San Diegan Uses Art Blog to Share Stories of Immigrants
Updated: Dec 22, 2021
Wei-En Tan is on a mission to get Americans to empathize with their immigrant neighbors through an art blog that tells the stories of drivers she meets on Uber, Lyft or taxi rides.
The 37-year-old San Diegan started the blog, called Riding Up Front, as a personal exercise to better connect to people. Now she’s repurposed it to help alleviate the fear that she believes many feel toward immigrants in today’s political climate.
“I know the stories I’ve heard on a ride somewhere have changed me,” Tan said. “If I could change the mind of one person, I think that would be a win for me.”
One story on the blog tells of a Jamaican woman who is in the Marine Corps in San Diego and drives for Lyft as a side job.
The woman, given the pseudonym Aurora in the story, tells Tan that she only sleeps about four hours a night and cooks for her husband and 3-year-old daughter in addition to working the two jobs.
Aurora says she’s going to teach her daughter how to work hard and save money.
“Most of all, I’m gonna teach my girl how to love. And love hard,” Aurora says to Tan.
“She was one of the most determined people I knew,” Tan said. “The biggest lesson I took from her was to try and be as positive as possible. She was doing a lot more than me, and there I was complaining about how exhausted I was from sitting around in an office talking.”