Diversity reboot

Penelope Strong
Penelope Strong
Summit Speaker

Building multicultural organizations. Community Outreach. DEI Partner and Strategist. City Finals Champ. NAAAP Volunteer.

I'm a transracial foster who was not raised by tiger parents, therefore, was not the model minority. Bullying during childhood, racism and life-long microaggressions caused a lot of trauma, self-doubt and self-loathing. It was a lonely childhood since I didn't have a community to belong, never had role models to look up to, nor the words to express what I was experiencing. I struggled with my identity, tried to assimilate, felt I had to prove to others that I was loveable, and begged for acceptance by rejecting anything Asian and emulating whiteness. More than just an Asian, I am an orphan, a single mom, returning to the workplace late in life, ambitious, goal-oriented, and struggling to find a career path in a corporate world that is not accepting of an out-of-the-box thinker who has a non-traditional resume. I am seeking a wolfpack. It wasn't until the Asian-hate crimes started that I finally found a voice, wanted to be seen and heard, and am proud and finally accepting of who I am and what I look like. I am learning to appreciate what I bring to the table because of my unique lens. I want to belong, to show up and feel safe being me.