Monday, October 23, 2006

Asian American Village Jobs for US @ IMDiversity Career Center

What's New this Month -- the kinda short version:

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:

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Asian Pacific American Youth Voters: The Good News and Bad

There’s good news and bad news for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in a recent study of youth voting conducted by the nonprofit, nonpartisan research group CIRCLE: The Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement. In CIRCLE’s 2006 Civic and Political Health of the Nation Survey, supported by the Pew Charitable Trusts, researchers conducted one of the most comprehensive, detailed studies to date of APA youths' attitudes about politics, voting, and the community issues that concern them. The results introduce a glimmer of light into an otherwise gloomy picture of today’s APA youth participation, but there's clearly a lot of room for improvement.

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

Why an Asian American Village blog?

Why an Asian American Village blog?

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

What is Asian American Village?

What is Asian American Village? Why an Asian American Village blog?

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.

First Post - Asian American Village @ Blogspot Under Construction

Coming soon - the editorial companion blog to the Asian American Village @ Meanwhile: