Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center

Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center We're the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center – a cultural lab for the art, history, culture & potential of Asian Pacific America. While on-topic discussion is encouraged, we ask that you express yourself in a civil manner and treat other users with respect.
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Operating as usual

06/01/2021
If you are someone who shares our belief in the importance of accessibility and elevating #AAPI history, art, and cultur...
05/28/2021

If you are someone who shares our belief in the importance of accessibility and elevating #AAPI history, art, and culture with the world, then make a gift today to support the work of the Center! Thanks to the contributions of our community, we're only $1,200 away from reaching our goal. The pledge drive ends on Monday!

By supporting the Center you are powering:
• collaboration with community artists & educators
• the creation of free lesson plans, activities, & webinars that can be used in-person or online learning
• youth media camps that present and elevate Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander histories, art, & culture
• real-life learning experiences for students through our museum internship opportunities

To learn more about the pledge drive and to make a gift today, click the link below!

https://smithsonianapa.org/pledge2021/

If you are someone who shares our belief in the importance of accessibility and elevating #AAPI history, art, and culture with the world, then make a gift today to support the work of the Center! Thanks to the contributions of our community, we're only $1,200 away from reaching our goal. The pledge drive ends on Monday!

By supporting the Center you are powering:
• collaboration with community artists & educators
• the creation of free lesson plans, activities, & webinars that can be used in-person or online learning
• youth media camps that present and elevate Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander histories, art, & culture
• real-life learning experiences for students through our museum internship opportunities

To learn more about the pledge drive and to make a gift today, click the link below!

https://smithsonianapa.org/pledge2021/

Philippine-born, Auckland-based Marc Conaco is a graphic designer, illustrator and aspiring farmer who is on a steady jo...
05/26/2021

Philippine-born, Auckland-based Marc Conaco is a graphic designer, illustrator and aspiring farmer who is on a steady journey of indigenization centered on learning about his pre-colonial history and culture. His zines and illustrations centre on the heritage of his ancestors and the importance of keeping their stories alive.

Marc Conaco’s practice looks at pre-colonial cultural traditions from the Visayas, a cluster of islands in the middle of the Philippines, an important place within his family history. He explores indigenous mythology, tattoo cultures and a pre-colonial Visayan writing system known as Suwat Bisaya or Badlit within his illustrations and design, highlighting and reviving the knowledge structures that have been lost through the Spanish colonization of the Philippines.

This May, the Center is asking for your support towards our pledge drive to deepen the breadth and reach of our educational resources. When you give to the pledge drive, you are eligible to receive a limited-edition art print bundle from artist Marc Conaco. This limited-edition bundle includes 15 prints and an accompanying zine from the series Ang Babaylan Nga Nahimong Bayot, adapted from Te Whāinga, the #CultureLab collaboration with Auckland Museum in Tāmaki Makaurau. *Please note, this thank you gift is only available while supplies last.

Click the link in our bio to donate today!

#Bisaya #Indigenization #Decolonization #Donate #Q***r #Philippines #Diaspora #APAHM #AAPIHeritageMonth #AAPIHM

https://smithsonianapa.org/pledge2021/

Philippine-born, Auckland-based Marc Conaco is a graphic designer, illustrator and aspiring farmer who is on a steady journey of indigenization centered on learning about his pre-colonial history and culture. His zines and illustrations centre on the heritage of his ancestors and the importance of keeping their stories alive.

Marc Conaco’s practice looks at pre-colonial cultural traditions from the Visayas, a cluster of islands in the middle of the Philippines, an important place within his family history. He explores indigenous mythology, tattoo cultures and a pre-colonial Visayan writing system known as Suwat Bisaya or Badlit within his illustrations and design, highlighting and reviving the knowledge structures that have been lost through the Spanish colonization of the Philippines.

This May, the Center is asking for your support towards our pledge drive to deepen the breadth and reach of our educational resources. When you give to the pledge drive, you are eligible to receive a limited-edition art print bundle from artist Marc Conaco. This limited-edition bundle includes 15 prints and an accompanying zine from the series Ang Babaylan Nga Nahimong Bayot, adapted from Te Whāinga, the #CultureLab collaboration with Auckland Museum in Tāmaki Makaurau. *Please note, this thank you gift is only available while supplies last.

Click the link in our bio to donate today!

#Bisaya #Indigenization #Decolonization #Donate #Q***r #Philippines #Diaspora #APAHM #AAPIHeritageMonth #AAPIHM

https://smithsonianapa.org/pledge2021/

Music carries a special power—to physically and emotionally move us. It connects us to other people and places. Our team...
05/20/2021
The Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center Calls Upon Its Community to Share the Power of Music

Music carries a special power—to physically and emotionally move us. It connects us to other people and places. Our team at Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center beckoned to friends from near and afar to compile this playlist as we emerged from a year in which we were forced to stay physically apart, as we mourn the losses we have individually and collectively suffered, as we continue to grapple with persistent injustice and hate.

Accept this playlist as an extension of our #ArtCarePackage. Through these tracks, we call up the ancestors, stay present and look to the future. We invite you to explore the diverse ways through which Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders use music for affirmation and consolation, as a call to action and to find their joy.

We are grateful to all the contributors for coming through and so openly sharing, and for helping us find a way forward through art. Click the link in bio to read about each song selection at Smithsonian Magazine and hear the whole playlist on Spotify or YouTube.

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smithsonian-institution/smithsonian-asian-pacific-american-center-calls-upon-its-community-share-power-music-180977716/

#Playlist #Smithsonian #APAHM #AAPIHM #AAPIHeritageMonth #Traktivist TRAKTIVIST.com #Beckoning #Joy #Sorrow #Rage #Resistance #StopAsianHate

As an antidote for these times, 43 songs honoring joy, sorrow, rage and resistance

As we mark another commemoration of #APAHM, we have to acknowledge how this time feels different. A global pandemic has ...
05/10/2021
Standing Together for AAPI Heritage Month - Standing Together

As we mark another commemoration of #APAHM, we have to acknowledge how this time feels different. A global pandemic has shaken our communities to the core, revealing long-standing and often unacknowledged inequalities. Our families in Atlanta, Indianapolis, and throughout the nation continue to shoulder the pain of losing loved ones to violence and harassment. Please remember to take time to support each other as we try to make sense of these times. Usually, these month-long events in May have been wonderful ways to gather up our voices to celebrate achievements. We would share songs, food, ritual, and stories. And while this year we grieve, let us also strive to find the humanity in each other. We wish to see the fullness of who we have been, who we are, and who we can still be. We are more than what has been done to us. We bear witness to and participate in calls for racial equality, justice, and much-needed kindness and healing. Our Asian American and Pacific Islander traditions demonstrate unity and care for each other. On behalf of everyone at the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center, I invite you to live out these ideals with us not only in May, but throughout the year. [A message from @SmithsonianAPA’s Interim Director, Theo Gonzalves]

Head to the smithsonianapa.org/stand to access a calendar of events across the #Smithsonian in commemoration of APAHM and for a growing collection of free resources created to support community education and self-care throughout the year. #AAPIHeritageMonth #AAPIHM
• • • • •

This May, the Center is asking for your support towards our pledge drive to deepen the breadth and reach of our educational resources. By supporting the Center you are powering:

• collaboration with community artists & educators

• the creation of free lesson plans, activities, & webinars that can be used in in-person or online learning

• youth media camps that present and elevate Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander histories, art, & culture

• real-life learning experiences for students through our internship opportunities

To learn more about the pledge drive and to donate today, head to our website!

The Smithsonian Institution mourns the loss of eight people—seven of them women, six of whom were of Asian descent—who were killed last week when a gunman opened fire inside three spas located in Georgia.

04/30/2021

The Diasporic Vietnamese Artists Network (DVAN) is collaborating with the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American (APA) Center to host ACCENTEDiRL: Dialogues in Diaspora.

This Spring 2021, ACCENTEDiRL will feature authors, artists, poets, and cultural producers across the Southeast Asian diaspora in a series of four free virtual events hosted on Facebook Live and YouTube, hosted by Pulitzer-prize winning author Viet Thanh Nguyen.

This project blends DVAN’s ACCENTED: Dialogues in Diaspora show with the Smithsonian APA Center’s Heritage iRL to engage with audiences from across the world in intimate, lively conversations about culture, heritage, and narrative.

This third installation of ACCENTEDiRL will center diasporic writers’ memories and reflections of April 30th, 1975, the liminality of refugees, and postmemories. Grab a drink and join groundbreaking authors Lan Cao, Duong Van Mai Elliott, Le Ly Hayslip, and Marcelino Truong as we transcend and travel through time to that fateful day.

Why is it important to identify the existence and evolution of caste apartheid in America? How has caste been perpetuate...
04/27/2021

Why is it important to identify the existence and evolution of caste apartheid in America? How has caste been perpetuated amongst South Asian Americans throughout history? How have Dalit activists applied lessons learned from Black American liberation movements to advocate for their communities?

In the latest video of our educational series, "We are not a stereotype," Dalit rights activist, transmedia storyteller, technologist, and artist Thenmozhi Soundararajan breaks down the impact of caste discrimination in the United States throughout history and modern-day times. Watch as Thenmozhi takes us through a timeline of caste in America, calling forth the need to recognize and dismantle this system for a more equitable future. Follow the link to access the complete presentation and to learn about Thenmozhi’s work at Equality Labs: https://smithsonianapa.org/learn/not-a-stereotype/

Thenmozhi's presentation was recorded in the fall of 2020 and includes stories about the harsh treatment of Dalits in the United States and around the world, and covers the sexual assault and abuse of Dalit women. *We acknowledge that this content may be disturbing, and we encourage you to care for your well-being before and during this talk.*

Stay tuned for more videos and join the conversation: #BreakingAPABias

#CasteApartheid #SouthAsians #Dalit #Smithsonian #Education #KnowYourHistory #WeAreNotAStereotype #NotAMonolith #Stereotypes #AAPI #APA

Why is it important to identify the existence and evolution of caste apartheid in America? How has caste been perpetuated amongst South Asian Americans throughout history? How have Dalit activists applied lessons learned from Black American liberation movements to advocate for their communities?

In the latest video of our educational series, "We are not a stereotype," Dalit rights activist, transmedia storyteller, technologist, and artist Thenmozhi Soundararajan breaks down the impact of caste discrimination in the United States throughout history and modern-day times. Watch as Thenmozhi takes us through a timeline of caste in America, calling forth the need to recognize and dismantle this system for a more equitable future. Follow the link to access the complete presentation and to learn about Thenmozhi’s work at Equality Labs: https://smithsonianapa.org/learn/not-a-stereotype/

Thenmozhi's presentation was recorded in the fall of 2020 and includes stories about the harsh treatment of Dalits in the United States and around the world, and covers the sexual assault and abuse of Dalit women. *We acknowledge that this content may be disturbing, and we encourage you to care for your well-being before and during this talk.*

Stay tuned for more videos and join the conversation: #BreakingAPABias

#CasteApartheid #SouthAsians #Dalit #Smithsonian #Education #KnowYourHistory #WeAreNotAStereotype #NotAMonolith #Stereotypes #AAPI #APA

This blue cotton turban belonged to Balbir Singh Sodi, a Sikh gas station owner, who was shot to death in Mesa, Arizona,...
04/23/2021

This blue cotton turban belonged to Balbir Singh Sodi, a Sikh gas station owner, who was shot to death in Mesa, Arizona, days after the Twin Tower attacks on September 11, 2001. His death is recognized as one of the first acts of retaliation targeting Arab Americans, Muslim Americans and South Asian Americans after 9/11. The turban was donated to the National Museum of American History by his family.

Offered by Rana Singh Sodhi
Photo Credit: Richard Strauss, National Museum of American History

#SikhAmericans
• • • • •

Once again we are in mourning after yet another act of violence against Asian Americans. As we at SmithsonianAPA process and mourn last week’s attack in Indianapolis, we underscore the fact that our communities include South Asians, Southeast Asians, and Central Asian Americans.

We honor the eight victims in Indianapolis, at least four of whom were part of the local Sikh community. We extend our condolences to the families of Matthew R. Alexander, Samaria Blackwell, Amarjeet Kaur Johal, Jasvinder Kaur, Jaswinder Singh, Amarjit Kaur Sekhon, Karli Smith, and John Weisert.

As we recall the killing of Balbir Singh Sodhi and many others following 9/11, the Wisconsin Sikh temple shooting in 2012, and the ongoing racial profiling of Sikh Americans, we recognize that hate and violence against Sikhs is a painful and deeply embedded part of American history.

We look to community organizations that are advocating for Sikh and South Asian American communities, such as the Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund (SALDAF), South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT), the Kaur Foundation, the South Asian American American Digital Archive (SAADA), and the Sikh Coalition.

We continue to condemn xenophobia in all of its forms. We denounce targeted violence against all Asian Americans, and we unite against systemic and unjust violence against Black Americans.
-----
• • • • •

In 2018, cartoonist, educator, and speaker Vishjavit Singh wrote the article (In)Visible Identity for Learning For Justice. Click the link to access SmithsonianAPA’s #LearningTogether page which features an article by Vishjavit Singh, wrote the article (In)Visible Identity for @LearningForJustice. Vishjavit’s article links classroom-ready materials including a documentary, lessons, reports about bullying, teacher resource guides, and more, all created by Sikh American organizations.

https://smithsonianapa.org/learn/

This blue cotton turban belonged to Balbir Singh Sodi, a Sikh gas station owner, who was shot to death in Mesa, Arizona, days after the Twin Tower attacks on September 11, 2001. His death is recognized as one of the first acts of retaliation targeting Arab Americans, Muslim Americans and South Asian Americans after 9/11. The turban was donated to the National Museum of American History by his family.

Offered by Rana Singh Sodhi
Photo Credit: Richard Strauss, National Museum of American History

#SikhAmericans
• • • • •

Once again we are in mourning after yet another act of violence against Asian Americans. As we at SmithsonianAPA process and mourn last week’s attack in Indianapolis, we underscore the fact that our communities include South Asians, Southeast Asians, and Central Asian Americans.

We honor the eight victims in Indianapolis, at least four of whom were part of the local Sikh community. We extend our condolences to the families of Matthew R. Alexander, Samaria Blackwell, Amarjeet Kaur Johal, Jasvinder Kaur, Jaswinder Singh, Amarjit Kaur Sekhon, Karli Smith, and John Weisert.

As we recall the killing of Balbir Singh Sodhi and many others following 9/11, the Wisconsin Sikh temple shooting in 2012, and the ongoing racial profiling of Sikh Americans, we recognize that hate and violence against Sikhs is a painful and deeply embedded part of American history.

We look to community organizations that are advocating for Sikh and South Asian American communities, such as the Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund (SALDAF), South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT), the Kaur Foundation, the South Asian American American Digital Archive (SAADA), and the Sikh Coalition.

We continue to condemn xenophobia in all of its forms. We denounce targeted violence against all Asian Americans, and we unite against systemic and unjust violence against Black Americans.
-----
• • • • •

In 2018, cartoonist, educator, and speaker Vishjavit Singh wrote the article (In)Visible Identity for Learning For Justice. Click the link to access SmithsonianAPA’s #LearningTogether page which features an article by Vishjavit Singh, wrote the article (In)Visible Identity for @LearningForJustice. Vishjavit’s article links classroom-ready materials including a documentary, lessons, reports about bullying, teacher resource guides, and more, all created by Sikh American organizations.

https://smithsonianapa.org/learn/

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ASAMNEWS – Filipino Veterans of World War II – Broken Promises For AsAmNews, on 2021 Memorial Day, I wrote an article in tribute to the Filipino Veterans of World War II. We remember and honor them. Unfortunately, they experienced broken promises with American government.
2 Chinese American veterans talks about service, hate against Asian community WCVB NewsCenter 5, in Boston, interviews retired Army Major General William Chen and Marines Sergeant Matt Seto.
CIVIC FORUM EVENT - Asian American History, Leadership, and Political Participation May 30, 2021, Sunday, 4:00 p.m. - 6:00 pm (Pacific Time Zone) Moderator: David Louie, ABC7 News Reporter, KGO-TV San Francisco Speakers: 1. Judge Troy L. Nunley, US District Judge, Eastern District of California 2. Raymond Chong, President, Generations LLC, Sugar Land, Texas 3. Professor Pei-Te Lien, Political Science, UC Santa Barbara 4. Catherine Chen, Chief Executive Officer, Polaris, Washington, D.C. The speakers, a federal judge and 3 Chinese Americans (1st, 2nd, and 6th-generation), will share their personal, family, professional, and historical perspectives on what it means to be Asian American today. A 60-minute Q&A will follow their presentations. Zoom webinar link: https://zoom.us/j/91531341881?pwd=NVBOaG1ub01wYWt1MGloZWtuTFErdz09 Webinar ID: 915 3134 1881 Passcode: 2021 Or register by Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/asian-american-history-leadership-and-political-participation-tickets-154905086283 To contact us: [email protected]
MY CHINA ROOTS – Nikkei Asia Startup helps ethnic Chinese connect with ancestors My China Roots taps clan records to satisfy thirst for knowledge of past RANDY MULYANTO, Contributing writer May 15, 2021 12:07 JST JAKARTA -- For most of his life Raymond Douglas Chong knew nothing about his Chinese family tree going back more than 150 generations and 4,000 years. Chong, an American in his 60s, was focused on looking "outward on pursuing the American dream" rather than dwelling on his roots in China. His father, who migrated from China's Guangdong Province in 1932 and went to the U.S., kept the family background a secret. But Chong gradually yearned to know more -- and contacted My China Roots, a China-focused ancestry research company established in 2012. MCR produced for Chong a personalized website that told the stories of his clan, including notable scholars and officials throughout China's dynastic period. It also collected oral stories from residents at his father's village to understand what life was like there. My China Roots, based in China and Singapore, is part of a growing global industry that is helping people to know more about their past. The U.S. investment firm Blackstone acquired Ancestry, a leading company in online family history services with more than 3 million paying subscribers, last year for $4.7 billion. MCR, at the smaller end of the scale, grew its expertise through a niche in highly personalized research in China, where patchy record-keeping makes the search for family traces a tougher proposition than in the West. The genealogy market in the West "has completely ignored Asia in terms of the data they've assembled," said Huihan Lie, the company's founder. "We are filling that gap." The company has helped more than 250 clients -- relying on their family records and other documents -- with field research projects and village visits in China. More than two-thirds of customers were from North America, while most of the remainder were Southeast Asians and Australians. Lie, 42, is the Dutch-born child of ethnic Chinese parents who migrated from Indonesia to the Netherlands in 1949. He has lived in China since 2004, having gone to the Chinese capital of Beijing to study Mandarin, driven by curiosity to find out more about his roots. Lie remembers a time when he was able to stand in front of the same altar in China's Fujian Province where his ancestors had prayed two centuries ago. He said he hoped to create more opportunities for the wider ethnic Chinese diaspora to trace their roots in China. Other players in the Chinese genealogy market include 23Mofang and WeGene, but MCR offers a customized research project that makes use of a client's genealogy books as well as connections to village elders and officials in case they still keep clan records. Now building an online platform that will allow millions of people with Chinese heritage to start their own search, MCR has partnered with book collectors and Chinese libraries, which tend to be run by provincial governments. It has also established long-term relationships with villagers in order to access and digitize genealogy books, known as zupu. The company has a growing, 20,000-strong collection of these clan records. "The fact that we already have the largest collection of clan history books specifically targeting overseas Chinese across the world [gives us] traction, so over 20,000 users already come to our site on a monthly basis," Lie said. Lie said My China Roots is raising an angel funding round of $1 million, of which it has received 75% so far from investors that include the renowned Silicon Valley tech startup accelerator program and the venture capital fund 500 Startups, as well as several angel investors in Singapore and Hong Kong. The company is allocating 40% of the funding to acquire and digitize new cemetery records and zupu from southern China and make them searchable. Some of the remaining funds would be used for a web-based database of some 200 million Chinese names to allow users to search records and build their family trees. While basic searches and the building of family trees will be free, My China Roots’ subscriber service will allow users to save and curate historical documents and get notified when other users enter the same ancestor or upload relevant data, and offer them a chance to connect. Premium custom packages like travel, in-depth research and translation can be added. "I want to build something scalable so that if people don't have the time or the money to really pay for our premium services, they can still have access to a database and they can just start their own journey online," Lie said. Lie said information related to Chinese genealogy remains "a lot more scattered" in China. The company does not charge a fixed project fee and prefers to charge a success fee given that some research may not yield the desired results. "In the West, you have a lot of centralized institutions like libraries or churches or government institutions that hold the records," Lie said. "Whereas in China, you typically need to go to the village first, the ancestral place, because the information has always been maintained by the clan, by families, by private individuals." The company also sets a base fee ranging from $800 to $1,000 to cover travel costs for one of its researchers to visit a village. It also arranges travel for clients interested in going to ancestral villages or meeting clan associations. Tech entrepreneur Brian A. Wong, who has invested in My China Roots, saw a positive trend for the firm, as more people now are looking for "historical context and cultural meaning in their lives to tie themselves back to their roots." Intangible culture is becoming "more and more valuable in today's world" for ethnic Chinese and other communities, Wong said. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WmRfy_dS7eU My China Roots website: https://www.mychinaroots.com/
ASAMNEWS: Unity Against Hate National Rally at Fort Bend County, Texas On behalf of AsAmNews, I wrote an article about a rally, Unity Against Hate, at Fort Bend County in Texas, about Asian hate incidents and crimes across America.
“PERPETUAL FOREIGNERS OR MODEL MINORITY – History of Anti-Asian Hate in America” With Asian American Democratic Club, on Sunday, April 25, 2021, Connie Young Yu and Raymond Douglas Chong, descendants of Chinese railroad workers of the First Transcontinental Railroad (1865 to 1869), shared their family histories and talk about the origins, influences and consequences of perpetual foreigner and model minority myths in America, since 1790. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hqx48_3cDbw&t=7s PROGRAM Raymond Douglas Chong will gladly speak on “PERPETUAL FOREIGNERS OR MODEL MINORITY – History of Anti-Asian Hate in America” for your organization. My 2-hour program may occur either on a weeknight or on a weekend. I will customize the program to meet your expectations. Please contact him at 510.915.9810 (mobile) or [email protected] (email).
East Meets East - A Chinese Restaurant in Little Tokyo For her master’s thesis at California State University at Northridge in 2015, Xie (surname) Changyue produced a wonderful video documentary about the old Far East Café of Little Tokyo in Los Angeles. This project is a video documentary that focuses on the 79-year cultural and symbolic history of the Far East Café, a restaurant began by Chinese immigrants in 1935. The documentary records the stories and experiences of the Chong family, who opened this restaurant. The Far East Café reflected the relationship between Chinese immigrants and Japanese immigrants in Los Angeles. Particularly after World War II, the Far East Café helped a number of Japanese American families come back to Los Angeles from Relocation Camps. The documentary also shows the history of early Chinese immigrants. It displays how difficult it was for the early Chinese immigrants to come to this country and build their own community. The purpose of this documentary is to depict Chinese and Japanese immigration stories, encourage people to change their stereotyped views of Asian Americans and help American audiences better understand Asian groups. The warm relationships between Chinese and Japanese immigrants, the Far East Cafe may influence other race relations, not just Asian groups, but also perhaps throughout the world. Dr. Andrew Chong stars in “East Meets East.” It features: Bill Watanabe, Erich Nakano, Patty Ito Nagano, Tony Osumi, Eugene Moy and me.