The Dallas Asian American Historical Society was established in 2022 by co-founders Stephanie Drenka and Denise Johnson to research, preserve, and amplify the legacy of Asian Americans in the Dallas, Texas area.
Meet the Team
Stephanie Drenka is a transracial Korean American adoptee writer and activist. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Communication from DePaul University, with minors in Asian American Studies and Women’s Studies.
Stephanie served as Communications Director for Dallas Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation, part of a national 14-place initiative by The W.K. Kellogg Foundation. In April 2019, she launched VISIBLE Magazine, an online publication that actively privileges the work of those whose voices have been intentionally ignored by traditional media outlets.
Stephanie’s photography and writing have been featured in Washington Post, HuffPost, Newsweek, and more. She was a 2019-2021 Public Voices Fellow of The OpEd Project.
Denise Johnson was born and raised in the Philippines and immigrated to Texas at 17. She is a Jill of all trades— studied Secondary Education for Mathematics at UNT, spent several years in marketing, and enjoys being creative behind the camera.
She is currently a digital media designer for a performing arts marketing company, creating websites, commercials, ads, and handles social media for venues and tours.
Denise also serves on a DEI committee for a local non-profit organization, The Firehouse Theatre.
In the last year, she’s been collecting footage on the Asian American experience and plans to continue sharing and amplifying these stories.
BOard of directors
Jin-Ya Huang is a social impact, community development, and creative innovator with a focus on the intersection of equity, design, and social justice work. She is the founder of Break Bread, Break Borders (BBBB), a social enterprise empowering refugee women economically through the storytelling of food and culture. Jin-Ya is an expert in sustainable global supply chain, and has over a decade of extensive background in marketing for the Fossil Group, JCPenney, and Neiman Marcus.
She is an acclaimed interdisciplinary artist who has shown in galleries in Dallas, Miami and New York. Her work examines her Asian identity and diasporic immigrant experience. Jin-Ya is an accomplished, published writer and public speaker. Her work has been featured at the Bush Institute, Dallas Innovates, Amon Carter Art Museum, Texas Lyceum, Slow Food USA, Toyota of North America TAASiA Corporate ERGs, Airbnb International, and in TIME Magazine, highlighted as a Community Bridge Builder Across America.
Emilie Hong was born and raised in Dallas and is currently studying History and Sociology at Dartmouth College with prospective minors in Asian-American Studies and African and African-American Studies.
Emilie has garnered strong experience in community organizing and civil rights advocacy working with attorneys, political candidates, and nonprofits across the metroplex.
On campus, she is involved with the Asian American Studies Collective, Dodecaphonics (a cappella), Sugarplum (dance), the Office of Pluralism and Leadership, and Sexual Assault Peer Alliance .
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