Posts tagged with "apia"

Oct 2

Help Get Our Flag Back!

Sep 9

Reappropriate: The Podcast - Ep. 6 | Is Digital Activism "Real" Activism?

Check out my next adventure with Reapprorpiate as my partner and I talk with Jenn about interracial dating!

"No Angels" is a song about pornography. Sex. Lust. And learning to love.

READ LYRICS/DOWNLOAD MP3: http://grandmaster.bandcamp.com/track…

Words // jason chu
Director // Jason Poon
Actress // Michelle Talley
Hair & Makeup // Beaute by Frankie
Casting Assistant // Tiffany Chu

Music // Christopher “Claudeo” Changchien
Singer // Vivian Chen

Thanks to // Rachel Moy, Cindy Lu

BOOKING, BUSINESS, PRESS INQUIRIES: http://jasonchumusic.com/booking

Awesome conversation tonight about Asian American feminism with Jenn of Reappropriate

The link to the podcast will be up tomorrow, check http://reappropriate.co/?p=6571 for updates. The next coversation will be on September 8th with Cayden Mak of 18mr on whether or not digital activism and hashtag activism is “real” activism!

Thanks to vteck for the screenshots ;)

What is #AAPI feminism? Discussing tonight on Ep #5 of Reappropriate: The Podcast!

Join me and Reappropriate tonight at 9pm EST/6pm PST as we talk about #AAPI feminism, what Asian American feminism means, and what it’s like to be a voice for AAPI feminism online!

The podcast will start recording at 9pm EST / 6pm PST tonight through this link and you are invited to live-stream the episode as we record! As always, the podcast encourages user discussion. Please submit your questions and comments either before the recording through Twitter to @reappropriate, or during the recording both through Twitter or on the Google+ Hangout.

Earlier episodes of Reappropriate: the Podcast can be found on YouTube, or by subscribing through the iTunes Store.

Aug 5

Arthur Chu: I Went From Jeopardy Villain to Asian-American Icon - NBC News

Aug 5

Plate By Plate 2014 - Los Angeles

This year, I was fortunate enough to attend the 2014 Plate By Plate tasting and fundraiser in Los Angeles, California.

Plate By Plate is part of an organization called Project by Project (PbP), a national volunteer organization. PbP works with a partner community organization to customize each campaign according to their needs. 100% of proceeds raised are given to the partner organization, resume-writing workshops, tutorials for immigrant children, and parent-child activities to enhance community connectedness. Every year, PbP selects a theme and a local partner to build a relationship with. As Yulree Chun, President of PBP - LA, said: it is a two-way street of education, development, and growth. 

This year’s theme was mental health, and the local organization chosen was Pacific Asian Counseling Services.

PACS’ mission is to “enrich the lives of children and families through counseling and caring”. They also provide culturally sensitive and language specific services with expertise in the immigrant Asian Pacific Islander populations.

The event took place at the Petersen Automobile Museum, a dream come true for a car nut like myself. I was fixated on the Mustang exhibit (drooooool).

These two babes (jennyyangjokes and seanmiura) MC’d and pushed the event to its limits, making it one of the highlights of my summer.

It was great seeing community staples like The Park’s Finest serving up delicious(ly large) portions of their signature cornbread and coconut beef!

If it weren’t for Cafe Dulce's delicious donut holes and cappuccinos, I think I would have slipped into a food coma before the event officially started.

Um, there was a bar. Made of ice. ICE!

Attendees were given a voting ticket and encouraged to vote for their favorite dish and drink of the night. Congratulations to Scratch Bar (they did individually crafted four course tastings) and Harlowe (a delicious dragonfruit daiquiri) for winning by landslides!

It was a beautiful night….

…with beautiful people. It was nice seeing old and new friends again, and an unforgettable welcome back to LA for me. It was a fantastic evening for a fantastic cause, shoutout and thank you to PBP for making it happen!

Aug 3

American Seoul is a vlog series about Zeke Anders’ personal experience growing up as a Korean/American adoptee living in Detroit, MI.

Episode #1 - Zeke sets the scene by sharing his origins and how he got adopted.

For more information visit:

Plate by Plate: Project by Project's Annual Tasting Benefit

Every year, Project by Project selects a non-profit partner based on a theme or issue that addresses current needs in the Asian American community. This year, Project by Project LA is partnering up with Pacific Asian Counseling Services (PACS), whose mission is to enrich the lives of children and families through counseling and caring. PACS provides culturally sensitive and language specific services with expertise in the immigrant Asian Pacific Islander populations.

We are featuring some of the most popular and renown restaurants and drink purveyors. You also may find a list of our participants here.

Project by Project (PbP) is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization founded in New York City in 1998 by a group of young Asian American professionals. The founders surveyed the non-profit landscape and noticed a recurring need in the Asian American community—organizations were spending so much time on fulfilling its missions and executing programs that they were unable to pay enough attention to the business of being a non-profit. The founders of PbP realized that what the community needed was social entrepreneurs, and that is what they sought out to build.

Comprised of a team of professionals with backgrounds in finance, consulting, technology, media, entertainment and law, PbP’s founding team felt it could play a strong role in assisting community groups in securing capital, reaching out to new groups of volunteers and bringing greater awareness to issues affecting the Asian American community. Based on those principals,  PbP created its campaigns around a 3-pronged mission that is still in practice today:  Volunteerism, Awareness, and Fundraising.

Building upon those principles and looking to impact as many causes as possible as it expands, PbP created a method of taking on a different local beneficiary community partner every year, touching on a different issue each year. This method of focusing on one issue at a time for a period of a year allows PbP to work in-depth with the partner and thoroughly educate its volunteers on the cause.

Our signature event is “Plate by Plate,” our annual tasting benefit, formerly the “Food & Wine Tasting.” We are the only Asian American non-profit organization in the country that produces a large-scale food tasting event with star chefs, top rated restaurants and celebrities who participate by serving dishes to our attendees. 

August 2, 2014 at Petersen Automotive Museum

6060 Wilshire Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90036

6:30PM – 7:30PM · VIP Reception
7:30PM – 10:00PM · General Admission

Dress Code: Black Tie/Formal

This is sure to be an amazing event for an amazing cause, I hope to see you there! For more information and ticket purchase, click here. This is not only an opportunity to truly give back to the community, but also see talent like the hosts jennyyangjokes of Jenny Yang comedy and seanmiura, Mr. Hyphen 2013!

The Struggle to Love…to Struggle WITH Love

Juliet Shen and Vanessa Teck are two of the OCA interns who were terminated in 2013 for openly criticizing a major sponsor. Both identifying as activists and feminists in their early 20’s, they have shared experiences of isolation, pain, and fear. Since then, Juliet and Vanessa have begun a transformative journey to better understand how to root their movements in love.

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Juliet Shen

One year ago exactly, on July 19, 2013 at 11:05AM, I was fired from OCA – APA Advocates.

It’s been a rough year of self-reflection and unexpected turns, but I like to think that I’ve grown as a person and an activist. After being fired, I was the brunt of jokes and anonymous emails about how irrational and stupid I was, how I’d never find a place in the APIA community again, and how my career in DC was over. My idealistic bubble was popped — everything was reduced to a form letter of termination read in an empty room. I was defeated, and isolated myself in my college campus determined to not return to a community that cut us out without remorse.

After OCA, it became second nature to avoid certain individuals and organizations. This was perhaps unnecessary, but my discomfort was real. It can be difficult navigating the circuits of Asian America when you’ve pissed off one of the biggest organizations. I linked up with Suey Park as a friend and collaborator over our shared experience of being booted from nonprofits in the APIA community. It felt good to be angry. I was powerful again after being stripped of my autonomy and dignity, and stepped up to the mantle of “Juliet Shen – Feminist, Blogger, and Activist”. I was excited to be relevant again as a web warrior fighting for representation and justice. Of course, you know how that story ends.

Sometimes it’s hard to love a movement when it never loves back. The expectations for feminists and activists often don’t leave room for being human. I’ve come to find that most people who meet me for the first time have this idea of me as a “militant, man-hating, white-man worshiper”. This year, I joined a sorority and I started dating again. Somehow, these choices — choices that I made for myself and choices that make me happy — have dissolved friendships and alliances in my life. It was easier to grow a thick skin and become as bitter and callous as people wanted to believe I was. But ultimately, we can’t let peoples expectations of us limit and harden our hearts; that is the opposite of what activism should do.

I did come close to quitting. I wanted to experience life as a “normal” 21 year old and go out, have fun, and not worry. I almost didn’t renew Fascinasians’ domain and toyed with the idea of letting it fade away peacefully. I chose a year of self-care and self-love because activism was tainted with reluctance and pain. I was never radical enough, but always too radical for someone. I wasn’t angry enough, but my anger intimidated and alienated others. I didn’t feel good enough for anyone and struggled to find motivation to do anything at all.

Both OCA and Suey Park taught me the dangers of rooting my ideology in anger. And yet, this year has been cathartic. During theTwitter Clusterfuck of 2014, one particular hashtag appeared: #BuildDontBurn. That is where I learned what real community and humility meant. If OCA was the bad breakup it felt like, this was coming home to family. That’s what I always thought activism was supposed to be: individuals coming together and loving each other because they shared a dream that a better world was possible. The guidance and love from the people behind #BuildDontBurn reshaped my perspectives on ego, credibility, community, and organizing. I didn’t have to be “good enough” for anyone — I just had to act because there was injustice and discrimination in the world.

Ultimately, it is a privilege to not be political. Instead, I am reimagining activism in a positive, loving way. Tanzila Ahmed, an organizer and blogger, wrote about love as a radical tool. This year, I let myself be soft. I learned to love in more powerful and constructive ways. Love is transformative in all of its many forms, from platonic to romantic to revolutionary. The love and encouragement from OCA’s Class of 2013 Interns (shoutout to the McMansion!) and my mentors (have y’all read Reappropriate?) keeps me going today. And what of OCA? Well, I maintain that they were the spark that lit my fire…and Summer 2013 won’t be the thing that puts it out.


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Vanessa Teck

After my termination from OCA last year, I lost myself. I began the summer as a fresh graduate with stars in my eyes, hoping that my experience in our nation’s Capitol would equip me with the tools to serve my community. Yet, after a harsh termination, the world scared me. I received anonymous messages telling me that it would be impossible for me to find a career within the APIA advocacy community, the space that I called my home for so long. I was told that I had made one of the biggest mistakes of my life. There was no room for dialogue, for I already felt the labels of a failed activist and student bearing huge weights on my shoulder. I loved the movement, but I felt as though it was no longer loving me back.

As a result, I entered my Masters program with angry eyes and a hardened soul. I knew that it would take a toll on me; my time, my health, and my overall well-being. Yet, despite multiple warnings from well-intentioned mentors about entering the ivory tower, I could have never prepared myself for the psychological train wreck that I experienced throughout this first year.I felt the need to prove myself, to prove that I belonged in a space deemed so illustrious by family members who have been taught that academia is the only road to success and by mentors who have equated academic achievement to overcoming institutional barriers. I constantly feared, with each new day in my program, that someone would call me out as a fraud. I worried that, despite my various involvements and successes, my work would never be seen as good enough, that I would never be seen as graduate material. That before I spoke in class, I had to spend precious time developing articulate statements, so that when I said them out loud, I was perceived as credible and qualified. I sat and stared at blank pages as I attempted to write my papers, worried that my inadequacies would appear the moment that I began typing. That opportunities to work with faculty members would come with risks of a larger and more public community discovering my incompetence and termination.

I never afforded myself the opportunity to fully deconstruct how the summer quaked my entire being. I went through a stage of coldness, focused solely on achieving and burying the pain that I felt each quarter, as if ignoring the pain would cause my questioning to go away. I was often told that my kindness and conscientiousness were weaknesses… that if I remained soft, I would not be able to shape others. I lost the power of my narrative and in doing so, I forgot how to love. It was not until I was invited to speak on a panel with Suey Park that I began to realize how much I was hurting… and how much of myself that I had lost. As an individual who identifies as an advocate and activist right down to my core, I spent more time resisting the system, rather than transforming it. I forgot that as a Cambodian American feminist and activist in Higher Education and Student Affairs… my presence in itself was already resistance.


What if instead… we transformed our idea of activism into being soft? If it were about loving deeper, instead of fighting harder? If it were about creating transformative change through soulful relationships, rather than tearing each other down? What if activism was less about expertise, but focused more on cultivating a space where mistakes could be considered a form of resistance? Imagine activism as a living room in which we can all feel welcomed and at home, hearts warmed and united by our common struggles, rather than a process of putting on armor and preparing for war.

That’s not to say that protest organizing is not needed, but despite many activists who claim to fight for justice, we forget to be inclusive and place one another on a pedestal. We have expectations of others that we cannot even achieve ourselves. Nothing about that is visionary; it’s just a remix of the oppressive systems we want to transform in the first place. By claiming to be an expert in anything, we remove the ability of ourselves and others to learn and grow together. We are our own gatekeepers. It was remarkably easy to disconnect myself from the reality and challenges of crafting an inclusive climate, excused by the overshadowing of my anger, but by recognizing that my lived experiences are only one of many that have the potential to create change, I begin to decolonize what I have learned and transformatively humanize myself and others.

Since then, I have found love within the stories I have had the privilege of hearing. I found love in the struggles from fellow womxn of color, the achievements from student activists, the frustrations from other graduate students drowning in debt, and the clarity from those who have been told that they matter. Although I end this piece still fearful, I am thankful for the family that I have gained along the way. From the cutest OCA intern class ever to an incredible partner who pushes me to be fierce and proudly introduces me as a feminist, I no longer feel lost or alone. I am embraced by those in my life who continue to love me, whether I am “radical” enough or not, “critical” enough or not, “activist” enough or not.

I continue to struggle and am hopeful that I will continue to struggle because it will mean that I am still attempting to create my own space founded upon love.


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You can find Juliet at her blog, Fascinasians, a website dedicated to curating news and experiences about and from the Asian Pacific Islander American community. To learn more about Vanessa, check out Project Ava, a social justice media company, dedicated to sharing meaningful stories. Currently, Juliet and Vanessa serve as the Co-Chairs for the Coalition of API Americans Collaborating Together to Unite the Southwest (CAACTUS).