For the Spring 2020 term, under the guidance of UIC Professor Roooshey Hasnain and CIRCA- Pintig’s Artistic Director, Ginger Leopoldo, a trio of UIC students – Miriam Mercado, Noah Ohashi, and Rick Wild – who are Seniors in the Disability and Human Development undergraduate program, are exploring the possibilities of serving the disability community to de-stigmatize mental health within the context of the intersectionality of mental health and Asian Americans identity, and/or Asian immigrants identity.
Their purpose is to gather stories of individuals’ experiences and create a platform by podcast as storytelling. They are seeking to extend the mission of CIRCA – Pintig in advocating for the well-being and cultural understanding of Asian immigrants, Asian Americans in Chicago. In portraying and giving voice to community members at the intersection of mental health and Asian immigrant/Asian Americans identity, mental health stigmas give way to Mad Pride, and form alliances throughout the student population of the University of Illinois at Chicago and surrounding Chicago immigrant communities. They are committed to creating a space that is comfortable, safe, and accessible for the sharing of personal experiences, values, and ideas concerning disability, identity, gender, and minority cultural issues.
The goal is to have a few sets of interviewees tell their story which will be shared through a podcast. Their work is essential to, not simply telling immigrant stories, but also, engaging the community in a collective reflection of key issues, and, most importantly, uncovering creative solutions for the community’s particular concerns.