Thursday, December 27, 2007

Benazir Bhutto killed in Suicide Attack

Newswires this morning are reporting that Benazir Bhutto, 54, the former prime minister of Pakistan, has died following a shooting and suicide bombing that also killed at least 15 other people at the rally where the attack took place.

Bhutto had only recently returned to Pakistan in advance of January parliamentary elections elections, surviving another attempted assassination in Karachi on Oct. 19.

Educated in America and England, Bhutto was the eldest daughter of prime minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, who was himself assassinated following a 1977 coup.

More reportage:

International Herald Tribune
ABC News
Top News India

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Frances Kai-Hwa Wang on Michigan TV?

Professional Journalist at Work: We are not sure, but you might possibly be able to see our own Frances Kai-Hwa Wang (or perhaps just her hand) on Michigan TV running/holding the microphone for the Q&A on this Public TV broadcast of University of Michigan Professor Nicholas Howson's UM ChinaNOW Theme Year Center for Chinese Studies Public Lecture of December 7, 2007, "China's Stock Exchanges and Domestic Capital Markets--Boom, Bust, and Bellwether?"
Michigan TV Channel 22 (Comcast cable channel 22)
Friday, December 21, 2007, 9:00 pm
Saturday, December 22, 2007, 2:00pm
or click here.

To see Frances Kai-Hwa Wang's calendar of REAL upcoming public appearances, check out her website,

Friday, December 21, 2007

What is the top story of 2007 in Asian America?

Musings, as we read on the newswires the calls for editorial voting on the top news stories of the year for the papers' year-end editions...

What would be the top story in Asian America? A lot of our news was pretty bleak this year.

Northwoods or Virginia Tech shootings? Clinton campaign embarrassed by Norman Hsu? Tila Tequila gets her own show?

Maybe these were leavened by some other positive moments, too...

Bobby Jindal? PepsiCo Elects Indra K. Nooyi as Chairman of the Board? Hung Huynh wins Top Chef?

We're throwing it out there to some friends on our email lists, anyway, and may come back and write about it again for our ow wrap-up. But, we would also welcome any ideas you might care to drop here as well.

Monday, December 17, 2007

More about Hwang's Yellow Face

Following up on Frances' last post:

For those fans of the playwright, this week we'll be running a new interview. Check out the weekend culture supplement -- we'll leave it up on Asian American Village for a week or so.

Interview: Tony-winner David Henry Hwang
Plus, AP reviewer Michael Kuchwara's review of Hwang's new play, Yellow Face

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

David Henry Hwang's Yellowface at New York's Public Theater

Public Theater, 425 Lafayette Street , NYC
November 19 - December 23, 2007


David Henry Hwang puts himself center stage with alter-ego DHH, telling his side of the explosive controversy stirred up when he led the protest against the hiring of Jonathan Pryce in the original Broadway production of Miss Saigon. Truth and fiction are hard to separate as Hwang gives us a funny and moving backstage look at his search to confront the roles that race and ethnicity play in America.

More info and ticket sales at

Special AALDEF Night at the Theater on Thursday, December 6, 2007, 8 pm. Hwang will be on hand for a post-performance Q&A. Contact to purchase AALDEF tickets.

Friday, November 30, 2007

"Bumming in Beijing"

Contemporary Chinese Documentary Film: “Bumming in Beijing”
Monday, December 3, 2007
, 6:30 PM - 10:30 PM, The Michigan Theater, 603 East Liberty Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48104

First a reception at 6:30pm in the lobby of the historic Michigan Theater with film scholar Berenice Reynaud and director Wu Wenguang. Then at 7:00 pm, a showing of contemporary Chinese documentary film, "Bumming in Beijing" (Director Wu Wenguang, China, 1990, 70 minutes, Mandarin with English subtitles)--a nuanced documentary account of the wanderings of five young artists who migrated to Beijing from the provinces during the heady years of the late 1980s leading up to and including the tragic confrontation in Tiananmen Square in 1989. Followed by Q&A with Reynaud and Wu.

Lecture: Floating, (In)visible, Off-Screen: Voices and Bodies in the New Chinese Documentary
Monday December 3, 2007, 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM, University of Michigan School of Social Work Building, Room 1636

Also, earlier in the day, Berenice Reynaud, California Institute of the Arts film scholar, will be speaking on contemporary Chinese documentary filmmaking. Based on the theories of Michel Chion, Pascal Bonitzer and Serge Daney on the relationship between image and sound, and in particular between the field of the visible ("on-screen") and the voice in cinema, Berenice Reynaud proposes to study the relationship between the voice and the body in the "New Chinese Documentary Movement." Coming after years of mainstream documentary, in which image and sound were superimposed together through a disembodied, all-knowing, official voice-over commentary, the independent video documentaries of the early 1990s on (starting with Wu Wenguang's "Bumming in Beijing") can be read as a series of multiple, sometimes contradictory strategies to reinsert the voice and attach it to a body. She will describe the evolution of the "movement" from this point of view, ending with new levels of sophistication (off-screen voices, voices in non-Chinese languages, voices that function as a "menace" threatening the integrity of the screen image.

For more information, check out the University of Michigan Center for Chinese Studies.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Coalition Calls for Supreme Court to Strike Down Indiana Legislation

Release from the dedicated folks at The Asian and Pacific Islander American Vote (, a national non-partisan, nonprofit organization that encourages and promotes civic participation of Asian Pacific Islander Americans in the electoral and public policy processes at the national, state and local levels:


WASHINGTON, DC – Today leaders of the Asian & Pacific Islander American Vote (APIAVote), a non-partisan non-profit civic engagement organization, addressed the United States Supreme Court's consideration of an Indiana law that requires voters to present photo identification at the polls.

APIAVote has joined two amicus briefs filed by the Asian American Justice Center (AAJC) and the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF) with the Supreme Court against Indiana's restrictive legislation on voter identification. Both of these amicus briefs urged the Court to strike down photo identification requirements, citing their unconstitutional discriminatory impact on Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) voters. The constitutionality of Indiana’s voter ID requirements is being challenged in two cases, William Crawford v. Marion County Election Board and Indiana Democratic Party v. Todd Rokita. Oral arguments are scheduled to be presented on January 9, 2008. In addition to Indiana, several other states have enacted similar legislation which could be impacted by the Court's ruling.

"Many Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are low income, limited-English speaking, and elderly voters. Instituting photo identification requirements at the polls creates unnecessary barriers that make it harder for our communities to exercise the right to vote," stated Executive Director of the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA) and APIAVote Board member Gloria T. Caoile.

EunSook Lee, Executive Director of National Korean American Service & Education Consortium (NAKASEC) and APIAVote Treasurer noted: "There have already been longstanding calls for uniform and appropriate training for election day poll workers. These new identification mandates will undoubtedly lead to more confusion and opens the doors to cases of discrimination against minority voters by well-meaning poll workers navigating unnecessarily cumbersome election rules.

"No evidence exists to prove there is a widespread conspiracy to commit vote fraud," emphasized Bill Kaneko, board member of APIAVote. "Voter ID is a costly action to address a non-existent problem. At little or no cost, most voters can offer signatures and sworn affidavits to prove their identities.”

"Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have waited generations to gain a voice in the political process," said APIAVote Board Chair Vida Benavides. "The ability to vote in this nation's elections is one of the most fundamental rights that our Constitution affords. Our pursuit of liberty and democracy is at stake."

--- end release ---

Thursday, November 15, 2007

“Realizing a New China”--Wang Dan to Speak at University of Michigan

Monday, November 19, 2007, 7:00pm
Michigan Law School, Hutchins Hall, Room 100

Wang Dan, who was one of the student leaders during the student democracy movement in China that led up to the events at Tiananmen Square on June 4, will be speaking at the University of Michigan Law School on “Realizing a New China.” Then a student at prestigious Beijing University, he was often considered the brains behind the movement. He rose to prominence advocating political reform and the rule of law in Reform-era China. Imprisoned twice after the events of June 4, 1989, Wang was exiled to the United States in 1998, and he is now completing a Ph.D. in history at Harvard University.

Sponsored by The Michigan Law School and the Center for Chinese Studies as part of the University of Michigan’s LSA China Theme Year. Free and open to the public. For more information, please contact the UM Center for Chinese Studies at 734-764-6308 or check out their website at

Friday, November 02, 2007

Oppt'y - UCLA: 2008-09 Postdoctoral/Visiting Scholar Fellowship in Asian American Studies and Ethnic Studies

This opportunity release was sent in to the Village by friends at UCLA:

The Institute of American Cultures, in cooperation with UCLA's four Ethnic Studies Research Centers (American Indian Studies Center, Asian American Studies Center, Bunche Center for African American Studies Center, and the Chicano Studies Research Center) offers fellowships to postdoctoral/visiting scholars to support research on African Americans, American Indians, Asian Americans, and Chicanas/os. Each Center awards one fellowship for the academic year in a national competition.

The fellowship includes a stipend (which can be used as a sabbatical supplement) that ranges from $33,000 to $35,000 (contingent upon rank, experience, and date of completion of the Ph.D), up to $4,000 in research support, and health benefits. If applicable, the stipend is paid in the form of a reimbursement to the Fellow's home institution. Appointments are for a 9-month period beginning on October 1, 2008.

Eligibility: Applicants must be citizens or permanent residents of the United States and hold a Ph.D. from an accredited college/university (or, in the case of the arts, a terminal degree) in the appropriate field at the time of appointment. UCLA faculty, staff, and currently enrolled students are not eligible to apply.

IAC Postdoctoral Fellows/Scholars are to be in residence during their tenure and to make a contribution to the research activities of the sponsoring Ethnic Studies Research Center. Each fellow/scholar is expected to devote full time to study and research and accept no other form of employment. In the case of the Asian American Studies, the fellow/scholar will also teach a 10-week undergraduate OR graduate seminar based on his or her research with the Department of Asian American Studies.

Applications are due by January 11, 2008, and recipients are notified by mid-April, 2008.

For further information, please contact the Institute of American Cultures Coordinator or one of the IAC coordinators at the centers listed below. The application form is available online at:

Asian American Studies Center
ATTN: IAC Coordinator
3230 Campbell Hall
Box 951546
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1546
Telephone number: 310.825.2974

Bunche Center for African American Studies
ATTN: IAC Coordinator
160 Haines Hall
Box 951545
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1545
Telephone number: 310.825.7403

American Indian Studies Center
ATTN: IAC Coordinator
3220 Campbell Hall
Box 951548
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1548
Telephone Number: 310.825.7315

Chicano Studies Research Center
ATTN: IAC Coordinator
193 Haines Hall
Box 951544
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1544
Telephone Number: 310.825.2363

For General Information:
Institute of American Cultures
1237 Murphy Hall
Box 951419Los Angeles, CA 90095-1419
Telephone number: 310.825.1233
UCLA . . . advancing excellence through diversity

Monday, October 29, 2007

Book: Asian American Assimilation: Ethnicity, Immigration, and Socioeconomic Attainment

Available @ Amazon

Asian American Assimilation: Ethnicity, Immigration, and Socioeconomic Attainment

We were pleased to hear of the new book by a favorite past Village contributor, C.N. Le, director of Asian American Studies at U. Mass Amherst and the mastermind behind the excellent web site, Longtime readers may recall that Dr. Le, a sociology and statistics expert, tends to appear on the Village to help put some sense to numbers when new elections surveys, Census, employment and Asian American demographic data, although he has also written extensively on other aspects of (h)APA society and Vietnamese American culture.

In his new book, which uses comprehensive data from the U.S. Census, Dr. Le broadens the idea of assimilation to include socioeconomic and institutional examples of integration by analyzing outcomes such as income, occupational prestige, small business ownership, residential segregation, and intermarriage for five Asian American groups, with an emphasis on Vietnamese. The results show that many Asian Americans, especially Vietnamese Americans, have historically and continue to encounter several disadvantages, particularly compared to Whites, when it comes to achieving structural integration.

Nonetheless, Dr. Le observes, many have been able to overcome such initial challenges in a relatively short amount of time by using collective resources and maintaining ethnic solidarity to weave together a pattern of achievement, mobility, and tradition. In analyzing the interconnections between history, institutional conditions, and community solidarity, Dr. Le's book serves as a valuable reference point and resource for students, policymakers, and Americans from all backgrounds.

In this, the book adds hard evidence to the growing body of research and publications that have recently begun to chip away at the myth of Asian Americans-as-monolithic-Model-Minority. Other research we've covered include, most recently, a UCLA study on APA undergraduate educational attainment in particular.

Dr. Le's book was released by LFB Scholarly Publishing LLC as part of a New Americans series.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Jindal becomes first elected Indian American Governor

Well, for those who have been following our Bobby Watch, this past weekend's action in Louisiana answered our question.

Representative Bobby Jindal, Oxford-educated son of Indian immigrants, handily trounced a packed field of 11 opponents to become not only Louisiana's first non-white governor since the 1870s, but the first Indian American to be elected a state governor in U.S. history. He took 54 percent of the votes, which was enough to avoid a November 17 runoff.

According to the follow-up reporting by the Associated Press, Jindal, at 36 year, will also be the youngest state governor in the U.S.

Jindal had previously run for governor in 2003, losing to Kathleen Blanco by a narrow margin.

BTW, if you missed the Victory Speech...

Friday, October 19, 2007

9500 Liberty - Immigration Video Channel

What is 9500 Liberty? Call it “Macaca 2.0”.

We recently got a head's up from friends of the Village about an interesting project underway in Virginia that tries to bring some focus and dialogue to the immigration debates for those who want to give more independent thought to the issue.

A collective of activist filmmakers, many of them Asian Americans who had prominently pushed the charge to oust then-Virginia Senator George Allen during Macaca-gate, have again convened in the state to create a multivocal video documentary project about local government efforts to crack down on illegal immigrants in Manassas.

Calling itself 9500Liberty, the group has created a subscribable online video channel to form what it calls an "interactive documentary wall" comprising short guerilla videos that (to the group's credit) present multiple perspectives on the local immigration debate.

Although the project coordinators’ sympathies are clearly with immigrants in the area, 9500 Liberty publishes videos that convey the perspectives of both proponents and opponents of the anti-immigration measures. Videos range from interviews with Corey A. Stewart, Chairman of the Prince William Board of County Supervisors, to presentations given at public hearings to harrowing on-the-street confrontations between local whites and Hispanic and Asians.

The group has also crafted a network of discussions on Blogspot, Facebook, and MySpace as well as YouTube, aiming to “elevate dialogue…and inform the public, and investigate alternatives to the intense polarization that is hindering progress on the immigration issue.”

In this way, they say, they hope to help pre-emptively inform the public about a complex issue, rather than allow immigration to become the kind of emotional, polarizing issue in the next national election that gay marriage was in the previous one. Although some viewers may well leave the 9500 Liberty Channel still convinced of their own position on the immigration crackdowns -- whether pro or con -- the visit should leave them better aware of the real issues beyond the campaign rhetoric, and better equipped to make an independent decision.

Louisiana Watch: Jobs, and Could Jindal Just Plain Win?

It's been a while since we logged in here with a Louisiana note, although we've continued to run news tidbits in our ongoing "Bobby Watch" tracking gubernatorial candidate Bobby Jindal's continuing strong run up to Saturday's election.

Most recently, the AP is musing that Jindal Might Avoid Runoff for Gov, that is, "If he gets more than 50 percent of the vote in Saturday's primary, the 36-year-old, Oxford-educated son of Indian immigrants will become Louisiana's first nonwhite governor since Reconstruction and the youngest U.S. governor in office."

He would also become the first elected Indian American governor of a U.S. state. (Careful readers will recall that the title of First Indian American governor was recently scooped by New Jersey transportation commissioner Kris Kolluri.)

Turnout is already high in early balloting, propelled by a new law that "means anyone can cast a ballot during a designated seven-day period, without having to proffer an excuse or an explanation," according to The Times-Picayune's So, keep an eye out on Saturday; history might just be made -- and early, to boot!



With its Katrina hangover not completely dissipated, Louisiana has a good deal at stake in the election. In a separate series this weekend, posted as a supplement in our Career Center news section, we're running an analysis of the jobs outlook in Louisiana, which on its flipside is paralleled by a serious labor shortage. We will also be highlighting Louisiana job opportunities that employers have posted on the job bank at IMDiversity.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Shen Wei Wins MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship

When Choreographer Shen Wei was recently in Ann Arbor, Michigan, for the University of Musical Society debut of “Second Visit to the Empress,” UMS President Ken Fischer was proud to announce that earlier that week Shen Wei had won the prestigious MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship.

Shen Wei, founder and artistic director of Shen Wei Dance Arts, is a choreographer who combines Eastern and Western influences and multiple artistic disciplines to create a bold and visually arresting form of dance-theater. Born in China’s Hunan province and trained from his youth in calligraphy, painting, and Chinese operatic performance, Shen Wei became a founding member of the Guangdong Modern Dance Company, the first modern dance company in China, prior to moving to New York in 1995. Through choreographed movements that are precise and inventive, he and his dancers perform highly stylized steps and gestures inspired by Western dance traditions as well as Chinese opera, acrobatics, and martial arts. With the compositional rigor of a visual artist, he incorporates vivid colors, striking costume design, and imaginative use of space into theatrical works that are, at once, kinetic paintings. Staging his dances on a grand scale with a high level of production detail, Shen defies expectations with each new work. Folding (2000) begins with dancers draped in dramatic red against a shimmering blue backdrop and concludes with the chanting of Tibetan Buddhist monks, while his Rite of Spring (2003) offers a spare, minimalist approach to a classic modernist score. In these and other works, Shen Wei fuses a diverse range of art forms into an aesthetically striking dance language that is all his own.

Shen Wei received degrees from the Hunan Arts Academy and the Guangdong Dance School. He performed with the Hunan State Xian Opera Company (1984-1989) and the Guangdong Modern Dance Company (1991-1994) prior to founding Shen Wei Dance Arts in 2000. His company has performed in festivals and at venues throughout the U.S. and internationally, including the Lincoln Center Festival, the American Dance Festival, Jacob’s Pillow, Sadler’s Wells, and the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, among many others. A painter as well as a choreographer, Shen’s works have been exhibited in New York City and Hong Kong. He is now based in New York City.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Central Asian music and poetry event

Spiritual Sounds of Central Asia:Nomads, Mystics and Troubadours
Alim Qasimov Ensemble, The Bardic Divas, Badakhshan Ensemble
Wednesday, October 24, 8 pm, Michigan Theater, Ann Arbor, Michigan

Some of the world's most ancient and mysterious music and epic poetry comes to Ann Arbor in a remarkable concert featuring 18 of Central Asia's greatest singers and musicians, many of them appearing in the US for the first time. Performed against a backdrop of vibrant projected images, this concert includes artists from Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Kalmykia.

Showcasing some of the most exotic musical traditions on the planet, the concert includes the legendary mugham singer Alim Qasimov (Silk Road Project) in a program of riveting duets with his daughter, Fergane, accompanied by a four-man ensemble; trance-inducing mystical songs based on texts by classical poets Rumi, Hafez, and Nasir Khusrow, performed by the seven-person Badakhshan Ensemble; and the once-taboo, all-female ensemble, Bardic Divas. This multi-media performance includes supertitles and a two-camera live-video feed that projects close-up images of the musicians, as well a brief documentary film preceding each performance group.

check out for ticket info.

Friday, October 12, 2007

A Cambodian Magic Flute at University of Michigan

Pamina Devi: A Cambodian Magic Flute
Choreography, traditional music arrangements,and lyrics by Sophiline Cheam Shapiro; Performed by the Khmer Arts Ensemble (Phnom Penh)
Saturday, October 20, 1 pm [FAMILY PERFORMANCE]
Saturday, October 20, 8 pm
Sunday, October 21, 2 pmPower Center

The brilliant classicism of imperial Vienna meets the mythic-poetic splendor of ancient Angkor in Pamina Devi: A Cambodian Magic Flute, a contemporary re-imagining of Mozart's fantastical opera by Cambodian-American choreographer Sophiline Cheam Shapiro. Performed in the refined and elaborate movement language of the thousand-year-old Cambodian classical dance tradition and set to traditional musical motifs played out by a pin peat instrumental ensemble, 32 dancers, musicians, and singers take the stage to explore the themes of enlightened change and transformation that frame Mozart's masterpiece. Cultures meld as we follow Pamina's arduous journey to transcend the rivalries and betrayals from which she is born and seek out a middle path of justice, tolerance, and love.

Commissioned by Peter Sellars for his New Crowned Hope Festival in Vienna, Pamina Devi is "a must see. Sophiline Cheam Shapiro's exotic realm of bejeweled dancers and formal patterns, full of elegance, filled the stage. Every finger of each backwardly arched hand, each raised foot while kneeling, all were accomplished with a calmly deliberate and beautifully fluid motion. This was an amazing experience." (Salzburger Nachrichten)In Khmer with English supertitles. for ticket info.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Çudamani comes to University of Michigan

Çudamani: Odalan Bali
I Dewa Putu Berata, artistic director
Friday, October 19, 8 pm Hill Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan

The Balinese music and dance ensemble Çudamani (pronounced SOO-duh-mahn-ee) makes its UMS debut with Odalan Bali, providing a unique window into the spiritual and cultural source of Balinese performing arts. Inspired by Bali’s timeless cycles of ceremony and ritual, Çudamani’s work transports the audience from the everyday world with its virtuosic detail, emotion, and energy. An exquisite synthesis of music, drama, and movement, Odalan Bali captures the exhilarating splendor of the Balinese temple festival, bringing to life vivid tales of gods and heroes of Balinese mythology and history. From the clamor of villagers working at dawn to the calm of prayer and worship, and from the meditative resonance of voice and flute to the breathtaking dances for which Bali is famous, this original work traces the life of a ceremony, from the awakening of the ritual site to purification, and, finally, to spiritual union.The performance features dazzling dancers, glittering costumes, and the shimmering polyrhythms of gamelan music, a living tradition in Bali. Beyond mere aethetic entertainment, Balinese arts capure and amplify the shifting dimensions of human emotion, nature, the spirit world, and the cosmos. Go to for ticket info.

A Related Event:
Roundtable: Traditional Modernity: A Panel Discussion on Identity and Culture in Asian Performing Arts, Thursday, Oct 18, 4-5:30 pm, School of Social Work Building, Room 1636 (1080 South University Avenue), University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan
A panel of experts on Asian performing arts and theater practitioners will discuss the “identity” of contemporary Asian performing arts and social and cultural function of the performing arts throughout the Asian continent. A collaboration with the the U-M Center for Chinese Studies, U-M Center for South East Asian Studies, U-M Center for World Performance Studies, U-M Institute for Humanities, U-M School of Music, Theatre & Dance.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Tallahassee Asian Festival Coming 9/29/07

Experience Asia 2007 - 3rd Annual Asian Coalition of Tallahassee Festival
Sharing the Asian Experience
Saturday, September 29
From 10am - 5pm
Downtown Tallahassee, Lewis and Bloxham Parks
(across from the Downtown Market)
Other Recent Readings of Interest @ IMD & the Village

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

University of Michigan Dragon Boat Festival Launches ChinaNow Theme Year

Dragon Boat Festival
Sunday, September 30, 10:00am-5:00pm
Gallup Park (2970 Fuller Rd.)

The first ever University-sponsored Chinese dragon boat race comes to Ann Arbor as part of a campus/community festival to launch the ChinaNow LSA Theme Year – a series of ground-breaking lectures, exhibitions, symposia, films, and performances building up to the 2008 Olympics.

Dragon boat races (the second most popular water sport in the world) are the heartbeat of the festival, a centuries old tradition in China. Teams of twenty paddlers per boat comprised of U-M departments, student organizations, and the community will race to drummer's beats in heats throughout the day. Activities on the banks of the river include a drum and gong procession (U-M Percussion Ensemble), lion dancing (Asian Martial Arts Studio), performances by high energy percussion group Groove, Chinese opera-style face painting, kite making, yo-yo spinning (Ann Arbor Chinese Center of Michigan), food, and more. The festival is a green event to bring about greater awareness of natural resources, particularly water.

A collaboration with the U-M Center for Chinese Studies. Part of the ChinaNow LSA Theme Year series of outreach events.

Shen Wei Dance Theatre, "Second Visit to the Empress"

ANN ARBOR, MI (August 13, 2007) – Chinese choreographer Shen Wei makes his University Musical Society (UMS) debut with Second Visit to the Empress, a work that marries the traditions of Chinese Opera with contemporary dance. The three performances, Friday, September 28 through Sunday, September 30, open UMS’s 07/08 season in Ann Arbor’s Power Center for the Performing Arts. In addition to his trademark visual and modern movement style, Shen Wei brings nearly ten years of opera training at its highest level in his native China to this production. Considered one of the best written music and vocal pieces in the entire Chinese Opera repertory, Second Visit to the Empress is a pillar of the Beijing Opera canon. Shen Wei’s production represents the first known new staging of the work in over 200 years.

For Shen Wei Dance Arts, Second Visit to the Empress represents a multi-year dedication to the celebration of a traditional form rarely seen in the West, and increasingly neglected in China. The overall vision at once recalls and re-casts the form — a treasure of world heritage — through the lens of Shen Wei’s landmark visual style. As such, the dance-opera represents Shen Wei’s most “total” work to date.

The four traditional Beijing Opera luminaries appearing in this production — Ms. Zhang Jing, Mr. Deng Mu Wei, Mr. He Wei, and Ms. Song Yang — are widely regarded as seminal interpreters of the repertoire. Each has a knowledge and aptitude for the form unavailable to non-native performers. Because Second Visit to the Empress features an unusually demanding vocal score, each vocalist was selected for his or her mastery of roles embodied by distinct vocal styles: the wife (female soprano); the intellectual/philosopher advisor (male soprano), and the military advisor (baritone).

The production is fully-staged, including sets, costumes, and make-up design by Shen Wei, and lighting by Jennifer Tipton. The challenging music is played by sixteen musicians (on twenty traditional Chinese instruments). A corps of twelve dancers form a characterless visual counterpart to the score, embodying the music through movement.

The music and lyrics to Second Visit to the Empress were developed approximately 300 years ago by anonymous artists. Zhenguo Liu revised the music for this new production and Shen Wei edited the lyrics. Original material was taken from the Anthology of Classical Peking Operas.

Shen Wei’s production of Second Visit to the Empress was performed at the Lincoln Center Festival in New York City in July. The work premiered in 2005 at the American Dance Festival. University Musical Society (UMS) hosts the only other U.S. engagement this season.

For performance tickets or additional information, contact the University Musical Society at 734-764-2538 or online at

Friday, September 21, 2007

Milwaukee Launches New Asian Festival this Weekend

With its long, hard winters, the city of Milwaukee on Lake Michigan really lets its hair down during the summer months, and has come to be known in the region as the city of festivals for its chock-a-block series of food, ethnic, music and fireworks fests that run in its parks and public squares pretty much every weekend. In years past, Asian Moon Fest, generally held in April, kicked off the seasonal celebrations, gathering a diverse array of Asian American cultural, culinary, and social organizations from throughout the region at the city’s massive lakefront Summer Fest complex.

For the past two years, however, the city has lacked a pan-Asian cultural festival. So, a coalition of local organizations and business sponsors banded together to launch a new event this year -- Silver City’s Asian Festival: East Meets West National – to be held this weekend on September 22, from 10AM – 6 PM.

The celebration has moved away from the highly commercialized lakefront, finding a home in the city’s southern neighborhood, home to a significant and vibrant, mostly Southeast Asian American community. In many ways, “taking it to the streets” may be more beneficial for the community, bringing visitors to its commercial heart. On the schedule is a parade, martial arts program, dance performances in many ethnic styles, kids’ events, raffles for Milwaukee Bucks and other goodies.

On the more serious side, a noon screening of the film Who Killed Vincent Chin? by Christine Choy and Renee Tajima-Pena will bring some focus to the issue of hate crimes, which has been freshly on the minds of Asian Americans throughout the region following recent incidents in the Wisconsin Northwoods area. The screening is contributed by the national organization Asian Pacific Americans for Progress, which has been organizing a series of townhalls on hate crimes nationwide throughout this summer, in commemoration of the 25th anniversary of the murder of Detroit autoworker Vincent Chin.

For more information and full schedule of events, times and locations, see or the MySpace page, or download the Vendor Packet in PDF format.

Other links of sort-of-related interest at IMDiversity & Elsewhere:

Sunday, September 02, 2007

NYC Arts: Esther K. Chae Spy Story; Vanja; IAAC Film Fest

A few promsing-sounding items for your calendar if you live in or are visiting the Apple:

-- This note about a "ripped from the headlines" story, sent in from our friend and occasional contributor, actress and producer Erin Quill:

"I wanted to let you know that after a busy summer working, I am turning my hand to producing for a dear friend of mine, Esther K. Chae, in her solo show - SO THE ARROW FLIES. I saw it in L.A., and I felt I wanted to work on it, because it's a very intriguing show - with laughter and high-stakes drama. Esther is a Yale grad and asst., taught for her mentor, Anna Deveare Smith this past fall at NYU. This show is placed now, and based on current events. It involves a Korean spy and the Korean American FBI agent that captures her. I am attaching the flier in hopes that you will turn out and support. We run Sept 19 -24th in cooperation with the Estrogenius Festival."

The show takes place at Stage Left Studio, 438 W 37th Street, 5A in New York.

(The site's Flash does not allow us to link directly to or copy anything from the page on Chae, so we'll attach the postcard below. Click it for larger printable image.)


Coming up with a little more lead time ... two for film buffs sent in by IAAC:
A film by Rajnesh Domalpalli
NR, 111 minutes
In Telugu with English Subtitles
Set in rural South India, a place where social barriers are built stronger than fort walls, VANAJA explores the chasm that divides classes as a young girl struggles to come of age while experiencing her sexual awakening and pursuing her dream of becoming a dancer. Trailer: Info:
Opening Friday, Sept. 14th - ImaginAsian - 239 E. 59 St. - (212) 371-6682 - AND..."After winning a remarkable 15 awards from over 60 film festivals around the world, the acclaimed film VANAJA will begin its theatrical run in the United States on August 31 when it opens in New York City at Cinema Village. Winning more film festival awards than any other Indian film in 2007, the coming-of-age drama about a teenage girl in rural South India will then open in Los Angeles and Chicago on September 14 and will debut in Boston, Philadelphia, Detroit, and Austin on September 21. VANAJA will continue to expand across the country with openings in San Francisco, Seattle, San Diego, Washington D.C., Atlanta, and other cities."
Check out the Seventh Annual IAAC Film Festival (now titled 'The Mahindra IAAC Film Festival' marking partnership with big new sponsor Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd.) to be held November 7 -11, 2007 in New York City.
Release about the partnership here. Festival postcard here.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Video: Ann Curry Q&A with Brad Pitt on Katrina Recovery

As we were saying in our posts from last week, expect a theme to emerge this week as we cover New Orleans' volunteer and Katrina commemorations this week ...

This one impressed us on the real tube first before we found it on YouTube -- a cool and articulate Brad Pitt talking about what he's seen and felt in La., in an interview with anchorwoman Ann Curry. (Curry, by the way, has recently been tapped to also host a fourth hour of NBC's "Today" beginning Sept. 10, according to the Asian American Journalists Association.)

Saturday, August 25, 2007

KorAm head of embattled DoJ Civil Rights division quits

Top story in the Village news: The AP reports Assistant Attorney General Wan J. Kim, the Justice Department's top civil rights enforcer, resigned Thursday after more than a year of criticism that his office filled its ranks with conservative loyalists instead of experienced attorneys. Seoul-born Kim was the first immigrant and first Korean-American to head the department's civil rights division, his job for just over two years.

According to the DoJ website, he was sworn in as the Assistant Attorney General on November 9, 2005. "Immediately prior to his nomination, Mr. Kim served as a Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Civil Rights Division. He has spent most of his career at the Department of Justice, having entered through the Attorney General's Honors Program as a Trial Attorney in the Criminal Division, and later serving as an Assistant United States Attorney for the District of Columbia. Mr. Kim also has worked on the staff of the Senate Judiciary Committee for former Chairman Orrin G. Hatch, and as a law clerk to Judge James L. Buckley of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Mr. Kim graduated with honors from both the Johns Hopkins University and the University of Chicago Law School. He has served as an enlisted soldier and a rifle platoon leader in the United States Army Reserve."

Other headlines: Our continuing "Bobby Watch" stories, plus condemned killer Johnny Ray Conner becomes Texas' 400th executee, the new BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in suburban Atlanta will be the country's largest Hindu temple, and Taiwanese-American director Edward Yang posthumously named Asian filmmaker of the year in Busan.

Friday, August 24, 2007

BR Advocate: Jindal seen as ‘shoo-in’ but that could change

I keeping with this week's Louisiana theme, some predictions of the state's maybe-first Asian American governor, from the Baton Rouge Advocate: Though the Oct. 20 primary is still two months away, much of the talk in Louisiana political circles is speculation about Republican Bobby Jindal’s chances of winning the race for governor without a runoff. Pearson Cross, assistant professor of political science at the University of Louisiana in Lafayette, was one of two political analysts who predicted Jindal will capture the office in the primary and avoid a Nov. 17 runoff.

Read: Jindal seen as ‘shoo-in’ but that could change -- Baton Rouge, LA

Watch the video

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Katrina Second Anniversary - News, Actions

As long-time Villagers may know, our cyberspace resource is produced by New Orleans-based publisher, IMDiversity, Inc., so over the past 2 years we've made a special effort to provide news and views on the goings-on in the region. Approaching the anniversary of the one-two Katrina/Rita punch that swept through and destroyed, damaged or dispersed so much in the Gulf, including our own HQ and staff, we will be posting information throughout our network, on and THE BLACK COLLEGIAN Online, about a number of events, as well as follow-up analyses of the rebuilding progress -- or lack thereof -- throughout the week.

Just a few items of interest this week is a supplemental package of AP News stories at our Career Center focusing on the ongoing impact of the hurricanes on regional employment, small business planning, insurance and housing. Among the bad news is a new study by LSU finding that even after 2 years, employment in areas hit by the storm remains woefully down. In N.O., for example, employment is still down nearly a third after the city lost nearly 21% of companies. Our section will also include featured job opportunities in Louisiana, Alabama, and Mississippi that employers have posted to our job bank.

As a company, we're also supporting as series of actions, including a coalition call for A DAY OF PRESENCE in New Orleans on 8/29, which aims to invite a multicultural gathering of concerned citizens from nationwide to gather for a whirlwind of events ranging from scholarly conferences and policy panels to mass demonstrations demanding a "Marshall Plan" for restoring the Gulf Coast. Among other interesting activities to commemorate Katrina is an ambitious observance by the African-American Leadership Project, "Hands Around the Dome," on September 1, which envisions a multicultural throng of thousands joining hands to encircle the Superdome, as just the crowning activity following a week of observances and volunteer service activities.

On Asian American Village, we're also interested in some other developments, and have been on a kind of "Bobby Watch" -- as in Bobby Jindal's trials and progress towards possibly becoming the first Asian American governor of Louisiana. After his easy reelection in November, partially credited to his resolute conduct during the Katrina crisis, he may have a better chance than in his first strong 2003 run against now-outgoing Governor Blanco.

We also want to give a shout to the great organization, SOS Boatpeople, which did a great job with providing relief centers in multiple locations throughout the Gulf, and made headway in the past year with rebuilding projects. SOSBP reports that many of the 30,000 Vietnamese in the Gulf Coast region are still seeking timely help and information, and invites the national community to read more about and support its relief & recovery efforts.

(On a related front, see the recommended Refuge From The Storm from Nguoi Viet, a Q&A by Anh Do: "Two years ago this month, the deadliest and costliest catastrophe in U.S. history unfurled just as Tram Nguyen started her new job with the much-lauded Virginia-based charity, Boat People SOS. Nguyen, now 26, recounts the drama on the second anniversary of the storm that resulted in more than $80 billion in damages.")

Finally, we'd also like to keep up with local community news and views, and invite people to share their stories or comments about the anniversary and recovery on the blogs. If you hear of any more resources like SOSBP or know of commemorative events in the community, please let us know.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Profiled: Heidi Shyu, VP Corporate Technology and Research, Raytheon

Of interest from our sister-site, the Professional Women's Village, a profile of Heidi Shyu, the recently appointed Vice President, Corporate Technology and Research, of Raytheon Company.

A recipient of the 2004 Asian-American Engineer of the Year Award, among many others, Shyu describes her path to the senior circles of the industry giant, where she also serves as Chair of the Air Force Scientific Advisory Board. In a Leaders Corner Q&A from Raytheon's Technology Today, Shyu discusses her approach to "creating an enterprise-wide technology vision and direction, the importance of disruptive technologies and radical innovation, and her penchant for taking on – and reaching – 'unachievable' goals."

The piece is of real interest to those concerned with high-level discussion of innovation and leadership in technology, but IMDiversity additionally invited Ms. Shyu to write for us on a topic of strong personal concern to her in America’s New Deficit: A Shortage of Technology Specialists.

In this original op-ed, Ms. Shyu observes that what she calls a 'holistic approach' is key to solving what is becoming a critical national technologists shortage, and particularly in attracting more women and minority scientists and engineers to pursue leadership roles in the industry. Underscoring the challenges of global competition and educational differences between the U.S. and countries like China and India, the Taiwanese-American Shyu stresses the necessity of promoting science education in our schools. While this call is becoming commonplace among leaders in science and technology industries of all kinds, Shyu's prescription is not merely "more funding for more science classes," although this is important. She also calls for the use of corporate programs and the use of media targeting young people -- especially girls -- to foster a respect for scientists, who may be considered role models in other countries, while too often considered just "geeky" here in the U.S.

She recalls from her own experience:

As a young girl growing up in Taiwan, I was mesmerized by science and
mathematics. I read books on female and male scientists and they became my role models. In America, we need to do the same for our kids, especially girls.
Earmarking additional resources for students to help them discover and enjoy
math and science would make the technology fields far more appealing and not
“boring.” Children are naturally curious, so interactive explorations of
our planet and learning how things work in our solar system can create a lot of
excitement. Look at how fast digital animation has advanced in films in
just the last 10 years. We can now visualize things that were impossible
to perceive just a few years ago. Media helps to shape our lives in many
other ways, so why not in the science and engineering field?

In this, the editors found Shyu's insights in these two linked articles doubly valuable -- both their the global and Asian-specific perspectives arising from her personal background, as well as for the authority of her role at a $20.2 billion industry leader in defense and government electronics, space, information technology, technical services, and business and special mission aircraft. She has a great deal to say about how America can keep its edge as a global technology leader, and says it with great style and clarity. Check it out.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Announcement: AAV Launches Secret Asian Man DAILY

Quick note to all the long-time SAM-Fanatics who have written us over the years.

You dreamed of it.
You asked for it.
You got it!

We're going daily with this baby! Stop in for your daily dose at the New Secret Asian Man DAILY section, with a new short black-and-white strip from UFS every day.

We'll still have the archives, big full-color specials, and Random SAM, of course. For those who missed it earlier this month, check out Open Letter to SAM Fans by Tak Toyoshima for a preview of what's in store with the strip.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Census: More than 300 counties now 'Minority-Majority'

Food for thought courtesy of the Census Bureau, via the Career Center Home Page:

A new release by the Census gives further food for thought about what it means to be a "minority" and a "majority" in the U.S. The Bureau today announced its findings that more than 300 counties now has a 'minority-majority' -- that is, nearly one in every 10 of the nation’s 3,141 counties is now home to population that is more than 50% minority, which includes all those who are not "white" alone. The release follows another release from earlier this year reporting that the U.S. minority population had topped 100 million.

Full release, broken down by ethnicity and details on select counties

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Featured Opportunities posted at Asian American Village Jobs Center

A good, highly time-sensitive posting for a paid internship came our way that we wanted to get the word out about right away, because we only got the heads up today and its projected start date is August 20.

Paid P/T Internship – Asian American Center at Northeastern University
Northeastern University AAC located in Boston Mass.

They write that it's an "8-month part-time internship for anyone looking to gain experience working in higher education or with the Asian American community" by working at the Center. Other details:

Responsibilities will include:
• Work closely with the director to continue and develop programming initiatives for the Asian American Center, including the Asian American book club, Brown Bag/lunch discussions, workshops, and special events.
• Coordinate Asian American Center communications, including the website, weekly newsletter, and office calendar
• Support and advise student organizations and the Pan Asian American Council• Assist in day to day activities at the Center, including supervising student staff, scheduling in the Center, and general office duties.

Individual must be a self-starter, highly dependable, and able to connect easily with students. Must be knowledgeable about the Asian American community specifically pertaining to Asian American college students. Experience working in the college setting a plus. Marketing and communications experience (specifically, website design/maintenance, Adobe Illustrator) also a plus.

To see the whole description, go to the Asian American Village Jobs Center - Jobs for US Center or directly to the posting.

The pay is not huge, but it's pretty darned respectable at 16 bucks an hour (better than ant internship I had in school, that's for sure). If you know anyone looking for an internship who's into exploring AA culture and community activity, spread the word.


Also on AAV Jobs Center this week is a featured posting for a Bilingual Relationship Manager - English/Mandarin or Cantonese with Citigroup and apparently, the position could be in either New York or San Francisco.

AAV's Center is one of the many Jobs QuickSearch Sections powered by Career Center site. It's an editors' choice section where we occasionally post featured jobs that are of specific interest to Asian American and NH/PI jobseekers. The general Featured Jobs section and main job bank search tools can be accessed from there as well.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

H.RES. 121 "Honda Resolution" Passes; Coalition Responds

121 Coalition Statement on the Passage of H.RES.121

Monday July 30, 2007

With the passage of H.Res. 121, the United States House of Representatives reaffirms its promise as a powerful advocate for human rights.  
We commend the leadership of Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Congressman Mike Honda, and Foreign Affairs Committee Chair Tom Lantos, as well as all 167 cosponsors for their passionate, bipartisan support for this resolution.
We also want to thank Congressman Lane Evans and Congressman Henry Hyde who championed and supported H.Res.759.  When H.Res 759 failed during the last Congress, many supporters felt defeated; but others did not give up.  The 759 campaign became the foundation for a national movement behind H.Res.121.
We highly commend survivors Ms. Lee Yong Soo, Ms. Kim Koon-Ja, Ms. Jan Ruff O’Herne, as well as all survivors, living and deceased, who advocated for truth and reconciliation, and testified courageously about their agonizing captivity in military rape camps, also known as “comfort stations” during WWII.
We extend our gratitude to the American electorate who supported this resolution by sending thousands of letters and petitions to Congress members from all over the United States.  
The so-called “comfort women” issue is not only about the past.  It is also about the present and the future.  Tragically, Japan’s wartime military rape camps were the precedent for  human trafficking, rape, and sexual slavery that continue to this day.  H.Res.121 delivers a strong message that we must protect civilians left vulnerable to violence and exploitation during armed conflicts, especially girls and women.  The perpetrators of these deeds must now take notice: the world will hold you accountable.  
This resolution is in no way an insult to the great nation of Japan.  Rather, it is a challenge to leaders of all nations who would deny historical truth for political gain.  The people of Japan have long understood that this issue can only be resolved with openness, honesty, and mutual respect.  Leaders who deny history, like those who deny facts, serve no one but themselves.  The people of Japan deserve an opportunity to put this terrible chapter of human history to rest, and reconcile with the world community in peace and in friendship.
Ethnic and sectarian conflicts in the Middle East serve as reminders that crimes such as these become fodder for future violence if the wounds they cause are allowed to fester without reconciliation, justice, or acceptance of responsibility.
Today, we stand with the United States House of Representatives to urge the people and the government of Japan to accept an invitation from their friends, the citizens of the United States, to officially acknowledge, apologize, and take responsibility for Imperial Japan’s role in the atrocities committed during WWII.  We thank those who have sent us messages of support from around the globe, and we express our support for the citizens of Canada and Australia as they seek to pass similar resolutions.  We see the success of H.Res 121 not as the end of our campaign, but as an auspicious beginning — one that will continue in partnership with human rights advocates in this country, in Japan, and around the world.

Statement From M. Evelina Galang,
Filipina American Coordinator, 121 Coalition

The passage of House Resolution 121 is an invitation to transcend past crimes against humanity, and a boon to the efforts of surviving “Comfort Women” who have been seeking justice for over 15 years. It is an opportunity for healing and reconciliation as well as a statement that defines what is and is not acceptable even during times of war. It is my hope that Japan accepts the invitation to bear witness to the women’s experiences and to honor and respect them by delivering a formal and unequivocal apology to all surviving “Comfort Women” of WW2.  
On September 18, 1992 Rosa Maria Henson was the first Filipina “Comfort Woman” to step forward and ask the Japanese government to accept full responsibility for the WWII systematic rape and abduction of over 200, 000 women and girls throughout Asia.  Following her lead, 173 of the estimated 1000 Filipinas subjected to the Japanese Imperial Army’s “Comfort Stations” also came forward and began to reclaim their dignity through organized campaigns designed by feminist grassroots organizations such as Liga ng mga Lolang Pilipina-Gabriela (LILA Pilipina).
Of the 173 Filipinas who have come forward, 54 have died.  Today, only a handful of women in their 80’s and 90’s are actively involved.   
The passage of House Resolution 121 demonstrates that the United States Congress and their constituents have heard these women.  It is a great sign of respect and support.  Let Japan follow the example of the United States House of Representatives as they pass House Resolution 121.  Let them look to the women, see their faces and hear their stories.  Let them acknowledge the past and take responsibility.
Novelist and University of Miami Professor M. Evelina Galang served as Florida Coordinator and Filipino American Outreach Coordinator for 121 Coalition


Secret Asian Man Creator Addresses Fans at AAV

Following up on our posting from last week regarding the syndication of the famed Secret Asian Man comic strip, the editors have published a new letter by the strip's creator and long-time Village contributor Tak Toyoshima, addressing Asian-American Villagers' questions about the changes we can expect to see as the strip evolves for daily distribution to more diverse and mainstream audiences.

In An Open Letter to Secret Asian Man Fans, Tak discusses the challenges and rewards he's experienced so far as an artist, and looks ahead to how America's favorite Asian-American comic hero might be affected by his success.

For those missed the previous announcement, United Features Syndicate has picked up "Secret Asian Man" for national distribution in daily and weekly newspaper packages. It is considered to be the first strip with an Asian-American lead character to be nationally syndicated, and will be made available for direct personal subscriptions as well as through newspapers.

If anyone wants to leave a message for Tak, we encourage them to post their comment to the Village blog at

Monday, July 30, 2007

APAs for Progress Announces Wrap Up, Outcomes of National Townhalls on Hate Crimes

In follow up to our posting from June... we've posted a short item on the Village summarizing some of the follow-up reports from APAs for Progress about the summer series of "townhall" events addressing hate crimes and commemoratig the 25th anniversary of the Vincent Chin's murder.

In the end, events featuring expert panel discussions and screening of the film Who Killed Vincent Chin? were held at 14 sites, sponsored by APAP and partners including many leading local and national groups, and reaching an estimated 1,000 attendees.

While the size and scope of the events varied widely from place to place, the good news is that it created opportunities for diverse Asian Americans to spotlight a scourge affecting all of our subcommunities, to build coalition with other groups targeted for hate discrimination, and to commemorate Chin by discussing issues of social justice in a fresh, contemporary context. In fact, although the series was to officially end by July 19, additional groups in more cities have contacted APAP regarding their interest in hosting townhalls well into the fall. APAP board members also said that the summer's events were filmed, so with luck, some form of the proceedings may some be accessible to much wider audiences who were unable to attend the first time around.

For more bacgkround, see our longer post at the Village, or go directly to the APAP site at

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Secret Asian Man Comic Strip Gets National Syndication

Beloved strip considered the first syndicated strip to feature Asian-American lead character

The editors at Asian-American Village are thrilled to announce that our own hometown boy, Secret Asian Man, created by longtime Village contributor Tak Toyoshima, has officially entered the BIG TIME, having been picked up for national newspaper syndication by United Features Syndicate!

According to the UFS release, the move makes SAM the first Asian American lead character of a nationally syndicated strip, joining the ranks of such icons as Charlie Brown, Marmaduke, and Dilbert.

For SAM fans, the best news is that Tak will have to step up the pace, making two versions of the strip available -- as a daily strip and as a weekly/Sunday full color strip. He talks about his observations of the shift to the big leagues on the Secret Asian Man blog.

Editors interested in picking up SAM can go to the UFS FeatureBank for details.

Read the full story about SAM's syndication, and check out this week's bonus SAM strips while you're there!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Villager response to NAM Article by Mai Der Vang

Editors' Note:

It is inherent in the effort to publish to the highly diverse collection of people known as "Asian Pacific Americans" or APIAs that every so often, a hot-button issue or provocative article reveals the fact that there can be as many differences among us as there are commonalities, and that trans-Pacific conflicts can remain real divisions between ethnic groups here in the U.S.

We've written widely on the topic of "just what is an Asian American?" in the past on the Village, and will likely do so again as the definition and demographics of our community keeps shifting.

Meanwhile, we continue to occasionally receive and post reader messages that respond to controversial topics in articles by various newswires and contributing sources that appear on the Village, especially when they seem to introduce opportunities for substantive discussion on serious topics that affect our communities. Most recently, we have been publishing stories covering the accusation that General Vang Pao and a number of associates plotted an overthrow of the Laos government, and follow-up analyses of how the case is having a significant impact on the wider Hmong American community.

The following reader letter was sent sepcifically in response to the article, "Vang Pao Case Highlights Hmong Community's Losses," by a writer for New America Media. We post it here and encourage engaged readers to post their own follow-up comments as well.

--- LETTER ---

My response to Mai Der Vang, New America Media
on her article "Vang Pao Case Highlights Hmong Community s Losses"

I just saw this article and I would like to share my opinion:

Hmong are hill people. They live in the hills of Laos, Thailand, and Vietnam. Hmong also live in China where they have a long history there. link to article about Hmong
history in China.

I was born in Laos but I am not Hmong. I am Laotian, meaning I speak Lao, practice the culture and I am Buddhist.

Hmong people's primary language is Hmong, they practice a hmong culture and their religion is shamanism. The only thing that makes a hmong person laotian is that they live in Laos.

There are about 256,00 Hmong in Laos and they are a minority. The Lao are the single largest ethnic group in Laos.


I was very shocked to learn that Vang Pao attempted a coup on a country that
historically is not there. The historical ties of Hmong are really in China and
they have not had onwership claims to any country in for centuries. I am also
offended at Hmong people who claim to be Laotian yet don't practice the
language, culture or religon. The Hmong in America have mis-represented
themselves to the American culture by claiming to be Laotians when in truth,
they are hill people who have never been associated with any country they have
lived in.

I constantly have to correct many American's that I am not Hmong when I tell them I am from Laos. I also educate them that Laos is primarily Laotian. I don't condone the Lao Army or goverment practicing genocide as Laos is a country with many different ethnic groups in addition to the Hmong. The recent attempt of Vang Pao to overthrow the Lao goverment only angers Laotians particularly when they have made no attempt to learn or adapt to the Lao culture.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

National Townhall on Hate Crimes, June 19 - July 14

Asian Pacific Americans for Progress ( presents...
National Townhall on Hate Crimes

June 19th-July 14th
Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Chicago, Washington DC, Boston and more.

In June 1982, Chinese American Vincent Chin was killed in Detroit by two unemployed white autoworkers. This hate crime, motivated by anti-Japanese sentiments, served as a rallying cry for the Asian American community and is often considered the beginning of a pan-Asian American movement. Twenty five years later, Asian Pacific Americans for Progress and local partners around the country look back in time and assess where we are now. Each event will include a special screening of the Academy-Award nominated documentary, "Who Killed Vincent Chin?" and panels with local community leaders.

Receptions in New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles sponsored by
Imaginasian TV. Official media sponsor: Asianweek

June 19, 6:30 PM
Co-sponsored by the Museum of Chinese in the Americas
MOCA (70 Mulberry Street, 2nd Floor)
John Liu (New York City Councilman), Liz Ouyang (Executive Vice President, OCA), Darwin Davis (President and CEO, New York Urban League)

June 19, 6:00 PM
Co-sponsored by the Asian Victimes Relief Fund
St. Mary Magdalen Family Center, 1213 52nd St., Kenwood
Dan Levy (Chief Legal Officer, Michigan Dept. of Civil Rights) Pravina Ramanathan (Asian American Liaison, Michigan Dept. of Civil Rights), Ingrid Scott-Weekly (Director, City of Grand Rapids Equal Opportunity Dept.)

June 20, 6:30 PM
Co-sponsored by the Jane Addams Hull-House Museum (JAHHM), Japanese American Citizens League, Organization of Chinese Americans
JAHHM, 800 South Halsted, Chicago
Bill Yoshino (Midwest Director, JACL), Diana Lin (VP, Asian American Institute), Myron Quon (Legal Director, Asian American Institute)

June 23, 9:00 AM
Sponsored by the Organization of Chinese Americans and the Allstate Foundation
Co-sponsored by the American Citizens for Justice, Governor's Advisory Council on Asian Pacific American Affairs and APAP
Chinese Community Center, 32585 Concord Drive, Madison Heights, MI 48071
This full-day event is being organized by the Detroit Chapter of OCA as part of their Initiative on Hate Crimes. APAP is proud to be a co-sponsor. In addition to the screening of "Who Killed Vincent Chin?", there will also be a series of panels and a visit to the gravesite at Forest Lawn Cemetary. Panelists include Frank H. Wu (Dean, Wayne State Law School), Roland Hwang (President, ACJ), Stephanie Lily Chang (ACJ) and many more.

June 23, 10:30 AM
Martin Luther King Jr. Library, 901 G. Street (Chinatown)
Co-sponsored by South Asian American Leaders for Tomorrow (SAALT), Japanese American Citizens League (JACL), Organization of Chinese Americans (OCA), Sikh American Legal Education and Defense Fund (SALDEF), University of Maryland's Asian American Studies Program, and the DC APA Film Festival.
Moderated by Eric Byler (director, Americanese and Charlotte Sometimes). Keynote by Larry Shinagawa (Professor, Univ. of Maryland)

June 23, 2:00 PM
665 Hancock St., Quincy, MA
Co-sponsored by Asian American Resource Workshop, American Chinese Federation, Chinese Progressive Association

June 24, 2:00 PM
Co-sponsored by National Center for the Preservation of Democracy (NCPD), Asian Pacific American Legal Center, Los Angeles County Human Relations Commission, South Asian Network, Muslim Public Affairs Council
NCPD, 111 Center St.
Hamid Khan (Executive Director, South Asian Network), Stewart Kwoh (Executive Director, APALC), Robin Toma (Executive Director, LA County Human Relations Commission), Renee Tajima (Director, "Who Killed Vincent Chin?")

June 27, 6:30 PM
Co-sponsored by Chinese Historical Society
Chinese For Affirmative Action, 17 Walter U Lum Place (across from Portsmouth Sqare; on Clay between Grant Ave and Kearny St.)
Helen Zia (author and activist), Honorable Yvonne Lee (Member of the SF Police Commission and former Commissioner of the President's Commission on Civil Rights), Malcolm Yeung (Staff Attorney, Asian Law Caucus), Kavneet Singh (Managing Director, Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund

July 7, Time TBD
Location TBD
Co-sponsored by Thymos

July 14, 2:00 PM
Co-sponsored by the National Association of Asian American Professionals-North Carolina and North Carolina Asian Pacific American Bar Association
Korman Communities - Theater, 300 Seaforth Drive, Durham, NC 27713

Additional events in other cities to come. Contact if you would like to host your own screening and discussion.  Please distribute.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Happy "Loving Day!" 40th Anniversary of Loving v. Virginia

Happy Hapa Day!

Asian American Village News: "40 Years after Landmark Ruling, Interracial Marriage Flourishing
June 12 Marks 40th Anniversary of Loving v. Virginia"

Today marks the 40th anniversary of the landmark Supreme Court decision that did away with a Virginia statute barring whites from marrying nonwhites, and paving the way for the nullifcation/overturning of similar bans in 15 other states.

It also paved the wave for lots more hapas, like filmmaker and frequent Village contributor, Eric Byler, who's holding a party tonight Virginia to celebrate the Loving decision. It's just one of many such celebrations taking place across the country, so hug your favorite hapa or your other-racial squeeze and hop over to to find the fiesta nearest you!

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

AAV Jobs Center Featured Job: Wang Center Coordinator

Opening posted this week to the Asian-American Village Jobs Center - Jobs for US Center:

Coordinator for Wang Center’s Asian/American Programs
SUNY Stony Brook - Stony Brook, NY

Description Summary: Responsible for managing and administering programs planned by the Director of Asian and Asian American Programs; provides support in the management of the budget for the Wang Center; works closely with the Director of Asian and Asian American Programs in the planning of programs and is responsible for the coordination and execution of programs initiated by the Director of Asian and Asian American Programs, in keeping with the Wang Center’s mission of promoting an understanding of Asian and Asian American cultures.

Required: B.A./B.S. degree in any discipline. In lieu of degree, a combination of education or directly related experience totaling four years will be considered. Three full-time years of complex and diverse administrative experience to include supervision and program coordination. Excellent verbal and written communication as well as interpersonal and organizational skills. Strong knowledge of word processing, spreadsheets, and e-mail software programs. Night and weekend work required.

Preferred: Demonstrated experience in diversity, multicultural, or minority affairs programming. Demonstrated experience in Asian and/or Asian American public programs and/or events. Experience working in an academic culture and/or non-profit environment.

Asian Americanists

ryuta said...

Hi! Just came across this blog while trying to spread the word about a new
collective blog written by Asian American graduate students.

Please check us out if you have a chance and help spread the word!!

Ask and ye shall receive --

We checked it out, and this blog by a team of current/former AAS grad students intends to be "like a virtual TA Lounge for Asian Americanists". Good for discussion and news tid bits from around the world.

Monday, May 21, 2007

APA Month feature: Mapping The Atlas of Asian-American History

Who decides whose stories are worth telling in recording and preserving "history" is a theme we've returned to again and again in our past APA Month editions, but this we were very pleased to get some good insight into the process in a new feature, Mapping The Atlas of Asian-American History. This award-winning APA history text, published by the uber-reference publishers Facts-on-File in NY, has won multiple awards for its expansive attempt to capture Asian American history in a vivid, detailed, illustrated but hefty tome that is popular at schools, libraries and other institutions. We invited the editor and the writer of this work, Monique Avakian and Carter Smith, to tell us about the challenges they faced in recording and reporting the histories of underrepresented Americans, in this book and in other areas.

We were fortunate to get their surprsingly frank and instructive account of how a book like this is made, and the real-life decisions and challenges that historical publishers face in determining how to expand the definition of "American history" to include minorities, including Asian Americans.

Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander Population hits 1 Million Mark

The latest release on race demographics by the U.S. Census has a number of milestones to report this month, not least of which is the news that the collective U.S. Minority Population has topped 100 million. That means, according to Census Bureau Director Louis Kincannon, that “about one in three U.S. residents is a minority.”

But we have another milestone to mark for for APIA Month -- and this time, for once, it's all about the "PIs".

According to the release,the Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander population rose by 1.7 percent, or 17,000, from 2005 to 2006. Unsuprisingly, Hawai'i had the largest population (275,000), followed by California (260,000) and Washington (49,000. In Hawai'i, Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders comprised the largest proportion (21 percent) of the total population, followed by Utah (!) (1 percent) and Alaska (0.9 percent).

The Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander population in 2006 was younger, with a median age of 28.6, compared with the population as a whole at 36.4. About 30 percent of the Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander population was younger than 18, compared with 25 percent of the total population.


Saturday, May 12, 2007

Andy Toy Poised to Become Philadelphia’s First APA Councilman

This week, Philadelphia stands to make history, with a good chance of electing of its first-ever Asian American city councilman, Andy Toy. Smart, experienced, personable and extremely knowledgeable about the intersection of economic, crime, education and green neighborhood development issues, Toy has wide cross-ethnic support in his bid for one of the open at-large seats in the May 15 election. He's also been endorsed by virtually every serious and major publication in the region including the Inquirer and the Daily News, and major green, labor and neighborhood organizations.

He has also enjoyed the backing of Asian American organizations and activists nationwide. Known as a leader in the movement that saved Philadelphia's historic Chinatown from being wiped out by a sports stadium, for serving on Governor Rendell's Asian American Commission, and almost 15 years of successful economic development in poverty stricken, polluted neighborhoods, he has attracted support of APAs for Progress, among other national groups, and volunteers fropm California, New England, the Midwest and Virginia have been heading to the city of bortherly love to stump for him.

He's a great candidate not because he's Asian American, but because he has what it takes to help solve this city's considerable problems, and the city needs him even though it has never elected an Asian American before.

Most recently, noted filmmaker and frequent Village contributor Eric Byler (Charlotte Sometimes, American Knees, My Life Disoriented) came to Philadelphia to create a campaign video for Toy that has been spreading through Youtube. com and offline distribution to out-of-town volunteers, donors and supporters.

Check out the article on Andy Toy's race for Philadelphia City Council here and the Toy for City Council video here if you have trouble with the Youtube control below.

Of Interest @ YouTube

Andy Toy
07 campaign video by Eric Byler

Friday, May 11, 2007

Just a Quickie: AAV Weekend News Entertainment Supplement

As we often do, we've added a supplement to the news for the weekend where we recap AP items of interest on a theme -- this weekend, a round-up of entertainment and media tidbits. We know they're not always easy to find for those who don't read all of the regular Main News Headlines, so here they are, FYI...

Report: Ang Lee spy thriller not ready for film festivals yet

Manager: Pop star Rain likely to debut in Hollywood

Ash Rai to play warrior queen, Rani Lakshmibai, in movie

Theater: How do you say 'I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change' in Mandarin?

Radio host apologizes to HI state senator

Thursday, May 10, 2007

What Asian American Villagers are reading

In the miscellany category, AAV's editors share our analysis of our Amazon Associates account, where we recently tabulated the all-time bestsellers from the nearly 10 years of the Village.

The top Asian American titles list is here.

Monday, May 07, 2007

APA Month - Updates from Asian American Village

Okay, we've been a little behind getting our draft updates posted. Still, new history features added so far this week as part of our updates for APA Month include...

Lolas’ House: Women Living with War
Excerpt from Filipina American author M. Evelina Galang's upcoming history of the "comfort women" of WWII, continues our thread from Women's History Month at Asian American Village, and ties into her incredibly moving, real-life stories of meeting with surviving "comfort women" who were forced to work as sex slaves during the Second World War and her blog on the topic, as well as coverage of CA Rep. Mike Honda's resolution to demand an apology from Japan.

Hanford’s China Alley
By historian and Asian American Studies professor Susie Ling, a look at a little-known historical Chinatown nestled in California’s Central Valley and some of its major early figures

Notes for Those Responsible for Commemorating Asian Pacific American Heritage Month 2007
By S.D. Ikeda, Editor
So, you've been drafted to program Heritage Month activities this year, and don't know where to start? This year's section introduction offers some quick tips based on past years' panicked inquiries from the well-intentioned draftees who want to do something substantive to commemorate the Month but need help.

And. of course, Tak Toyoshima tackles APA history in his own, unique Secret Asian Man way with a new strip, Working on the Railroad, plus several bonus strips of his past years' takes on APA Month from the AAV archives

More updates to come...