Alumna Tells Stories of Invisible

“Since I was young I wanted to write but I didn’t know what,” said ThreeSixty Journalism alumna Katelyn Vue.

Camper interviewing subject
ThreeSixty Alumna Katelyn Vue is working to tell diverse stories at the University of Minnesota.

She has since found the what.

Vue, a ThreeSixty Journalism almuna, who was one of the participants in a “fishbowl” conversation at the Truth and Transformation: Changing Racial Narratives in Media conference last week, said she wants to be a journalist who tells the stories of underrepresented communities.

The fishbowl conversation involves several people sitting in a circle and discuss given prompts in front of a larger audience. The group discussed a lack of representation and what Vue describes as “invisibility” for minority communities was a frequent topic of conversation. It is also a topic that means a lot to her.

Growing up Vue said she was not exposed to Asian role models in the media, let alone a figure who made her proud of her Hmong heritage. She said she “would have been more proud to be Hmong American” if she had such a role model. But, she had to go without one.

“If we stopped generating the same plots and the same narratives and using the same communities to tell them, I think I would have a better sense of who I am and very early on not have to face tough questions as a kid,” Vue said.

Vue is now a student at the University of Minnesota. She has noticed a significant lack of diversity in her school’s journalism department and is hoping for change.

“In my classrooms, I can definitely tell that there aren’t that many people of color and the professors, none of them are people of color,” Vue said. “So I think about, ‘When are we going to have that discussion?’”

Vue also works to change racial narratives by creating documentaries highlighting “eight specific communities and young women who face the greatest disparities in Minnesota.”

She attended the Truth and Transformation conference because she wants to help improve media perspectives of marginalized communities.

“You hear about how important diversity is in the newsrooms, and I think that not enough people really talk about how we are teaching future journalists to succeed and to not just tokenize people of color,” Vue said. “And being here [at the conference] that’s the conversation that we are constantly having and going in depth about and engaging with other people about.”