By Fiona Nguyen

At Global Lives Project, we are honored to have talented and empathetic individuals who are devoted to working on our mission.

There are two programs at University of California, Berkeley called “URAP” and “ACES” that offer students the opportunity to be part of our project and grow with us through the years.

URAP: Undergraduate Research Apprentice Program 

ACES: American Cultures Engaged Scholarship

In Spring of 2020, students in the ACES program also simultaneously take a class called “Social Movements and Social Media” taught by David Harris, the founder of the Global Lives Project.

Students from URAP and ACES have the opportunity to learn and showcase skills in empathy-building social media management, data analysis, translation management, video editing, web development, and book manuscript development. 

We would like to introduce you to 3 members of our organization: Jessica Shi, Kevin Lasek, and Minji Kim. 

Jessica Shi started at our organization as the Project Member of the Web team and Grants team in September of 2017. Her interest in the Global Lives Project first started when she attended one of our exhibits at BAMPFA. She was amazed to see people represented on an equal platform, despite living unfamiliar lives. Jessica pointed out that lives on the margins of society can be presented as “weird.” 

Jessica says, “Work is so dependent on who is with the organization.” This rings true for us, since our teams constantly collaborate with each other to help accomplish our goals. Jessica sees GLP as a wonderful opportunity for students to understand project management and learn from other teams that work with Google Analytics and Salesforce. Jessica also appreciates working alongside our founder, David Harris, because he offers great ideas, keeps the bigger picture in mind, and asks insightful questions. Jessica states that he has helped her “Refocus on what is actually important about the work that I do.” After years of working alongside our organization, Jessica now enjoys her position as a board member because it offers her an opportunity to offer advice, preserve knowledge of the Global Lives Project, and to continue encouraging empathy. 

Kevin Lasek began his journey with the Global Lives Project as a translator in Fall of 2018. From his role as a translator, Kevin went on to serve as the Project Manager of the translation team, then as the Lead Project Manager of the undergraduate student team.

Kevin sees the importance of recognizing the variety of different languages around the world that we are not usually accustomed to, especially languages in more remote parts of the world that are at risk for becoming extinct. Through his work with the translation team, he had the opportunity to work with a great set of students, translators, and volunteers. Kevin reached out to a volunteer from our organization’s Volunteer List spreadsheet to help translate a word in Nepali. He connected with a man named Dr Tsewang Gyurme Gurung, who previously participated in translating Mingmar Lama’s videos. When Kevin received a response from Dr Tsewang Gyurme, the first thing he said to Kevin was, 

“Hello friend

  I am up in the mountains.” (He was staying in the mountains in Nepal)!

This experience illustrates the vast landscape and diversity of people that our organization aims to connect and unify. Since graduating in Fall 2019, Kevin definitely wants to stay involved with the Global Lives Project!

Minji Kim started her journey at the Global Lives Project as a member of our translation team in Fall of 2019 and is currently one of our Lead Project Managers. Through her work with the translation team, she had the opportunity to attend a conference about localization and translation to talk about recruiting and she worked directly with people from DotSub.

She also contributed to our San Francisco State University exhibit at the Global Museum. Through her work, Minji discovered  how generously others wanted to help out with our organization. For example, Uber wanted to donate or set up a volunteer program to help support our translations team. When asked why other organizations may be motivated to help out Global Lives Project, Minji responded by explaining how she sees Global Lives Project as an organization that is organic and not overproduced, since our videos are not edited to push a certain agenda. She says, “You can’t go wrong by supporting this kind of thing.” Since our organization prioritizes sharing information instead of trying to persuade others, it may serve as a motivator for companies and representatives to be more willing to support. As a nonprofit, Global Lives Project is extremely thankful for the amazing donors, volunteers, and supporters from all over the world that have contributed to our organization through the years. We are always looking for volunteers and translators and would love to hear more from you! If you are interested in joining us in our mission to spread awareness of different cultures around the world and fostering cultural empathy, please connect with us!

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