Why are you interested in working for the Office of Immigrant Affairs? 

Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area as the daughter of Taiwanese immigrants, I was lucky to be surrounded by a diverse, multilingual community from all over the world who lived, studied, worked, worshipped, protested, and broke bread together. My American experience was multicultural from day one.

 When working with immigrants, you bear witness to how events on the global stage impact the day-to-day of individuals seeking to build new lives in our city. Immigrant communities teach us what we need to do to make our policies more open, compassionate, and inclusive, which benefits all residents regardless of national origin. 

In my new role as Director of Multicultural Affairs, I hope to strengthen city policies that help Philadelphia’s Immigrant communities feel not only embraced in the complexity of their experience but also empowered to play an active role in shaping the future of their city. 

I especially love moments when people from different cultures, despite language and cultural differences, find new nexuses of connection here in the U.S., whether it’s expressed through arts and culture, business innovation, or civic participation. Culture builds community, and communities build power. 

Tell us a little bit about your career prior to joining the Philadelphia Office of Immigrant Affairs

I started my career as a professional musician – a path that took me to countries like Tunisia, China, Jordan, Palestine, and Spain performing with artists of many different nationalities, backgrounds, and disciplines. My interest in the intersection between social advocacy, cultural advocacy, and international relations took me through graduate school, after which I worked at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Global Strategy Group, Asian American Federation of New York, and eventually pivoted to the political sector, serving as the Associate Director of Allied Groups for the 2020 Democratic National Convention and the Deputy GOTV Director for the 2020 Michigan coordinated campaign. 

Most recently, I served as Director of Community Engagement at Asian Americans Advancing Justice – AAJC in Washington, DC. In 2022, I served as the lead organizer for the Unity March, the first Asian American-led march on the National Mall. I managed a network of over 250 Asian-and Pacific Islander-serving organizations during a time of heightened violence towards their communities, helping to direct resources, build capacity, and organize. 

Where did you live prior to moving to Philadelphia? 

Before moving to Philadelphia, I lived in New York City for more than a decade in the Harlem/Hamilton Heights/Washington Heights neighborhood. In between, I lived briefly in Detroit and Washington DC before being lured away by Philly’s vibrant Chinatown, incredible food scene, organizing ethos, and diverse neighborhoods. 

Lastly, what do you enjoy in your free time?

You will usually find me dancing (hip-hop and reggaeton are my favorite styles, but I will dance to almost anything)! I also enjoy playing and composing music, language-learning, visiting museums, and taking care of my pet snakes and my rapidly expanding indoor plant jungle.

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