275: Liberate Yourself With Deborah Jian Lee

Deborah Jian Lee a journalist and author of the book Rescuing Jesus: How People of Color, Women and Queer Christians are Liberate Yourself With Deborah Jian LeeReclaiming Evangelicalism. She has worked as a staff reporter for the Associated Press, taught journalism at Columbia University, and written for Foreign Policy, Forbes, Slate, Reuters, GOOD, WBEZ, WNYC and others. She is also the co-founder of One Book, One Church, which is a national book club of more than 50 communities reading Rescuing Jesus with an eye toward developing concrete strategies for practicing social justice and radical inclusion.

Deborah used to think that being of Chinese descent made her less worthy.  She would assimilate to the culture around her which was predominantly Caucasian.  When she started to liberate herself and live her truth, she was able to also create a tribe that can live their true selves.  Tune into her episode as she shares her story.


Deborah Lee a journalist and author.  She is also the co-founder of One Book, One Church

Cultural Background

Deborah is of Chinese descent.

Favorite Self Confidence Quote

Don’t compare your inside to other people’s outside.

Don’t compare your inside to other people’s outside.

Definition of Self Confidence

Getting to know yourself deeply, accepting yourself and loving yourself to the point where you can bring your whole self forward in life.

Her Life Before the Discovery of Self Confidence

Deborah grew up in a white suburb, surrounded by media that celebrated white beauty and white culture. She was embarrassed to be Chinese and worked really hard to assimilate to white culture. When people bullied her, excluded her or harassed her for being Chinese, a part of her felt like she deserved it, like her ethnicity made her less worthy.

The “AHA” Moment

This came really slowly over time, but a few significant moments: joining a Chinese immigrant youth group in high school, postcolonial studies in college, writing her book.

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Her Life After the Discovery of Self Confidence

It’s helped Deborah see all the ways she has given up parts of herself to fit in, and it’s helped her reclaim those parts and live a more authentic life. This has been particularly helpful in making career choices, in her writing about her experiences and in her personal relationships.

The One Self Confidence Tip For the Listener

Find your tribe.

Interview Links

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