My name is Sydnie (she/ her), and I lived in Raleigh growing up until I moved to the Philadelphia area to study sociology at Swarthmore College. As a biracial girl who presents as an ambiguous woman of color who grew up in the racial landscape of Raleigh, I thought about race often. When I first attended the multiracial affinity groups at the NAIS Student Diversity Leadership Conference and the Triangle Diversity Alliance conferences in 10th and 8th grade (respectively), I found community, dialogue, space, and language to further understand my own identity and experiences. As I reflected critically on my own identity and self-educated about race, I started the process of being radicalized and empowered. Unfortunately, I was never taught in school about radical Asian American history or literature; instead, I first engaged with social justice through learning about Black history and identity and radical Black activists and writers. I always felt more comfortable going to a multiracial affinity group rather than an AAPI affinity group, mostly because I often felt I wasn’t Asian enough. NCAAT YLI exposed me to relatable Asian American youth and adult role models in a way I had never previously received. I felt seen and heard at YLI, and it was an opportunity to identify with and further explore my existence as an East Asian woman. NCAAT is an inclusive, grassroots Asian American organization in my hometown, and they are committed to cross-racial solidarity and radical community building! I couldn’t be more proud and invested to be a part of their programming.
Sydnie is the middle school DEI Coordinator and Humanities teacher at the Rivers School. She recently earned a B.A. in sociology and anthropology from Swarthmore College, where she minored in educational studies and Latin American & Latinx Studies, and was a member of the varsity women’s lacrosse team. In her time at Swarthmore, Sydnie was actively involved as a qualitative field research assistant with a number of professors with whom she collaborated and, in one case, co-authored a journal publication, on topics related to immigration, undocumented status, and English language learners. Additionally, she spent many hours in a variety of classrooms observing, tutoring, and mentoring students in the Philadelphia area and three years serving as a faculty member and affinity group facilitator at the NAIS Student Diversity Leadership Conference.