Shaping Futures: In-Asia Grants & Week 3 of 'Shansi Forward'
We are proud and humbled to have Jenn Lin and Kara Nepomuceno introduce the third and final week of the 'Shansi Forward' campaign. Jenn and Kara are current Oberlin 4th year Oberlin students and winners of our In-Asia Grant last year. Read their message below.
"Dear Shansi friends,
We are Jenn Lin and Kara Nepomuceno, fourth-year students and Shansi In-Asia Grant Winners in Winter 2019. Our grants from Shansi helped us develop and grow at a crucial time in our college careers. Each of us would like to share a bit about how our experiences in Asia deeply informed our sense of self, our academic projects, and our aspirations after graduation.
Kara - Through my project in Manila, Philippines, I was able to further study Philippine regional dances, connect more closely with family and heritage, and develop conversational skills in Tagalog language. After studying with artists at AlunAlun Dance Circle through the Shansi In-Asia Grant, I was able to develop a research paper and performance which later showed at the Asia Pacific Dance Festival Conference in August 2019.
Jenn - Alongside Sheng Kao (OC ‘20), I was able to make a digital zine documenting the stories of Taiwanese LGBTQ+ community members following an unfavorable referendum result in response to legislative pushes toward same-sex marriage. While in Taipei, we conducted interviews, made art, and visited important historical sites and community centers aiming to document and give voice to narratives, experiences, and histories that are often poorly and infrequently represented in popular media. However, what was most rewarding was the lasting and impactful connections we were able to make with others, with each other, and to our own identities.
We would not be able to develop this work without the incredible experiences we have had in the Shansi In Asia Grant program. Both of us are planning to continue work in Asia following our graduation (stay tuned for announcements of this year’s Shansi Fellows!) Over the last three weeks, you have heard from Shansi Fellows and Visiting Scholars about the impact of Shansi’s programs. We are honored to share our stories in order to illustrate how Shansi’s work can have an impact on Oberlin students today.
To ensure that future students can have these amazing and meaningful opportunities with Shansi for years to come, please follow this link to contribute as part of the “Shansi Forward” campaign. And consider directing the gift to Shansi’s Hiroshima program as Shansi Trustee Kim Golden is matching all Hiroshima donations this year. Thank you,
Jenn Lin and Kara Nepomuceno
Shansi In-Asia Grant Winners, Winter Term 2019"
Shansi's In-Asia Grant Winners' Lunch, December 2018