Theresa Lau Hometown: Quincy, Massachusetts
School/Major: Wellesley College/B.A. in Economics and Women's Studies | Ethnicity: Chinese-American | Other Language(s): Cantonese, Italian
On the images of Asian-American women we see: There is a scarcity of strong Asian women role models in the public eye. The images we have of Asian women tend to be starlets and suggestive advertisements; we seldom see Asian women in power. Historically, Asian women have been depicted as docile, quiet and sexualized. My work at the Asian Task Force against Domestic Violence opened my eyes to the lack of power and control some Asian women have within relationships, adding a deeply troubling dimension to the depictions we see. It is important that, as Asian women, we increase our political involvement and serve as role models for future generations in order to break down these social barriers.
On my fellowship experience: I feel quite fortunate to have had the opportunity to be in the State House and witness first-hand the, oftentimes, arduous process of turning a bill into a law. I am lucky to have interned with such a great legislator, Representative Kay Khan, who entrusted me with the responsibilities of a staff member and gave me the opportunity to attend behind-the-scenes meetings. In addition to the fellowship trainings, one of the most valuable aspects of this program was the strong relationship we, as fellows, developed with each other. Prior to starting this fellowship, I felt discouraged by the limited political engagement in the Asian community, but seeing the active Asian-American women in AAWPI has been an empowering experience for me.
What I'm doing now: Paralegal at the Federal Trade Commission in Washington, D.C.
Placement: State Representative Kay Khan (D-Newton),
Chair of the Joint Committee on Children, Families and Persons with Disabilities