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GLIDE Voices: Lillian Mark on Asian American & Native Hawaiian / Pacific Islander Month

May 2021

GLIDE Voices is highlighting Asian American and Native Hawaiian / Pacific Islander Heritage Month. We asked Deputy Director of Programs Lillian Mark, “What GLIDE values resonate with you the most this month and why?

Lillian Mark, Deputy Director, Programs
When my grand-uncle passed away, I had the honor of delivering his eulogy. His daughter wrote out his life story, parts of which even she and her five siblings did not know until they started tracing it.

I did not know until I held the draft in my own hands that my grand uncle was a “paper son” which explains why he had two different names; one was his given name, and the other name was the one on the “paper” that my great grandfather had purchased for him to come from China to the United States. Even in this moment, I feel anxious acknowledging this part of my family history. The stories of where we come from have been buried because of fear, shame, and hurt. We continue to struggle with telling our story because we are told that we still do not belong. But even so…

I am my family’s story.

I am a constant, persistent manifestation of my family’s history – in my spirit, in my speech, and in my stride.

I am, as we say in GLIDE’s Terms of Faith and Resistance, telling the world my story. Unstoppable.

— Lillian Mark