Riding Up Front (RUF) is a wonderful non-profit art blog that shares wonderful immigrant stories as told by drivers and passengers of rideshare services such as Uber and Lyft with illustrations provided by artists from all over the world. RUF founder Wei-En Tan, who is also an immigrant, spoke about the project with the Huffington Post.
“By creating art and telling stories, we can show people that we are not ‘the other,’ we are humans…If I can change one person’s mind about all immigrants being here to take jobs away from Americans, I would view that as a win.
— Riding Up Front (@ridingupfront) March 25, 2017
— Riding Up Front (@ridingupfront) March 21, 2017
He said he found it funny when artists at galleries stood by their paintings and tried to explain what their work was supposed to mean. To him, the experience belonged to the viewer, and no one else. It brought to mind one of my favorite quotes from Oscar Wilde: Art expresses nothing but itself. Julián had been encouraged by his grandfather to draw when he was a young boy in Mexico, but he said that for him, there was no future in it. “What do you do now?” “Looking.” #activistart #ridingupfront #immigrantstories #uberdriver #ridesharing #sharingeconomy #nobannowall #resist
New York is never fun in the winter, at least for this tropical baby. That being said, I had a good two work days there in February, and next up on my schedule was a fun trip to Miami. My driver to the airport, Muhammad, had some difficulty getting on my street because of traffic, but we eventually managed to find each other. He was a dour man who spoke in monosyllables, and I guessed that he was from Pakistan. His English was difficult to understand, but buoyed up by the excitement of seeing friends in Miami, I plunged on and kept on asking questions. #activistart #ridingupfront #immigrantstories #uberdriver #ridesharing #sharingeconomy #nobannowall #resist
I was scheduled to meet with the Philippine Trade Representative in LA to discuss possible business expansions in the Philippines. I was mostly going in blind for this meeting except for a stint of haphazard googling a few hours before our meeting. Julián, my Uber driver, was a slim and young Hispanic. He was extremely soft spoken, seemed shy, yet he was quick to ask questions about what I was doing. When I told him I was going in without any prep for my meeting, he relayed a story about a college business class he had taken, and how he had (very successfully) winged the final presentation with his friends. “Maybe that’s the best way,” he claimed. “No prep. Wing it. Just dress up.” #activistart #ridingupfront #immigrantstories #uberdriver #ridesharing #sharingeconomy #nobannowall #resist
I was dead tired after a long flight, and ready to crash, but the moment she drove up in a brand new Honda Civic, I picked up on Aurora’s strength and energy. “What do you do?” I asked her as she beamed at me. “I’m in the military,” she responded. “Staff Sergeant.” “How the heck do you have time to drive for Lyft?” I asked. Apparently, Aurora didn’t…sleep. She claimed she needed only four hours every day. “We’re going to live well, my family and me.” “How?” “Saving. People don’t understand how to save money in this country. It’s so simple. We work hard, and I save all our money.” “Wow. You’re an inspiration,” I told her. I wasn’t lying. She shook that off. “I’m gonna teach my daughter to save. And I’m gonna teach her how to work hard and study hard. But you know what’s most important, Ma’am?” “What?” We rolled to a stop at a red light. Aurora turned to me, and said, very softly, “Most of all, I’m gonna teach my girl how to love. And love hard.” ??????? More stories like this at ridingupfront.org. #activistart #ridingupfront #immigrantstories #uberdriver #ridesharing #sharingeconomy #nobannowall #resist
via Huffington Post