By Nancy Wang, Co-presenter Sharing the Fire Pre-Conference Intensive Workshop
In this era of terrifying uncertainty, it is important to ground, to root.
As Americans, our roots are not just those planted here and now, but roots planted by the first immigrants in our family – be they from Europe, Asia, the Americas or as natives of this land.
When racism and exclusion are rearing their ugly heads, we as a community of storytellers have the opportunity to address these concerns. As a psychotherapist social worker, my philosophy drives me to make a difference. As a storyteller, I understand how stories have a built-in way of communicating meaning and message. However, it is also necessary to be clear about our own place in the issues that concern us. Thus, the natural direction for me was immigration.
But, why immigration and not racism?
There are many reasons: One, I am all too often asked where I come from. Two: I grew up having adults tell me ‘what good English’ I spoke.
I am a fifth generation American. English is my first and only language (sadly). These questions and comments always inferred that I was on the outside of what these individuals thought was their inside America.
So how do we get Americans to understand that we are all immigrants, not just some of us?
I have written my ancestor story “Red Altar” dating back to 1850 when my great great grandparents from China started the fishing industry in California’s Monterey Bay area. They had to be persistent, courageous and ingenious in order to survive and thrive through the numerous anti-Chinese laws lasting for more than 100 years. But beyond my story of hope and courage, what about others’ stories?
Our Immigratitude® workshop is Eth-Noh-Tec’s answer to that!
Please join us in our workshop. Share your crossing borders/immigration story through art and words. Get grounded his/her/storically!!
Want to learn how to share your family’s immigrant story? Sign up for Eth-Noh-Tec’s pre-conference intensive workshop, Friday, March 24 from 1 to 5 pm. Visit the STF Conference Details page to register for the conference.
Have personal experience of your own to share on this topic? Leave a comment.
Nancy Wang and Robert Kikuchi-Yngojo founded Eth-Noh-Tec, the San Francisco-based kinetic storytelling company in 1982. Together, they have performed and taught storytelling workshops for 35 years. Prior to this, both presenters were teaching artists teaching in public and private schools (K-12) throughout the US and abroad. You can learn more about them at www.ethnohtec.org