A note from Talking Taiwan host Felicia Lin:
My guests on this episode of Talking Taiwan are Eileen Lin-Goutier and Rolla Chng. Both are Taiwanese American women with Black partners and are parents of Blasian kids. Eileen is a relatively new parent with a two-year-old daughter and Rolla has two grown children who are 19 and 20 years old. I thought it would be a good idea to bring together these two women at very different stages of the parenting journey to have a conversation about their perspectives on raising Blasian children.
There was so much to discuss that we’ve decided to split up the conversation into two parts. Join us next week for the second part of the conversation when Eileen will talk about the Facebook group for Taiwanese Moms with Blasian kids that she’s a part of, and what she’s learned from being a part of that group. Rolla will talk about her son and daughter’s cross-country road trip and the discussions that she, their father Frantz, and their uncle Tim had with them about it, beforehand.
About Eileen Lin-Goutier:
Eileen was born and raised in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, and moved to U.S. when she was in high school. While at the University of Virginia she founded the Taiwanese Language Club and served as the president of Taiwanese Student Association. She later kicked off her nonprofit career by working at the Formosan Association of Public Affairs (FAPA) for three years (2010-2013) managing FAPA’s Young Professionals Group (FAPA-YPG). Eileen has also served on the board of Taiwanese American Association of America’s (TAA) Greater Washington Chapter for several years by helping to plan local cultural events and Taiwanese American Heritage Week. Her nonprofit career was been guided by her belief in fighting for social justice, equity and human rights. Eileen met her Haitian American husband, Edwin through a love for food, family and passion for social and environmental causes. She currently lives in Washington D.C. with her family.
About Rolla Chng:
Rolla Chng was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio. While at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, she established the Taiwanese American Students Club (TASC) and helped to found the Intercollegiate Taiwanese American Students Association (ITASA). Rolla has been involved with the Taiwanese American Conference- East Coast (TAC/EC) in the 90s and early 2000s. She organized the second generation program for TAC/EC in 1998 and 2003, and has been a strong supporter of TAC/EC’s new iteration, Taiwanese American Next Generation (TANG). She raised her Haitian-Taiwanese American daughter and son in Baltimore City with their father, Master Frantz Cadet, owner of Cadet Martial Arts and Fitness. She began teaching math in Baltimore City Public Schools and community college when her children reached school age. After her children graduated from high school, she returned to her pre-family career of civil engineering.
About Rolla’s children:
Her daughter, Uiseng Francois, is on pandemic hiatus from her New York City gig playing a Jet in the Broadway revival of West Side Story. She is a second year BFA student in dance at Peabody Institute, and is currently continuing her studies, virtually, as she travels cross country. Rolla’s son Evains traveled with Uiseng during the first week of her cross-country trip, before entering his second year of a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering at Northwestern University in Evanston, IL.
Here’s a little preview of what we talked about in this podcast episode:
- How their parents/families first react to learning that their partner was Black
- When their parents’ perceptions changed
- How to deal with people’s reactions to them and their Blasian kids
- Dealing with people’s perceptions of their kids as primarily Black
- Acknowledging that as a parent you may unintentionally do things that hurt your kids
- How they co-parent with their partners
- Learning about the Black experience through their partner’s personal experiences
- The Taiwanese experience and the role social justice in Eileen and Rolla’s lives
- The importance of acknowledging the privilege that you have compared to other groups of people
- Preparing their kids for encounters with the police or authority figures
- The importance of instilling confidence in your kids to be comfortable with who they are
- How to prepare your kids for any racism or bias they may encounter and make sure that they are safe
- “The talk” that Black parents have with their kids
- How Asian identity is perceived in the U.S.
- The acceptance of Blasian people’s Asian identity
- The participation of Rolla’s kids in Taiwanese American conferences and summer camps
- Dealing with microaggressions that they have experienced
- Eileen’s parenting questions for Rolla and Rolla’s advice
The Watts Riots (aka Watts Riots): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Watts_riots
Intercollegiate Taiwanese American Students Association (ITASA): https://itasa.org/
Taiwanese American summer camps and conferences:
Taiwanese American Next Generation (TANG): http://tangeneration.org/
Taiwanese American Foundation (TAF): https://www.tafworld.org/
Formosan Association of Public Affairs (FAPA): https://fapa.org/
Formosan Association of Public Affairs- Young Professionals Group (FAPA- YPG) on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/fapaypg
FAPA- YPG LA/OC Chapter Facebook Group: https://facebook.com/groups/54085939954
FAPA- YPG NY/NJ Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/nynjypg
FAPA- YPG San Francisco/Bay Area Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/fapaypgsf
Taiwanese Association of America (TAA): https://www.taa-usa.org/
Taiwanese American Conference- East Coast (TAC/EC): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taiwanese_American_Conference