The Pholafel Dinner at Vanderbilt University
What happens when you bring two communities together for a night of amazing food, collaboration, and dialogue? The results are pretty worthwhile. Recently at Vanderbilt University, David Project interns partnered with the Asian American Student Association for an event called "Pholafel". The event focused on bringing both these communities together, while enjoying some delicious Pho and Falafel; two cuisines unique to both of these communities on campus.
Joyce Hwang is a David Project intern and graduating senior at Vanderbilt University. She felt the event was an important step in building bridges and learning about each other's cultures."We both share unique and also similar experiences on this campus, but these two communities rarely find opportunities to interact and build relationships in our separate circles." said Joyce. When creating the event, Joyce felt it was important to breakdown some of the harmful misconceptions that both communities face. "The Main Focus of this event was to bring the Asian-American community and the Jewish community together to discuss the model minority myth, and how it influences both of our communities, as well as other minority groups, in different and similar ways. Pholafel has been a regular event since last semester, but this year, we wanted to take it in a direction that would foster more conversation and relationship building about an important issue."
Joyce believes that the value behind this event is showing both communities that there is an opportunity to support each other through difficult times, while also finding common areas for continued partnership. "This event sparked an important conversation about allyship and solidarity, not only between these two communities, but for other communities as well" said Joyce. "We discussed the need for both our communities to stand together against the model minority myth so that we can stand up in solidarity with other minority groups as well."