Perspective of a Chinese-American Educator

Annie Zhou thinks “Race: Are We So Different?” has made her realize race is a global issue.
Photo by Ting Ting Chu.

Annie Zhou, a Chinese-American educator from International District in Seattle, thinks the exhibit “Race: Are We So Different” didn’t challenge her a lot. Instead, it has given her a deeper view of race through a scientific lens.

Zhou volunteers with the community as a facilitator for groups that are going to visit this race exhibit. She, nevertheless, didn’t visit it just because of this.

Currently Zhou is working at a high school. As a school counselor and an educator, she thinks talking about both race and equity is important. She said she saw it “played out” in school as well as the larger society.

I talked with Zhou when she was half-way through this exhibit. She didn’t think her thoughts were challenged a lot. That’s because she studied race in college, where she was a psychology major and sociology minor. She has already been engaging in this dialogue since she was in college. So, that kind of information was not new to her at all.

“Myself, I’m pretty clear what I’m racially and culturally,” said Zhou, who identified herself as a Chinese-American. However, she said lots of people, even Chinese and Asians, found it hard to believe that she was really a Chinese. “…They think I look Filipino.”

However, when it comes to friends, colleagues and strangers of other colors, they just all see her as Asian.

“But China is a big country…It’s a huge area of land, so, even people in China can’t believe, within their own country, that there are so much variation,” said Zhou.

Overall, though this race exhibit wasn’t full of surprises for Zhou, it did affect her in this ways: it has made her realize “race is an issue around the world.”