Freelance journalist, writer, digital producer and blogger for both print and digital media. I fancy a cup of coffee, current events, pop culture, and telling stories that encourage and inspire.
Growing up half black and half Filipino, Asia Jackson was not always comfortable in her own skin.
"We need to have spaces that are safe for women — especially immigrants — to engage, where they're not being oppressed or judged. It's time for us to have either our own mosque, or to have a different configuration than the ones that exist," said Rabi'a Keeble, founder of the Qal'bu Maryam Women's Mosque in Berkeley, CA.
Named by Pope Francis, Bishop Oscar Solis will be the first Filipino-American bishop to head a diocese in the United States, announced by the Vatican.
With his family and friends' support, things seemed to take off for 23-year-old Chris Gavino — whose love of music, creative collaboration, and his Filipino heritage and upbringing has brought him to the forefront of electronic music as "Manila Killa."
"Sometimes, I force myself to put pants on when I go to events," says Wing Lam, Co-Founder and CEO of Wahoo's Fish Taco. "The trick is to be comfortable in your skin, be proud of your heritage, because this is all we got. The sooner you can embrace the fact, then use it."
Dr. Vincent Hau remembers the first time he ran a timed marathon. He had been training for months and had completed shorter races in Tuscon, Big Sur, New York, and Chicago before attempting the 2014 Boston Marathon. Nearing the finish line of that race, Hau saw something he said he would never forget: a blind runner, weaving through other participants, being led by a guide.
"I played my guitar for several hours without a single tip. Sometimes people thought I was homeless; they would give me their spare change and unfinished sandwiches. At the very end of the day, a lady came up to me and gave me a $20, out of pity. It was the weirdest feeling, like being someone else inside my own skin."
Jennifer Kumiyama rolls herself around her hometown of Long Beach, California, crossing the downtown streets confidently. Her right shoulder bares a tattoo of the international wheelchair symbol with a heart.
"At one point, I wanted to completely cover myself up with tattoos," Kumiyama, 36, told NBC News. "It's so sad that people with disabilities, especially women, have so many body issues."