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Written by on December 17, 2012

Don’t Shoot. They Want To Grow Up

A stage. About 20 persons. Theme: stopping violence. But how? A police officer who lost a child to violence. A probation officer. Two doctors. A gangbanger leading a new life. A mother of a child in an Illinois Youth Center. A neighborhood activist. A woman who turned her home into a place for kids to […]

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Written by on November 29, 2012

Rhythms of the Season

Rhythms of the Season Comments Off on Rhythms of the Season

After a long trip away from home, one of the first things I always do upon our return is take all the kids to buy groceries at our favorite Chinese grocery store. I love watching them zip around, squealing as they load up our basket, “Ooooh! It’s been so long since we’ve had cong you bing!” “Xiao long bao! I want xiao long bao!” and “I haven’t seen this kind of zhu rou gan in soooooo long!”

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Written by on September 13, 2012

Asian Pacific American Community Reflections Thirty Years after Beating Death of Vincent Chin

Asian Pacific American Community Reflections Thirty Years after Beating Death of Vincent Chin Comments Off on Asian Pacific American Community Reflections Thirty Years after Beating Death of Vincent Chin

The Vincent Chin case was a shocking wake-up call for Asian Americans of all ethnicities who suddenly realized the brutal consequences of the “all Asians look alike” stereotype and anti-Asian slurs. Coming to America, working hard, and keeping your head down per the model minority stereotype was not enough. This could have happened to anyone. However, thirty years later, the Vincent Chin case has become a staple of Asian American Studies courses; the community has grown, developed, and organized; legal changes have been made. Yet still there is much work to be done.

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Written by on June 27, 2012

Crossing boundaries and standing up for justice together. NoH8. Remembering Vincent Chin

Crossing boundaries and standing up for justice together. NoH8. Remembering Vincent Chin Comments Off on Crossing boundaries and standing up for justice together. NoH8. Remembering Vincent Chin

Such a diverse group of the folks participated in the walk—many races, many ages, many religions, many orientations. Some of the older people actually remembered Vincent Chin from when he was waiting tables at the Golden Star Restaurant. To them, he was a guy from the neighborhood, a guy they knew. The younger people were shocked that such a thing could happen, that a man could kill another man because of the way he looked and never spend a day in jail. As I told the story of the Vincent Chin case, I encouraged folks to see past differences and recognize that we all have a lot more in common than not. We cannot always afford the luxury of dividing down various lines, keeping in our separate groups. Rather, there is power in coalitions and alliances. We are all in this together.

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Written by on June 18, 2012

Helping Asian American girls and women navigate a crossroads of stereotypes and expectations

Helping Asian American girls and women navigate a crossroads of stereotypes and expectations Comments Off on Helping Asian American girls and women navigate a crossroads of stereotypes and expectations

Together we worried about young women finding themselves, staying safe, having fun, demanding to be treated with respect, and cultivating their characters and self-esteem. It is not easy, especially with all the different messages they get. Figuring this out may be more complicated for Asian American girls and women because they live at such a crossroads of different stereotypes and expectations—for Asians, Americans, Asian Americans, Asian American girls, Asian American women, girls and women, daughters and partners, etc.— many of which are contradictory. Talking about race is not enough, nor is talking about gender. We need to talk about both.

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Written by on April 13, 2012

Preparing our children for the bullying and hate crimes we hope never come

Preparing our children for the bullying and hate crimes we hope never come Comments Off on Preparing our children for the bullying and hate crimes we hope never come

Time to review the skills I teach my children in preparation for the bullying and hate crimes I hope never come. Because when it happens, one can never think quickly enough, these skills have to already be there…. [For example:]
The Exact Words: Whether or not a bullying incident or crime is racially motivated needs proof, usually in the form of the words spoken at the time of attack, including threats and slurs. When my children tell stories around the dinner table, I often ask, “What did she say, exactly?” especially when it seems like they might be exaggerating or generalizing. (This is a useful skill for future journalists, too.)

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Written by on April 6, 2012

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