Maritza H.



I was a bit hesitant to submit my story but after much consideration, persuasions and support; I am sharing my story of all the above of resilience, solidarity, resistance, but mostly celebration.

SO HELLO, I’m Maritza!  On Monday’s to Friday’s, I am part of LS&Co. family as their Garment Developer and Uplift (Asian) ERG Community/Outreach Pillar; engineering garments and connecting our employees together one stitch at a time.  On weekends, I am part of a 65 years young nonprofit organization, Chinese Folk Dance Association as their Creative Program Lead and Dance Instructor to low income dance students in San Francisco Chinatown.

As an alumni of CFDA, I volunteer my weekends giving back to the community whom was such a big part of my childhood.  It was a safe space to learn Traditional Chinese and Ethnic Minority Dance every Saturday.  65 years later we are still continuing this mentorship motto and passing down our roots and culture through the art of dance.

It was challenging during the pandemic navigating how to teach dance, keep students inspired while unpacking hard conversations of racism, try to answer all the “whys”, while addressing our mental well being. It was especially difficult within our AAPI community, as it is quite taboo to have these open dialogues.  I am SO thankful to say, together we (my students and I) prevailed; establishing a deeper foster system , and define what it means to be AAPI through these healthy conversations.  We did what we can to be accountable, to remain resilient, be in solidarity, be resistant, to evolve, and celebrate all our small wins.

Today, besides educating our past history, passing down dances to the next generation; we perform for our community, we volunteer with our community, we give back ,and pay forward to our community.  Together we celebrate our culture, the love for dance, paving the way, and writing our own AAPI history as we are the future!