Meet the Founder, Katie

I was born and raised on Ramaytush Ohlone land, also known as San Francisco, as a third generation Chinese American.

With parents who were heavily involved in non-profit organizations while my aunts and grandparents were in the arts, it wasn’t too much a surprise when social justice and storytelling came knocking at my door! I was fourteen years old when I began to explore my own family’s journey. It took over a decade of asking and learning about these stories that further complicated what was taught in the classroom. Today, I teach Asian American Studies in San Francisco. Through my work, I hope to share this journey forward to those with curious minds and open hearts.

I’ve been heavily involved in local San Francisco organizations like the Asian American Women Artists Association, Square and Circle Club, and Good Medicine Film Productions. In my free time, you can find me drawing, bouldering, or swatting gnats away from my indoor garden.

Where We Began

What started out as a new year resolution in 2016 transformed into a journey within itself.

Formerly known as This Asian American Life (TAAL), our stories explored Asian American themes through bite sized comics and visuals. With themes of family, romance, and self identity, we opened these moments up to classrooms and community events.

Our work aimed to educate and engage the public with nuances of an Asian American life.

Where We’re Going

REALSOUL makes the past present and accessible through ready-made visual stories and lesson guides for educators. We work with community artists and historians to weave Asian American and other BIPOC experiences together in classrooms. Our work aims to remind people that we do not stand alone, but rather, stand on the shoulders of many ancestors. With each story we tell, we hope that students and teachers alike may find a safe space knowing that they are rooted in history and in themselves.

Our goal of REALSOUL is to share and explore moments and movements of solidarity and intersectionality from the perspective of Asian America. With lesson plans and ready-made visuals, we invite educators to incorporate these histories into their classrooms so that every month is inclusive.

Inspired by the multi-disciplinary project, REAL SOUL: Black and Asian Unity, by Amanda Kemp, Michael T. Jamis, Leon Sun, and Francis Wong, we strongly believe that it is only through reflection and understanding of the past that we can move forward to the present and future.

Our Advisors

Our Collaborators