Skip navigation

Diaspora Dialogues: A Student Diversity Coalition Series on the Interplay of Heritage and Foreign Policy

March 3, 2021

Thomas Wong, US Foreign Service Officer and Johns Hopkins SAIS alumnus
Kim Phan, Director of Development and International Relations, International Law Institute

The conversation was moderated by Ester Fang, '21, Co-President, SAIS Student Diversity Coalition (SDC)

Johns Hopkins SAIS Student Panelists: 

Karen Lee '21, Christian Jacobson '21, Euihyun Bae '21, Ava Shen '22
Every semester the school’s Student Diversity Coalition (SDC) hosts an installment of Diaspora Dialogues. Through keynote speakers and a student panel, this series illuminates the nuances of ethnicity, nationality, generational change, and the legacy of migration. Diaspora Dialogues provide a unique space for community gathering and solidarity for those with multicultural backgrounds. This semester, SDC focused on the East Asian and Southeast Asian diasporas. This event was co-sponsored by the SAIS China Club, Japan Club, Thai Club, and Southeast Asian League of Students.
SDC invited Thomas Wong and Kim Phan to present keynote presentations on their professional experiences. Both shared how their Asian American background influenced their international relations careers. 
The keynote presentations were followed by a moderated panel with Wong, Phan, and current Johns Hopkins SAIS students of East and Southeast Asian descent, who shared insights on the dangers of the model minority myth, feelings of having to “prove American-ness,” what it means to be an underrepresented minority in foreign policy, and the past year of rising anti-Asian sentiments and hate crimes. The conversation ended with questions from the audience.