My name is Hedy Tripp, but my name tells very little about who I am. “Hedy” is the diminutive of my legal name “Hedwidge” from the catholic saint whose feast day was on the day I was born into a catholic, Eurasian family in Singapore. Being Eurasian, I am the result of at least seven generations of colonialism in Southeast Asia and the names of my Asian foremothers have been completely lost. I only know that my grandfather, Charles McGuire, was Chinese, adopted as a baby by the McGuire family to carry on their family name.
I continue to have a multicultural, multiracial family here in St. Cloud, Minnesota. My husband, Dr. Luke Tripp, is African American and in taking his name I inherit for my children the name of the slave-owners of his genealogical history. Luke has been the most influential person in the latter part of my life with his clarity of reasoning and critical thinking. He has opened up intriguing vistas of thought about the history of America that is usually hidden from the view of most people in our society.
What are some of your current involvements in the community?
I am presently an adjunct lecturer at St. Cloud State University, teaching introductory classes in Asian American studies. I share with students my rich experiences from travelling extensively in Southeast Asia and analyzing concepts from an anti-racism lens. This semester our class is planning to showcase what they have learnt as an event for Asian American Pacific islander Heritage month in May. This will be held at St. Cloud State University and will be open to both the campus and wider community. The event will be both academic, as befitting a college environment, and creative with spoken word and story-telling. This is service-learning at its best.
I am also very active in the St. Cloud chapter of NAPAWF (National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum) and firmly believe in its mission of building a movement to advance social justice and human rights for API women and girls. Our work on teen leadership development was recognized by the Minnesota Women’s Consortium as their organization of the year, 2013. The Council has always been a strong supporter of our NAPAWF chapter and I hope this relationship will deepen even further.
NAPAWF’s mission is to build a movement to advance social justice and human rights for API women and girls.
What do you hope to accomplish on CAPM’s board?
As part of the Council of Asian Pacific Minnesotans I identify as Hapa American. It is important to me that the issues of the Council are Pan-Asian, inclusive of all the ethnic groups that make up Asian America, and also include the increasing number of mixed race Asian Americans. It is also crucial that we collaborate with the other Councils of Color in the state of Minnesota and become a strong advocate for all our communities who have experienced historical disparities at many different levels.