When spoken word artist and Fong Tran, asked me to be part of bringing Ruby Veridiano to the UC Davis campus, I was thrilled! Her founding iLL-Literacy as a UCD student is legendary and her work with Glamourbaby Diaries has empowered thousands of young women of color nationally and internationally.
Since I have research on and curated an exhibit on the Vietnamese National dress, and teach a course “Asian Americans and the Political Culture of Fashion in the U.S. and Asia,” it made a lot of sense for us to collaborate.
It was clear from my early conversations with Ruby that possesses a spirit of an activist. One that sees wrongs in society and wants to tackle it head first. She goes about this struggle with such grace, dignity and a refined sense of style. She’s just sheer inspiration. Working on the project that she presented tonight was no work at all. We laughed, we signed, we theorized, we pontificated, and we shopped. Education should always be this fun.
The talk was like going through an amazing of self-discovery with Ruby. A journey wrought with many obstacles but always moving towards positive change. It is those personal moments that truly forms Ruby’s edgy ideas that challenge notions and images of femininity, strength, courage, and beauty. And she does this all with fashion as the center or core of her activism.
Wonderful talk and I hope she returns to UC Davis to run her empowering workshops.