Lucy's Letter

The Honorable Grace Meng of the United States House of Representatives

Dear Representative Meng:

My name is Lucy Jane Arce I am an undergraduate student at the University of Connecticut 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.

The AAPI Initiative means I am part of a community that is meant to be heard. Especially at this moment of time, the AAPI community suffered a huge loss of loved ones and respect since the pandemic occurred. The devastation is connected to other minorities as well from racism and xenophobia. The AAPI Initiative’s goal is to provide a safe space for young girls and women to speak about their views and thoughts of what’s happening in our world.

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 she showed determination and grit to achieve her goals of getting a school education. Including the Tape Family, Mary Tape presented a strong figure to present the rights of a young child who wanted to go to school. Especially, presenting the statement where they are Americans as much as their white neighbors. The persistence to prove their Americaness in ways from their name, papers of documentation, and vaccination. I believe even today many people in the AAPI community felt they were in a similar situation. People deserve to get an education where they all feel equal with one another, with no separation.

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. I believe the act will be giving students the opportunity to learn and grow their knowledge about America. And also present a path for the young AAPI community to know the history of their ancestors and the people who paved the way for human rights, activism, and heritage.

I admire you because you showed hardship and the perseverance to push for the Anti-Asian Hate Crime bill. When I heard the news about President Biden passing the bill a few weeks ago. My family and I felt a clear sense of relief, some weight has been lifted off of our shoulders.

A recent survey found that 42 percent of people living in the U.S. cannot name a single prominent Asian American!

I felt as if the AAPI community was excluded from most of their achievements through the arts, sports, literature, and academia. As I see the rise of various media such as the music genre, “K-pop” and film animation, “Anime.” People became curious about the popularity and creativity. As much as heading to the direction where everyone wants to give their opinion and criticism. Especially towards Asian American actors, if it’s their first role on a huge, produced film. In comparison to other actors who have already made a name for themselves. People would not remember the actor’s name rather the condemnations following them along their journey. As I want to say thank you for your dedication to the work you have done to have this bill passed. Along with hoping on the journey to pass this new act. The AAPI community will be able to learn and appreciate where they have come from. And of course to hold onto the knowledge of history.


Lucy Jane Arce