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What it's like to be an Asian-American, as told through 19 viral photos.

Students at Bowdoin College were hoping to start a conversation about race on their campus with these photos. Their plan worked.

What it's like to be an Asian-American, as told through 19 viral photos.

In October 2016, Asian-American New York Times editor Michael Luo posted on Twitter about being called out, on the streets of New York City, for his race.

Suddenly, hundreds of Asian-American Twitter users were talking about this. What things had people said to them, about the country they were born in?

One of the most poignant responses to Luo's tweet was a viral internet photo series out of Bowdoin College.

Bowdoin’s Asian Students Association (ASA) and South Asian Students Association (SASA) launched the photo exhibit, titled #Thisis2016, to expose the stereotypes and misconceptions associated with being an Asian-American.


All photos from Bowdoin’s Asian Students Association (ASA) and South Asian Students Association (SASA), used with permission.

The series was launched as part of Bowdoin’s No Hate November, a month-long program aimed at encouraging discussions about race and diversity on campus. With the photos, the students hope to show that every experience of being Asian in America looks different. They want to display the variety of experiences among participants too.

“A big takeaway from photo exhibit is this ability to have productive dialogue and have people ask themselves, ‘Why is this hurtful?’” Bowdoin’s ASA president Mitsuki Nishimoto says.

The photo series features 48 students holding signs that address common misconceptions and stereotypes about being Asian-American.

It includes students from China, South India, Pakistan, and Vietnam, among other countries. The photo series was first published to the Asian Students Association of Bowdoin’s Facebook page, and it has since received more than 85,000 shares and 3,000 individual Likes.

“I think the word 'Asian' has been used as a homogenizing term. People tend to think of only East Asians, and the rest of the Asian continent gets left out... It is important to recognize that while a lot of Asians share commonalities, we are also heterogenous,” Nishimoto says.

It also addresses jokes Asian-American students have been told about their race.

“While jokes might be told in a humorous manner and seem lighthearted, they still carry a weight. When you tell me I can use dental floss as a blindfold, you’re referencing a specific body part. No one is going to tell a non-asian person something like this,” Bowdoin’s ASA co-vice president Kevin Ma said. Even though Ma says he wasn’t personally hurt by the comment, he says other Asian Americans may feel differently if told the same.

Here are 18 more photos of students sharing their real experiences:

Overall, this photo series does more than simply display things that were said. It also redirects attention to the impact of our words.

“When people hear the word racism they obviously think negativity, they think, ‘I don’t identify with that term. I’m not racist.’ We need to redefine and rethink the word and what it really means. Though not all of the things that were said to us were intended to be hurtful, they’re still racially insensitive,” Nishimoto says.

The students hope that after viewing the photos people will be able to better empathize with the Asian-American community, keeping an open mind and standing up when microaggressions are enacted in the world around them.

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When a pet is admitted to a shelter it can be a traumatizing experience. Many are afraid of their new surroundings and are far from comfortable showing off their unique personalities. The problem is that's when many of them have their photos taken to appear in online searches.

Chewy, the pet retailer who has dedicated themselves to supporting shelters and rescues throughout the country, recognized the important work of a couple in Tampa, FL who have been taking professional photos of shelter pets to help get them adopted.

"If it's a photo of a scared animal, most people, subconsciously or even consciously, are going to skip over it," pet photographer Adam Goldberg says. "They can't visualize that dog in their home."

Adam realized the importance of quality shelter photos while working as a social media specialist for the Humane Society of Broward County in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

"The photos were taken top-down so you couldn't see the size of the pet, and the flash would create these red eyes," he recalls. "Sometimes [volunteers] would shoot the photos through the chain-link fences."

That's why Adam and his wife, Mary, have spent much of their free time over the past five years photographing over 1,200 shelter animals to show off their unique personalities to potential adoptive families. The Goldbergs' wonderful work was recently profiled by Chewy in the video above entitled, "A Day in the Life of a Shelter Pet Photographer."

4-year-old New Zealand boy and police share toys.

Sometimes the adorableness of small children is almost too much to take.

According to the New Zealand Police, a 4-year-old called the country's emergency number to report that he had some toys for them—and that's only the first cute thing to happen in this story.

After calling 111 (the New Zealand equivalent to 911), the preschooler told the "police lady" who answered the call that he had some toys for her. "Come over and see them!" he said to her.

The dispatcher asked where he was, and then the boy's father picked up. He explained that the kids' mother was sick and the boy had made the call while he was attending to the other child. After confirming that there was no emergency—all in a remarkably calm exchange—the call was ended. The whole exchange was so sweet and innocent.

But then it went to another level of wholesome. The dispatcher put out a call to the police units asking if anyone was available to go look at the 4-year-old's toys. And an officer responded in the affirmative as if this were a totally normal occurrence.

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