Creative Writing, feminism, feminist, History

Wisdom on Women Post #2: Dr. Reiko Homma True

As you may already know She Is Splendid is dedicated to ALL Women of Color. As the month of May has now arrived, we have also made it to Asian-American and Pacific Islander Month. May is also known as Mental Health Awareness Month. With that said, I would like to kick it off by honoring Dr. Reiko Homma True, a splendid WOC who also happens to be a native of Japan and also a practicing Psychologist.

Throughout the history of Psychology white men have often been overrepresented. Even today this overrepresentation with white men in Psychology as the dominating group is still a commonality. Thus, a lot of men of color, and women in general are severely underrepresented. This lack of representation can lead to a lack of trust from those in the general public who seek to find mental health services. Also, a plethora of individuals who come from non-white backgrounds tend to shun the idea of Western Mental Health practices.

Therefore, when women such as Dr. True come along, it is key to be informed about who they are and what they have done. That way young women of color can feel, and see themselves represented which in turn can help provide them with the necessary courage to excel above the norms. Overall, we must highlight the accomplishments of courageous individuals who go into fields such as Psychology, without fitting the stereotypical idea of what a Mental Health Care Professional is supposed to resemble.


Five Splendid Facts You Should Know About Dr. Reiko True

1. Dr. True Is a Japanese Native

Reiko Homma True, was born in Japan in 1930. Prior to migrating to the U.S., True attended a university in Tokyo. While enrolled in university, she made history as being one of the only 3 women in a class total of 80 students. Thus, proving that even in her earlier days she served as a champion for her fellow women. Dr. True later attended the California School of Professional Psychology in Berkley.

2. She Is an Activist

In her own words, True has previously admitted that “Activism was quite foreign to…” her. Dr. True’s early career life is what eventually propelled her into the world of activism for other minorities and especially for other Asian-Americans. True was inspired by her peers, friends and mentor, Mary Goulding, who were all heavily involved in the progressive movement during the 60s. Although she considered herself to simply be a more reserved Asian woman, True later admitted that becoming an activist was “…quite empowering.”

3. True Is an Advocate for the Asian Community

One of her missions as a Psychologist has been to help her fellow Asian-Americans have the ability to better navigate the American society within the realms of their native culture. So it is no surprise that she has served as a strong advocate for other Asian-American women. Dr. True has specifically been known for mentoring Asian women in areas of life such as “struggling with their husband’s expectations that they be subservient.” Overall, her career has been in service of uplifting minorities. Thanks to her dedication to her community, Dr. True’s career took off nationally and internationally as well.

4. She Is a Founder

In 1995 the Kobe region of Japan suffered a severe earthquake. After this natural disaster Dr. True traveled to Japan and eventually developed a program that helped to offer mental health services to victims of natural disasters. Later on down the line, she also played an integral part in the establishment of the Asian-American Community Mental Health Program which is located in Oakland, California. This community center was a first of its kind to offer mental health services primarily centered on the specific needs of a designated minority population.

5. She Is a Winner

Dr. True has been honored with a plethora of awards all throughout her very lengthy career. A few awards bestowed upon her include the 2003 Lifetime Award from the Asian American Psychological Association (AAPA), and has even been accredited as an Outstanding Alumna by the Japanese American Women Alumnae of UC Berkeley of the California Alumni Association. Furthermore, she has also been a winner of the first title, take for example her recognition as the first woman and first minority to become the director of Mental Health, Substance Abuse and Forensic Services.

Currently Dr. True is still a practicing Clinical Psychologist in the San Francisco area of California. She continues to be of service to her community by aiding them with personal and professional circumstances. Dr. True has expressed that she understands how significant mental health issues can be when it comes to minorities due to their “…unique struggle at various levels-whether they are first, second, third or fourth generation.” Is is with great pleasure that I honor Dr. True as the second featured splendid woman for Wisdom on Women Wednesday’s.

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Why Women’s History Month??? 

How come there’s no (insert society’s dominant group here) month?

If I had a loan for every time someone asked this question I’d be in debt for eternity. So listen up you non-marginalized peeps and yes I know some of you are also marginalized in different ways BUT that is not the point at hand.

Why is there a month for nearly every “minority” group in America? Also, when I say minority I mean those of us who are submerged under the pressures of the dominant or majority forces of this country. Minority should not be a replacement word for Latino, Black, Native American or in this case women. It simply helps to describe the system in which we live.

Back to the topic at hand. Women’s History Month exists in order to highlight the great impact and importance of  individuals who identify as women have contributed to society. Yes I said “identify.” (That is a major key to keep in mind.) It is also in existence to laminate the fact that while women have often gone left out of historical rhetoric, it does not mean that our work is not important. The contributions that women have made throughout the world should not be left out of the major narrative that exists within history. Therefore, the month of March is our time to expose to the world just how much we have done for so little credit.

While I am glad there is a Women’s History Month, please be mindful that throughout the rhetoric of history there are some women who have been left out of it as well. Women who are of African, Latina, Asian, and Middle Eastern descent have rarely been given the credit that is due their name. With that said, when others ask why we deserve to be highlighted during a certain month or time it pains me so because it is as if no matter what we do our voices are told to be muted. Yet when we cry out in pain, we are told that we are nagging  (typical sexist response) or we are pulling some sort of card (i.e. race card).

Coming from a woman like myself who is of African descent, Haitian ethnic background, and at first glance a Black person point, blank period, I know for a fact I am judged off of my outer appearance. Therefore, if I don’t work triple times as hard in this country then the triple strikes already against me will hold me down even further than I am already held. On top of that if I don’t make my light shine, then another individual can come up and snatch that from me at any minute (i.e. cultural appropriation).

So when we say Happy Women’s History Month, and throw our weekly celebrations in honor of it do not suck your teeth in disdain. Do not ask us why we think we are so special. Do not attempt to block our light, the one we have struggled in the dark to even create this glow.

If you are still asking Why Women’s History Month? Then I must ask you “Why is there no full inclusion of women throughout historical texts unless they were serving others in some sort of way? And why are you not as angry about the lack of inclusion as opposed to the fact that there is a month dedicated to that inclusion?”

Why Women’s History Month? Because as WOMEN regardless of what societal conditioning may have us all believe, our stories and contribution to history is just important as the next human being. Also, WHM exists to show younger women, and little girls all around the world that they are full capable of living a life without any limits no matter how our gender is portrayed in books, movies, schools, and such. Young women deserve to know the truth about where they come from and where they are able to go in the future. So Women’s History Month exists not just to laminate what has already been done but what is to come.

Before I leave this post, I’d like to leave you with this message “Each time a girl opens a book and reads a womanless history, she learns she is worth less.” ~ Myra Pollack Sadker

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What The Hello Is She Is Splendid?

The Idea Behind She Is Splendid

If you have clicked on this post, chances are you are curious to know what the heck She Is Splendid is all about. Well, I’d be more than glad to answer that question for you. She Is Splendid is an idea I’ve had for a little over a year now in which I wanted to create a safe space where not only can I express myself openly, but I could also share that with the world. When I first created the name of this blog it came out of an idea I had regarding community organizations geared towards the empowerment of young women. I thought to myself how too often young girls are pressured to compete against one another, when in fact they shouldn’t be pressured to do anything. While pressure does make diamonds, I think that it is important to guide young girls into loving themselves, and their fellow sisters in the world. Hence, the reason why the title of this blog is shortened to S.I.S.

Who Is S.I.S. For?

She Is Splendid is a safe space for young and older Women of Color (WOC) from ages 14+ who need encouragement, advice and a place to express themselves. So if ever you would like to submit pieces of your talent with the world, and you want it posted on here I’d be more than willing to share it. If you are shy and want to go under an anonymous name that’s fine too. Likewise, I wanted to offer an area of comfort for my fellow women of color who often go unrepresented in the media, job market etc. While this is simply a blog today, there are many more ideas that I have to move it forward to something much bigger.

Who Else Is S.I.S. For?

Furthermore, while this blog is geared towards WOC, it does not completely exclude other young women or even men. Hence, there will be certain posts that are not specific to what gender one identifies as or one’s ethnic background, but will simply be posted to inspire everyone. However, based off of the societal norm which lacks representation for WOC, I do want to provide a piece of that for those who need it. I hope to expand this blog from just an Internet space to a physical one when the time comes.

What Will S.I.S. Consist Of?

Here at She Is Splendid, you may find posts of articles, videos, poetry, quotes, and maybe even a short story or two depending on how I’m feeling. But, for now have no fear for you are Splendid and splendid is as splendid does. So keep on being Splendid! 🙂

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(S.I.S)-She Is Splendid

For many years I have been searching for something to fill in missing pieces within my life. Often times I tell others that I want to do this or I want to do that but I don’t do those things. If there is anything that I have learned within my last 21 years on this earth, it is that I am the sole enemy of myself for holding my life’s potential from becoming kinetic movement. So She Is Splendid or S.I.S. is my personal gift to myself in order that I begin propelling my potential forward.

I have realized that my soul is the main source of energy needed to propel my life forward and girl do I have a strong soul! Last but certainly not least, seeking God first in all that I do has been and will always be my first step to any change in my life. So in the spirit of God and of my ancestors who have left behind a legacy for myself along with other women of color to continue, I bring to you She Is Splendid aka S.I.S.: A Safe Space Blog for my fellow Women of Color and an inspirational corner for those who are in need of a pick me up for the day. Welcome to my circle of Splendid-Hood! I truly hope that you enjoy your stay.

-Soso Royale