Anna's Letter

The Honorable Grace Meng of the United States House of Representatives

Dear Representative Meng:

My name is Anna. I am a 12th grade student in San Juan Capistrano, California, taking part in eGirl Power’s AAPI Initiative to “Educate, Empower and Elevate” the AAPI community to unite efforts to #StopAsianHate #StopAAPIHate. An IRS-approved 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, eGirl Power believes the best way to fight discrimination is through education, and this is the spirit and approach of its AAPI Initiative.

I’m writing to describe what the AAPI Initiative means to me. Through this initiative, I have been able to meet other AAPI females who have had experiences similar to mine, and they have helped me feel less alone and more empowered as an AAPI female. Through my participation in this program, I am hoping that I can help AAPI female feel the same sense of validation and belonging.

Through this initiative, we learned about Mamie Tape, an 8-year-old Chinese American girl who helped desegregate schools – way back in 1885! Mamie Tape's effort to desegregate the San Francisco public schools went to the California Supreme Court 70 years before Brown v. Board of Education.

I am inspired by Mamie Tape because her story tells that of a young girl and her family that refused to tolerate prejudice and exclusion around them and instead found the courage to fight for their rights and what they were entitled to.

I support The Teaching Asian Pacific American History Act (H.R. 2283) that you reintroduced in May 2021 in the wake of ever-increasing anti-Asian attacks during COVID-19. Even as an Asian American actively working to uplift my own community, I had no knowledge of the Tape case before a couple weeks ago. I believe that it is essential for Americans, especially Asian Americans, to understand the role that the AAPI community had in shaping our country and in overcoming the obstacles that this country placed in our path. I realize that there is so much Asian American history that those around me have yet to learn, and so much history that I still don’t know, and I support the Teaching Asian Pacific American History Act as it will work to change this.

I admire you because you are a leader that is working to empower her own community and is using her position to change this country for the better. Your introduction of House Resolution 151 has given me hope that our country will begin to support Asian Americans facing all to prevalent discrimination. The legacy you are leaving behind will be felt by both myself and my children as we become more and more welcomed and protected in our own country. With representatives like you holding public office, I feel hopeful for the future of this country and for my place in it.