Tag Archives: education

Memorial of “Chinese Remembering” at Oregon’s Chinese Massacre Cove

 

Chinese Remembering

I came a cross a video and article on 8asians  today that stopped me.  A memorial will be put into “Chinese Massacre Cove” near Wallowa, Oregon in June 2012 to commemorate the 30+ Chinese victims of a heinous hate crime in 1887. These innocent Chinese miners were shot and hacked up by a group of white frontiersmen with axes.  The men stole all of the gold that the Chinese people had and threw the bodies in the Snake River, where they drifted downstream to Lewiston, Idaho.

Not only am I shocked to hear about such a horrible hate crime lurking in Oregon’s very own backyard, but appalled that I’ve never even heard of this.  If public schools can only provide us with textbooks that include a single paragraph of the contributions that Chinese and other Asian Americans and immigrants have provided our nation, couldn’t we at least have documentaries and books about such local histories?  APIs have had a great influence on history and society in the Northwest, yet I never have the opportunity to learn about my own local community because few seem to realize that impact.  I’ve even taken Asian American history courses in college and never have issues of hate crimes and experiences of Asian Americans specific to Oregon been largely touched on.

As a community, then, the task of historical preservation has been  given to us.  As stated in the “NW Profiles” video, the annual event to honor those Chinese victims of Chinese Massacre Cove draws mostly non-Chinese, non-Asian American participants.  While the gesture of creating such events by allies is appreciated, isn’t it time that we begin making our own histories and voices heard?  Perhaps it is time that Oregon understand its history is very intertwined with the API community.

 

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Jillian Toda is an Oregonian from the Columbia River Gorge, where her great grandparents farmed upon arriving to America from Japan.   She is currently a student at Willamette University majoring in Rhetoric and Media Studies, with a minor in American Ethnic Studies.  In her spare time, she’s an MBA candidate at Atkinson Graduate School of Management.
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Halloween Campaign Sheds Light on Old Isssue

Since it’s Halloween weekend, I thought this was quite relevant.  I’m sure most people has seen this by now—the Ohio University students who created this Halloween costume campaign are now everywhere.   The images from the campaign have gone viral and have even caught mainstream media attention: http://www.cnn.com/2011/10/26/living/halloween-ethnic-costumes/?hpt=us_t4

There has been a lot of debate over the legitimacy of the campaign.  Some are very enthusiastic about the campaign, saying that this message is very fitting for Halloween, but should be a take-away for all 365 days of the year.  Others say that since the movement was generated by a very small number of students (a group of only about ten passionate students) that this cannot possibly represent the perspective of all students of color.  In essence, some people think that this means it is still okay to wear racist costumes that demean, simplify, mock, and misrepresent entire peoples.  Many still believe that these caricatured representations are just simply not racist at all.

Every Halloween costumes become an issue, yet there is also always an equal amount of resistance to social justice work trying to abolish such racist outfits.  Of course, ignorance in society makes it easy for some people to claim that Halloween is just one day out of the year where people can become whoever they want to be, that it’s what the holiday actually is all about.  Yet, beyond just this one day, don’t we see continuing appropriation of cultures, misrepresentation of races?  There may be small victories here and there, which feel very good, but what about the deeper sentiment that these fights allude to?  That our society doesn’t care about how people of color are represented because society gets to define those images for us?  This is especially true for our API community that is constantly defined by everything from our eyes, skin, hair to parenting styles, languages/accents, and even food.  Bottom line: we want to represent ourselves in society, so let’s tell others when we’re being misrepresented.  This Halloween, educate some geisha/chinaman-impersonating fool about why they shouldn’t wear racist costumes or clothing.  Ever.

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Jillian Toda is an Oregonian from the Columbia River Gorge, where her great grandparents farmed upon arriving to America from Japan.   She is currently a student at Willamette University majoring in Rhetoric and Media Studies, with a minor in American Ethnic Studies.  In her spare time, she’s an MBA candidate at Atkinson Graduate School of Management.

Bao Phi and spoken resistance

Bao Phi, a Vietnamese American spoken word artist, released a great video for his piece “No Question.”  The animated video was produced by Ash Hsie, and is really powerful.

The piece deserves recognition in how it sheds light on issues of how the historical racism and oppression of Southeast Asians transfer to contemporary society and API’s.  Boa Phi’s poetry sits at the crossroads of Asian American identity, politics, cultural education and expression.  To read more about this inspirational artist and activist, visit his website, http://www.baophi.com/, and think about picking up your pre-ordered copy of his first published book of poems, Song I Sing.

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Jillian Toda is an Oregonian from the Columbia River Gorge, where her great grandparents farmed upon arriving to America from Japan.   She is currently a student at Willamette University earning a B.A. in Rhetoric and Media Studies, with a minor in American Ethnic Studies, while also working toward an M.B.A. at Atkinson Graduate School of Management in Salem, OR.   New to blogging, Jillian’s personal blog can be found at http://reality-plus-me.blogspot.com/

What is being APIA?

A post in Angry Asian Man yesterday touched on issues previously and currently affecting the APIA community.  While Phil Yu is on vacation, he enlisted California Assemblymember, Warren Furutani, to write a guest post.

Furutani’s article nicely synthesizes and summarizes the emergence of the APIA identity, and how we should move toward the future having had those past experiences.  He also proposes that APIA’s should look for ways to include other/all groups in our solidarity.  The piece is empowering and can be summed up by its great last lines:

How do we define Asian and Pacific Islander America? It is dynamic and ever changing based upon our collective changing American experience. We can define it any way we want.

Read the whole entry here.

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Jillian Toda is an Oregonian from the Columbia River Gorge, where her great grandparents farmed upon arriving to America from Japan.   She is currently a student at Willamette University earning a B.A. in Rhetoric and Media Studies, with a minor in American Ethnic Studies, while also working toward an M.B.A. at Atkinson Graduate School of Management in Salem, OR.   New to blogging, Jillian’s personal blog can be found at http://reality-plus-me.blogspot.com/

HIV and APIA women

Some really interesting research has been conducted by Dr. Hyeouk Chris Hahm, a professor at Boston University.  She is the lead investigator of the API Women’s Sexual Health Initiative Project and has found that API women are four times more likely than API men to contract HIV.

While there are various reasons for this figure–such as the fact that API women generally tend to become sexually active later in life than other women and some choose not to use condoms–one main concern is the “model minority” myth.  Hahm sees API women thinking that they’re “invincible” because of this idea of being the model minority in society, and this thinking can also be taken on by doctors.  API women, according to Hahm’s research in Massachusetts, are the least likely to get tested for HIV than women of all other races.  This may in part be due to the lack of encouragement from doctors and other healthcare workers.  More can be read here.

This issue is very prevalent today, especially in Oregon where healthcare that can cater to APIs is very few and far between.  Cultural sensitivity within healthcare facilities in Oregon is something APANO has advocated for, and is extremely important for the API community to stand behind.

For further information on HIV and API women, go to http://www.bu.edu/ssw/2011/02/16/faculty-study-works-to-identify-hiv-risk-behaviors-in-asian-american-women/ 

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Jillian Toda is an Oregonian from the Columbia River Gorge, where her great grandparents farmed upon arriving to America from Japan.   She is currently a student at Willamette University earning a B.A. in Rhetoric and Media Studies, with a minor in American Ethnic Studies, while also working toward an M.B.A. at Atkinson Graduate School of Management in Salem, OR.   New to blogging, Jillian’s personal blog can be found at http://reality-plus-me.blogspot.com/

Asian American Justice Center presents Youth Empowerment Fund

Calling all APIA youth who are active in projects focused on serving the APIA community!  The Asian American Justice Center’s Youth Advisory Council is offering grants up to $500 through their Youth Empowerment Fund.

If you’re interested, you can download the application here: http://www.divshare.com/download/15456826-cd7  For more information on the Youth Advisory Council, visit their facebook page.

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis and should be submitted at least two months before the funding is needed so that there will be enough time to review your submission.   It sounds like a great opportunity–time to start thinking up some great projects and programs!

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Jillian Toda is a native Oregonian from the Columbia River Gorge, where her great grandparents farmed upon arriving to America from Japan.   She is currently a student at Willamette University earning a B.A. in Rhetoric and Media Studies, with a minor in American Ethnic Studies.  She is also working toward an M.B.A. at Atkinson Graduate School of Management in Salem, OR.   New to blogging, Jillian’s personal blog can be found at http://reality-plus-me.blogspot.com/

New Media: how will it affect API’s?

A news segment had included coverage about Indiana public schools getting rid of cursive writing education, instead opting for keyboard proficiency.  Read more here.

While the increasing move from penmanship to keyboard words-per-minute affects all of the US, I  wanted to jump in with some food for thought on how it will specifically affect API’s.   After all,  in a study by the School of Communication at Northwestern University, research showed that Asian Americans–on average–had the most computer use out of other American youth of different races (although the study only used white, black, and Hispanic).  So, my question is whether this increased use of new media and technology among API’s will result in a shift of culture.

Already, we live in an age in which children as young as six begin computer proficiency education in school.  We can type, and it’s great, but what are the implications for those of us who live in multicultural homes.  While I’m a boring monolinguist, I’ve talked to a couple friends about how difficult it is to keep up with writing in Chinese or other Asian languages that have characters.  My Auntie is Korean, but she never writes it since her computer keyboard allows her to type in Korean or English.

Language is extremely important to us, and living in an era of texting, typing, and Tweet talk may be robbing some of us of fundamental ties to our cultures.  Perhaps we’re not quite there yet (phew!), but the way society is going–like how I can electronically sign important documents for school loans, but my cursive writing looks horrible–we may need to think more deeply about new areas of cultural preservation in the future.

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Jillian Toda is a native Oregonian from the Columbia River Gorge, where her great grandparents farmed upon arriving to America from Japan.   She is currently a student at Willamette University earning a B.A. in Rhetoric and Media Studies, with a minor in American Ethnic Studies.  She is also working toward an M.B.A. at Atkinson Graduate School of Management in Salem, OR.   New to blogging, Jillian’s personal blog can be found at http://reality-plus-me.blogspot.com/