Friday, April 24, 2009

2009 South Asian Summit begins Today

Release about an exciting national event by SAALT:

Today marks another important moment for the South Asian community.

250 individuals including representatives of 33 South Asian community-based organizations are gathering in Washington DC to address the pressing issues affecting the South Asian community in the United States.

With the nation confronting important issues including the economic downturn, reform of the immigration system, and the restoration of civil rights and civil liberties, South Asians have the opportunity to play critical roles in advancing progressive policy change at the local and national levels.

At the National South Asian Summit, participants will convey concerns to government agencies and policymakers; build advocacy and communications skills; and strategize, learn, and identify ways to work together and with allies. Learn more about the agenda here.

Highlights will include:
  • Keynote remarks by Sudhir Venkatesh at the ChangeMaker Awards Reception recognizing community activists and emerging leaders
  • Panels and discussions on becoming a more effective spokesperson; the economic climate; immigration reform and profiling; gender equity; the release of South Asian specific data from the 2008 Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund's exit poll; and more.
  • A national South Asian Advocacy Day including roundtables with government agency representatives and Administration staff, as well as a congressional briefing and delegation visits with congressional offices.
Not at the Summit?
Click here to view podcasts of selected sessions, which will be made available at the end of the weekend and through next week.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

JACL Collegiate Leadership Program Applications Accepted Until May 15

CONTACT: Bill Yoshino, Midwest Regional Director

JACL Announces Collegiate Leadership Program

The JACL is now accepting applications for its new JACL Collegiate Washington, D.C.
Leadership Conference to be held on June 19-22, 2009. The program, which is patterned after the JACL/OCA Washington, DC Leadership Conference, is limited to Asian American college
students who are in their freshman, sophomore or junior year in school.

The three-day program is designed to give Asian American student leaders an inside glimpse of
national policy-making arena in Washington, DC. The conference is structured to provide a broad overview of the decision-making process at the federal level including meetings with key policymakers, agency officials and advocacy organizations.

“The intent of the program is to provide student leaders with information, training and networking opportunities,” said Bill Yoshino, JACL’s Midwest Director who is coordinating the program.

“We hope this program provides the participants with additional motivation to be active and
involved at their campus and in their communities,” Yoshino added.

The conference is being funded through a grant from the UPS Foundation, which will cover
airfare, lodging and meals for 12 participants who will be selected through an application process.

Applicants must be full-time Asian Pacific American undergraduate freshman, sophomore or
junior class students attending an accredited college or university.

The deadline for applications is May 15, 2009. For information, contact Bill Yoshino at
773.728.7170 or


The Japanese American Citizens League (JACL), established in 1929, is the nation’s oldest and largest Asian American civil and human rights organization. To learn more about the JACL or to join, please visit

Monday, April 20, 2009

Merrie Monarch Festival Winners for 2009 (w/ clip)

The results of the 46th Merrie Monarch Festival were determined last week. Congratulations to these winners!

Overall Winners
Ke Kai O Kahiki

Wahine Overall
Halau Na Mamo O Pu'uanahulu

Wahine Hula Kahiko
Halau Na Mamo O Pu'uanahulu

Wahine Hula 'Auana
Hula Halau 'O Kamuela

Kane Overall
Ke Kai O Kahiki

Kane Hula Kahiko
Ke Kai O Kahiki

Kane Hula 'Auana
Halau Na Mamo O Pu'uanahulu

Miss Aloha Hula
Cherissa Henoheanapuaikawaokele Kane
(Halau Ke'alaokamaile, Wailuku, Maui)

The Merrie Monarch Festival was founded for "the perpetuation, preservation, and promotion of the art of hula and the Hawaiian culture through education. The festival is considered the world's premier forum for people of all ages to display their skills and knowledge of the art of ancient and modern hula."

To learn more, see:

Monday, April 13, 2009

Event: UCLA AASC 40 th Anniversary, Don Nakanishi Tribute

AAV got in this announcement that may be of interest to friends in SoCal and wanted to pass it along. Don Nakanishi's name has been virtually synonymous with the Asian American Studies at UCLA, as well as the Amerasia Journal, and while the UCLA Center remains an important, vibrant research hub in the field, there's no doubt that Don's daily presence will be missed in his retirement. -- The Editors


Saturday, May 16th, 2009 4-7pm
UCLA Dickson Court North
UCLA Asian American Studies Center
Celebrating 40 Years
knowledge legacy leadership

Special Tribute to Don T. Nakanishi

The UCLA Asian American Studies Center invites you to join us on Saturday, May 16, 2009 from 4-7pm for an outdoor reception and program as we celebrate the 40th Anniversary of the UCLA Asian American Studies Center. We will also honor Director and Professor Don T. Nakanishi's retirement after 19 years of distinguished leadership and service.

Admission is complimentary, but please RSVP by Tuesday, May 5, 2009.

Email or call (310) 825-2974.
Parking is available in Lot 2 and 3. Rates are $9 per day.
For more information, contact Jolie Chea at
or (310) 825-2974, or visit

Sunday, April 05, 2009

American Citizens for Justice Fundraiser with Helen Zia

American Citizens for Justice/ Asian American Center for Justice (ACJ), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit Asian Pacific American civil rights organization is pleased to announce its fundraising reception, An Evening with Helen Zia, Saturday, April 18, 6:30 pm.

Helen Zia is a past president of ACJ, a renowned author of "Asian American Dreams: The Emergence of an American People", and co-author of "My Country Versus Me", with Wen Ho Lee.

The event is co-sponsored by the Association of Chinese Americans, Ann Arbor Chinese Center of Michigan, FILAMCCO, Japanese American Citizens League-Detroit, the Governor's Advisory Council on Asian Pacific American Affairs, APIA Vote-Michigan, Council of Asian Pacific Americans, and American Arab Anti Discrimination Committee, Michigan chapter.

When: Saturday, April 18, 2009 at 6:30 pm
Where: Association of Chinese Americans - Chinese Community Center
32585 Concord Drive, Madison Heights, MI 48071
(located one block east of the I-75/14 Mile Road interchange - 1/2 block south of 14 Mile)

Contact for more information, and to RSVP:
Roland Hwang 248-347-1663
L G Almeda 734-302-6019
Frances Kai-Hwa Wang

Tickets are $25 per person, $100 corporate/organizational (including 5 tickets); Gold Sponsors $500; Students $15. Checks and donations go to:
American Citizens for Justice, Inc., PO Box 851163, Westland, MI 48185.

Hors d'oeuvres and refreshments will be served.

American Citizens for Justice/ Asian American Center for Justice, the 501c3 nonprofit Asian Pacific American civil rights advocacy group founded after the baseball beating death of Vincent Chin in Detroit.

For more information, check out

or contact Frances Kai-Hwa Wang, American Citizens for Justice/ Asian American Center for Justice Executive Director at

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Vincent Who? Documentary Film in Michigan

Four screenings of Vincent Who? this weekend, April 3-4, 2009, with the filmmakers Curtis Chin and Michael P. Lee; in Madison Heights, Ann Arbor, and Dearborn; organized by American Citizens for Justice/ Asian American Center for Justice.

In 1982, Chinese American Vincent Chin was murdered in Highland Park, Michigan, by two out-of-work autoworkers at the height of anti-Japanese sentiments. His killers were sentenced to a $3000 fine and 3 years of probation. They never served one day in jail. For the first time, Asian Americans around the country galvanized to form a real pan-Asian community and movement. The documentary film, Vincent Who?, was inspired by a series of town hall meetings organized by Asian Pacific Americans for Progress (APAP) on the 25th anniversary of the case, features interviews with the key players at the time, as well as a whole new generation of activists. Vincent Who? asks how far Asian Americans have come since then and how far we have yet to go. Featured interviews include: Helen Zia (lead activist during the Chin trial), Renee Tajima Pena (director, Who Killed Vincent Chin?), Stewart Kwoh (Executive Director, Asian Pacific American Legal Center), Lisa Ling (journalist), Sumi Pendakur (Univ. of Southern California), Dale Minami (civil rights attorney), Roland Hwang and Jim Shimoura (American Citizens for Justice/ Asian American Center for Justice), Doua Thor (Executive Director, Southeast Asian Resource Action Center), and a group of five diverse young Asian Pacific American (APA) activists whose lives were impacted by Vincent Chin.

American Citizens for Justice/ Asian American Center for Justice, the 501c3 nonprofit Asian American civil rights advocacy group founded after the baseball beating death of Vincent Chin in Detroit is coordinating several local showings of the new documentary film, Vincent Who? with guest appearances by the filmmakers, Curtis Chin and Michael Lee. There will be four showings of this film this weekend in Madison Heights, Ann Arbor, and Dearborn.

Friday April 3, 1 pm
Conversation on Race Series
University of Michigan Dearborn
Kochoff Hall Ballroom Room B
4901 Evergreen
Dearborn, MI 48126
Panel Discussion: Frances Kai-Hwa Wang, American Citizens for Justice Executive Director; Curtis Chin and Michael P. Lee, Vincent Who producers and Asian Pacific Americans for Progress.

Friday April 3, 6:30-8:00 pm
Midwest Asian American Students Union (MAASU) Conference
University of Michigan
Biomed Science Research Building
109 Zina Pitcher Place
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Panel Discussion: Ann Malayang Daley, past president American Citizens for Justice; Curtis Chin and Michael P. Lee, Vincent Who producers and Asian Pacific Americans for Progress.

Saturday April 4, 1:00-3:00 pm
Ann Arbor District Library
Multipurpose Room
343 S. Fifth St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
Panel Discussion: Frances Kai-Hwa Wang, American Citizens for Justice Executive Director; Curtis Chin and Michael P. Lee, Vincent Who producers and Asian Pacific Americans for Progress.

Saturday April 4 at 7 pm
Association of Chinese Americans - Chinese Community Center
32585 Concord Drive (1 block east of the I-75/14 Mile Rd. interchange, then 1/2-block south of 14 Mile Rd.)
Madison Heights, MI 48071
Panel Discussion: Frances Kai-Hwa Wang, American Citizens for Justice Executive Director; LG Almeda, Roland Hwang and Jim Shimora, American Citizens for Justice; Curtis Chin and Michael P. Lee, Vincent Who producers and Asian Pacific Americans for Progress.
Sponsored by American Citizens for Justice, Association of Chinese Americans, New Detroit, Inc., and Asian Pacific Americans for Progress
Suggested donation: $10, proceeds to American Citizens for Justice

For more information, check out

or contact Frances Kai-Hwa Wang, American Citizens for Justice/ Asian American Center for Justice Executive Director at or the contact for each particular showing.

4/18 Seattle Conference Will Launch Korematsu Center for Law and Equality

A conference and celebration will mark the formal launch of Seattle University School of Law's Fred T. Korematsu Center for Law and Equality Saturday, April 18.

There is no charge to attend, but space is limited and registration is required by April 8. Register online or by calling 206.398.4300.

The Korematsu Center for Law and Equality will study and combat discrimination through research, advocacy and education projects. It aims to advance social justice by fostering critical thinking about discrimination in U.S. society and through targeted advocacy to foster equality and freedom.

"This new center allows our talented faculty to build on the law school's strengths in the areas of race and the law to advance our mission for a more just and humane world," Dean Kellye Testy said.

The center's work will be divided into three units: research, advocacy and education projects.
Its research unit will focus on understanding the relationship between law and categories of race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, class, disability and religion, especially with regard to their intersections. It will bring together scholars from various disciplines and will support interdisciplinary scholarship.

The advocacy unit will apply this understanding to combat discrimination through targeted advocacy efforts. The education unit will create a focus area in Law and Equality for J.D. students and will help train the next generation of scholar/teacher/activists through post-graduate teaching and advocacy fellowships.

The Center is named for Fred Korematsu, who defied an order that required all persons of Japanese ancestry in the area of Oakland, California, to report for detention. He was jailed and then sent for internment. The U.S. Supreme Court affirmed his conviction. Forty years later, the Federal District Court for the Northern District of California vacated that conviction on proof that the government had suppressed, altered and destroyed material evidence that contradicted the government's claim of military necessity.

Korematsu went on to champion the cause of civil liberties, seeking redress for Japanese Americans who were wrongfully interned and traveling the country speaking about his case and other violations of civil rights, especially after 9/11.

The center is directed by Professor Robert Chang, a noted scholar in the area of race and the law. Professor Lori Bannai, who was a member of the legal team that worked to reverse Korematsu's wartime conviction and is writing a biography of Korematsu, is associate director. The center will build on the law school's strong faculty in the area of law and equality, including Professors Richard Delgado and Jean Stefancic, leading authorities in critical race theory, and Professor Margaret Chon, co-author of "Race, Rights and Reparation: Law and the Japanese American Internment.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Detroit Chinatown Exhibit Opens


DETROIT – Friends of Detroit’s Chinatown will open its new exhibit Detroit’s Chinatown: Works in Progress on Saturday, April 4 at the Detroit Historical Museum. This three-month exhibit, sponsored by Wayne State University, reveals the untold stories of Chinatown residents and the current presence of metro Detroit’s Chinese American population.

The Detroit’s Chinatown exhibit uses stunning photography, artifacts, and personal interviews of former Chinatown residents to illustrate the contributions of this lost cultural area. Local artifacts, including grocery scales from the 1800s, a silk dress purchased from a Chinatown business, original paraphernalia from Chin Tiki, a Polynesian-style restaurant and club, and images from previous Chinese New Year celebrations, reflect the experiences of Chinatown residents and visitors.

“I’m really excited to provide the opportunity for visitors to come and view the Detroit’s Chinatown exhibit, because the Asian American presence in and contribution to the city of Detroit have not been highlighted in our public institutions until this point,” said Chelsea Zuzindlak, the exhibit’s curator.

Detroit’s Chinatown began when Chinese laundrymen first settled in the city at Third Ave. and Porter St. in 1872. A new wave of immigrants led by five Chinese families opened restaurants, groceries, and a Chinese school between 1910 and the late 1950s. In 1963, Chinatown relocated to Cass Ave. and Peterboro St., where it experienced some success before political and social changes led to its demise in 1987.

In-depth interviews of three Chinatown residents give visitors to the exhibit an intimate glimpse into the old neighborhood’s history and culture. Visitors will also discover the complex factors leading to the disappearance of Chinatown, future preservation plans for Chinatown artifacts, and the recent reappearance of Asian businesses in local suburbs.

Detroit’s Chinatown: Work in Progress, presented in English and standard Mandarin Chinese, is open through Sunday, July 5 in the Museum’s Community Gallery, presented by Comerica.

The Detroit Historical Museum, located at 5401 Woodward Ave. (NW corner of Kirby) in Detroit’s Cultural Center area, is open to the public Wednesday through Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday from Noon to 5 p.m. On Mondays and Tuesdays, the Museum is not open to the public but available for group tours by calling (313) 833-7979. Adult admission is $6. Seniors (60+), college students with valid college ID, and youth ages 5-18 pay $4. Admission for children ages four and under is free. Parking in the Museum’s lot is $4 at all times. Permanent exhibits include the famous Streets of Old Detroit; Frontiers to Factories; The Motor City; and The Glancy Trains. New exhibits include Detroit’s Classic TV Personalities; Hero or Villain? Metro Detroit’s Legacy of Leadership; 1920s: Detroit’s Building Boom; 100 Years Ago; and Automotive Showplace, spotlighting the Model T Centennial. For more information, call the Museum at (313) 833-1805 or check out our website at