Sunday, February 28, 2010

Adventures in Multicultural Living: Winter Olympians of color - American like us -

From Asian American Village Editor Frances Kai-Hwa Wang

During the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics, my daughter M and her friend C, the only two Chinese-American girls in Mrs. Schroeder’s first-grade class, were excited about watching Michelle Kwan compete for the gold.

C was planning to invite Michelle to her upcoming 7th birthday party, an ice skating party at Buhr Park. M loved the video clip of Michelle eating dinner with her family—using the same bowls and chopsticks that we did. For them, Michelle was an admired “older sister” that they looked up to. None of the other first-grade girls really knew who Michelle Kwan even was, but after two weeks of hearing about Michelle Kwan every day in class and at soccer, every girl in that class stayed up late that final night of the Olympics to watch Michelle Kwan’s bittersweet final performance.

During those same 2002 Winter Olympics, Apolo Ohno crashed onto the scene with such a flurry of energy and style that we could not help but be transfixed by this hunky hapa “older brother” and the story of his dad’s tough love to keep him out of trouble. We laughed at the images of women fans and even Gov. Gary Locke sporting electrical tape soul patches in his honor. Add on the stories of speedskater Derek Parra who as the first Mexican-American Winter Olympian broke both world and American records, and bobsledder Vonetta Flowers who became the first African American to win a gold medal at the Winter Olympics, and we were complete converts. (click on link for more)

Winter Olympians of color - American like us -

Friday, February 26, 2010

OCA Stmt: Obama Nomination of Goodwin H. Liu

OCA Pleased With Nomination of Goodwin H. Liu to the United States Circuit Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
24 February 2010
Mary Kong | Program Assistant
202 223 5500 |

WASHINGTON – President Obama nominated University of California Berkeley School of Law Associate Dean and Professor Goodwin H. Liu to serve on the United States Circuit Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit today.

Professor Liu is a nationally recognized scholar in the areas of education and constitutional law. Before joining UC Berkeley School of Law, Professor Liu was a litigator in private practice. Prior, he was a law clerk to the Honorable David S. Tatel on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals and Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the United States Supreme Court, and was Special Assistant to the Deputy Secretary of Education, U.S. Department of Education. He is committed to community service, and his work has been recognized through several awards, including the Pacific Islander, Asian, and Native American Law Students Association Alumni Award (Yale Law School); Asian American Alumni Award (Stanford University); and the Stanford Associates Governors’ Award for Exemplary Volunteer Service.

Professor Liu was born to Taiwanese immigrant parents in Augusta, Georgia. He grew up in Clewiston, Florida and Sacramento, California. A distinguished graduate of Stanford, Oxford, and Yale Law School, Professor Liu was also a Rhodes Scholar, and is a member of the American Law Institute.

“Professor Liu’s nomination is a positive step to address the glaring absence of Asian Pacific Americans on the appellate level,” said George C. Wu, Executive Director of OCA. “As former law clerk to the Supreme Court and recognized scholar on constitutional law, Professor Liu will bring unsurpassed intellect and fairness to the Ninth Circuit.”

Professor Liu’s appointment to the Ninth Circuit is particularly significant for the Asian Pacific American community. Of the approximately 175 active federal appellate court judges, there are currently none who are Asian Pacific American. If confirmed, he will only be the fifth Asian Pacific American federal appellate court judge in the history of the United States. Along with Denny Chin, nominee to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, he is the second Asian Pacific American nominated to the federal court of appeals by the President.

OCA congratulates Professor Liu on his historic nomination, and thanks President Obama for nominating him. OCA also commends Senators Feinstein and Boxer for their support of Professor Liu’s nomination.

Founded in 1973, OCA is a national organization dedicated to advancing the social, political, and economic well-being of Asian Pacific Americans in the United States. OCA aims to embrace the hopes and aspirations of nearly 12 million Asian Pacific Americans in the United States.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Adventures in Multicultural Living: Chinese Lunar New Year feasting and family -

From Asian American Village Acting Editor Frances Kai-Hwa Wang:

The focal point of Chinese Lunar New Year celebration is gathering the whole extended family together for a big feast on New Year’s Eve.

Just as Thanksgiving has certain special foods that must be eaten like turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce and sweet potatoes with marshmallows, Chinese Lunar New Year’s Eve also features special food that must be eaten, each dish imbued with meaning and good wishes for the new year. A whole fish is served because the Chinese word for fish sounds like “more than enough” (and one must leave leftovers so there will be “plenty” “left over” in the new year). (click on link for more)

Chinese Lunar New Year feasting and family -

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Release: First LGBT Contingent to March in NYC Parade

The following release announces a Feb 21 New York City Lunar Year event organized by Q-Wave, and supported by a coalition of Asian American community organizations, political officials and media figures.

The NYC march will occur in the wake of -- and likely in answer to -- protests by Asian churches at a California Lunar New Year Parade, which included LGBTQ groups.

Also of interest, see "Backlash against Vietnamese gay groups in parade".

---- RELEASE ----

Groups to March in First-Ever Asian American Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Contingent in Chinatown Lunar New Year Parade

***Contingent Supported by Broad Coalition including

New York City Comptroller John Liu

and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn

What: First-ever Asian American Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Contingent in New York’s Lunar New Year Parade, marching for the first time in the parade’s 11-year history and the Chinatown community’s 130 year history.

It is the first time on the East Coast that AA LGBTQ groups have been invited to march in a Lunar New Year parade. Marchers will be traveling from Philadelphia and Rhode Island to join the contingent.

LGBTQ people of Irish- and South Asian-American descent have been repeatedly excluded from marching in their own ethnic celebrations in New York City, respectively the Saint Patrick’s Day Parade and the India Day Parade. Irish- and South-Asian American groups will join and march with the Asian American LGBTQ contingent in Lunar New Year Parade 2010.

Who: LGBTQ Asians (who identify with cultures that celebrate the Lunar New Year), their friends and allies. For more information:

When/Where: Sunday, February 21st

11:30 AM - Convene on Mott Street between Hester and Spring (walk up Mott Street until you see our Lunar New Year for All banners & colorful fish kites). Parade ends at 3PM.

The effort is organized by Q-Wave, supported by the Asian Women’s Giving Circle and has been endorsed by a number of groups including: Project Reach, CAAAV-Organizing Asian Communities, Gay Asian Pacific Islander Men of New York, (GAPIMNY), Nodutol for Korean Community Development, OCA-New York Chapter, Queer Asian Spirit, Chinatown Youth Initiatives, Barangay, South Asian Lesbian Gay Association, Metropolitan Community Church of New York, Asian Pacific Islander Coalition on HIV and AIDS, and National Asian Pacific American Women's Forum., Chinese American Planning Council, CPC-HIV/AIDS Services, Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund, Museum of Chinese in America, Asian American Arts Alliance, Asian American Writers Workshop and Asian Cinevision It has also been endorsed by prominent individuals such as Comptroller John Liu, Speaker of City Council Christine Quinn, actor Joan Chen, Community Leader Rocky Chin and Journalist Helen Zia.

Monday, February 15, 2010

JACL and OCA Conventions 2010 Planning

The Chicago JACL Convention Committee has launched a website dedicated to the 2010 JACL National Convention. The site will feature new information on a regular basis to keep interested parties updated on the event planning. The convention will take place this year in Chicago between June 30 – July 4, 2010. For more information, see

The Organization of Chinese Americans has also announced that its national convention will be held on June 17-20, 2010, in Houston, TX. It has made an informational section available at and has announced that it is seeking submissions for program topics.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Discovering the meaning in Chinese New Year's celebrations -

From Asian American Village editor Frances Kai-Hwa Wang:

I never even heard of Chinese New Year until I was already 12 years old. We had recently moved from Los Angeles to San Jose, and I had just started attending Saturday morning Chinese School for the first time. One of our lessons was about Chinese New Year stories and customs. Of course, being only 12, I was most interested in the tradition of red envelopes, which contain gifts of money. I went home demanding to know why my brother and I had never before received red envelopes, and insisted on years of back pay.

My brother and I forced our parents to celebrate Chinese New Year that year. We invited all our relatives over for a big dinner of Mongolian hot pot and we made a special trip to the really far Chinese butcher’s for the extra-thin cuts of meat needed. Aunts No. 3 and 6 came with all our cousins, and we had so much fun with the house full of relatives, warm with gossip and food, that we did not even notice until everyone had left that we still did not get any red envelopes.

Every year after that, I would ask my parents what they were planning for Chinese New Year, and the usual response was, "Oh, I don’t even know when it is. I’ll have to check the Chinese calendar." If I was home, and insistent, then they would cook a meal and invite some relatives over; if not, then they would forget. They were modern Chinese who did not need these old world superstitions. But I did. (click on link for more)

Discovering the meaning in Chinese New Year's celebrations -

photo courtesy of Andrew Fang

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Frances Kai-Hwa Wang speaking at Eastern Michigan University Asian American Village Editor Frances Kai-Hwa Wang will be speaking on (Raising) Women in the 21st Century at Eastern Michigan University for Chinese Week 2010 on Monday, February 8, 2010, 1:00 pm, 300 Halle Library.

Adventures in Multicultural Living: Raising confident daughters of color while not forgetting Obama is black -

From Asian American Village Editor Frances Kai-Hwa Wang:

Years ago, I took a seminar called, "Raising Strong and Confident Daughters." My husband laughed at me, "Could our daughters be any stronger or more confident?"

The class was an eye-opener, not just in how to raise my girls, but also in understanding my own Chinese American childhood. I had no memory of dealing with a lot of the issues the instructor talked about as being so important to preadolescent girls, such as friendships and physical appearances.

At first I thought that I must have been just so low on the social totem pole, because of race and nerdiness, that I had given up hope of competing in those arenas. Then I found a Wellesley study of Boston middle-school girls’ self-esteem along racial and ethnic lines and discovered that girls of different ethnic backgrounds based their sense of self-esteem on different factors. It made perfect sense once somebody said it out loud. (click on link for more)

Raising confident daughters of color while not forgetting Obama is black -

Friday, February 05, 2010

ImaginAsian Exhibition Submissions

ImaginAsian: Identity and Experience in Contemporary Asian Pacific America

Fundraising Exhibition April 2- May 9, 2010

In celebration of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month 2010 and to generate funding for materials and sources for Asian American Studies collections at the Purdue University and Indiana University libraries, Kate Agathon, the Council on Asian American Studies, the Tippecanoe Arts Federation, and the Asian American Network of Indiana (AANI) are sponsoring a fundraising installation/exhibition of donated art addressing identity and experience within contemporary Asian Pacific America. The exhibition is intended to raise awareness and understanding of the Asian American community as articulated through a variety of art including photography, visual, and literary.

Open to everyone, submissions are being solicited nation-wide. Celebrity contributors include writer Maxine Hong Kingston, director Michael Kang, actor Parry Shen, hip hop group Far East Movement, Congressman Mike Honda, artist Stella Lai, illustrator/graphic designer Jerry Ma, poet Bao Phi, writer Tao Lin, comic legend Larry Hama, and many other prominent stakeholders within the Asian American community. Contributors do not need to be of Asian descent to participate!

For a donation of $5 or more, contributors are asked to fill an 8.5 x 11” space with creative art, writing, photography or any other artistic medium that addresses contemporary Asian Pacific American identity or the Asian Pacific American experience. Each submission will be vetted by a team for common themes and appropriateness.

Inspired by the Greater Lafayette Art Museum’s Mosaic, ImaginAsian will comprise of a display of 8.5 x 11” creative gifts celebrating the contemporary Asian Pacific American experience. The exhibit will be displayed April 2- May 9, 2010 at the Tippecanoe Arts Federation located at 638 North Street, Lafayette, IN 47901.

Bidders can bid on their favorite pieces of work by taking part in a silent auction that will take place throughout the duration of the exhibit. Submissions must be received by February 28, 2010 and can be sent to:

Kate Agathon

1809 Bengal Place

Lafayette, IN 47909

Checks made payable to the Asian American Network of Indiana are welcome. The Asian American Network of Indiana is a not-for- profit organization. All gifts are tax exempt. For more information, contact Kate Agathon at