Name of AAPI FigurePatsy Takemoto Mink
What is the person’s Asian heritage or ethnicity?Japanese-American
Area of InfluencePolitics
Date of birth or time period6-Dec-27
How did this individual make a contribution to their field or to society/culture at large?She was the first woman of color and Asian-American women elected to congress. During her terms, Patsy worked hard to pass rights for women, children, immigrants, and minorities. She introduced the first comprehensive initiatives under the Early Childhood Education Act, and opposed a supreme court nominee on the basis of discrimination against women.
Why did you choose this person? What about their story speaks to you?I chose this person because she had to face a lot of obstacles, but she never stopped trying. She experienced racism at her university, and illness forced her to leave the school and return to Hawaii to complete her studies there. She applied to 12 medical schools, but was rejected by all of them. Instead of giving up, she changed courses and applied to law school instead. She was finally accepted and graduated from the University of Chicago.
How does this person inspire you?This person inspires me because when she couldn’t find a way to succeed, she made one herself. She was unable to find a job because she was married and had children, and had been refused the right to take a bar exam. So, she opened her own law institute with the help of her father.
What surprised you as you were learning about this person?After the bombing of pearl harbor, her father was taken to prison for questioning just because of his ethnicity (Japanese).
Submitted byMarissa Hao
City, StateLexington, MA