Maximillian Bonadies

Board Member

Representation is one of the most important things a child of color could have growing up. While we learn lots of information and history throughout our school years, some of us often become detached from our own history and culture in the process. Growing up I was never really taught what Asian Americans had accomplished let alone the struggles they had to face. The extent of our education about Asia was China. This left me with a sense of not knowing who I should fit in with, I was always told that Asians were smart and never had to struggle here in America. As a result whenever I personally experienced racism it was often undermined by either the teachers or even my own parents. Towards the end of middle school I decided to do some of my own research into my own culture of Vietnam and Southeast Asia in general, and what I found out was shocking to a 12 year old me. Remember I was always told Asians didn’t have to struggle to get here and never faced adversity, but what I found out was much different. I’ve learned what happened in Vietnam and Cambodia and the unjust deportations these immigrants have to face even 50 years later. I learned about Vincent Chin and all the other unjust killings of Asian Americans in America, the list of awful events could go on. With this new information I then asked myself why haven’t we learned this in school? I haven’t even heard of Vincent Chin, let alone the Chinese massacre. Ever since I’ve opened my eyes to what our education system never taught us I’ve been on a mission to educate those around me so we can all see our rich history within America.

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