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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.

Love,
Juliet

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vteck

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.

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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.

Love,
Vteck

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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).

Taylor and Ayden Her started an 18 Million Rising petition requesting that American Girl make a new Asian American doll to replace the soon-to-be-discontinued Ivy Ling, the only AAPI doll in the Historical Characters line. The company has refused to commit one way or the other, so now the girls are generously lending the toy maker a helping hand by gathering stories of real life Asian American women and girls to inspire a new doll. 
Help them tell ‪#‎ourAGstories‬ by submitting the name and sharing a bit of information about an AAPI woman or girl who inspires you: http://ouragstories.tumblr.com/submit
 

Taylor and Ayden Her started an 18 Million Rising petition requesting that American Girl make a new Asian American doll to replace the soon-to-be-discontinued Ivy Ling, the only AAPI doll in the Historical Characters line. The company has refused to commit one way or the other, so now the girls are generously lending the toy maker a helping hand by gathering stories of real life Asian American women and girls to inspire a new doll.

Help them tell ‪#‎ourAGstories‬ by submitting the name and sharing a bit of information about an AAPI woman or girl who inspires you: http://ouragstories.tumblr.com/submit

 

Oakland Asian Cultural Center Zine NOW ACCEPTING SUBMISSIONS!

OACC is currently in the process of compiling submissions for a zine that highlights the works of API cultural producers. 
The intent of this project is to create space within our zine for APIs’ cultural presence to be expressed and for artists to build community in sharing their works within the same anthology. 
We accept submissions of photos, paintings, poems, song lyrics, etc. 
The theme of the zine is “I Am Here,” to build off of the Smithsonian APA Center’s APAHM 2014 theme of “I Am Beyond.”
The deadline to submit is Tuesday, 7/1. If people are interested in submitting, we also ask that they send us a 150 word or less bio with a high-resolution head shot of themselves. 
If they are submitting a poem, we ask that it be 20 lines or less. They can feel free to share 20 lines from poems that are longer. 
If they are sharing from a song, we ask that they limit it to one verse from their song if the song is longer than 16 bars. 
If they are submitting a prose piece, we ask that it be 200 words or less. 
All submissions, bios, and head shots can be sent to stevencong@oacc.cc.
Please email  if you have any questions!
Jun 4

SUPPORT ANGRY ASIAN MAN!

Hi, everyone. My name’s Phil Yu, and I’m the founder, editor and primary blogger behind this blog, Angry Asian Man. 

I’ve been running this website for over thirteen years. When I first launched the blog, it was a humble little endeavor, and I honestly didn’t expect anyone to read it, outside of a few close friends. Well, it’s still a humble little endeavor, with maybe just a little more notoriety now. Somehow, over a dozen years later, it’s become a thing. A destination. A resource. And I’ve dedicated myself to managing and writing the best blog I can.

So thank you for reading.

Heads up. Later on in this post, I’m going to be asking you for money. Just letting you know, if you’re not interested in reading that sort of thing. Before we get to that part, I have a few things to share. 


Happy Anniversary

Last month happened to mark the one-year anniversary of getting laid off from my job. For nearly seven years, I worked as a content producer for Yahoo! Movies, one of the internet’s biggest movie-related websites. It was a fun job, and had its share of cool perks — not least, a steady paycheck plus benefits — but it had to come to an end. One year ago, I packed up my cubicle and wondered what the hell I was going to do next.

The answer was fairly obvious. It was finally time to make Angry Asian Man my full-time gig. By then, it was already certainly way more than a hobby. I had already been working at it longer than I’ve done any one thing my entire life. For years, I had been devoting long, late hours to the blog while concurrently working the regular 9-to-5. It was basically like working two full-time careers. It was now or never. So I took the plunge.

I normally don’t divulge a lot of details about my personal life. A lot of people have probably assumed for years that running Angry Asian Man was my full-time gig. Now it actually is. The past twelve months have been one of the most creatively fulfilling periods of my life. It’s also been incredibly challenging.

The Ask

It’s taken me a long time to work up the courage to write this post. Part of it is a hesitation to open up about myself, but the other part is a reluctance to ask for help. I wavered back and forth over whether or not people would be willing to open up their wallets and lend a hand, but as a good friend advised me, I would never know if I didn’t ask. So… this is the part where I ask. Can you help me keep Angry Asian Man going?

I am continually amazed and thankful for your readership. But as this blog has grown, so has the cost of keeping it running. We’re not in danger of going dark or anything, but between escalating server costs and other fees, steering this ship is not cheap. On top of all that, running this site has become my job job — it is partially how I pay the rent, utilities, groceries, etc. This website generates a little bit of cash through banner advertising and affiliate sales — fairly typical, though not particularly lucrative methods of generating blog revenue — but as I assessed the situation, I got to wondering what could happen if I directly appealed to you, my readers.

Would you consider joining with me to help keep Angry Asian Man going? Are you a regular reader? Is this blog a daily destination for you? If you’ve found this site’s content useful, informative, entertaining, provocative and/or valuable, would you consider pitching in with a modest donation? Your generous support will help pay the bills, keep the work going, but most importantly, affirm through your partnership that this work is important and appreciated.

Join the Angry Asian Nation

I’ve set up a donation page with PayPal links. You can make a one-time donation, but it would really help if you signed up to make a recurring monthly automatic donation at a level that works for you. Even a regular contribution of as little as $1 a month will make a difference. You can cancel it anytime.

There’s no paywall, no restricted content. Either way, you can continue to read and enjoy the blog as usual.

Editorially speaking, things around here will continue as usual. There is no squadron of Angry Asian Bloggers — it’s always been pretty much just me, with the help of one awesome, intrepid intern (who receives a tiny stipend). Eventually — with your help? — I’d love to get into a position to take on more paid contributors.

This is a new reality for me, and I thank you for your understanding. Consider this the first of many semi-regular appeals for support. I’d love to set up some kind of nifty reward system, where you get like a tote bag or something for signing up. That’s probably coming. In the meantime, all I’ve got is an honest appeal to your altruism, and the thanks of a grateful blogger. Donate here.

Stay Angry.

Paul Lo, America's First Hmong American Judge, Will Be Sworn In Friday

Paul Lo will be the nation's first Hmong American judge. (Photo credit: UCLA Daily Bruin)

Paul Lo will be the nation’s first Hmong American judge. (Photo credit: UCLA Daily Bruin)

Earlier this year, California Governor Jerry Brown made history when he appointed UCLA Law alumnus Paul Lo to the Merced County Superior Court Bench. Lo, who will be sworn in this Friday, will be the nation’s first Hmong American judge.

Said Karin Wang of Asian Americans Advancing Justice back in Januaryto the UCLA Daily Bruin:

“It is both historic and inspirational to have the nation’s first Hmong American judge in California’s Central Valley, which is home to one of the nation’s largest Hmong populations,” Wang said.

Merced currently has the fifth highest Hmong American population in the United States, according to the 2010 U.S. Census.

Lo immigrated to the United States in 1979 as a non-English speaking immigrant at age 11 as refugees from the Vietnam War. Lo’s family grew up poor and on welfare, but Lo was spurred by a high school teacher to pursue a career in law to help support the Hmong American community.

Lo was admitted to the State Bar of California in 1994 and has been a solo legal practitioner since 2003, according to State Bar records. He earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of California at Davis and his law degree from the University of California at Los Angeles School of Law.

Lo spoke no English when he came to the United States at the age of 11, but eventually mastered the language, working hard through school, college and law school.

He said he appreciates the appointment’s historic relevance, but said it wouldn’t change “the person I am now.”

“I think a lot of people in the Hmong community are very proud of it, but I’m equally excited for the opportunity to serve this community, this town,” Lo said.

Lo’s appointment not only contributes to increasing diversity on the bench in California but also elevates a dedicated community advocate, who has devoted his life towards improving legal rights for Hmong Americans, an often over-looked and marginalized ethnic group within the Asian American community. Although Asian Americans remain underrepresented in state and federal judiciaries, Lo’s appointment is an important step forward.

“(Lo) provides needed diversity for our bench. Our bench is starting to look like the population,” said Judge Brian McCabe of the Merced County Superior Court, who worked with Lo as partners in the same firm.

“My true passion to go into law was to be an advocate for the Hmong community,” he said.

The public is invited to attend Lo’s swearing-in ceremony this Friday, which will take place at 4pm at the Art Kamanger Centre at the Merced Theatre, 301 Main St.

Assemblyman Ron Kim slams Tiger Mom author Amy Chua for sending the wrong message

Help Asian Americans Reclaim our History in the Building of the Transcontinental Railroad!

This historic photograph captured the ceremony celebrating the completion of the transcontinental railroad, which united east and west coasts of this country by a land route for the first time; yet, the thousands of Chinese Americans who helped build the railroad were conspicuously absent. Photo credit: Wikipedia

On May 10th of this year, the transcontinental railroad will be 145 years old. On that day in 1869, track laid by Union Pacific Railroad and Central Pacific Railroad companies finally connected, and insodoing created a railway that spanned 1,928 miles. For the first time in American history, it was possible to travel from coast-to-coast without sailing around the North American continent.

It is estimated that as many as 12,000 Chinese American labourers helped build the transcontinental railroad, predominantly on the West Coast. Working for a fraction of the pay of their non-Asian White counterparts, Chinese “coolie” labourers were assigned some of the most dangerous tasks, including blasting away rocks that lay in the path of the track. Unknown numbers of Chinese American men lost their lives in the course of laying the railroad. This was in part because of ongoing anti-Asian racism among the work crews; White labourers viewed their Chinese American colleagues with disdain,calling them “midgets”, “effeminate” and “monkeys”. Nonetheless, Chinese American labourers participated in the construction of virtually every railroad track on the West coast built during that era.

Yet, when the railroad was completed on May 10th, 1869, an event commemorated in a historical photograph that showed actual railroad workers crowded around the final spike as it is hammered into the ground, Chinese American labourers were left out of the photograph. They were literally erased from history.

Every year on May 10th, that historic photograph is re-created by the park officials who maintain the national park commemorating the site of the Golden Spike ceremony. And every year, park officials refuse to make any specific effort to make the Asian American community visible in the photograph recreation.

Corky Lee has been documenting the Asian American Movement's protest actions and historic moments for over the last 40 years.

Corky Lee has been documenting the Asian American Movement’s protest actions and historic moments for over the last 40 years.

This year, acclaimed Asian American photographer and historian, Corky Lee — whose iconic black-and-white photographs have documented some of the most landmark moments in the political history of Asian America — is organizing a “flashmob” style event to correct the historic wrong of that 1869 Golden Spike Ceremony photograph.

On Saturday, May 10th at 9:30am, Corky is inviting Asian Americans to join him at the Golden Spike National Historic Site in Tremonton, Utah (group transportation is being organized from Salt Lake City). He is hoping to get at least 145 Asian Americans to join him in recreating that historic photograph, but this time with the faces of Asian America front and center!

If you are 1) Asian American, and 2) able to get to Utah on May 10th, I urge you to please come out and help him in making this important project happen! Please help challenge the erasure of Asian Americans from the history of the transcontinental railroad.

Please join (and share)this Facebook Event page to help get the word out.

And, if you are able to make it to Utah on May 10th, please contact Ze Xiao (zxiao [at] slco [dot] org), who is coordinating transportation to the Golden Spike site for Corky’s photograph.

Facebook event here!

Apr 7

E(RACE)D But Not Forgotten REGISTRATION OPEN

Brown University’s conference on Asian Pacific American identity and organizing is happening on April 19! I’ll be making the closing remarks, and you can register for the conference here.

Apr 6

About Ramen and Eggs

Ramen and Eggs is a collection of stories by Asian American college students and alumni. We are telling our stories here and now, with the hope of serving as a guide for current and future generations…

Ramen and Eggs is a collection of stories by Asian American college students and alumni. We are telling our stories here and now, with the hope of serving as a guide for current and future generations of students.

Going to college in America is often thought of as a magical, life-changing experience. Your freshman roommate will be your best friend, you’ll go to all of the crazy frat parties, and you’ll find your academic passion. You’ll finally grow into who you were always meant to be.

But college is a tough time. You might be far from home, and maybe it’s hard to find friends who “get” you. Exams are tough, and you have to figure out how to do laundry. And as an Asian American, you might have a whole set of concerns that your new friends might not understand. Maybe it’s as small as convincing everyone to take off their shoes before they come into your room, and maybe it’s as big as explaining to your parents that you want to change your major.

As an Asian American, college can come with a very particular set of stressors, which can contribute to mental health issues. According to one recent study, second generation Asian Americans are more likely than their immigrant parents to experience mental health difficulties. And yet, Asian Americans are three times less likely than their white counterparts to seek help from mental health professionals.

In many ways, as Asian Americans college grads, this is the archive we wish we’d had as freshmen, the stories we wish we’d known.

To submit your story, please email us at theramenandeggs (at) gmail (dot) com. Submissions must be in .doc, .docx, .txt, or .rtf format.

Storytelling is one of the most moving and powerful things in the world.