Service Project: Greater Minneapolis Council of Churches
Capacity Building, Youth Development & Community Development
Len Sanqui is currently a Program & Communications Coordinator at the nonprofit GMCC. In 2022, they graduated with a degree in Photography and minor in New Media & Digital Cultures from Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina, before moving to Minnesota to become a Community Engagement Fellow with Move for America. They apply their digital media skills to create photo, video, and graphic design content for GMCC's social media and communications. Outside of work, they are pursuing freelance photography and filmmaking. As a queer Filipino, they are interested in collaborating with other queer BIPOC artists and community organizers.
Your Best American Girl by Mitski
Mitski is one of my favorite artists. She is Asian American and although she is known to write sad music, her songs actually explore a lot of different complex emotions. This song is about Mitski being in a relationship with a white person and feeling as if she is unworthy because she doesn’t perfectly fit the “American” standards he represents. I really like the lyric “your mother wouldn’t approve of how my mother raised me, but I do, I think I do” because it shows how she is ultimately accepting of their differences and proud of her heritage & culture that she was initially insecure about. I can definitely relate to this song as an Asian person who has lived in a predominantly white town my whole life and tried to assimilate to standards I didn’t fit into. As an adult, I have learned to embrace my culture and identity and how it makes me unique.
Still Sane by Lorde
Lorde’s album “Pure Heroine” came out during a very formative time in my life, when I was a teenager coming of age. I listened to this album a lot and I still listen to it even today, because the emotions & themes I feel from the songs have stayed consistent through all the different phases of my life as I’ve grown up. This is a song that resonates a lot with me. For Lorde, it was about her rise to fame at a young age. She reflects on the difficult but rewarding journey she has had to success, working hard to get to where she is. But she also says “I’m not in the swing of things yet”, showing that she isn’t at her peak yet, and has a lot of learning & growing to do still. Similarly, I feel like I have come so far in life and am proud of my accomplishments, but I am nowhere near perfect & have more improving to do. Lorde also says “I’m little but I’m coming for the crown”, which I interpreted as “I’m young and not the most powerful or skilled person, but I’m working my way up to my bigger goals”. That is how I feel at this stage.
Tenderness by Jay Som
Jay Som is another Asian American artist (she’s actually Filipino, like me) that I like a lot. This is a really upbeat but calming song that just makes me really happy to hear. She repeats “tenderness is all I’ve got” a lot throughout the song, and I love that line. I feel like tenderness - being soft, sensitive, emotional, & empathetic - are my strengths, although others would consider them weaknesses. I Also, this a love song and I am definitely a sucker for love songs. I am a fan of sappy & cheesy romance, in music, movies, books, etc. A lot of my favorite songs are love songs!