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