Elise Umetsu

Elise Umetsu grew up reading and writing in Camarillo, CA with her independent-minded sister, generous mother, and patient father. She recently graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles, where she majored in International Development Studies and English. At UCLA, Elise was fortunate to join families of Taiko drumming, theater, and, of course, Vigilant Love. She will be relocating to Japan in the fall, where she will work as a teaching assistant in English-learning classrooms.

Elise aspires to teach high school English, build community wherever she can, and have cats. Her Tinder describes her fairly well: “Queer almost-adult with an appreciation for wit and thoughtful questions. Enjoys bookstores, cool trees, and giving inordinate amounts of attention to wandering bugs. Nothing serious.”

Updated June 2020

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Nikkei Uncovered: a poetry column

What we hold

Over the past several years, Vigilant Love (an organization working towards safety and justice of communities impacted by Islamophobia and violence), has hosted a community Iftar bringing together hundreds of Muslim, Japanese American, and other Los Angeles community members in the spirit of many years of solidarity practice between our communities. This was the first year the program had to be virtual due to Covid-19, but over 170 people still came together for the online breaking of the fast. I had the great honor of working with Vigilant Love’s Solidarity Arts Fellows to collaborate …

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