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CHLI Connect

Bridging Divides in Indiana with the State’s Youngest and First Asian-American State Representative

By October 13, 2020January 12th, 2022No Comments

Written by: Marisa Sanchez

Chris Chyung spoke to the Fall 2020 Global Leaders in early October to discuss his position as District 15’s Democratic member of the Indiana House of Representatives. Chyung is the first Asian-American state representative in Indiana’s history, while also being the youngest member of the legislature.

Just six days prior to our CHLI Connect session, the first presidential debate aired across the nation. Headlines cited division and urgency for unity and participation. Amid a global pandemic, a presidential election, and deepening uncertainty about our future, my question for Chris circled back to an article I read in the Indy Star by Kaitlin Lange.

Lange introduces Chris as a new member of the Indiana legislature while highlighting the historic nature of his position. In the article, Chris addresses negative remarks he received on the campaign trail, aimed at his ethnicity.

In response, he states, “I think outrage is the new American mood in a lot of ways and understandably so on some of the extreme stuff, but now in my position as a legislator, I’m just trying to lead by saying no to the outrage.”