Mai Du, Founder of the Wah Lum Kung Fu and Tai Chi Academy in Malden, jokes that her American dream started out as a nightmare at Logan Airport. Only eight, after a year living in refugee camps in Thailand and the Philippines she arrived with her family in the United States on Halloween night.
Despite this spooky start, Du has established herself in the United States not only as a Vietnamese-Chinese-American but a nationally recognized youth organizer and activist, one of the few female certified Wah Lum Kung Fu instructors in the Greater Boston Area, Founder and Sifu of a thriving award-winning Kung Fu and Tai Chi academy in Malden, owner/teacher of a math and reading school, and founder of numerous local and national advocacy groups and coalitions.
Learning and education, or as Mai puts it “sharing”, is a constant theme in all she does. Passionate about youth and education, she is what she calls others to be,
relentless in the work of instilling hope and inspiration in our younger generations so that they have self-motivation, life skills, and a vision to take their futures heads on.
And though teaching-learning-doing is a cycle that continues and she is a work in process like all of us, there is indeed much to learn from her insights about what builds community and empowers youth to be their best not only for tomorrow but NOW.
Moment of Union excerpts featured on the Mai Du podcast, with permission, courtesy of Taisuke Kimura. A graduate from Berklee College of Music (Boston, Massachusetts) majoring in Film Scoring, Taisuke Kimura is a well-respected composer, arranger, and orchestrator now living in Los Angeles.
Flowers that Live Forever excerpts featured on the Mai Du podcast and video with permission, courtesy of Tinh Mahoney, a composer of instrumental music inspired by reflections on country of origin, Vietnam.
Images on the top banner February-March 2016 for story, belief, community, discovery, dialogue, creativity, and change. New artists are featured bi-monthly. Click to view.
Photographs by Ose Schwab