Shu Ju Ada Cheng


An educator-turned artist, storyteller, and creator, Dr. Ada Cheng has utilized storytelling to illustrate structural inequities, raise critical awareness, and build intimate communities. Committed to amplifying and uplifting marginalized voices, she has created numerous storytelling platforms for BIPOC and LGBTQIA community members to tell difficult and vulnerable stories. Because of her artistic and intellectual work, she was named Educator of the Year in 2021.

In 2021, she delivered keynotes for Chicago Cultural Alliance’s Activating Heritage Conference, AAPI Heritage Month at Dominican University, AAPI Heritage Month at Environmental Protection Agency, and Immigrants in Our Midst Conference. In 2022, she delivered a keynote entitled What’s New about Violence against Asian Women? for (Re)Claiming Our Love: Social Justice & Domestic Violence conference.

Dr. Cheng has worked with numerous community organizations. She has worked with AAPI communities through her storytelling platforms, including Talk Stories: An Asian American / Asian Diaspora Storytelling and Dare to Tell: Queer Asian Storytelling. She has partnered with Center on Halsted for April Sexual Assault Awareness Month and October Domestic Violence Awareness Month, providing platforms for people to stories on gender-based violence. She features community members as tellers and brings these events to community spaces for critical engagement and alliance building.

Dr. Cheng is named 2023-24 Lund-Gill Endowed Chair at Dominican University. She has also been a speaker for Illinois Humanities Road Scholars Speakers Bureau since 2019. Her interests span academia, performance, and advocacy.

Ada is doing her esidence at Can Serrat in July 2024.