WEWoman: Help The Grandmothers’ Stories Be Told

About a month ago, I wrote a post about Within Every Woman (WEWoman), a documentary film project that explores the forgotten history of  “Comfort Women” (also know as “The Grandmothers”).

Filmmakers Tiffany Hsiung and others have  traveled through rural China, the Philippines, and South Korea to meet and document the survivors of what is known as the largest institutionalized rape system in world history. Beyond film production, WEWoman aims to build a movement to bring voices to survivors of sexual violence and connect the audience with a global community of storytellers, educators, and online resources.

WEWoman is very close to raising its $50,000 goal, but if it doesn’t meet this goal by THURSDAY, the project will not be funded. They only need about $2,000 more, so please visit the Kickstarter site here and pledge what you can (and be rewarded with recipes shared by the Grandmothers!) —  it would be a shame for the stories of the Grandmothers to go untold.

Thanks Kevin!


This Is Not A Post About Trey Songz (But I Wish It Were)

Who is Trace Cyrus? I dunno…um I think he’s related to that yodelin’ hillbilly stripper ragamuffin. He looks like this:

Quite unfortunate. And that is an Indian quill breastplate. Seriously.

Now, who is Brenda Song? OK, I think she’s in the Mickey Mouse Club or somesuch?

The google tells me she is a Hmong/Thai American actress, former child model (best job title ever) and indeed has been named “Queen of Disney” by Cosmogirl Magazine (this exists? Barf.) for her roles in shows such as The Suite Life of Zack & Cody and The Suite Life on Deck.  And — oh yea! — she also broke out of the kiddie stuff and into the mainstream with her nuanced portrayal of “Batshit Crazy Slutty Stalkerish Asian Girl” in The Social Network.

But what I’d really like someone to fill me in on is:  how did THIS happen?

Now I like a guy with tasteful neck tattoos just as much as the next gal, but C’MON. This is just douchebaggery to the fullest.

Gross relationship update via Dlisted

Friday Fuckery: Saved by A Kiss

Wow. A 16-year-old boy fixing to jump off a bridge was saved by a stranger who convinced authorities she was his girlfriend in order to get to him. Apparently the 19-year-old girl had tried to commit suicide herself, and told her story to the boy in an effort to dissuade him.  Then while she planted a big ol’ smackeroonie on him, the authorities rushed in and dragged him over the rail. PWNED!

Apparently this is a way more effective technique than the standard “talking someone down”. ¡Y que romántico! Get ready for the K-Drama re-make starring Lee Yo Won and Bae Soo Bin. And I know I’m being a total asshole here, but can this new kiss-whisperer thing be my job?

via Buzzfeed

12% and Growing Coalition Makes NYT Front Page

It’s no revelation that there’s hella Asians throughout the five boroughs. But according to Census 2010 figures, the community has grown to over one million strong (more than the Asian populations of Los Angeles and San Francisco combined), and make up the fastest growing racial group in the city.

photo from YWCA of Queens site

And Asian immigrants aren’t just living in Chinatown Manhattan and Flushing, but forming new ethnic communities in areas like Elmhurst, Sunset Park, Kingsbridge, and Bensonhurst. Yet APAs still struggle for basic services, funding (APA organizations get less 0.25% of the money for city social-service contracts), and political power (there’s currently only one Asian American in the State Legislature, two on City Council, and one in a city-wide post).

One remarkable effort to build power among these growing and extremely diverse populations is through pan-Asian organizing and coalition-building. The 12% and Growing Coalition (it’s actually now closer to 13%) was founded in 2008 and led by advocate dynamos Wayne Ho of Coalition for Asian American Children & Families (CACF) and Steve Choi of Minkwon Center for Community Action. The coalition brings together over 45 APIA orgs, and takes care to balance the needs, priorities, and narratives of each. Check out this article by Kirk Semple that made today’s front page of the NYT.

photo by Marcus Yam for the New York Times

Far from being the “model minority”, NYC APA communities have complex needs and issues such as poverty, overcrowding, access to education, and linguistic isolation. The 12% and Growing Coalition is helping to push those issues onto the City’s agenda.

To learn more about how to become involved with or donate to CACF, Minkwon, or the Coalition’s advocacy in support of NYC APAs, go here or here.

View “Vincent Who?” Online

To honor the 29th anniversary of the death of Vincent Chin (June 23), an online version of Vincent Who? is available for free viewing.  This limited-time offer (until the end of July 2011) is brought to you by Asian Pacific Americans for Progress (APAP) and the producers of the film via a new website: vincentwhomovie.com.

Also on the new site is the touring/screening schedule for 2011-12, more research material on the Vincent Chin case, and ordering information for V. Chin t-shirts from blacklava.

I had a chance to check out a community screening of Vincent Who? a couple months ago (see review here), and I highly, HIGHLY recommend you watch the film. It’s online and free, so you have no excuse!

May we continue to learn from and honor the memory and legacy of Vincent Chin.

Thanks Curtis!

Watch Freedom From Fear Awards on June 18th

The fight for immigration reform is one of the most pressing human rights struggles our communities face today. And the folks who are at the heart and front lines of pushing the movement forward are not politicians and legislators, but everyday people who often incur great risk  to themselves — whether its facing deportation or harassment or vilification from their peers.

Folks like David Cho, a Korean American UCLA drum major who “came out” as undocumented on the steps of LA City Hall. People like Wei Chen, Xu Lin, Bach Tong, and Duong Nghe Le — Philadelphia immigrant high school students — who after being  repeatedly beaten by other students and ignored by school officials, led a boycott and federal lawsuit that forced the district to protect the safety of Asian immigrant students, and who now lead a city-wide campaign for safe schools.

Individuals like Gaby Pacheco, Juan Rodriguez, Felipe Matos and Carlos Roa, undocumented students who walked 1,500 miles from Miami to DC to raise awareness around detention and deportation and the DREAM Act, overcoming constant fear of arrest and anti-immigrant protesters like the Klu Klux Klan. Like Aby Raju, a guest worker hired by a US company and living in an isolated labor camp, who helped 250 others escape and traveled on foot from New Orleans to DC, launching a month-long hunger strike and testifying against abusive labor traffickers.

The Freedom From Fear Awards honors these and other “unsung heroes” or “ordinary people who have committed extraordinary acts of courage on behalf of immigrants and refugees — individuals who have taken a risk, set an example, and inspired others to awareness or action.”  Several Freedom from Fear Award winners will speak during the closing session of Netroots Nation on Saturday June 18th in Minneapolis, an annual conference which attracts several thousand progressive bloggers and organizers.

You can tune into the livestream at 5 pm Central Time here or on the Netroots site here. Find more info on the Freedom From Fear Award and its courageous winners here. Turn on, tune in, and take action.

Dawen & Beau Sia’s New Video and Re-Elect Jay Chen!

Like Dawen enough to see him live? Lucky you! You can check him out at the re-elect Jay Chen fundraiser in Rowland Heights on June 22. Details below:


New Capital Seafood
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
Reception 6:30 PM, Banquet 7:30 PM
1330 Fullerton Road, Rowland Heights, CA 91748


Donate online: http://www.facebook.com/l/b62daSLOmlQPIXGMmKFKYLFI0OA/www.electjaychen.com/donations.html

Please contact electjaychen@gmail.com or 626-513-2114 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting            626-513-2114      end_of_the_skype_highlighting if you have any questions.