The Researchers

Our oral history project team, consisting of six Community Researchers plus project director Rev. Deborah Lee and faculty advisor Dr. Kathleen S. Yep, met from August 2009 - August 2010.

At one meeting we paired up, interviewed our partners, and each wrote our partner’s biography.

Sophay Duch Ferriera is a member of the Cambodian American community who was born in Cambodia and raised in Echo Park. A ferocious woman of color on a journey, she is a peacemaking college student who intends to study Peace and Conflict Studies and Gender/Feminist studies. Using education as a means of nonviolent social change, she has taught with critical faith programs at the Pacific School of Religion and the literacy organization “Teach Cambodia.” A fierce mother to Violet, Sophay is committed to listening to and retelling Cambodian history as a form of social justice work.
Interviewed: Choeung Chuord, Sarou Vong, Sambat Oun, and Vat Nobb.

Siouleolelei Paogofie is a sister with a calling and a deep yearning for the thriving of Pacific peoples and powerful women. Though young in years, Siou has an elder's wisdom and deep commitment to the continuation of the history, culture and evolving story of Samoan peoples, and yet she is equally committed to issues of justice for all people. Born and raised in American Samoa, Siou lived in Hawai'i and now lives in California. She plays an important role as a bridge-builder, between cultures, generations and across difference. Grounded by a deep sense of love and faith in God and blessed with a beautiful voice that helps to bring connection with the sacred, she is personally committed to call attention and understanding to the struggle for Samoan women to be fully recognized in ordained ministry.
Interviewed: Rev. Tofaifaleula Tosi Amosa.

Lauren Quock, a native of San Francisco (who loves fog) is an amazing artist, community mural facilitator and teacher. She is a third-generation Chinese American and the granddaughter of a paper son. She is a wonderer who asks lots of questions, vibes with the music of acoustic singers and songwriters, and loves noodles. She is currently living in Berkeley, CA, but really feels at home in Chinatown.
Interviewed: Cynthia “Cindy” Joe, Doreen Der McLeod
Jun Stinson is on a journey to learn from the generations of women before her; as a documentarian, she aims to raise awareness of stories left untold. An Oakland, California native and daughter of Yuri Morita, she spent her childhood in Kobe, Japan and was drawn to this project because she wanted to document and share stories of bold Asian Pacific Islander women. She currently lives in Oakland and is studying documentary film at U.C. Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism.
Interviewed: Jean Ishibashi, Marion Wake.

Crystal Talitonu is a working class Samoan womyn, daughter, sister, and auntie who is consciously seeking the truth and digging deep to learn more about her roots and her self from the streets of east San Jose. She believes that the stories of womyn need to be told and is feeling the fire to keep the oral tradition alive. Crystal is on a constant lookout for new things to try and is happiest when her creative side has room to breathe.
Interviewed: Manufou Liaiga-Anoa'i

Sina Uipi is a daughter of Tonga who grew up in Los Angeles. Passionate, curious and introspective, Uipi chose to be a Community Researcher for Women, Faith, and Action because she wanted to know her own history, share her indigenous knowledge with the world, and discipline her actions as an activist and feminist. She hopes that from this project her generation will know that they are their own resources.
Interviewed: Rev. Mele Laufilitonga Luani

Rev. Deborah Lee (Project Director)
Praising with her hands and feet, this Chinese American daughter, spouse, mother, and pastor walks the world with a spirit for social justice. Seeking the history of the footsteps that paved the way, she is trying to understand her own path. She is a United Church of Christ minister who lives out her faith and follows her call to justice, while continuing to search for similar stories to learn and grow. She is a mother to three, plus the many she continues to foster. An inspiration, light and passion, Deborah Lee is deeply grounded in “educating others and herself”, creating peace, healing, power, experience, love, faith, justice, and community.... rooted in life.
Interviewed: Rev. Wako Puanani Burgess, Yuri Morita, June Shimokawa.

Dr. Kathleen S. Yep (Project Faculty Advisor)
Walking the windy roads of life, one can feel alone and lost. When your time comes and you make that turn to seek fellowship from a wise sage, I hope you fall into the tender hands of Kathy Yep. This peace maker has many styles of educating. You can find her in the classrooms of Pitzer college or in the company of community builders. The curiosity of hidden stories have led her to aid community researchers who found out that they have stories to tell even as they are researching. Her spirit is dressed with beautiful intrigued untold stories from her aunties and grandmother that can only be seen through the foot print she leaves behind. She will intentionally dance through her lectures with mindfulness. When she invites you to be an agent of social change; just say yes. It’ll be okay because she is a care giver.

Website created by Sharon Hwang Colligan.