Monday, December 18, 2006
His main competition was Oscar (Ozzie) Lusth, a Mexican American who excelled in the season's physical challenges.
However, in a twist for the show, Becky Lee was named as a third finalist. Also a Korean American, Lee had maintained a solid alliance with Kwon since the show's beginning, but by the end had not fared well enough in the individual survival challenges to be a serious comeptitor for the top spot.
Although initially controversial for the way in which starting teams were segregated by race, the reality show ended up being a dramatic and highly engaging "showcase" for diversity, asserted Kwon, who said in the finale that that the under-representation of strong, positive Asian American figures in mainstream media was a major motivator for him to participate in the show.
Sunday, December 17, 2006
"Wong Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" premiered to a packed house December 9 at La Pena Cultural Center, in Berkeley, California, and the excitement flowed over December 15-16, at MACLA, Movimiento de Arte y Cultura Latino Americana, Inc., in San Jose, California.
The East Coast Premiere is scheduled for March 23-24, 8pm, at Painted Bride Art Center, 230 Vine Street Philadelphia, PA.
From Kristina Wong’s website: "Initially an exploration of the sky high incidence of mental illness among Asian American women, incisive writer and performer Kristina Wong mixes sharp humor and shaky psychology in Wong Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, a semi-autobiographical, serio-comic quest for a cheap fix to eradicate depression, anxiety and all-out neuroses. What came first? The chicken or the egg? Asian American women offing themselves en masse or the maddening world? Wong's irreverent and provocative work has given her a national cult following for 'politically charged art with unapologetic humor.' -Bitch Magazine."
Read more about Kristina Wong and BigBadChineseMama.com in our archives: Pervs, Politicos and Prey: Ethnic Media and the Problem of “Hack Marketing” by Stewart David Ikeda
The Michigan Department of Civil Rights, The Advisory Council of Asian Pacific Affairs, the Organization of Asian Professionals, The Michigan Asian Pacific American Bar Association, American Citizens for Justice, St. Mary Magdalen Catholic Church, and others are all working to help the Vo family and to find out what happened. An Asian Victim's Relief Fund has been set up and two big fundraisers have been planned to help the family pay Mr. Vo’s medical bills (he had no medical insurance).
Harold Core, department spokeman for the Michigan Department of Civil Rights, noted in the Grand Rapids Press that the alleged hate crime occurred five days after the election. "After Proposal 2 passes on the idea that people aren't targeted or mistreated because of their race, it's kinda sad that after the state believed there was no need for Proposal 2 (sic—affirmative action), we have this," Core said.
The Michigan Asian Pacific American Bar Association, American Citizens for Justice, and Michigan's Council of Asian Pacific Americans (CAPA) are also watching the investigations of other possible anti-Asian hate crimes. Linda V. Parker, Director of the Michigan Department of Civil Rights (MDCR), noted in a statement, “I am personally alarmed at the recent spike in particularly egregious alleged hate crimes in Michigan.” Asian Americans, African Americans, Arab Americans have all been targeted for violent hate crimes after passage of Proposal 2.
Next year, 2007, marks the 25th anniversary of Vincent Chin's death.
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
Pilot for APA series with Karin Anna Cheung, Tamlyn Tomita airing as part of “Independent Lens”
LOS ANGELES, CA – December 13, 2006 – A new Asian/Pacific American television show called “My Life Disoriented” will premiere on PBS with national broadcasts starting Dec. 26th. The future of the show could well depend on audience response to the original “pilot” episode airing as part of the acclaimed series, Independent Lens.The show’s impressive cast includes Karin Anna Cheung (Better Luck Tomorrow), Tamlyn Tomita (The Joy Luck Club), Dennis Dun (Big Trouble In Little China), Autumn Reeser (The O.C.), and Di Quon (Maid In Manhattan).
Cheung, a familiar face from the 2003 film Better Luck Tomorrow, recently remarked in a recent AsianWeek article, “I remember being so excited when Margaret Cho's All American Girl was going to be the first Asian American sit com -- actually, it didn't even occur to me until then that we didn't HAVE a show. It's cool to be able to possibly do the same thing for a new generation.”
The show’s producers, including Eric Byler (charlotte sometimes, AMERICANese), are asking people across the country to E-Mail PBS to request more air dates (with better air times -- some PBS affiliates are showing it at 3 AM) and to express interest in seeing the show become a series.
Find Out When "My Life Disoriented" Airs in Your Area
Tuesday, December 05, 2006
Nanjing Ji is an annual commemoration held in San Francisco, California. It honors and pays tribute to the many innocent individuals who suffered and died during the Rape of Nanking. It is also a remembrance of other victims who perished in the brutalities committed by the Japanese Imperial Army during World War II. Genocide survivors, human rights activists, community leaders and the general public will gather at this event to pay tribute to the victims, demand reconciliation and reparation from the Japanese government, and renounce violence and advocate for peace throughout the world. This year, the Nanjing Ji is co-sponsored by The Rape of Nanking Redress Coalition, The Global Alliance for Preserving the History of WW II in Asia, and The Association for Preserving the Truth of the Sino-Japanese War.
Read this year’s winning essay, “The Rape of Nanking: A Quest for Peace,” by Hann-Shuin Yew, a Harvard University freshman from Sunnyvale, California.
Read more about the Iris Chang Memorial Fund from Iris’ mom.
Read more about Iris Chang from our IMDiversity.com archives:
Remembering Iris Chang by Nancy Beardsley, Voice of America
Iris Chang's 'The Chinese in America' by George Koo, PNS
Monday, November 20, 2006
Boy, was I surprised to see Korean American actor John Cho, of Better Luck Tomorrow and Harold and Kumar go to White Castle fame, listed online as the 11th Sexiest Man Alive! Brad Pitt was only 15th. I did not think that the mainstream even knew who John Cho was!
So then, of course, in the interests of further research, I had to watch People Magazine’s online video featuring photographs of 100 Sexy Men in One Minute. I saw a few Asian faces fly back, but had to replay the video over and over and over and over again (yes, it was torture) to try to identify who they were. Daniel Dae Kim of Lost was one (After more excruciating research, I found out he was Number Eight in 2005). I am not sure of the other’s identity (or if there were any more), the pictures flew by so fast. I guess I will have to get the paper magazine when it hits the newsstands November 17.
You should also check out the beautiful Indian-Canadian UC Berkeley associate professor in earth and planetary sciences and MacArthur “Genius” Fellow Michael Manga who made the list in 2005 under the category of “Smart Guys” (after Bono). According to Hindustani Times, Professor Manga was ranked #14 on the list that year, he was born and raised in Canada, and his father is of Indian origin who immigrated to Canada from South Africa.
For more unrestrained oggling of Beautiful Asian and Asian American men, check out Frances’ Weak in the Knees: Revisiting the "Nice Chinese Boy".
Friday, November 17, 2006
This weekend in the AP News Headlines section at Asian American Village Online, the editors have put together a package of articles focusing on Viet Nam and the Vietnamese American community.
In the first reading, the AP's Jennifer Loven provides an analysis of how Bush's trip to Vietnam revives the Iraqi 'quagmire' comparison. A follow by AP writer Daisy Nguyen discusses changing views among Vietnamese Americans who are considering investments in Vietnam as the Southeast Asian nation's business environment continues to open up. On the other hand, two-part coverage by Terence Chea examines the human rights concerns that remain strong in the community, in profiles of Silicon Valley engineer and activist Cong Thanh Do, and Florida's Nguyen Thuong “Cuc” Foshee, who was recently deported back to the U.S. after being convicted of terrorism in Vietnam.
Outside of politics, a cultural article completes the package, with an AP Member exchange feature by the Washington Post's Michelle Boorstein, focusing on the unique "flavor" of worship at an Arlington, Virginia Catholic church.
Also included in the supplement will be a sidebar featuring job opportunities related to conducting business in Vietnam from the IMDiversity Asian American Village Career Center and Job Bank.
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
The column is provided by our new Featured Columist L. Patricia Ice, a Mississippi-based immigration attorney and immigrant rights activist currently taking time out from her successful law practice to serve as an Equal Justice Works Katrina Legal Fellow, working with the non-profit rights education group, MIRA: The Mississippi Immigrants Rights Alliance at www.yourmira.org. In this role, she will help communities in need in areas around the Gulf Coast, with a special focus on immigrant employment issues such as fair labor standards, and wage and hour problems.
Ms. Ice contributes regular immigration advice stories to area publications including La Noticia and The Jackson Advocate.
The new column will be housed in a new immigration readings department at Hispanic American Village, the sister site of Asian American Village, providing careers and feature content for Latino professionals.
Sunday, November 12, 2006
According to the Fresno Bee newspaper, the Nov. 7 win also makes Xiong just the third Hmong elected official in California.
Xiong's victory is being heralded as an important step for Hmong and other Southeast Asians not only locally, but nationwide. Hios campaign is credited with providing inspiration for increased political participation by members of small communities with generally low turnout and little representation in local governments.
In results published by the city, Xiong was elected by 54.17% of voters, or 5,171 votes.
The controversial Proposal 2 to ban Affirmative Action in Michigan passed by a wide margin, becoming the third state, after California and Washington, to outlaw preferential treatment to groups or individuals based on race, gender, color, ethnicity, or national origin for public employment, education, or contracting purposes. The proposal and its potential to roll back years of progress for women and minorities was opposed by pretty much everyone--Republicans, Democrats, business, labor, social and religious organizations--except the Ku Klux Klan.
The Detroit Free Press reports, “With 99 percent of precincts reporting, 58%, or 2,129,506 people, voted yes on Proposal 2 and 42%, or 1,538,520 voters, opposed it.” Although pre-election polling was very unreliable because people did not want to appear racist, Proposal 2 was generally supported by white voters who felt that affirmative action was not fair to them and their families.
Dave Waymire, spokesman for One United Michigan, the major opposition group to Proposal 2, told the Detroit News, "Sadly it appears that voters have been deceived by a fraudulent campaign … that serves to divide Michigan and ignores the culture of inequity that divides our state and country….We are the most segregated state in the country and we are the most segregated metropolitan region in the country. That fact is a major impediment to our growth. If we don't overcome that, the state and region will continue to drift. This ballot proposal makes it hard to overcome those important serious racial differences."
With the passage of Proposal 2, the enrollment of black, Hispanic and Native American students at the University of Michigan is expected to drop from 12-14 percent of the student body to about 4-6 percent. In a statement released Tuesday, University of Michigan President Mary Sue Coleman states: “Regardless of what happens to Proposal 2, the University of Michigan will remain fully and completely committed to diversity. I am determined to do whatever it takes to sustain our excellence by recruiting and retaining a diverse community of students, faculty and staff." Coleman also stated that the university would explore all legal options available to defend the university’s admissions practices.
On Wednesday, UM President Mary Sue Coleman addressed the University of Michigan community: "Together, we must continue to make this world-class university one that reflects the richness of the world. I am standing here today to tell you that I will not allow this university to go down the path of mediocrity. That is not Michigan. Diversity makes us strong, and it is too critical to our mission, too critical to our excellence, and too critical to our future to simply abandon." See Coleman’s full statement.
The next step for supporters of affirmative action and opponents of Proposal 2, including The Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action, Integration and Immigrant Rights and Fight for Equality By Any Means Necessary (BAMN) and the University of Michigan, will be the courts as they challenge the legality and constitutionality of this amendment.
Friday, November 10, 2006
Says Results Signal Dramatic Rise in Asian American Political Clout
WASHINGTON, D.C. /
"With Democrats taking the House and the Senate at the national level, and making significant inroads on the state level, our
What is more, Asian American Democrats won high-profile state races across the nation. In
Across the coast in
Races that are still too close to call include those for Washington State congressional candidate Darcy Burner (WA-8), who maintained a razor-thin margin over GOP incumbent David Reichert (whose campaign has stated that it did not reach out to Asian American voters), 50.26% to 49.58%. In
Candidates endorsed by the
"We are honored to have such a qualified slate of candidates this year," said Gautam Dutta, National Endorsements Chair of the
The AAA-Fund (aaa-fund.org) is a national Democratic political organization whose goal is to increase the voice of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in local, state and federal government, by encouraging APAs to volunteer on campaigns, raise money for candidates, and run for political office.
Thursday, November 09, 2006
Webb to be VA Senator after George Allen Concedes Defeat
Afternoon press conference concession finalizes Dems' majority in the Senate. The race was particularly closely watched by the Asian American community coast to coast...
Tong's win, over Republican Rep. Don Sherer, was apparently unusually tight -- with both campaigns declaring victory while the ballots were being carefully counted. The blow-by-blow is here.
Accounting for all these attributes, CNN's poll showed Asian American voters (2% of those polled) also continuing to inch toward the left, giving 62% of their votes went to Democrats running for the U.S. House this year.
Although this represents a slight increase over the 61% of Asian Americans who reported voting for John Kerry in CNN’s 2004 election night exit polls, it continues what must be considered a radical leftward shift that Asian Americans have made recently since giving their overwhelming support to both George H.W. Bush and Robert Dole in the 1990s.
Additional customized exit poll information is available through CNN's comprehensive database here.
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
The AP reports that 69% voted in favor of the amendment, with 97% of precincts reporting.
In Orange County, Tan Nguyen lost his House race against incumbent Democrat Loretta Sanchez (California 47). Nguyen was set off track after allegations that a mailing intimidating Latino voters was connected to his campaign.
Nguyen had previously made an unsuccessful primary attempt to run for the 46th congressional district in 2004, and his campaign this year had little backing from the Republican party.
As expected, incumbent Republican Rep. Bobby Jindal (LA 01) was projected by CNN to have enjoyed an easy win on Tuesday, taking a whopping 88% of the vote in four-candidate race, including two Democratic and one Libertarian challenger. Re-election for the popular Representative, who is Indian American, had never really been considered at-risk, particularly since he became even better known nationally following the hurricane and floods of 2005. Despite his unsuccessful gubernatorial race against Kathleen Blanco in 2003, Jindal has been viewed as a young politician with a highly promising career in his party.
As the first U.S. Senator of Native Hawaiian ancestry (he is of mixed Native Hawaiian and Chinese background), Akaka serves on the Indian Affairs Committee and chairs the Congressional Task Force on Native Hawaiian Issues, and was the chief champion of the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act (popularly referred to as "The Akaka Bill".) Akaka is also the only Chinese American in the U.S. Senate.
Accompanying Akaka to Washington will be a new House colleague, Democrat Mazie Hirono, who won her campaign for the 2nd District, and incumbent 1st District Rep. Neil Abercrombie. The state’s other Senator, Daniel Inouye, did not face reelection this year.
Delaware Senatorial hopeful Jan Ting, a Chinese American law professor at
Ting, a Republican challenger to incumbent Senator Thomas Carper, would have been the first Asian American the state had sent to
As of 7:55 a.m. ET, according to CNN, the Chinese American Congressman held a commanding lead, with 65% out of a four-candidate field.
See updated results here.
In California, Doris Matsui prevailed even more handily in her bid to once again represent California’s 5th district. Elected in 2005 to take over the seat held by her late husband, the popular Bob Matsui, the Japanese American Congresswoman won re-election last night with 71% of the votes from a four-candidate field.
Nov. 8 - In a historic midterm election night, high turnout among American voters has significantly changed the balance of power in Washington DC, with the Democratic Party retaking the majority of seats in the U.S. House of Representatives. Anti-incumbent sentiment and dissatisfaction with the war in Iraq led to sweep in which Democrats wrested control of at least 28 seats, with 14 still undecided.
With two key Senate races, in VA and MT too close to call as of this writing, and likely headed to recount challenges, Democrats also stand chance to take back majority control of the Senate.
The election saw historic landmarks set in a number of aspects. These include: Positioning Nancy Pelosi to become the first woman Speaker of the House; electing Deval Patrick as the first African American governor in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts; and sending Democrat Keith Ellison, an African American, to represent Minnesota’s 5th as the first Muslim in the House of Representatives.
Preliminary exit polling indicates that unusually high turnout was reported nationwide, affected by a number of controversial ballot initiatives as well as support for specific candidates. Minority voters, swing voters and non-traditional coalition-building also played an important role in the shift. In the most recent exit poll figures by CNN, non-white voters veered strongly to the left, with 76% of non-white men and 78% of non-white women going Democrat.
The same data indicate that while white voters overall leaned Republican, it was by a smaller margin (51% GOP to 47%) than expected, due largely to a 49/49 split among white women voters. African American voters leaned even more heavily Democrat than expected, at 89%, despite the GOP’s fielding a number of prominent Black candidates in high-level races in states such as Ohio and Pennsylvania. Latino and Asian voters, who have traditionally been more inclined to lean Republican, emerged as clear and growing swing voters, breaking to the Democrats at 69% and 62% respectively. Other non-white voters including Native Americans tracked in CNN’s polling split 56% Democrat to 41% Republican.
Tuesday, November 07, 2006
Among the many other news items and commentaries we've posted this season, an eleventh-hour series of briefs covering the following topics:
Historic Cycle for Asian American Women
Anti-Affirmative Action Leader Takes it Where He Can Get It -- even the Ku Klux Klan
New Mexico Looks to Do the Right Thing
Macaca-gate – Continued
The Long, Long Arm of Jack Abramoff
Not So “Minnesota Nice”: GOP Candidate Operative Caught in “Jap” Rant on Video
80-20 Initiative Weighs in on Additional MO Race
AAAFUND: Barve, Lee and Valderrama All Move Ahead in MD
Controversy Stirs as VFW Committee Snubs Vet Duckworth after Changed Rules
APA Youth Voters: The Good News and Bad
Other Features of Interest in Our Midterms Coverage
Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders Have the Potential to Swing Races Across the Country
Nonpartisan NPO APIAVote shows races, stats, where our turnout can be key, even decisive
Election Heats Up in Heavily Chinese San Francisco District
By Eugenia Chien, New America Media
The Chinese media has been closely watching the district election in San Francisco that could determine whether the large Chinese community will have a Chinese American on the city’s Board of Supervisors. Asians make up a third of San Francisco's population.
Has the GOP Given Up on Asian Americans?
Editorial by Stewart Ikeda
A quick, side-by-side, hypertext comparison indicates "Yes". But is that good for APA Democrats?
“Hello? Excuse me? Don’t forget I’m here, too.”
Frances Kai-Hwa Wang, AAV Acting Editor and University of Michigan alum, on "Asian Pacific Americans, Affirmative Action, and Michigan’s Proposal 2"
APAs: Beware of the VA Senate Race
Eric Byler on the "N-word," the "M-word," and the midterms in Virginia following Sen. George Allen's insults to Asian-American attendee at rally. [with videos]
Vietnamese Media Gauge Fallout from Campaign Scare Letter
By Andrew Lam, New America Media
How will the scandal surrounding O.C. congressional candidate Tan Nguyen and a scare letter mailed to Latino immigrants affect other VietAm, GOP candidates?
80-20 Swings to Dems after Dean's Glass Ceiling Promise
DNC Chairman agrees to support Congressional hearings on glass ceiling discrimination against Asian Americans; two from GOP also supported
MD Delegate candidate Kris Valderrama
MD TV host, daughter of noted Filipino-American political family, looks to carry on the torch
Business Diversity at Stake in Same-Sex Marriage and Civil Unions Bans, Too
Editorial by Stewart Ikeda
Opinion: "Lifestyle" discrimination, and indiscriminate constitutional tinkering, can have unintended labor and economic consequences
Letter from Wisconsin: Bait-and-Switch in the Midterm Elections
By Jasmine Alinder
A married WI woman with "a slight fear of strangers" was surprised to find herself canvassing door-to-door in opposition to a proposed ban on same-sex marriages and civil unions (gay and straight), and is left wondering why the issue so forcefully hits home.
Monday, October 23, 2006
Preamble: New Asian American Village Jobs for US job-seeker tools section @ IMDiversity Career Center
What it is: A new job search tool consolidating a wide array of free jobs and resume database tools powered by IMDiversity Career Center and its partners to allow convenient, bookmarkable access specifically (but not exclusively) to our Asian American and Pacific Islander users.
What it does: In an easy, all-in-one "dashboard" form:
1) Provides a form for easy customized searching of opportunities in IMDiversity's expansive diversity recruitment job postings database by keyword, location, commuting distance, industry, and job type, where results can be saved (for 1-click future searches), scheduled (for no-click automated searching in the future, with personalized job-search alerts delivered by email), or immediately stored in a free, personal MY JOB TOOLS Account to apply to with your stored resume, cover letter and other materials.
2) Adds employer, compensation, and job location research tools: Detailed profiles of hiring employers, salary and benefits calculators, cost-of-living wizard, etc.
3) Includes dashboard of pre-programmed search links created by Asian American Village editors to weed out those needle-in-haystack opportunities specifically of interest to APAs, where our experiences, language skills, and community interests may give us an edge. These could range from jobs favoring Asian bilingual candidates to those seeking experience working in Asian American markets, jobs offering an opportunity to travel part-time in Asia and the Pacific to those providing a chance to serve Asian Americans and our communities.
4) Includes Editors' Choice Featured Jobs and Employers -- prominently placed notices when our editors find an opportunity, usually about to expire, of particular interest. "Of interest" may mean the editors have determined that APA candidates have an edge, that it has to do with the APA community concerns, or simply that it's a cool / highly paid / rare opportunity that we would wish one our friends could land. In some cases, we may just know that an employer currently has a particular interest in diversifying their workforce through increasing opportunities for APA candidates. However, at the moment, these are all editors' choice: no advertisers can specifically buy their way into being featured on this section.
5) Provides easy navigation to other opportunities sections, tools, and sites just for students and entry-level workers, including Graduate School searches, internships and fellowships listings, our Black Collegian sister site targeting entry-level opportunities, our worthy APA-serving partner organizations, and more.
What it costs: Nothing. Zip. Zilch.
Where it is: http://www.imdiversity.com/Jobs/asian_american_jobs.asp
Sunday, October 22, 2006
The Bad News: Young Asian American voters have been and remain the least likely to vote among all race/ethnic youth groups. Only 20 percent of Asian-American youth, ages 20 to 25, identified themselves as regular voters, according to Mark Hugo Lopez, Research Director at CIRCLE.
The Good News: The level of engagement in important community actions and political interest among APA youth seems to be on the rise – even soaring – outside the realm of electoral politics. “Even though most don’t vote, 51 percent – the highest result among the racial and ethnic groups surveyed – said they tried to persuade others in an election.”
So, how are we to account for being the most interested in politics and civic engagement, and the least likely to actually show up when push comes to shove? Is it really that young APAs are living up to our stereotype as the passive, submissive, keep-your-head-down non-players who just go along and kow-tow to decisions made from on high by those who more naturally lead? Or that they just don’t care, or feel they can be effective? Or is it something else?
There's no doubt that younger Asian Americans are fully capable of conducting highly organized, deeply impassioned activities in the interest of significant social concerns. Just imagine what kind of difference it could make if young APAs turned out at the polls with the same passion and energy – the leadership – we’ve seen in nationwide rallies and even hunger strikes for Asian American Studies, or in combating corporate stereotypes (Abercrombie & Fitch) and media ridicule (Details “Gay or Asian”)?
It could make a winning difference.
A new, objective study released in September by the UCLA Asian American Studies Center called Asian Americans “the new 'Sleeping Giant' in California politics,” with the number of eligible voters climbing by over half a million, from 2 million to 2.5 million, in just the five years between 2000 and 2005. Constituting 12 percent of eligible voters (and growing), the Asian American vote is moving toward the kind of role that Hispanics have taken over the last two decades. Asian Americans could well have the clout to swing the state’s 54 electoral votes, or allow the Terminator keep or lose his job.
But there are real obstacles to APA youth voting. As the nonpartisan voter education group APIA Vote showed in its presentation to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights during the 2004 election season, a host of problems and outright acts of discrimination conspired to suppress voting by young Asian Americans across the country – especially, but not exclusively, those who were recently naturalized immigrants. According to APIA Vote, problems ranged from unfamiliarity with the electoral process and new polling requirements, lack of language assistance and inaccurately translated materials, and discriminatory obstruction by poll workers.
The nonpartisan Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF) has published detailed plans to protect voters' rights in the 2006 midterm elections, which will entail -- among other measures -- soliciting volunteers and monitors to help with language assistance and defending voters against harassment at the polls. The Asian Pacific American Legal Center’s Voting Rights Unit also monitors poll sites in areas with high Asian and Pacific Islander (API) population concentrations, and seeks volunteers to help with both monitoring and exit polling on Election Day, Nov. 7.
Saturday, October 21, 2006
The Asian American Village has always depended on the kindness of friends and strangers to keep up with the news and views from our impossibly diverse Asian American-Pacific Islander communities. As a small media business enterprise that has never charged any fees or required subscriptions, etc., for our content, we have often found ourselves understaffed and overextended, and so have relied on the participation of fellow ethnic media, partner community organizations, volunteer correspondents, simpatico newswire services, and the like to help us keep our content updated and as broadly representative of our subcommunities as possible.
The editors recently decided to try the new blog as a companion to the Village's main content and jobs features for two reasons. In part, as a publishing mechanism, the Blogspot interface is easy to access and use by a team of contributors whose time, technological environment, and Web publishing HTML skills may be limited. (We're actually evaluating a bunch of different blog host sites and their publishing tools at the moment.) We wanted to be able to invite more contributions by more contributors of note who routinely run across items of interest to our Asian American audiences.
Of equal importance, however, was out interest in creating a space for the Village contributors and readers (some of whom are the same) that was a bit freer, less formally structured, and more readily inviting of outside input than the main Village site. Our editors receive personal messages, letters to the editor, community-oriented news and events releases, opinion and article submissions by the scores each day. We often see more good information and ideas than we could possibly follow up on and post in a format suited for the Village's structure, general interest content, and national audiences. In our editorial conferences, we often inform each other about such news and ideas, discuss and analyze items among ourselves, make interesting connections between current and past events, and so forth, but have not had a forum to really share these exchanges more widely with others in our communities.
In these ways, we hope as time goes on to use this space to post more frequent and brief notes of interest not only highlighting what's new and of interest at the Village or in our email in-boxes, but also keep in touch with others -- whether individuals or other publications -- who are similarly dedicated to keeping abreast of important topics in the APA community.
Friday, October 13, 2006
Asian American Village is the long-time online community site created by and for Asian and Pacific Islander Americans by the New Orleans-based multicultural publisher, IMDiversity, Inc. It has been published without interruption since 1997, although like most commercial web survivors from those ancient days, it has undergone radical changes so that today's Asian American Village is barely recognizable from its earliest incarnation, little more than a page of random bookmarks to some APIA-related press releases and articles on outside newswires (original content department began developing with the hiring of Asian American editors in 1998).
The site is and has always been free, supported by IMDiversity's advertising revenues, which are based almost exclusively on diversity-oriented recruitment advertising through its online job banks and its multicultural paper publications.
Throughout the years, Asian American Village has published in-community, in-culture feature articles, columns, illustrations, multimedia features, opinions, and information by innumerable, talented and dedicated contributors representing all walks of life -- lawyers, political and social activists, Ethnic Studies scholars, multicultural marketnig experts, career advisors, elected and government officials, business leaders, medical professionals, poets and artists, students and more.
A few of our contributors were regular, paid editors or writers, but many more were just dedicated members of our diverse communities with an interest in and something important to say. We're proud that so many folks who found an early online home at the Village have since gone on to make important contributions and publish their first books in other media. Just some of the exceptional professionals who went on to publish their first notable books (some of which built upon work and ideas in their AAV columns) include Angela Oh, Helen Zia, Frank Wu, Yayoi Winfrey and Chandra Prasad.
Other long-time accomplished authors who have contributed include some of the pioneers of the formal Asian American literature field, including Shawn Wong, David Mura, Meena Alexander, Mitsuye Yamada, Amy Ling, Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston, Elaine Kim, and many more. In terms of other media, AAV has always been interested in exploring non-literary expression by Asian Pacific Americans, especially those in early stages of their careers: For nearly a decade, Asian American Village was the defacto online home of the famed Secret Asian Man comic strip by "Village Artist in Residence" Tak Toyoshima, even back in the earliest days when it it was a rough, black-and-white on xeroxed paper strip with a simple presentation style but a lot to say about the state of Asian America. The Village was a supportive distributor of early all-APA media initiatives such as the now-defunct Karaoke Nights web series, a before-its-time streaming series by the HotPopTV collective that provided performance opportunities for young actors such as Karin Anna Cheung and Roger Phan, who went on to star in Better Luck Tomorrow.
For the duration, the Village's primary caretakers have been Stewart David Ikeda, a Japanese American author, diversity consultant, and former Asian American Studies professor, and Frances Kai-Hwa Wang, popular family, lifestyles and culture columnist, who today serves as the Village's acting editor while keeping up with a busy writing and lecturing schedule, and her role as marketing director for a business chain in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
We'll introduce more Villagers in coming entries as our new team blog develops.
Coming soon - the editorial companion blog to the Asian American Village @ IMDiversity.com. Meanwhile:
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