Read Jamie Mittelman's story while working at the Asian University for Women (AUW),
She proposed an idea that she saw as ‘killing two birds with one stone.’ Her idea was
to publish a University cookbook that used student recipes and anecdotes as
conduits for the students’ cultures and identities. It came to fruition and shows her passion and committment.
"I was working at the first liberal arts school for women in
Asia, living with brilliant women from twelve countries and backgrounds so
vastly different from each other, yet they all had one thing in common: they
did not realize how strong and amazing they were. Butter Tea and Banana Soup: Food as Identity is a celebration ofthese women. As I write in the introduction this book “was created so AUW students can better understand each other and as a result, better understand themselves.” Bird #1: Empowering the students by valuing their stories and
highlighting how inspirational they are. Bird #2: Using the students’ stories
to market the University to prospective students and donors.
The final product, published in 2012,
was just recently highlighted on Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn’s Half the
Sky Blog: http://www.halftheskymovement.org/blog/entry/inspired-by-2-butter-tea-banana-soup-food-as-identity
My deepest hope is that others can apply this model to help bring together and
celebrate their own communities.
I am grateful to have had the opportunity to spearhead this
project, and the students truly gave me an invaluable gift. Simply put, they
allowed me to see the power of communications to create change. For this
reason, I have dedicated myself to using communications as a means of personal