Counting Down to Mr. Hyphen 2011: Colin Ehara

November 1, 2011

Mr. Hyphen 2011 finalist Colin Ehara.

To continue our Five Contestants, Five Days coverage of Mr. Hyphen 2011 (check out all of the contestant profiles thus far), we highlight finalist Colin Ehara.

Colin Ehara is a man of beautiful words with beautiful goals. In his
application to this year’s Mr. Hyphen competition, he wrote, “I am maladjusted to injustice
and strive to identify both the unjust suffering that affects my life and that
of those I love … I understand that I occupy this privileged, bless-ed,
fortunate space because of my resilient/brilliant roots, partner, family, and
community. I know in no uncertain terms that the reason my light can shine
bright is due to my being surrounded by stars.”

Well, if you weren't touched by that, you’re not human.

Colin works as a youth development specialist at Juma Ventures, an
organization that serves youth who have the opportunity to be the first in
their families to go to college. He is passionate about using all the resources
at his disposal (including an MA in Asian American Studies … smart and great with kids, what a combination)
to help young people be their best, involved in their communities
and responsive to injustice.  

On API stereotypes, Colin says, “My least favorite Asian American stereotype is that we have
always been complicit to racism and white supremacy in America. For
instance, my grandparents were interned during WWII in American concentration
camps, and the idea that we all went passively makes my blood boil. I believe
we have and continue to be set up in a plethora of ways to make this look like
reality, but the examples of our elders like Yuri Kochiyama, Al Robles, Richard
Aoki, Allyson Tintiangco-Cubales, and a host of others combat these
misconceptions daily.  I maintain faith
and hope critically that this 'common sense' perception will someday

What we can't wait to see (or in this case, hear): Words, words, and words. Colin is as eloquent in person as he is on paper …
we have a feeling it’s going to be an inspiring evening.

Mr. Hyphen 2011 is on Saturday, November 5 at the Brava! Theater in San Francisco. Click here for more info on the event and to get tickets.