Mariko Fujimoto Rooks

Mariko Fujimoto Rooks is a rising senior at Yale, where she double-majors in the History of Science, Medicine, and Public Health and Ethnicity, Race and Migration and is additionally enrolled in the combined BA/MPH program at the Yale School of Public Health. At Yale, she writes for JookSongs, Yale's Asian American spoken word group, and is a two-time All-American nominated water polo player. Mariko is also a member of the national USA Water Polo Diversity and Inclusion Task Force, and will serve as the next JACL Eastern District Council Youth Representative. She is also the Arts and Intersectionality Lead for Changing Womxn Collective, a literary journal and arts platform designed for and by womxn and non-binary BIPOC women and femmes. Raised in Culver City, California, Mariko is also a longtime member of Japanese American community institutions such as Kizuna, Senshin Buddhist Temple, and LABCC's Camp Morningstar.

Updated August 2020

identity en

What is it to be a Black Japanese American? What should I tell you? What should you know?

Every story has a point, a narrative, and a conclusion, but when I sat down to write this I couldn’t come up with any of those things. In part, I think it’s an occupational hazard of being mixed. Everyone’s understanding of self changes over time, but being mixed is often the lens through which I see this change and complexity in my own life. Blackness gives me access to a community, a history, and a world that is beautiful, joyful, powerful, and glorious. It also means I experience a great deal of pain and trauma that non-Black ...

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culture en

Nikkei a Descoberto: uma coluna de poesia


Happy 2018, folks! Upon entering a new year, we put forth the theme of “open” to writers Mariko Rooks, a Culver City native who is currently studying at Yale, and Pogo Saito, now based in Nyssa, Oregon. Their pieces here explore critical openings between self and the things we want to let go of or draw nearer - there is challenge and reflection felt throughout...enjoy.

—traci kato-kiriyama

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Mariko Fujimoto Rooks is a mixed race Japanese American and African American first-year student at Yale University, where she studies public health. She serves as an Student Coordinator for Yale’s Asian American ...

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