Summer (she/her) is an Armenian, Japanese and Jewish musician from Hawaii who studied in a predominately white university.
Being from Hawaii, where only 2% of the population is white and mainly comprises people of color, the transition to a primarily white university made Summer hyper-aware of racial inequality and white ignorance.
Deciding to pursue a degree in musical theater, Summer was one of the very few students of color, and she describes that her college peers perceived her as “less and unknown.”
“The ignorance was something I had to kind of learn how to deal with,” says Summer, “But for the first year, I was angry.” The experience prompted her to think about race critically and protect her multifaceted, rich identity.
Through the experience, Summer learned that she does not have to conform to meet anyone else’s expectations of what her identity “should” look like, “I don’t have to tone something down or straighten my hair to look more Asian… I can be expressive of all facets of my personality.”
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