“As an accomplished author and policy analyst, [Ying] Ma is today a thought leader whose conservative commentary reaches not just the nation but the world,” writes Casey Breznick in The Cornell Review.

It is for this reason The Cornell Review brought Ma, an alum of the Review, for a special speakers event on the topic of ‘Prevailing Over the Welfare State: A Story of Getting Out of the Ghetto’. The event was graciously sponsored by and organized in part by the Clare Boothe Luce Policy Institute, an organization that promotes women through conservative thought and ideas…

Ying Ma’s family legally immigrated from Communist China when she was 10 years old, settling into an Oakland CA slum where they were taunted as “Chinamen” by their neighbors. The real injustice of urban life wasn’t poverty, Ma’s family concluded; it was failing to work to put food on the table. Rejecting the welfare state lifestyle, the family forged a new life through hard work, determination, and educational achievement. Ma recounts her family’s difficult journey in her book, Chinese Girl in the Ghetto, a book that deals equally candidly with race relations, immigration, and welfare.

Ma earned degrees from Cornell University, where she was president of The Cornell Review, and Stanford Law School, after which she pursued a successful career as a lawyer. She is a powerful voice on Asian policy, as well as the opportunity America still offers to those willing to work for it. Fluent in Mandarin and Cantonese, Ying’s expertise on China is on display regularly in her column for the Wall Street Journal’s China Blog.

On March 20, Ma shared her inspiring story with the Conservative Women’s Network in Washington DC (video below), drawing distinct contrasts in her experiences between the “welfare state” approach to addressing poverty and the far more successful “opportunity” approach.

Video of the CWN event: