Thursday, December 31, 2009

Adventures in Multicultural Living: Oh! Oshogatsu! Missing Japanese New Year's Day -

The doorbell rings. The dog barks. I turn on the porch light, open the front door, and…

No one is there. Then I look down. A package!

Ooh, I was not expecting any more Christmas presents. I bend down to pick it up, and I hear the unmistakable sound of…


A box of rice. A very big box of rice. Who would ship me a very big box of rice?

I stagger into the house, the sound of trickling and flowing rice filling my ears, and I put the very big box down on the kitchen table. I look at the label to see who in the world would FedEx me a very big box of rice and smile when I read, “Koda Farms.” (click on link for more)

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Adventures in Multicultural Living: Wishing for an American New Year's Eve -

From Asian American Village Editor Frances Kai-Hwa Wang:

Oh the excitement of New Year’s Eve! The perfect little black dress, impossibly high heels, dazzling rhinestones, an invitation to THE New Year’s Eve party of the year, a handsome and suave “New Year’s Eve Date,” a fluted glass of champagne, cute foods, counting down with the crowd, getting magically kissed right at the stroke of midnight (the primary purpose of said “New Year’s Eve Date”), singing Auld Lang Syne with one’s dearest friends, starting on that new year’s resolution to lose ten pounds (tomorrow)…

Oh the glamour! The style! The fantasy! As the child of immigrants, with my nose pressed up against the glass, it all seemed so exquisitely “American” and romantic, “better” in a way that as a child I had somehow decided that cars with trunks, ten-speed bikes, store-bought clothes, Adidas running shoes, and the symphony must be “better” and “more American,” because they were things “real Americans” (read Caucasian Americans) took for granted but which my sensible immigrant family would never indulge. I thought we were so uncultured and uncouth. (click on link for more)

Wishing for an American New Year's Eve -

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Adventures in Multicultural Living: Is Christmas any less Christian if you put up a Bodhi Day tree? -

From Asian American Village editor Frances Kai-Hwa Wang:

One of my daughter’s Jewish friends from preschool once said that she liked coming to our house this time of year because we were the only other people who did not have a Christmas tree, either. Her mother described the conflict her child felt at school having to do Christmas-themed art projects such as decorating trees, which, regardless of what you call them, are still Christmas trees. Even a 5-year-old could see this.

It felt good to know that she found comfort in our home, although I had to confess that the real reason we did not have a Christmas tree at that time was that we used to always travel over the holidays. I was raised Catholic. We do celebrate Christmas. However, we did it reflexively.

So then I nearly scared my children to death with the pronouncement, “Now that we’re Buddhist, maybe we shouldn’t celebrate Christmas anymore.” (click on link for more)

Is Christmas any less Christian if you put up a Bodhi Day tree? -

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Adventures in Multicultural Living: Learning about Christmas and Santa through the claymation classics -

from Asian American Village Editor Frances Kai-Hwa Wang:

Asian American journalist Lisa Ling once said on The View that as a child she thought Santa liked Caucasian children better than Chinese children because he always left much better and bigger gifts, like stereos, for her Caucasian friends, whereas he only left small gifts, like batteries and toothbrushes, in her stocking.

When I heard that, it was as if I was hearing silver bells. I always got batteries and toothbrushes in my stocking, too. I had grown up thinking that gifts from Santa always had to be small in order to fit inside the stocking.

It was not until I was in my 30’s that I discovered that some people received gifts from Santa that not only spilled out of their stockings, but covered the floor and piled up as high as the Christmas tree. Some people did not even bother hanging up stockings by the chimney with care, as they knew their gifts would be bigger than that. Is that allowed? (click on link for more)

Learning about Christmas and Santa through the claymation classics -

also at

Learning about Christmas and Santa through the claymation classics - NAM EthnoBlog

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Adventures in Multicultural Living: Emily Hsiao: a role model for my children, an inspiration for me - Asian American Village editor Frances Kai-Hwa Wang writes about a cool APA young adult and the importance of APA role models for all of us:

My first memory of Emily Hsiao is from 11 years ago, when she and a bunch of her little 7-year-old girlfriends were sitting in a tree yelling “Kiss! Kiss!” at my daughter and Emily’s little brother, who, since they were both 3 years old at the time, would oblige, much to the giggles of the 7-year-old girls sitting in the tree.

As she grew older, I often asked Emily to babysit so my girls could develop a relationship with an older sister who could later lead the way for them and talk to them about teenage girl stuff should the need ever arise. I wanted to surround my children with positive role models, both famous (poor Tiger) and local, so I was always looking for cool Asian American and multiracial teenagers and young adults who could lead and inspire my children (and occasionally babysit too). However, I never thought that some of these kids might become role models for me, too. (click on link for more)

Emily Hsiao: a role model for my children, an inspiration for me -

Photo courtesy of Andrew Fang at

Friday, December 11, 2009

Updates: Asian American Jobs, Career Features

New positions added this week to the Asian American Village Jobs Center.

Also wanted to call attention to a feature reading, Some Asian-American MBAs Look for Work Overseas. Long job fair lines, bleak employment outlook have some new MBAs looking to kick-start their careers abroad -- and offers benefits especially for those who are fluently bilingual, or have wanted to do heritage travel.

Off-site Recommended Reading:
Dear USA Today: Asian-American Unemployment More Nuanced Than You Think
A thoughtful response that examines the unemployment picture on a diverse community, and stresses the complexity and precision that the topic deserves. The piece is a response to the USA Today article, Cultural factors help limit recession's impact.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Adventures in Multicultural Living: Wanting 'one right way' - resisting multiculturalism, diversity, tolerance -

from Asian American Village editor Frances Kai-Hwa Wang:

Years ago, a friend from Chicago was visiting right around dinnertime, when we decided to make noodles or pasta for dinner. I started boiling the water and rummaging around for some vegetables when he declared, “That’s not how you make pasta!”

I was surprised because my family is northern Chinese and so I have been eating and making noodles all my life. I was speechless when he pushed me aside in my own kitchen and instructed me on How To Make Noodles—by peeling and mincing the garlic just so and drizzling the noodles with olive oil. Years later, I learned that this recipe is called pasta aioli, and is certainly one way of making noodles, but in his mind, it was the only way to make noodles, and I was wrong for wanting to make them any other way. (He thought I was wrong for crushing the garlic with my grandmother’s cleaver, too.)

Soon thereafter, I was at an Italian couple’s home with a group of friends when dinnertime overtook us. Our hosts started making pasta with a simple marinara sauce to feed everybody. All the women gathered around the kitchen, ooohing and ahhhing and watching and learning until someone commented, “You’re such a good cook.” Cici with her long white hair and throaty accent was completely unimpressed, “I am not a good cook, I am just Italian.” (click on link for more)

Wanting 'one right way' - resisting multiculturalism, diversity, tolerance -

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Adventures in Multicultural Living: The Sunday after Thanksgiving: The post-holiday debriefing -

From Asian American Village Editor Frances Kai-Hwa Wang:

The Sunday after Thanksgiving: The day we pack up, gratefully drive back to our own home in our own town with our own way of doing things, and are stuck in the car together for hours and have no choice but to talk to each other. It is a time to reflect on the (peculiar) people we met and the (wacky) things that happened, and it is a chance to talk to the kids about what is really important to us as a family. I call it the post-holiday debriefing (and I recommend this in my Multicultural Toolbox workshops as one strategy for combating racism and intolerance in the extended family).

Let me preface this by saying my children attend a school named Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary. They know about racism and they know about resistance. Three of the four children are strong and tough girls, so much so that Little Brother used to put his head down and cry, “I don’t have any Girl Power.” Add on that their mother is a writer on multicultural issues and a civil rights activist who speaks out on behalf of others. We are not easy people to have over for dinner. (click on link for more)

The Sunday after Thanksgiving: The post-holiday debriefing -

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Adventures in Multicultural Living: Diversity at Huron High, in everyday life, at U-M Hospital -

Some hard questions for ourselves from Asian American Village editor Frances Kai-Hwa Wang:

I am standing under the arch when the bell rings dismissal time at Huron High School, and I am swept up by a sea of young faces—Hispanic American, African American, Arab American, Asian American, Caucasian American, multiracial, more. What an incredible environment in which to grow up. I see young adults of every hue, every size, every background, every religion, every culture. I hear different accents, different languages, different slang. I knew Huron High was diverse, I have studied the school’s statistics on paper, but to stand in the middle of it and let it wash over me…

I am struck, however, by the thought: Where are all these children’s parents in my life? Why do I not see them every day as I walk through this same city? Why do I not swim in a similar sea of colors and cultures? How have we segregated or stratified our adult lives through work or socio-economics or class or neighborhoods or churches so that diversity can even be an afterthought or relegated to a once-a-year show-and-tell for MLK Day? Clearly the people are here. Where are they in my life? (click on link for more)

Diversity at Huron High, in everyday life, at U-M Hospital -

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Adentures in Multicultural Living: Creating our own multicultural Thanksgiving traditions -

From Asian American Village editor Frances Kai-Hwa Wang:

My neighbor Lisa always celebrated two Thanksgivings while growing up in Ohio, a tradition she and her siblings continue every year. First, they have a traditional “American Thanksgiving” on Thanksgiving Day with turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and pumpkin pie. Then, on Friday, they have “Lebanese Thanksgiving” with hummus, kibbe, fattoush, grape leaves, hashwe rice pilaf, and meat and spinach pies. That makes for a lot of cooking and a lot of food, but with five siblings and a ton of cousins, nobody misses a beat.

At Thanksgiving time, many families are caught wondering how to celebrate this quintessential American holiday — a holiday that is as much about the food as it is about family and giving thanks. Family is easy, everyone has family, as is the idea of giving thanks — especially for families that may have come to America because of war, oppression, poverty or lack of opportunity. However, celebrating a tradition that is not your own is more complicated than it looks. (click on link for more)

Creating our own multicultural Thanksgiving traditions -

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Adventures in Multicultural Living: Learning from the Nuances of Tea -

From Asian American Village editor Frances Kai-Hwa Wang:

My neighbor and I were having a quiet cup of jasmine tea in my kitchen when I noticed that she was burning her fingertips repeatedly trying to fish the floating tea leaves out of the boiling hot water in her cup. Without thinking, I gave her a spoon so she would not burn her fingers. Then I looked down at my cup and realized that I did not have a similar pile of tea leaves sitting on the side of my saucer, nor did I have any tea leaves floating on top, nor did I ever.

Then it occurred to me, “Oh, if you blow on the tea leaves while you are drinking, they will sink down to the bottom by themselves.” (click on link for more)

Learning from the Nuances of Tea -

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Adventures in Multicultural Living: Sharing Day and the Meaning of Autumn across Cultures -

From editor Frances Kai-Hwa Wang:

Every Friday is Little Brother’s “Sharing Day” (Show and Tell) at school. Sharing Day is very serious business in Kindergarten, and he spends the entire week thinking about what to bring. This week, he is supposed to bring something that reminds him of autumn. He asks his sisters, who give him all the regular ideas: a leaf, a pumpkin, his sister M dressed up like the Ottoman Empire (Turkey). However, because his turn is on Friday, they are pretty sure that other kids will have already brought in all those things, so he will have to be especially creative.

Because of the work that I do, our family does not always see the world the same way as the mainstream or “normal people.” There is often a multicultural twist. When Little Brother was supposed to bring a circle, he brought a package of Korean Nong Shim ramen noodles. When he was supposed to bring a square, he brought a package of Indian masala ramens. When he was supposed to bring a triangle, he brought musubi (Japanese rice balls made into triangle shapes).

So what does autumn mean to us? (click on link for more)

Adventures in Multicultural Living: Sharing Day and the Meaning of Autumn across Cultures -

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Adventures in Multicultural Living: Relishing Real World Halloween Costumes -

From Asian American Village editor Frances Kai-Hwa Wang:

After spending the weeks leading up to Halloween researching horrific racist and sexist costumes, and commiserating with other Asian American activists, it is a pleasure to attend the University of Michigan Halloween Concert and see that all is still well in the real world. Those online commercial costume websites may be glitzy and gross, but they are for the uninspired minority.

The children and I sit in the mezzanine of Hill Auditorium in front of about three or four rows of giant bumblebees. The closest one is a big stout bumblebee with a beard, long black arms folded across his yellow-striped chest, stern expression on his face, sparkly silver antennae dangling in the air in time with the music. (click on link for more)

Adventures in Multicultural Living: Relishing Real World Halloween Costumes -

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Adventures in Multicultural Living--Ode to Halloween Costumes, Plus Warning -

From Asian American Village editor Frances Kai-Hwa Wang:

As I child, observing the world as it was presented to me by the mainstream, I often decided to shut doors myself before anyone actually told me to. Growing up in the age of Farrah Fawcett, I knew that one had to be blond in order to be beautiful, by definition. My horseback riding friends and I knew from statistics that at ten years old we were already too tall to ever become jockeys. Common sense told me that I could never become a country-western singer, no matter how many pairs of cowboy boots I owned. Even school assignments like, “If you could live anywhere in time, where would it be?” were problematic because I knew that as a girl, and as a Chinese girl, I would not be able to just “drop in” anywhere in history.

However, once a year, I could be whatever I wanted to be, construct whatever image or story I wanted for myself, travel backwards and forwards in history and literature, creatively cross over any social barriers. It was also a chance to pretend to be pretty and show off how smart I could be.

One night a year—Halloween. (click on link for more)

Adventures in Multicultural Living--Ode to Halloween Costumes, Plus Warning -

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Yul Kwon (!) Named Deputy Chief of the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau at FCC

October 21, 2009


Washington, DC -- Today, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski announced the appointment of Mindel De La Torre as Chief of the International Bureau and Yul Kwon as Deputy Chief of the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau.

"The FCC has an important role to play in empowering and protecting consumers and ensuring that they have access to world-leading communications networks and technologies," said Chairman Genachowski. "These talented individuals have vast public and private sector experience in communications policy and I am delighted to have their expertise at the agency."

Chief, International Bureau, Mindel De La Torre.
Since 1998, Ms. De La Torre has been the president of the consulting firm Telecommunications Management Group, Inc. (TMG). Prior to joining TMG, Ms. De La Torre was the deputy chief of the Telecommunications Division at the International Bureau, which she joined in December 1994. Ms. De La Torre also worked at the Department of Commerce -- for over four years at the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) and for three years in the General Counsel's office. She has been a member of various U.S. delegations to International Telecommunication Union conferences, such as World Radiocommunication Conferences, World Telecommunication Development Conferences, and Plenipotentiary C onferences. Ms. De La Torre has a B.A. from Vanderbilt University and a J.D. from the University of Texas. Having lived overseas most of her life, she speaks fluent Portuguese, French, and Spanish, and is proficient in Italian.

Deputy Chief, Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau, Yul Kwon.
Mr. Kwon's diverse career spans across law, technology, business, and media. His government experience includes lecturing at the FBI Academy, drafting science and technology legislation as an aide to Senator Joseph Lieberman, and clerking for Judge Barrington D. Parker on the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals. In the business and technology sector, Mr. Kwon has held positions at McKinsey & Company, Google, and the Trium Group. He also practiced law as an attorney at Harris, Wiltshire & Grannis and at Venture Law Group. In 2006, Mr. Kwon became the first Asian American to win the CBS reality show, Survivor. His subsequent media activities include working as a special correspondent for CNN and as a co-host for the Discovery Channel. Mr. Kwon obtained his B.S. degree in Symbolic Systems from Stanford University and his J.D. from Yale Law School, where he served on the editorial board of the Yale Law Journal.

News and other information about the FCC is available at

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Adventures in Multicultural Living--Ganesha, Diwali, and Ravi Shankar too -

From Asian American Village Editor Frances Kai-Hwa Wang:

I was at the University of Michigan Art Museum (UMMA) a few weeks ago when a museum staff member perched up high on the fourth floor where she could monitor many levels of the museum barked out at a family on the second floor not to touch. I turn to see a South Asian family showing their two young daughters, about 3 and 5 years old, an 11th century Ganesha carved out of volcanic rock.

Chastened, they back away. Curious, I go take a closer look.

The face is almost completely worn away from centuries of people touching and anointing the deity's forehead with tikka powder and oil, but he is still unmistakably Ganesha, with his elephant's head and round belly... (click on link for more)

Ganesha, Diwali, and Ravi Shankar too -

Shared via AddThis

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Adventures in Multicultural Living--MiTAI Taiwanese Music Festival Honors Concert -

This Saturday, a rare opportunity to hear contemporary Taiwanese compositions performed by some of Ann Arbor's most promising young musicians on piano and strings, solo and ensembles. One young musician was warned that although the notes might look easy on the page, to not underestimate the challenge of interpreting music from such a different tradition--and by the way the composer is coming to hear you play his work.

Every year, the Michigan Taiwanese American Association (MiTAI) Taiwanese Music Festival Honors Concert celebrates contemporary Taiwanese music by giving young musicians--who have to qualify through two rounds of competition over several months--the opportunity to learn and then perform contemporary Taiwanese compositions....

More information available on the MiTAI website: (click on link for more)

MiTAI Taiwanese Music Festival Honors Concert -

Shared via AddThis

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Adventures in Multicultural Living--Ravi Shankar and Daughter Too -

An email from my girlfriend, Sujata: Diwali is coming, and Ravi Shankar and daughter Anoushka, too.

What else is there to say? Even nine-year-old Niu Niu knows she wants to go.

University Musical Society (UMS)
has all the details, including additional performances in the community of Indian music and dance, classical and fusion. This Thursday, October 15, at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor... (click on link for more)

Ravi Shankar and Daughter Too -

Shared by Frances Kai-Hwa Wang via AddThis

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Adventures in Multicultural Living--Mooncakes and Yo-Yos -

From Asian American Village editor Frances Kai-Hwa Wang:

We were going to have an moonlit picnic at the park--teriyaki chicken musubi, steamed little dragon buns, a thermos of hot jasmine tea, and of course, plenty of mooncakes. Thirteen-year-old Hao Hao had already written up a grocery list (which suspiciously includes "Pocky--1,000,000 boxes"). We had four pink and green paper lanterns and candles from Vietnam, one for each of the kids. It was going to be a rare Saturday night with everyone together, just to sit and eat as a family and look at the beautiful full moon, the Harvest Moon, while composing a poem or two for the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival (basically, Chinese/Vietnamese/Korean Thanksgiving or Oktoberfest...but without the beer).

But then rain was forecast.... (click on link for more)

Adventures in Multicultural Living--Mooncakes and Yo-Yos -

Shared via AddThis

Friday, October 09, 2009

Screenwriter Pitches: API Artists Fest - 10/22

OCTOBER 7, 2009
CONTACT: Ken Choy;; 866-841-9139x4123

It s time for screenwriters to get their Pitches on as the innovative Battle of the Pitches gets underway Thursday, October 22, 2009 as part of BREAKING THE BOW: The 1st Annual Independent Asian Pacific Islander Performing Artists and Writers Festival at the Miles Memorial Playhouse at 1130 Lincoln Blvd; Santa Monica, CA 90403.

Competing in front of an audience and a panel of esteemed judges, screenwriters will battle each other with their one-minute pitches for the opportunity to have a pitch meeting with executives at FOX 2000 and FOX Searchlight as well as have lunch with a FOX executive. Much like American Idol, the screenwriters will be judged on performance and persuasive techniques, quality and originality of writing, and presentation.

Any writer can enter Battle of the Pitches which promotes Asian Pacific Islander writers and scripts that have prominent, non-stereotypical, and strong Asian Pacific Islander characters and themes. Complete entrant information can be found at Battle of the Pitches contestants enter for $5 plus the $10 ticket admission. Contestant reservations and audience reservations are strongly suggested.

Just released are the identities of the judges:
API film icon Kelvin Han Yee
Writer, actress, and comedienne Amy Hill
Academy Award winner Chris Tashima

Programs assist in the promotion and education of undiscovered, unattached, and unknown talent. Breaking the Bow is sponsored by Fox Diversity, East West Magazine, Visual Communications, JBC Images, Brian Raimondi Photography, and Lago Santa Monica.

For more information and reservations, contact;

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Adventures in Multicultural Living Launch at

Adventures in Multicultural Living, the column written by longtime Asian American Village editor, Frances Kai-Hwa Wang, has just celebrated its one-year anniversary, shifted to a weekly format, and moved to (formerly The Ann Arbor News). She will also be blogging twice a week about upcoming multicultural activities in the community. Although the details will be local, the vision is national and international, and will be of interest to readers. The column continues to run at the Japanese American Citizens League's, Voices of Adoption at, and (pending). Thanks for your continued support, comments, and forwards to your friends and organizations.

Join me as I explore Ann Arbor through a cross-cultural lens -
When I first came to Ann Arbor from California for graduate school oh so many years ago, I felt out of place, conspicuous, like a foreigner, like I was not wanted and I did not belong. Without a feeling of safety and understanding, it was difficult for me to maintain my footing, and I planned to graduate and run away as soon as possible. But on my way out of town...

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Reminder: SAALT Be the Change National Day of Service - this Weekend

A reminder about the exciting Be the Change National Day of Service project by SAALT: South Asian Leading Together, coming up this Saturday, October 3 (Sunday October 3 in some locations).

If you would like to register and volunteer for a local event, click here. Major events are being held in Boston, Washington DC, New York City, San Francisco, Austin, East Brunswick NJ, Bloomington IN, Raleigh NC, Athens GA, and Richmond VA (Oct. 3). More locations may be added at the last minute.

This initiative is a great way for you personally or your campus, family or other groups to help make a positive difference in your community. Asian American Village is proud to be a supporter of this year's initiative, and encourage you to consider volunteering today.

Monday, September 28, 2009

AAPI Business Suppliers Academy: New Deadline

The National Council of Asian American Business Associations has announced that it has extended the application deadline for participating in its AAPI Business Supplier Academy, which will take place Oct. 14 and 15 on the campus of UCLA.

The new deadline for applying to the Supplier Academy is now Oct. 2, 2009.

PoliSci PhD Fellowship Program

The American Political Science Association is accepting applications for the

2010-2011 APSA Minority Fellowship Program

The American Political Science Association is accepting applications for the 2010-2011 APSA Minority Fellowship Program. Deadline: postmarked by October 2, 2009.

  • The APSA Minority Fellows program is designed primarily for minority students applying to enter a doctoral program in POLITICAL SCIENCE for the FIRST TIME.
  • Additional eligibility criteria include: Applicants must be members of one of the following racial/ethnic minority groups: African Americans, Asian Pacific Americans, Latinos/as, and Native Americans (federal and state recognized tribes)
  • Applicants must demonstrate an interest in teaching and potential for research in political science
  • Applicant must be a United States citizen at time of award
  • Applicants must demonstrate financial need

To apply, and review eligibility requirements and application materials, please visit:

The APSA Minority Fellowship Program is in its 40th year. Please forward this announcement to interested students/individuals.

Friday, September 25, 2009

NCAABA Academy Teaches How to Win that Contract

The National Council of Asian-American Business Associations (NCAABA), a nonprofit organization that serving Asian business organizations and chambers across the country, has announced the program and remaining scholarship slots available for its star-studded Supplier Academy to be held on the UCLA campus on October 14 & 15, 2009.

Geared toward "business and/or community leaders with proven track records of organizational and operational growth, an adequate geographic footprint, experience as 1st or 2nd Tier Suppliers and demonstrated capacity to bid on contracts," the Academy participants will have an opportunity to mingle with and learn from presenters from a host of business, academic and government organizations, from Wells argo and Disney to California Governor's Office.

A number of scholarships are available for select applicants who meet the upcoming online application deadline of 5PM on September 28, 2009. Additional details can be found on the website or by calling (909) 859-5354.

It's a great opportunity for Asian Americans who want to explore opportunities landing business supplier contracts.

Learn more at

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

John Liu Advances to Runn-off After NYC Primary

John Liu has progressed in his quest to become Comptroller for New York City, with a strong showing in a multi-candidate field that just fell short of the mark. He will move ahead to a runoff at the end of this month.

Following is a message distributed by the campaign.


Dear Friend,

I'm truly grateful for all of your support and hard work since I
started my campaign for City Comptroller.

We had a strong showing yesterday in the Primary election for
Comptroller -- well ahead of our rivals with more than 38% of the
vote, but we did not quite reach the 40% plurality needed. We're all
set for the run-off election on September 29th.

Our campaign is already building on our momentum -- today, we gained
the support of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Joint
Council 16 which represents more than 120,000 workers in the trucking,
sanitation, airline and pharmaceutical industries.

“It is my pleasure to announce on behalf of the more than 120,000
working men and women in the Teamsters Joint Council 16, our
endorsement of Councilman John Liu for New York City Comptroller,"
said Teamsters President George Miranda. “Over the past eight years,
as a Councilman and Chair of the Transportation Committee, he has
consistently backed the interests of working people. John’s financial
experience will make him a fine Comptroller, but his passion for
public service will make him the people’s watchdog in an era of
economic uncertainty. We look forward to doing all we can to make sure
that John becomes New York’s next Comptroller."

People are galvanized by the positive campaign we're running - a
campaign based on the issues that matter to working men and women and
families across the City. People are excited about my vision for the
Office and plan to build on on City's infrastructure and protect the
pensions that people have worked their whole lives to accumulate.

The people of this City deserve an independent fiscal watchdog that
looks out for their interests, not the special interests. I will be
an aggressive advocate for campaign has always been about

I will work hard over the next two weeks...and even harder for you
when I'm elected the next Comptroller.

Please join me... and help turn out the vote on September 29th. And,
together, we will change the future of New York City.

Grateful for your support,

John Liu

FOX5 News - 9/16/09

EXCERPT - New York City Councilman John Liu of Queens finished first
in the Democratic primary for New York City Comptroller, but it wasn't
enough to avoid a run-off.

NY1: "Liu, Yassky Prepare For Comptroller Runoff" - 9/16/09

EXCERPT - The Democratic race for city comptroller between four City
Council members was tight as expected Tuesday, but the leading
candidate almost avoided a runoff entirely.

"I'm deeply so honored to have all of your support, for all the hard
work that you have put in over these months and years and to get us to
the point that we are today," said Liu. "We made a tremendous

Liu collected the most votes in a race that pitted four City Council
members against each other.

Liu says he's planning to spend the next two weeks talking about the
issues and says he fully expects to be the Democratic nominee come
Election Day in November.

NEW YORK TIMES: "A Victory, Runoffs and Several Incumbents Ousted" - 9/15/09

EXCERPT - In the race for comptroller, Councilman John C. Liu of
Queens held the lead, with 38 percent of the vote.

When the candidate arrived, the crowd grew louder. Arms went out to
hug Mr. Liu, who arrived with his wife, Jenny, and his 9-year-old son,
Joey. “Listen, we’re not done yet!” Mr. Liu said. “One more hour!
Let’s get those voters out.”

NEW YORK TIMES: "New Yorkers Vote in Primaries for Top Citywide Posts" - 9/14/09

EXCERPT - Mr. Liu, who would be the first Asian-American elected to
citywide office, has the endorsement of several powerful unions,
including the United Federation of Teachers, the Service Employees
International Union and the Transport Workers Union.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * JOHN LIU 2009 * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Providing the Latest News and Updates from John Liu

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Asian American Week of Action for Immigration Reform

Forwarding this one from SAALT: South Asian Americans Leading Together:

Starting August 14, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders around the country have been coming together to flex their political muscle in the first-ever week of action for immigration reform.

You can take action in a variety of ways. One simple step you can take today is support immigration reform today using your cell phone. Today is National AAPI Text-In Day for Immigration Reform, and all you have to do to participate is text "AAPI" to 69899!

The National Coalition of South Asian Organizations has been engaged in the One Community United Campaign for Immigrant and Human Rights. As part of the Campaign, SAALT along with NCSO partners, recently held a town hall in New Jersey.

Chicago Town Hall with Reps. Jan Schakowsky and Mike Quigley
WHERE: Mayfair Salvation Army Community Church, Chicago, IL
WHEN: Saturday, August 22 | 1:00PM-3:00PM
Contact for more information.

Los Angeles Town Hall with Rep. Judy Chu
WHERE: St. John's Baptist Church, Baldwin Park, Los Angeles, CA
WHEN: Thursday, August 27 | 6:00PM
Contact for more information.

Washington DC Film Screening and Discussion
WHAT: Screening of "Made in LA" followed by discussion
WHERE: TBD, Washington DC
WHEN: Sunday, August 30 | 3:00PM-5:00PM
Contact for more information.

Miami Town Hall on Immigration
WHAT: Join us for a Town Hall with the South Asian community in Miami to discuss immigration and human rights issues.
WHERE: 8601 W. Commercial Blvd., Tamarac, FL 33351
WHEN: Saturday, September 26 | 11:00AM-2:00PM
Contact for more information.
Cosponsors: SAALT, Sahara, Florida Immigrant Coalition, Miami Dade Asian American Advisory Board

Check out events on SAALT's Community Calendar.
SAALT staff are available to speak at your events on topics including immigrant rights, South Asians in America, civic engagement, and immigration. Please email us at for more information.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Added: Interview with Oscar-Winning Director Ang Lee

Ang Lee made his directorial debut in 1992 with Pushing Hands, a dramedy highlighting the tension between tradition and modernity which arises when a retired Tai Chi master moves to the U.S. to live with his Westernized son. His next two offerings, The Wedding Banquet (1993) and Eat Drink Man Woman (1994), each landed an Oscar nomination in the Best Foreign Film category.

Since then, the versatile director has successfully tackled an impressive variety of genres, reflected in a resume which includes a literary classic (Sense and Sensibility), a dysfunctional family drama (The Ice Storm), a Western (Ride with the Devil), a gay-themed romance (Brokeback Mountain), an erotic, espionage thriller (Lust, Caution), a comic book adaptation (Hulk) and a martial arts fairytale (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon). Although Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon did take home the Oscar for Best Foreign Film, the deserving Mr. Lee himself was overlooked by the Academy as the picture’s director. He finally won in 2006 for Brokeback Mountain, a tale of forbidden love starring the late Heath Ledger.

In a new interview with Kam Williams at, Ang Lee talks about his new film, Taking Woodstock, a comedy about the 1969 concert which helped define the Hippie Generation. The interview includes the movie trailer. See: Interview: Ang Lee Takes on Woodstock

Creatives Wanted: East West Magazine Cover Design Contest

This release came in from the crew at East-West, the bimonthly national publication, which "went on hiatus in early 2008" to restructure its business operations. East-West returned to online publication this summer, and will celebrate its print re-launch in October 2009. To freshen and reintroduce its brand, the company is seeking artists to submit a cover design idea for the relaunch.

Bridging the Divide:

What does the merging of cultures look like to you?

East West Announces Magazine

Re-Launch Cover Design Contest

Phoenix, AZ (August 12, 2009) – To celebrate a fall re-launch, East West magazine has announced the East West Exhibit, a cover design contest for the October/November issue, available nationwide on October 6. East West is welcoming submissions of original artwork interpreting the meaning of East West and the merging of cultures. The winning design will be featured on the cover, along with a profile of the winner in the magazine.

East West is the first and only lifestyle magazine with a pan-Asian American focus. Launched in 2003, the publication went on hiatus last year to retool operations. “During this time, we maintained an online presence, and realized the East West audience was anxious for the magazine’s return,” said Anita Malik, founder and editor in chief of East West. “We are excited to re-launch the magazine with a cover contest that involves our readers.”

All contest entries will be posted at for online voting from September 2-16, 2009. Based on online vote totals, the top five designs will be announced at the end of September. East West staff will choose the final cover from the top five, and the final decision will be made public on October 6, when East West officially returns to print.

Entrants must submit original artwork—including photography, painting, graphic design and drawing—and a signed authorization/consent form. Contest rules include:

· All entries must be original artwork created by the entrant(s) and answer the question: “What is your interpretation of East West today. What does the merging of cultures look like to you?”

· No black and white.

· Entries must be postmarked by August 31, 2009.

· Digital artwork must be 300 DPI and at least 9.25”x11.125”.

· Non-digital artwork will be accepted via mail and scanned for Web site/print use.

· Only one entry per person, team or company.

· Entries will not be returned. Any or all materials/information may be published.

· A signed entry/consent form is required for an entry to be valid.

· All entrants under the age of 18 on August 1, 2009 must have a parent/guardian signature.

For complete contest details, visit Submissions, as well as questions about the contest, can be emailed to

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Added at Asian American Village Featured Jobs

A few new job opportunities of interest added at the recently restored Asian-American Village Jobs Center:

University of California - Riverside

Corporate Controller
Haworth, Inc. (Holland, MI)

Assistant Director of Undergraduate Admissions
Tufts University
(Medford, MA)

Mandarin-fluent Tutorial Specialist Distance Education
Johns Hopkins University
(Washington, DC)

The Jobs Center periodiocally spotlights select jobs found in the expansive Career Center jobs database of particular interest to Asian and Pacific Islander American jobseekers. Beginning in July, IMDiversity moved to a new job bank format, expanded even further with the addition of a new dual-tab, multi-site seaarch option that simultaneously searches both the opportunities posted by diversity-committed employers to and matching results from our new Career Sites Network, with tens of thousands of additional job listings. Check it out.

New Updates: Tule Lake Memorial; Vanessa Hudgens

Following our site's recent move to our new server and host, we're getting back into the swing of our updates with a few items of interest at

First, we're pleased to welcome back historian Professor Susie Ling with her feature, Biting Into Your Skin: Tule Lake Pilgrimage, an account of this summer's ceremony transforming a national disgrace into a national monument on the site of a former concentration camp.

For movie buffs, Va-Va-Vanessa (Hudgens)! catches up with Irish, Native, Chinese, Filipina, Latina sensation for an interview about her new film, Bandslam.

On the fitting theme of the 50th anniversary of Hawai'i statehood, Frances Kai-Hwa Wang is back with a column article, The Teahouse, and her reflections on trying to find "a way home" with Linus Chao, renowned international artist and a "Living Legend of Hawai'i"

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Asian American Village Jobs Center Restored

Following IMDiversity's recent migration to a new jobs database and job tools format at, the editors have begun to restore a number of previously popular jobs quicksearch features including our jobs by location and jobs by occupation quicksearches, our $100K-Plus Featured Jobs section, Bilingual Jobs quicksearch, and the Asian American Village Featured Jobs Center.

As before, the section spotlights select job opportunities tagged by our staff and by employers as being of special interest to Asian American and Pacific Islander jobseekers. However, the new database format also brings some changes in the custom search and quicksearch format, and we will be rebuilding the section throughout the summer.

Just one one new improvement to our job tools is that jobseekers can now quickly and easily schedule a Saved Search from any search results page to send them a job alert email whenever any new jobs match their custom criteria. Jobseekers can "subscribe" to a Saved Search agent without opening a full job tools account, but they will enjoy improved tools for managing multiple alerts and posting employer-searchable resume by creating a quick Job Tools account first

We've also added a much expanded network job search, greatly extending the range and variety of the job postings searchable from one site.

Stop back for updates about the new jobs center in coming weeks.

Event:: 2009 OCA Annual National Convention, San Francisco, August 6-9, 2009

The 2009 OCA Annual National Convention will be held in San Francisco, California, from August 6-9, 2009.

Registration is online at! Be sure to book your hotel by July 2.

This year’s convention theme, “A Call to Action: Empowering Asian Pacific American Voices,” will focus not only on strengthening our diverse community’s voice, but also solidifying our efforts to be more inclusive so that each APA group within our community is empowered to raise its own voice as well. This theme also reaffirms OCA’s commitment to advocate for social justice, equal opportunity and fair treatment.

This is the third time an OCA convention has been held in San Francisco, where APAs are the fastest growing population and comprise more than 30 percent of the greater Bay Area’s total population. We are anticipating over 1,000 attendees from the local area and across the country at our Gala Awards and other exciting events.

Our Pioneer and Outstanding Citizens Award recipients will be: YouTube co-founder Steve Chen, Fashion Designer Anna Sui, Congressman Mike Honda, Groundbreaking Historians Phil Choy and Him Mark Lai (Posthumous).

This year’s highlights include:

Career Fair & Community Health Fair
Reception at City Hall
Angel Island Picnic and Tour
Programs for APA youth & college students
Corporate Employee sessions
OCA Gala Awards Banquet

Early Bird Registration ends June 30, so DON’T DELAY!

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

SAALT Webinar: About the Appointments Process in the Obama Administration

Event Location: Online
Date: Thu, 06/11/2009 - 16:00 - 16:45

Learn more about the Appointments Process in the Obama Administration and How the South Asian Community Can Stay Involved

With special guests Mark Perriello, Director-Priority Placement and Candace Chin, Special Assistant to Don Gips, Director of Presidential Personnel

What: A webinar to learn more about the appointments process for jobs, Boards and Commissions in the Obama Administration (a webinar is a conference call with an online segment; anyone can participate)

When: Thursday, June 11th at 4pm EST/3pm CST/1pm PST (the webinar should last 45 minutes)

Why: Learning about how to navigate the Obama Administration's appointments process will ensure that South Asians can stay engaged and represented in the Obama Administration.

We will be joined by special guests Mark Perriello, Director Priority Placement and Candace Chin, iSpecial Assistant to Don Gips, Director of Presidential Personnel, who will provide information about the appointments process for jobs, Boards and Commissions.

To attend, you must register by Wednesday, June 10th at 12pm EST:

1. Please copy this into your browser:

2. You will then be asked to register for the webinar. After you have registered, you will receive a confirmation email from the webinar service which has a link; a call-in number; and a conference call-in code.

3. At the appointed time for the webinar (Thursday, June 11th at 4PM EST/3PM CST/1PM PST), please click the link provided in the confirmation email and call the dial-in number listed. When prompted on the call, enter the call-in code from the email. The computer-based portion may take a few moments to load so we ask you to go through this step at least ten minutes before the start of the webinar.

4. To ask questions during the webinar, simply type them into the "Questions and Answers" box on the right-hand side of the webinar interface on your computer screen.

If you cannot attend the online visual portion of the webinar, you can still listen in to the audio portion by calling in to 213.286.1201and entering 218-248-057 as the code.

Questions? Please contact SAALT at Sign up TODAY to join us on June 11th!

Featured Job: Scholar in Indian Music with a specialization in Sikh Music (Gurmat Sangeet)

Recently posted on our new job bank: An interesting opportunity at Hofstra University in New York calls for a scholar in Indian Music with a specialization in Sikh Music (Gurmat Sangeet):

The position is rank open, depending on qualifications, and Tenure Track. (Salary is also dependent upon experience and qualifications.) Candidates should have completed a Ph.D. in Music or Ethnomusicology (preferred) with a specialty in the Sikh musical tradition from both a scholarly and performance perspective. An established record of research, publication and other professional and scholarly activity focusing on the Sikh musical tradition and its performance, and a growing reputation within the scholarly community required. Experience in college-level instruction is required (preference will be given to active performers).

Read the full posting and apply here:
Featured Job: Scholar in Indian Music with a specialization in Sikh Music (Gurmat Sangeet)

STUDY: Midlife Asian Women and Physical Activity

We have been contacted by a research team at the University of Texas at Austin who, under the direction of Dr. Eun-Ok Im, is conducting an Internet study on the physical activity attitudes among diverse ethnic groups of middle-aged women (40-60 Y/O) -- especially Asian American, African American, Hispanic, and non-White Hispanic women.

The survey will begin by asking each participant a series of eligibility questions. We are looking for participants with specific characteristics. If the sampling quota for a specific group is reached, the participant will receive a message that states so. Study participants will be reimbursed with a gift certificate of 10 dollars per Internet survey, and an additional gift certificate of 50 dollars per online forum discussion (6 months).

The survey project is eMAPA, a NIH/NINR funded study (1R01NR010568-01) entitled "Ethnic Specific Midlife Women's Attitudes Toward Physical Activity". Other details from the researchers are below.



The changing racial and ethnic makeup of the U.S. will require health professionals to practice with cultural competence in areas such as promotion of physical activity, where cultural beliefs may mediate health promotion behaviors. Although the benefits of physical activity are now widely accepted, midlife women, especially ethnic minority women, have low participation rates in physical activity, and prevalence rates of cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes, obesity, and hypertension, and all-cause mortality among ethnic minority women (that can be effectively reduced by increasing physical activity) have been reported to be much higher than those of White midlife women. A plausible reason for the low participation rate is that the women's ethnic-specific attitudes toward physical activity have rarely been incorporated into relevant interventions.

Eun-Ok Im, PhD, MPH, RN, CNS, FAAN, School of Nursing, The University of Texas at Austin and her colleagues are conducting a study to explore ethnic differences in midlife women's attitudes toward physical activity. The purpose of this study is to explore attitudes of midlife women from four ethnic groups [Hispanic, Non-Hispanic (N-H) White, N-H African Americans, and N-H Asians] toward physical activity while considering the relationships between their attitudes and their actual participation in physical activity within the ethnic-specific contexts of their daily lives. Data will be gathered via Internet survey and ethnic- specific online forums to allow for a national sample.


You are eligible to participate in this study if you are a midlife women
aged 40 to 60 years old who do not have any mobility problems; who can read
and write English; who are online; and whose self-reported ethnic identity
is Hispanic, non-Hispanic (N-H) White, N-H African American, or N-H Asian.

Data will be collected through the Internet from Feb. 1, 2008 to May 31,
2011. Methods for the data collection include an Internet survey among 500
midlife women in the U.S. on the Internet and four ethnic-specific online
forum discussions among about 30 midlife women per ethnic group recruited
among the Internet survey participants.

Your involvement will consist of the following: (a) about 30 minutes are
usually needed to complete the Internet survey questionnaire; and (b) the
online forums will be conducted for 6 months, should you agree to
participate in the additional online forum discussion. Your participation is
asynchronous (you can visit the online forum site and read and post messages
at your convenience).

You will receive a gift certificate of 10 dollars for filling out the
Internet survey, and an additional gift certificate of 50 dollars for
participating in the additional online forum (only those who participate in
the additional online forum for 6 months will be provided with this
additional gift certificate). To get reimbursed for the online forums, you
have to post at least one message per topic. For more information, please
visit at our website ( and/or contact us.


Wa Cheng Chan,
Research Assistant,
School of Nursing, University of Texas at Austin
1700 Red River, Austin, TX 78701

Eun-Ok Im, PhD, MPH, RN, CNS, FAAN, Professor
School of Nursing, The University of Texas at Austin
1700 Red River, Austin, TX, 78701
Phone: (512) 475-6352
Project Website:

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Poll Shows Audience Growth Even as Ethnic Media Struggle

On the eve of its National Ethnic Media Expo & Awards, New America Media, a collaboration of more than 2,500 ethnic media outlets, has released a poll suggesting that "Ethnic Media Outlets Gain in Readers and Viewers" even as the economic downturn is taking a dire toll on small niche publishers of the sort represented among NAM's affiliates.

In its poll analyzing current figures against those taken in 2005, New America Media has marked singificant growth in Hispanic-targeted media in particular: "The penetration of Spanish-language radio stations and newspapers has increased substantially...Moreover, Spanish-language television stations now reach 86 percent of all Hispanic adults in the United States, while access to the Internet among Hispanics has grown from 24 percent in 2005 to 37 percent this year."

It also finds that "Other ethnic communities are also tuning into their media outlets. African-American audiences for television stations, radio stations and newspapers that focus on Black themes has increased about 10 percent since 2005; Chinese-language television stations and newspapers now reach 70 percent of all Chinese adults in the US, up from 55 percent in 2005; and Korean-language newspapers reach 64 percent of all Korean adults in the country, a boost from 46 percent in 2005."

The report makes an argument for the increasing relevance and importance of ethnic media for addressing the unique interests of niche communities, even as many publications are shutting their doors -- at least on the brick-and-mortar, paper publishing operations. Finding industry "strategies for surviving the economic downturn" is the theme of NAM's annual Expo, which takes place this year on June 4-5 at the Atlanta Hyatt Regency Hotel.

For more, see Poll Shows Ethnic Media Outlets Gain in Readers and Viewers

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Ronald Takaki, pioneering scholar of race relations, dies at 70

Report issued today by "UC Berkeley News," reported by Yasmin Anwar of the Public Affairs office. A complete obituary was expected later today:

May 27, 2009 Ronald Takaki, a professor emeritus of ethnic studies at the University of California, Berkeley, and prolific scholar of U.S. race relations who taught UC's first black history course, died at his home in Berkeley on Tuesday (May 26). He was 70.

During his more than four decades at UC Berkeley, Takaki joined the Free Speech Movement, established the nation's first ethnic studies Ph.D. program as well as Berkeley's American Cultures requirement for graduation, and advised President Clinton in 1997 on his major speech on race.

A descendent of Japanese plantation workers in Hawaii, Takaki left the islands in the late 1950s to study at Ohio's College of Wooster, where he earned a bachelor's degree. He went on to earn a Ph.D. in American history from UC Berkeley in 1967 and was hired at UCLA, where he taught the campus's first black history course. He joined Berkeley's Ethnic Studies department in 1971 and served as chair from 1975-77.

Among his numerous accolades for scholarship and activism, Takaki received a Pulitzer nomination for his book, "A Different Mirror: A History of Multicultural America" (Little Brown and Company, 1993); a Distinguished Teaching Award from UC Berkeley and the 2003 Fred Cody Award for lifetime achievement from the Bay Area Book Reviewers Association.

"When I think of Ron, the words that come to mind are: solidarity, justice, easy-going, self-effacing, generous, creative," said Beatriz Manz, chair of UC Berkeley's Department of Ethnic Studies. "He poked fun at himself and had a contagious laughter. He embodied kindness. He was agreeable, conciliatory and non-confrontational."

He is survived by his wife, Carol, his three children and his grandchildren. Plans for a campus memorial service are pending. A complete obituary will be posted on Thursday.

Call for Artist Submission: APAture Festival 2009

Kearny Street Workshop , the oldest Asian Pacific American multidisciplinary organization in the United States, is now accepting submissions for the 11th annual APAture festival of emerging Asian American artists. Each September, APAture showcases about 100 artists at venues throughout San Francisco, making it the Bay Area's biggest platform for Asian American art.

We are accepting submissions in five disciplines: visual arts, film & video, music, literary arts and performing arts. The deadline to submit is July 11, 2009.

Go to for more info and to apply online!

Questions? Contact

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Online APAs Memorializing Scholar Ron Takaki

Reports of the passing of noted historian Ronald Takaki have been circulating widely among Asian Americans in the blogosphere and via networking vehicles such as Twitter, Facebook and individual email exchanges.

While any official reporting confirming the rumors has yet to be released in Bay Area media or by the news bureau at UC Berkeley, where Takaki has been a respected emeritus professor in the Ethnic Studies Department, already scores if not hundreds of individuals and bloggers have been publishing appreciations of Dr. Takaki's work as a "people's historian" whose long career was dedicated to championing "a more inclusive and accurate history of all the peoples of America."

His works such as Strangers from a Different Shore and A Different Mirror have been noted as pioneering examples of historical scholarship that approaches research of U.S. peoples from a multicultural perspectives.

As blogger Keith Kamisugi recounts on,
Over 34 years, Ron taught 20,000 students, and has written twelve books which
have influenced thousands more. One of them, “A Different Mirror,” won the
American Book Award, and has sold over a half million copies; it is
the text for
anyone interested in the history — and the future — of multicultural America

[Emphasis mine]

His influence was was limited not only to his publishing activity, but also to shaping the curriculum on and beyond his campus, and inspiring a generation of students and younger scholars. He was instrumental in bringing to life to the PhD in Ethnic Studies, as well as an undergraduate major and ultimately a multicultural credit requirement for graduation. Many of those memorializing Dr. Takaki in the past day are former students who also spoke of his impact in the classroom and calling his lessons "life changing".

Other Readings

Thursday, May 21, 2009

What's the aspect of your heritage you most want to hold onto?

Going through our annual APA Heritage Month edition, we were delighted to find an older piece in the archives that still seems as basic and worthy of mulling over as when we first piosted in years ago.

In Holding Onto Heritage, our old friend and feature contributor Gil Asakawa of Nikkei View, posed the question, mostly rhetorically, "What's the aspect of your heritage you most want to hold onto?"

For our conclusion to APA Month this year, we want to put the question out there, and invite thoughts that we may compile at the end for annual section. Even if it's just a sentence or two, please drop us a comment here, or through our feedback on for on the main site. We think it would a meaningful commemoration of Heritage Month to hear what other people really value in their Asian and Pacific Islander heritage.

Hope to hear from you.

Webcast Tonight: Asia Society president Vishakha N. Desai

7:00 to 8:30 PM Eastern -

In the program "Collectors and Curators: A Unique Partnership Between Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd and Sherman E. Lee" Vishakha N. Desai, president of Asia Society will be giving a lecture on the complex relationships between curators and collectors, in addition to focusing on the decades of collaboration between Lee and the Rockefellers as the family built their Asian art collection. The Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd Collection of Asian Art became one of the most notable collections of Asian art in the United States and was fundamental to the creation of the Asia Society.

The video webcast will be available live on from 7:00-8:30 PM.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Judy Chu wins in heavily Hispanic district; advances to runoff

Reported by Jean Merl at

By Jean Merl 1:35 AM PDT, May 20, 2009

State Board of Equalization Vice Chairwoman Judy Chu won the most votes
Tuesday for the open 32nd Congressional District seat, running well ahead of
fellow Democrat state Sen. Gil Cedillo, but she fell short of the majority
needed to avoid a runoff.

Political newcomer Emanuel Pleitez, who surprised politics watchers with
his significant fundraising and campaign of personal contacts and energetic
volunteers, was running a strong third.
If Chu prevails in the July runoff, it would make her the only Asian American in Congress representing Southern California, according to the Associated Press.

In an honorable mention, Monterey Park Councilwoman Betty Tom Chu came in the top spot among the handful of doomed Republicans vying for a shot in the strongly Democratic district.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

How National APAs Give a Boost to Boston's Sam Yoon

While we're waiting for the day's poll results to come in from other corners, here's a profile from the Boston Globe showing how national identity politics may give a boost to local candidates like Sam Yoon, who wants to be Mayor of Beantown.

WASHINGTON - The California congressman looked out on a crowd of 100
Asian-American political activists dining in a drab conference room at the
headquarters of the Democratic National Committee. Mike Honda urged them to
donate to a rising star on the political scene: Sam Yoon, candidate for mayor of

"Boston has been waiting for a long time because the Irish have had it," said Honda,
addressing the annual dinner of the Asian American Action Fund. "I believe Sam
is ready to take over and lead one of the major cities in the country."

Yoon beamed. Such dinners have become crucial to his aspirations to
become mayor of Boston, fueling him with applause, cheers, and financial support
that are harder to come by at home, where Mayor Thomas M. Menino dominates the
political establishment and where Yoon remains a relatively low-profile figure,
unknown to 38 percent of residents, according to a recent Globe poll.

By Michael Levenson
Globe Staff / May 18, 2009

Read the full story at the Globe:

NPR: Judy Chu Has Edge In CA 32 Special Election On Tuesday

From Ken Rudin Political Junkie Blog:

California's 32nd Congressional District, just east of Los Angeles, is
about 63 percent Latino, 22 percent Asian. It is the seat held since 2001 by
Hilda Solis (D), now the secretary of labor. Prior to that, it was held for 18
years by Matthew Martinez, a Democrat, who lost to Solis in the 2000 primary at
the age of 71 amid charges that he was ineffective and invisible.

But if anecdotal evidence is to be believed, this overwhelmingly
Hispanic district may send an Asian woman, Judy Chu, on her way to Congress in
Tuesday's special primary.

All eyes are on two Democrats who are considered the

Chu, a former member of the Assembly who is currently the chair of the
California Board of Equalization, is one 12 candidates who will appear on the
all-party primary ballot. Under state law, if no one receives a majority of the
vote -- as seems likely -- then the top candidates of each party advance to the
July 14 runoff. (If a candidate breaks 50 percent, then he or she is declared
the winner, with no runoff required.)

But for all intents and purposes, whichever leading Democrat comes out
ahead tomorrow -- Chu or state Sen. Gil Cedillo, a fellow liberal -- will be the
next member of Congress for the 32nd. Barack Obama carried the district last
year with 68 percent of the vote, and Republicans failed to run a candidate
against Solis in the past three elections.

Chu and Cedillo have received the lion's share of endorsements. Chu is
backed by Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, a gubernatorial hopeful and
perhaps the state's most visible Hispanic politician. She has also been endorsed
by members of Solis' family, though the former House member has stayed neutral.
Cedillo has the support of several Hispanic congressmen, including Joe baca,
Xavier Becerra, Grace Napolitano and Linda Sanchez.

Baca is quoted as saying, "It's a Hispanic seat. We should not lose
that seat."

Organized labor is working mostly on Chu's behalf.

Read the full blog entry

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Sign up for SAALT "Be the Change" by May 30

From SAALT: South Asian Americans Leading Together

What is Be the Change?

Be the Change is a national day of service, coordinated by South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT), that is held on campuses and in cities across the country. The event is based on Mahatma Gandhi's inspirational quote, "You must be the change you wish to see in the world," and provides opportunities for South Asians to give back to their communities.
In 2008, over 2000 people contributed 4000 service hours in 40 cities and campuses across the country.

How Can I get Involved?

Mark your calendar for Saturday, October 3rd and join us as a volunteer, campus coordinator, or city coordinator.

1) Host a Be the Change event on your campus - If your campus traditionally hosts a Be the Change event or if you would like to start one on your campus, please fill out this form by May 30th and we will send you a planning guide and connect you to the national event.

2) Host a Be the Change event in your city- Join or start a planning team in your city. As a member of the planning team, you will be coordinating service events, recruiting volunteers, and connecting with other planning teams around the country. Please fill out this form by May 30th and we will connect you with others in your city who are interested in planning a Be the Change event. Our core cities this year are: Washington DC, New York City, South Bay, San Francisco, Atlanta, and Boston. We also welcome other cities to hold Be the Change events.

3) Join SAALT as a National Partner for Be the Change - If your organization, professional association, or youth group would like to partner with SAALT, locally or nationally, please email us at by May 30th.

Event: Early registration for 2009 OCA National Convention

Event: 2009 OCA National Convention
"A Call to Action: Empowering Asian Pacific American Voices"
What: Convention
Host: OCA National
Start Time: Thursday, August 6 at 9:00am
End Time: Sunday, August 9 at 12:00pm
Where: The Westin St. Francis Hotel

Early Bird Registration for the 2009 Organization of Chinese Americans National Conference Ends June 30

For details, see

Notice: JACL Youth Conference -- the last one...?

We've got in an announcement for what is being billed (somewhat cryptically) as "the final" official Youth Conference by the Japanese American Citizens League National Youth Council. We're not sure why this is the case, but it only seems to add to the interest of this year's event in St. Paul for student leaders.

Release: The 2009 JACL National Youth Conference will take place from June 26 to June 28 at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota.

This Conference is for youth ages 14-25. This Youth Conference is also the LAST official Youth Conference put forth by the National Youth/Student Council. Be sure to take part in this legacy.

The theme of this Conference, IMPACT!: Your Community, Your Generation, Your JACL, is centered on empowering today's youth to move this earth through learning about how we can impact our community as Asian Americans, engage our generation by marrying old school and new school techniques, and create a JACL image that is unique to youth.

Unlike Youth Conferences before, this year's events will focus on developing professional skills that often become useful further down the road. Participants will get the chance to engage in team building activities, learn how to network professionally and socially, and have fun while doing so.

Learn more at:

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Film on Patsy Mink Airs this Month on PBS

From the website for a new film by Making Waves, which is airing on PBS stations across the country during May:

PATSY MINK: AHEAD OF THE MAJORITY explores the remarkable political story of Patsy Mink, an Asian American woman who, battling racism and sexism, redefined American politics.

Small in stature but a giant in vision, she began her life on a Maui sugar plantation and rose to become the first Asian American woman and woman of color in the United States Congress. A firecracker and a fighter, she continually pushed the limits of what was acceptable, speaking out against the Vietnam War and entering the 1972 presidential primary, making her one of the first women to seek the nation’s highest office. She transformed America’s schools as the co-author of Title IX, the landmark legislation that opened up higher education and athletics to women.

The film goes beyond Mink’s accomplishments, however, to reveal a woman whose political journey was lonely and tumultuous. Dispelling stereotypes of the compliant Japanese female, she battled sexism within her own party, whose leaders disliked her independent style and openly maneuvered against her. Her liberal politics, particularly her vocal opposition to the Vietnam War, engendered intense criticism.

As Franklin Odo, Director of the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Program, states: “Patsy Mink offers a phenomenal political story, because she was so outside what you would expect of a woman, of a Japanese American and of a member of Congress.” Simultaneously a woman of the people and a pioneer, a patriot and an outcast, her story proves endlessly intriguing, and one that embodies the history, ideals and spirit of America.

To learn more about the film and filmmaker, see

To find out when it's airing on your local PBS station, enter your Zip at

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Obama proclaims APA Heritage Month

Newly added to our annual Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month section is this year's official presidential proclamation designating May to commemorate the history and heritage of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.

While at first glance it appears to be the usual sort of official release that is probably ghostwritten then quickly rubberstamped in the West Wing, a closer look definitely reveals more than a subtle shift in the tone and address of this statement.

For one thing, the nation's first president to hail from Hawai'i has renamed and recast the month as Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, pointedly putting the "P.I." back in "AAPI".

An even closer look at the description of what is being commemorated reveals, less superficially, a real and frankly exciting change in tone from the kind of boilerplate annual proclamation we've grown accustomed to in recent years. Where there had been abstraction and generality there is specificity and recognition of our community's diversity. Where there had been reference to vague and monolithic contributions as entrepreneurs and (even more vaguely) " servants of the cause of freedom and peace," this year's proclamation recalls the earliest immigration, the labor of the railroads and farms and mines, as well as current contributions in academia, the arts and literature, government, technology and other sectors.

In short, it is happily the kind of proclamation we would have expected from Barack Obama -- our first Hawai'i President, our first nonwhite President, our first "hapa" President. For those who enjoy government speeches and rhetoric, it's pleasant reading and an interesting departure from the past years when our community has felt so left out in the political cold.

Check it out for yourself at the Village's Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month section.