Kathleen Inandan Hometown: Brockton, Massachusetts and the Phillipines
School/Major: University of Massachusetts Boston/B.A. in Psychology | Ethnicity: Filipino-American | Other Language(s): Filipino/Tagalog
My Filipino and Asian-American identity: Having moved here five years ago, I've found it challenging to define myself in a country that's very different from my own. I came from the Philippines. And, despite sharing a colonial past, the Philippines and the U.S. are still very different places. Back home, I struggled with the challenges of being a woman. When I moved here, I also discovered the challenges of being Filipino and Asian-American. For a long time, I've wanted to make a difference around the issues affecting the Asian and Asian-American community but have always felt that I wasn't credible enough to be involved. This struggle to negotiate my identity as a Filipino and as an Asian-American is what brought me to AAWPI's fellowship program. Without AAWPI and the amazing group of women involved, I wouldn't have had a space to explore my identity and have these types of honest conversations.
What I gained from my fellowship experience: This fellowship program has been an amazing learning experience for me. I've learned so much about legislation, the Asian-American community, and myself. I've been able to meet with and become more familiar with the different organizations working with Asian-American communities around the state. And, I've discovered insecurities I never thought I had and learned more about my own strengths and weaknesses.
What I'm doing now: Research Assistant, Center for Women in Politics and Public Policy at UMass Boston
Placement: Former State Representative (and current Middlesex Sheriff) Peter Koutoujian (D-Waltham), Chair of the Joint Committee on Financial Services (2009-2011)