Memo to Non-Asians: Jeannie Mai is not Brenda Song, and Riz Ahmed is not Dev Patel | #NotAllTheSame

February 13, 2017
Jeannie Mai (left, at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week, photo credit: Style Bistro) and Brenda Song (right, photo credit: Twist Magazine)

It’s only been a month since racist Trump trolls misidentified a woman at Rex Tillerson’s confirmation hearing as Washington Post editor Doris TruongInside Climate News’ Lisa Songtravel and parenting writer Leslie Hsu Oh, or basically any East Asian woman journalist of any prominence — and already people who think all Asians are the same person are at it again.

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Beyond Hope: Fighting Within a Fascist America

February 10, 2017
Aerial view of the Women’s March in DC on January 21, 2017. (Photo credit: Chang W. Lee/The New York Times)

By Guest Contributor: Sudip Bhattacharya

“Sudip, what’s going to happen to us? Can he really create a registry…?”

The words stuck to my ribs as nausea gripped me.

It was meant to be a typical Friday night. My friends and I met at the local IHOP, as we often did, with plans to crack jokes about Nicholas Cage or perform impressions of Batman ordering pancakes. Instead, we sat, staring at our plates. I was the one studying politics in grad school, so my two friends — who are Muslim and South Asian American — asked me about what was next. We had grown up together in central New Jersey, where we had spent carefree weekends at shopping malls and exploring random towns along Route 1. Yet, that evening, I saw the lines on their faces deepen with anxious creases.

I would’ve been lying if I encouraged them to sense a light at the end of the tunnel, when clearly, everything we believed was collapsing before our eyes. I shifted the conversation, asking them about a trip they were planning. I tried listening, while realizing that since the election of Trump, my capacity for hope was extinguished.

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Renowned Novelist Bharati Mukherjee Dies at 76

February 1, 2017
Bharati Mukherjee

Bharati Mukherjee, author of prominent novels such as Jasmine and The Tiger’s Daughter, died on January 28, 2017. She was 76.

Mukherjee was born in Kolkata, India and graduated from the University of Calcutta in 1959 and a Master’s from the University of Baroda. Mukherjee pursued additional graduate degrees in the United States, receiving a Master’s of Fine Arts from the University of Iowa’s Iowa Writers’ Workshop and a doctorate in Comparative Literature from the same school.

Mukherjee is perhaps best known for her novel, Jasmine, which was published in 1989 and which explores the shifting identities of a young Indian woman as she seeks to find her place while growing up in America. Jasmine received widespread acclaim for its exploration of Asian American female identity — and specifically, Indian American female identity —  when the genre of Asian American fiction was still in its infancy. The book also holds personal resonance for its formative role in my own growth as a student of Asian American literature and history, and for its unapologetic centering of a South Asian American female protagonist during a time in American literature when such writing was virtually unheard of.

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Apply to Conference on Asian Pacific American Leadership (CAPAL)’s Scholarship and Internship Programs!

January 31, 2017

Are you looking for an awesome opportunity to learn more about and build a career in AAPI public service and civic engagement? The Conference on Asian Pacific American Leadership (CAPAL) is now accepting applications for its 2016 Public Service Scholarship and Internship Programs.

CAPAL’s Scholarship and Internship programs are great opportunities for students to gain exposure and real-world experience in government and public service and to receive funding for their internships. The programs also include weekly leadership seminars, networking opportunities, and individual mentorship.

Here are some more details about the programs:

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Senator Hirono, Will You Join Our Resistance? | #DearMyAAPIRep

January 27, 2017
Photo credit: Twitter

By Guest Contributor: Mark Tseng Putterman (@tsengputterman)

Dear Senator Hirono (@mazieforhawaii),

On inauguration day, you promised your commitment to “resist any attempt the President makes to dismantle the progress we’ve made” on issues of health care, immigrant rights, civil rights, and economic justice. The next day, you joined hundreds of thousands of women and supporters at the Women’s March in D.C. — tweeting: “Aloha trumps hate & we will not back down”.

These admirable sentiments are all the more powerful coming from you, our first Asian American woman senator, and a longtime advocate for Asian American and Pacific Islander communities. But in these times of political crisis, we know that every single vote counts.

That’s why I was so disappointed to see that on January 20, the same day you promised to resist Trump’s anti-immigrant agenda, you used your vote to help confirm his nominee, John Kelly, as Secretary of Homeland Security.   

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