“Highlighting” the Fight Against Ebola

Kevin Tyan, Jason Kang, and Katherine Jin, founders of Kinnos. (Photo credit: Columbia Engineering/Tim Lee Photographers)

By Guest Contributor: Andrew Cha

In 2014, the West African countries of Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone suffered the worst outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus since the disease’s discovery in 1976. Due to local poverty and the lack of public health infrastructure, the pandemic spread quickly, with one thousand new cases every week, twenty-eight thousand cases in total, and over eleven thousand deaths.

The Ebola epidemic triggered a worldwide response. The United States committed to the largest sum for assistance and relief efforts of any country with its appropriation of 5.4 billion dollars to fight the outbreak. The US Agency for International Development (USAID), the Center for Diseases Control (CDC), and the Department of Defense were all mobilized to set up a response infrastructure on the ground to contain the outbreak. At the international level, the United Nations and the World Health Organization coordinated a global response to the Ebola outbreak, designating it the “number one global crisis for the United Nations.” The World Bank also pledged a two hundred thirty million dollar aid package for affected countries in West Africa.

The sheer scale of the US and UN response to the Ebola crisis was critical to getting the pandemic under control, but some of the most innovative and beneficial proposals to combat the epidemic arose from the minds of some innovative Asian-American millennials. The United States Agency for International Development sponsored a “Fighting Ebola Grand Challenge,” in 2014 in which citizens from across the nation could propose new ideas to battle Ebola. Three Columbia University students, Jason Kang, Kevin Tyan, and Katherine Jin, were selected from over fifteen hundred applicants, for their invention called “Highlight.”

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Mother Kicked Off Spirit Airlines Flight For Breastfeeding

Houston-area mother Mei Rui. (Photo credit: KHOU)

The holiday travel season is just around the corner, and so too will likely be air travel horror stories.

In recent years, stories of unconscionable treatment by airline and airport staff against paying airplane passengers  have rocked social media. Too often, those harassed passengers are Asian American.

Who could forget, for example, the story of Dr. David Dao, who was bloodied by airport security before being dragged off a full United Airlines flight? Or, the story of Anila Daulatzai, a Pakistani American Muslim, who was forcibly removed from a Southwest Airlines plane because she told flight attendants she was allergic to two dogs traveling on the flight? Or, the experiences of Sikh American actor Waris Ahluwalia, who was inexplicably prevented from boarding his flight from Mexico last year?

This week, it happened again.

Houston-area mother, Mei Rui, was traveling with her two-year old toddler and her elderly parents on a Spirit Airlines flight from Houston to Newark last week when she and her family was removed from their seats for breastfeeding.

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Respect Must be Earned: BTS’ Journey Towards Gaining its Stripes in Black America

K-pop group BTS

By Guest Contributor: Monique Jones (@moniqueblognet)

A version of this post first appeared on Just Add Color.

When I first wrote my article about BTS coming to the American Music Awards, I was excited to see this famous K-pop group that I’d heard so much about. I was happy that they would have the chance to perform on a major international stage like the AMAs. I believed that this appearance would serve as the biggest stepping stone yet for K-pop’s eventual domination of American airwaves. As I wrote on Twitter after BTS’ performance (and after I saw the crowd whipped into a frenzy), this must have been what seeing the Beatles for the first time was like.

BTS has been on a roll since their big AMAs debut. They’ve hob-knobbed with R&B it-boy Khalid, and they have released a track featuring Desiigner and Steve Aoki,”Mic Drop”. Everything’s going well; or, it’s going well for BTS, anyways.

The rest of K-pop, however, still hasn’t really “made it” in the States. While one might speculate as to the many reasons why K-pop has failed to penetrate the American music landscape — language barriers; stereotypes about Asian performers held by music executives; general American disinterest towards international music that isn’t British or Canadian — one major reason deserves more discussion: K-pop, as a whole, has a race problem.

So, how is BTS overcoming it?

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Rep. Judy Chu Arrested at Rally Demanding Passage of Clean DREAM Act

Representative Judy Chu (red scarf) joins other activists on the steps of the Capitol Building at an immigration rights demonstration earlier today. (Photo credit: Sarah D. Wire / Instagram)

Representative Judy Chu, the first Chinese American woman elected to the US Congress and the current chairperson of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC), was arrested earlier today on the steps of the Capitol Building. Chu was attending a demonstration demanding the passage of a clean DREAM Act to protect thousands of DACA recipients facing uncertainty and possible deportation after President Trump announced he was ending the program instituted by the Obama administration.

According to a photo and article posted by Los Angeles Times‘ Congressional reporter Sarah D. Wire, Chu was seated in the front row of the demonstration holding a banner that read “Defend Our Immigrant Communities” when she was arrested. She was arrested by Capitol Police after the protesters were repeatedly ordered to disperse.

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Yes, All Women. Asian-American Women, Too.

BetterBrave.com’s Tammy Chao, Grace Choi, and Annie Shin created the site as a resource for women who have experienced sexual harassment in the workplace. (Photo credit: Huffington Post)
BetterBrave.com’s Tammy Cho, Grace Choi, and Annie Shin created the site as a resource for women who have experienced sexual harassment in the workplace. (Photo credit: Huffington Post)

By Guest Contributor: Tiffany J. Huang (@tiffjhuang)

In recent weeks, a cascade of sexual harassment accusations against powerful men has reached seemingly every corner of the public sphere. But this outpouring of stories about workplace sexual harassment isn’t new. In 2012, one workplace harassment case, brought forth by an Asian American woman working in venture capital, inspired scores of women to step forward with their own stories of sexual harassment in the workplace. Yet these stories, often told by other Asian American women, have not entered the national conversation about workplace sexual harassment with anything resembling the level of attention now being granted to the issue.

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