Alice Wu is a human rights activist and a fellow alum of the Milano School of International Affairs, Management and Urban Policy, part of The New School, a progressive university in New York City. I was privileged to spend the summer of 2012 with her, working on human rights issues in Hong Kong, SAR, China.
How would you describe your life’s work?
Since I haven’t been working for very long I would rather describe it as my future life’s work. And I want to see my future life’s work as an ongoing and relentless commitment to social justice, women and girls.
Why does it matter?
Empowerment of women and girls and their ability and potential to live a life without violence is critically important. In thinking about power in this case, I would rather define it as the power that we have within ourselves to change ourselves and in turn, re-imagine the world. I think that if we as women and girls can find that within ourselves, we would be able to create a radically different world where we (women) can demand and implement justice.
How did you come to do this work?
When I was high school, I was privileged to travel to rural parts of China as a volunteer, where I worked with adolescent girls. Seeing the transformation of their behavior over time, in a safe environment where they felt encouragement and trust, was very powerful. I think if anybody were to witness their growth in confidence during that short time, they would see how much it matters in terms of outward performance, both social and academic. Since then, I have been more conscious of the professional path I want to walk.
What would you say is your most significant achievement in the past two years?
My ability to engage with regional human rights movements from a professional level through Amnesty International and UNICEF. They have given me very rewarding experiences and opportunities to interact with communities of activism in different ways.
What’s next for you?
I am still looking for an opportunity that is related to my field of study and past professional work. I hope to continue to engage with activism, empowerment, and communications. My heart lies with the Asia Pacific region, so hopefully one day I’ll be able to return.
How do you want to be remembered?
I want to be remembered as someone who was committed to expanding opportunities for women and girls.