor, actor, digital storyteller, and cultural organizer raised in the Inland Empire, CA. She is currently majoring in Film & Media and Asian American Studies at UC Irvine with an interest in reimagining new worlds as a tool for collective liberation. At UCI, she manages digital publications for Her Campus Media and UCI Admissions, and facilitates creative workshops for undocumented artists and other marginalized arts students. She challenges the immigrant narrative through writing, which influenced her to produce a podcast about undocumented students at UCI. Rehana recently joined the UCLA Labor Center's new undocu-led initiative, EmpoweringAP, as a founding member in hopes of cultivating a spaces to empower each other for collective consciousness. After she graduates in the Spring of 2023, she plans to apply for artist residencies and fellowships, and pursue writing and acting professionally.
Eunsoo Jeong is a Los Angeles-based artist and the creator of Koreangry, a comic/zine series based on her daily struggles as a Korean-American. Koreangry is a 7-inch puppet/ doll/ armature/ character that she created, sort of her alter-ego. The Koreangry zine series illustrates the artist's life journey told with this character––photographed with hand made props in a set. The zines include written excerpts, word-play, poems, comics, crude sketches, and experimental digital collages.
Social Media: IG, Twitter, FB @KOREANGRY
Sumana is currently the co-director of the hidden dream and was a past fellow with UCLA DRC and immigrants rising. She has worked with the undocumented community and currently is working on bridging the gap of resources for dependent visa children/spouses who often face similar issues as undocumented students but are not part of national policy and resource conversations.
To learn more about Sumana's work, please visit the website here: https://thehiddendream.org
Onion Ha was born in South Korea and moved to the United States in 2003 when he was only six years old. He spent his childhood enjoying all types of music and dancing, and he went to public school and graduated in 2015. Onion is a DACA recipient and an active member at a nonprofit organization called Hamkae Center in Virginia.
NICOLE SOLIS-SISON, is an artist, producer, educator, and creative director. Solis-Sison’s work focuses on cultural equity, diversity, and sustainability in digital discourse across the art, media, and film industries.
Her emphasis on digital content strategy has paved the way for brands and talent agencies to streamline their content in emerging markets serving as an educator at General Assembly and creative director for Matter Media Group.
Currently, she is a co-producer for a documentary called Undocumented Justice, about the first DACA lawyer, Luis Cortes Romero, to argue a case before the nation’s Supreme Court while serving as a founding member of the Undocumented Filmmakers Collective. Solis-Sison received her BFA at the University of California, Berkeley.
You can find Solis-Sison's work here: https://www.nicolesolissison.com/
Steve Li is a leader in the immigrant community advocating for immigration reform and social justice. He is a co-author of “Dreams Deported: Immigrant Youth and Families Resist Deportation”- a UCLA publication where he shares his first-hand experience of being detained by ICE. Steve has also worked on several campaigns, including the California Endowment Foundation’s #Health4All campaign, a bill that aims to expand healthcare access to the undocumented community.
Steve currently serves on the board of directors at Asian Health Services, a community health clinic located in Oakland, CA. Li holds a B.A in Asian American Studies & Public Health from the University of California, Davis. Steve is a future Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner who will begin classes at Yale in the fall. Please consider donating and supporting Steve to attend graduate school this fall: https://www.gofundme.com/f/steveyalefundraiser
Ainee Athar is an Impact Fellow with the Prime Coalition, a public charity investing catalytic capital into climate technologies with gigaton-scale emissions reduction potential. Ainee’s focus on climate impact comes on the heels of a highly impactful tenure as an immigrant advocate and technology-driven community organizer.
During her time with the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, she was the youngest immigration program officer in America. Her portfolio helped protect 2 million undocumented and vulnerable immigrants from deportation while shaping national narratives on asylum, essential workers, and the bipartisan need for immigration reform. Other highlights of her work include financing the historic campaign at the Supreme Court to protect DACA and catalyzing a national campaign of immigrant leaders around Temporary Protected Status. She previously held roles in civic tech and as the Texas Director of FWD.us.
Ainee was born in Pakistan, raised in Texas, and spent her life as an undocumented immigrant before obtaining asylum at 26. She lives in the Bay Area and enjoys photography, hiking, cooking, and playing with pets. Ainee is excited to start her MBA at Stanford in the Fall.
Serafina is passionate about the spirit of the immigrant and immigrant activist --particularly the Korean- and Asian-American- in the US. Her own experiences as an undocumented immigrant rights activist started in 2014 in Chicago as a fresh college graduate. They led her to realize the gaps in the necessarily political agenda of movement-building and the spiritual needs of individual activist leaders to feel and be seen as human. She believes that activism in the long term needs to come as a result of an intentional and critical examination and deep nurturing of the self and soul. This is necessary for it to effectively achieve both individual and collective aims.
After switching careers from public accounting to social work, then dabbling in visual art, she is now writing a memoir about her search for her Korean-American identity. She believes that undocumented immigrants' stories and perspectives can unlock a lot of potential for immigrants and children of immigrants to know themselves and live fully. Check out Serafina's work here: https://serafinaha.wixsite.com/byserafina
Hyo-Jung is an undocumented Korean American and multidisciplinary artist. She was born in Jeonju, Korea, and moved to the United States with her family when she was 1 year old. In pursuit of her dream to become an artist, she graduated from the University of Texas at Austin, where she earned a B.F.A. in Studio Art with a UX/UI design certificate.
Her work as an artist has largely been informed by her experiences growing up as an undocumented immigrant in the United States. She hopes to create work that centers on feelings of community and belonging for observers and participants alike. Hyo-Jung’s work has been featured in the Visual Arts Center (Austin, Texas) and the Arts Next Magazine. Check out Hyo-Jung's work here: https://www.hyojungjeon.com/
Bo Thai is an undocumented artist from Thailand and owner of @illegal_drip, a clothing line that blends art and advocacy. To learn more about Bo's artwork, check out his website at https://www.illegal-drip.com/
Wei is a Chinese immigrant born and raised in Brazil. As a formerly undocumented immigrant, he is passionate about serving community members navigating immigration and deportation, healthcare, and mental health challenges. Wei is pursuing his Master of Social Work at San Francisco State University. He plans to become a licensed clinical social worker and work with underserved communities.
Amrit Kaur is a South Asian undocumented, queer director, writer, and storyteller from Los Angeles, California.
She co-founded a production company called Brown Girl Joy Productions with her siblings, Jazz Kaur and Amani Kaur. You can follow their work on Social Media @browngirljoy.
Amrit's film work has been featured in multiple film festivals, installations, and curated series highlighting migration and LGBTQ+ narratives.
Amrit hopes to uplift her communities through her creative and entrepreneurship work. Currently, she is working on her new short film called Zindagi Dobara (Life Again) which is a fiction, South Asian LGBTQ Drama featuring an all BIPOC, undocumented, LGBTQ+ cast and crew!
Yves Gomes is an Indian, Bangladeshi Immigrant who moved to the United States at the age of 18 months in the arms of his mother. He lived his entire life in Maryland, attending public schools on the way to a Doctorate in Pharmacy. Yves currently works as a pharmacist for a national grocery store chain where he provides the public with Covid-19 vaccines, information on health and medications, and answers to important grocery questions such as, “Where is the chicken? Which aisle is the ice cream? Where do I find the lube and condoms?”
Yves joined the immigrant rights movement in 2009 after his parents were deported to India and Bangladesh and he himself underwent deportation proceedings while trying to finish high school. Yves got involved in local Maryland organizing around the Maryland Dream Act in 2011 and later deportation defense campaigns with United We Dream in 2013. Though no longer organizing, Yves will always cherish and love the relationships he has built over the years in those spaces with organizations such as CASA Maryland, United We Dream, NAKASEC, the UndocuBlack Network, and the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA).
Politicized through all his relationships, Yves wants to work towards and live in a world where Black and Brown people can finally be free.
Marian, also known as Yani, is an undergrad student studying International Relations and Economics at the University of California, Davis.
Born in the Philippines, she arrived in the states not long after her birth and has since resided on the coast of California for the past 20 years. With a strong commitment to the community, she hopes to help facilitate change within her intersecting communities. In particular, she has a strong interest in immigration and helping the homeless and financially challenged. Since beginning college, she has interned and affiliated with many organizations, including the Bulosan Center for Filipinx Studies and the AB540 & Undocumented Student Center in UC Davis. On the side, she loves painting, cooking, dancing, and fashion.
Eric Yang brings many years of direct advocacy work in the nonprofit immigrant rights sector. As a DACA recipient himself, Eric hopes to provide more resources and services for the Undocumented communities. He does this by providing access to information for resources catered to the Undocumented population as well as providing workshops and programs that help empower the immigrant communities. Eric graduated from El Camino Community College and received his Bachelor’s in economics from the University of California, Irvine.
Tej is from India, initially settled in Florida in 2002, and moved to Kentucky after graduating from high school. Tej and his brothers were separated from their parents at a young age, and they had no other choice but to learn the ropes of adulthood for themselves and make a living in a foreign country without documents. Despite all the challenges and obstacles, Tej persisted and finished graduating from college and pursuing his dreams and aspirations. Tej co-Founded Kentucky Dream Coalition (Fighting for Immigrant Rights & Equality), and he continues to volunteer and advocate for the immigrant community.
Huyen “Kiki” Vo
Huyen “Kiki” Vo is a DACAmented immigrant, burn survivor, social worker, mental wellness coach, and lifelong learner. At the age of 9, she was severely injured in a house fire in Vietnam that resulted in third-degree burns all over her body. The accident was the catalyst for her migration journey to the U.S. at the age of 11 for advanced medical treatment that was unavailable in her home country.
Kiki holds a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in social work, with an emphasis on community mental health. She is a social work supervisor in San Francisco, CA, overseeing the coordination of social services programs for low-income families with histories of homelessness and mental health challenges. She is proud to also be a psychotherapist-in-training specializing in trauma-informed care with the ultimate goal of providing accessible mental health services to her AAPI community.
Her “WHY” in life is to pay it forward. She started her mental wellness coaching business, Thrive with Kiki, LLC where she helps individuals who have experienced trauma learn how to thrive in life despite their trauma. She is grateful to also serve as a board advisor, mental wellness for the Close the Gap Foundation, and a contributing author/motivational speaker for the Phoenix Society for Burn Survivors. Kiki lives in the vibrant city of Oakland, CA, and in her free time, loves cooking, dancing, and spending time with her loved ones.
Hye Young Choi
Hye Young is a Korean American immigrant based in Chicago, Illinois. She grew up in the South Bay Area with her older sister and parents before moving to San Diego to complete her undergraduate studies at UC San Diego.
She recently graduated from Harvard School of Public Health with a Masters in Health and Social Behavior, and currently works for the BRAVE Study (or also known as Building community Raising All Voices for health Equity) to investigate the social and political determinants of undocumented immigrant health.
Glo is a community organizer with the HANA Center, a grassroots immigrant rights organization based in Chicago, IL, serving Asian, multi-ethnic, and immigrant community members in the greater Chicagoland area. He's called Chicagoland home since 1996 when he and his family first moved here from South Korea and has been organizing for the immigrant rights movement since 2018 during the height of the Trump Administration's attacks on the community.
Saba is a dreamer, scientist, activist, entrepreneur, and lifelong student. Born in Pakistan, she moved to Fort Worth, TX, when she was 11. Her immigration journey has been documented in an award-winning PBS documentary called Dream With Me.
She is most proud of her work with Immigrants Rising when she served as an Entrepreneurship Fellow and helped build resources that empower undocumented entrepreneurs to become financially independent. She’s passionate about movement building, finding tangible ways to help undocumented youth.
She holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Mathematics and a Ph.D. in Mathematical Biology from Texas Tech University. She is a data scientist at Chan Zuckerberg Biohub, working at the intersection of infectious disease and computational biology.
Saba lives with her partner in San Francisco where she actively volunteers in the community. She is proud to serve as a mentor to young STEMpreneurs, and as a community leader fighting for immigration reform at NAKASEC (National Korean American Service & Education Consortium), and as a board member for The Center for Asian Pacific American Women.