042. Lee Mun Wah: Connecting Across Difference
RemakeMarch 31, 2022x
01:26:08197.56 MB

042. Lee Mun Wah: Connecting Across Difference

TODAY'S GUEST Lee Mun Wah is an internationally renowned documentary filmmaker, TED speaker, author, poet, folkteller, educator, community therapist, and master diversity trainer at Stir Fry Seminars and Consulting, a diversity training company he founded. He's most famous for his truly incredible documentaries, like The Color of Fear, Last Chance for Eden, and If These Halls Could Talk. His films feature hard-hitting, honest and raw conversations about race relations, racism, sexism, systemic inequality and more, with participants from different backgrounds and ethnicities.



In this conversation we talk about:

  • Growing up as a Chinese American kid, just trying to fit in.
  • His love for teaching and how he became a teacher.
  • The day that changed his life, his mother's murder by an African-American man, which started his journey into ultimately becoming a therapist and diving into the topics of race, inequality, and hatred.


We also discuss:

  • His documentary, The Color of Fear.
  • The implicit racism of who we see and how we see the people in front of us.
  • The names we're willing and the names that we're unwilling to learn.
  • The minority group society doesn't bother to get to know and to make feel welcome.
  • The critical importance of empathy and listening.
  • What he's learned about facilitating workshops, discussing tough topics in a mindful way.
  • On standing up for others who are different from oneself.
  • His autobiography in the making, River of Jade.
  • And many other topics.


I was really touched by this conversation with Mun Wah. He brings such ease and openness to the conversation, even when the topics are quite challenging. He helps us see our society from points of view other than our own and teaches us the skills to reach out and connect across differences, which is the first step towards correcting some of the structural injustice embedded in our systems.


This conversation is one of a dozen or so weekly conversations we have lined up for you with thinkers, designers, makers, authors, and entrepreneurs who are working to change our world for the better. So please follow this podcast on your favorite podcast app or head over to remakepod.org to subscribe.


And now let's jump right in with Lee Mun Wah.




[3:36] Life During Covid

[9:15] Early Life Lessons

[19:21] Relational Relationships

[25:48] A Tragedy and a Transition

[35:52] A Journey Through Grief 

[40:00] Every Day a Lifetime

[44:51] A Mindfulness Approach

[55:55] Diversity 101

[1:08:51] A Ripple Effect

[1:12:06] River of Jade

[1:23:47] Writing Our Own History