SEAing the Unseen
We meet thousands of people throughout our entire lives, yet we only grow close to a select few. Some become our soulmates, our family, our best friends, while others remain acquaintances or even just strangers we pass by every day. What makes our relationship unique with each individual we meet is the similar narratives we share, the connections we discover, and the experiences we create with one another. This year SEA Admit aims to give newly admitted students the platform to start creating these meaningful relationships with others in the Southeast Asian community. We encourage and challenge our students to start dialogue with one another, to learn more than what is at surface level; to learn about each others story and what makes our identities unique.
The Southeast Asian identity seems to be the most visible, but there is more to us than the color of our skin and our ethnicity. What brings us together and makes us unique is the unseen experiences we all face as Southeast Asian individuals. Some of us may face stigma due to our sexuality, our mental health, or even our socioeconomic status. Although invisible, these issues have shaped our lives and who we are to this day. By sharing our unique narratives, we are able to connect to each other and share our strength. While there is more to our identities than what can be seen, we are affected by both the visible (our appearances, our facial features, our skin tone) and by the invisible (our struggles, our past, the battles we’re facing). By embracing all aspects of our identity, we can empower ourselves and our communities.
As Southeast Asians, our history is hidden from us in history books, our wars are kept secret, and our stories are left untold. We, ourselves, are often made invisible through aggregated data and model minority myths. This weekend strives to uncover our histories and empower us to search deeper. We hope to empower our students not only to see the unseen, but make what was once invisible visible, to tell untold stories, to empower the unpowered.