STNT is an idea that combines my professional development with my lived experience. On a personal level, as a political aslyee in the U.S. who is a queer and transgender person of color, I live at the intersections of many issues and identities. I have found myself repeatedly on the receiving end of hurtful language. I wouldn’t want anyone else to feel excluded by an inadvertent, unconscious phrase.
Professionally, I took a leap in May 2014 to become a freelance consultant in order to pursue work that reflects my full range of passions and skills. I am passionate about uncovering our commonalities and our shared struggles. By building on our collective experiences, I enable people to galvanize their power to create a just society. This is why I am passionate about creating tools that will create a more inclusive world.
I am also committed to addressing racial justice, economic equality, environmental sustainability and gender/LGBTQ inclusion as a trainer, strategist, speaker and catalyst for change. Find out more about my work as a consultant when I’m not working on Say This Not That. Check out Yee Won Chong’s Beyond the Gender Binary TEDx Talk
When I learned about the work Yee Won was doing with Say This Not That, I knew I wanted to help however I could. As a linguist, I am fascinated by language as social and cultural phenomenon. Language is our daily instrument of self-expression, of political action, what we rely on to understand and be understood. As a member of a queer, multiracial family, I have also found myself and those I love on the receiving end of hurtful language. I have often found that one of the most powerful tools for fostering tolerance and respect is expanding vocabularies. I want to give people the tools and language they need to engage constructively and respectfully with one another. As I help build the lexicon for Say This Not That, I hope not to silence people who might have used harmful language in the past, but rather to encourage more inclusive and meaningful conversations.
Currently, I work to develop technologies that understand conversational language. Previously, I helped build online talking dictionaries with minority language activists working to revitalize their indigenous languages. My experiences so far have deepened my appreciation for language as an important political instrument for activists. I’ve learned to see language as a tool that helps us speak justice to power. Say This Not That allows me to draw on my training as linguist, while simultaneously invoking my commitment to work on behalf of a more just world.