July 30, 2021 

Volume 1, Issue 13

Dear Friends,

Hope you are enjoying the Tokyo Olympic Games (or are out protesting for voting rights) these hot summer days. Thanks for your continued support of the 1990 Institute and newsletter, and please encourage your friends to subscribe so they can get this great content straight to their inbox too.


The Future of Asian America in 2040: Asian American Electorate to Double,” UCLA Center for the Study of Inequality and Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies (APAICS), 2015

What does it mean to represent, what does it mean to be an American?

By Frances Kai-Hwa Wang

Growing up, I was told that my Chinese name means “Victory for China” and I was destined for great things. When I was little, I thought that this meant that I would grow up to represent Taiwan or China in the Olympics. Never mind that I did no sports whatsoever, that I had zero understanding of the Taiwan-China divide, and that I am an American citizen. Still, the Olympics inspire every four years, even for those of us who know nothing about sports.

One of the things I love about the Olympics is how it brings to the foreground amazing images and stories of Asians and Asian Americans — real stories of real people — that transcend the lack of Asian representation in the media and bring people together regardless of race. 

When my oldest daughter was in first grade, she and the other Taiwanese American girl in her class were very excited about staying up late (9:00 P.M.!) in order to watch Michelle Kwan ice skate in the Olympics. My daughter’s friend was even planning to invite Michelle Kwan to her upcoming birthday party. The other little girls in their class did not even know who Michelle Kwan was, but by the end of that Olympics, all the girls in that first grade class, regardless of race, were staying up late to watch Michelle Kwan. (Sorry Mrs. S!)

This year, there are so many Asian and Asian American and Pacific Islander Olympians telling their stories, revealing the challenges they faced, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic’s anti-Asian American violence

And I think about what it means to represent, and what it means to be an American. 

For Vice President Kamala Harris, protecting voting rights is a priority, especially on the anniversary of civil rights icon U.S. Rep. John Lewis’ death. Asian Americans worked for the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 as well as Section 203, the 1975 amendment requiring bilingual ballots. Today, Asian Americans continue to educate, register voters, get out the vote, and more. Voting is an Asian American issue.

“The right to vote is fundamental,” said Vice President Harris in a statement. “It gives Americans a voice in what happens in our nation—whether that is in our economy or our national security, our education system or our healthcare system. When more people have a voice, our democracy becomes more representative, and our nation becomes stronger.”


Curated News

Asian American Olympians share how anti-Asian hate has affected them | NBC News  “One of the most American things to do is to grind your heart out every single day to get an opportunity to wear U.S.A. on your chest,” gymnast Yul Moldauer said. With video

Worries over racism, waterways inspire push to rename fish | NBC News  “We wanted to move away from any terms that cast Asian culture and people in a negative light,” a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service official said of the switch from "Asian carp" to "invasive carp."

China’s space station is preparing to host 1,000 scientific experiments | Nature  Researchers around the world are eagerly awaiting the completion of Tiangong, to study topics from dark matter and gravitational waves to the growth of cancer and pathogenic bacteria.

'Once in a thousand years' rains devastated central China, but there is little talk of climate change | CNN  Liu Junyan, climate and energy project leader for Greenpeace East Asia, said without the impact of climate change, "it is very difficult to imagine such extreme rainfall would occur in an inland city like Zhengzhou."

China debuts world's fastest train | CNN  A maglev bullet train that can reach speeds of 600 kilometers per hour (373 miles per hour) has made its debut in Qingdao, China. Developed by the state-owned China Railway Rolling Stock Corporation, it's considered the world's fastest train.

CAPAC Announces Nisha Ramachandran as Executive Director | CAPAC  “I’m very excited to welcome Nisha Ramachandran as the new Executive Director of CAPAC. Nisha comes to CAPAC after nearly a decade of experience working with the AAPI community on a national scale.” – U.S. Rep. and CAPAC Chair Judy Chu

ESSAY by Helen Zia: ‘Not a Victim.’ Asian American Elders Stand Resilient in the Wake of Hateful Violence | Time  “We can begin by recognizing the resilience of the AAPI elders who have been targeted in unacceptable, random acts of violent hate. In their faces, we see the long journeys of revered grand-parents, aunts, uncles, mothers and fathers who have struggled and sacrificed for future generations.” (Includes story about Carl Chan, Oakland Chinatown Chamber of Commerce president.)



  • We are currently producing a video series on why Americans should be interested in China. This series of stories about China will provide deeper insights into the lives of people in contemporary China that are seldom explored. The first video in the series will focus on interesting population and demographic information as the sheer size of China's population tells us a lot about how the country is managed and its impact on the world. Stay tuned!
  • Are you a strategic thinker who can lead our nonprofit through its next stage of development? Know someone who’s passionate about championing AAPI causes and has a strong interest in U.S.-China issues? We’re growing and looking for a leader who can join our team as our Executive Director and guide us as we develop new programs that support our mission. Please contact us at searchcommittee@1990institute.org and share this opportunity with your contacts who may be interested!

Dim Sum - A Little Bit of Heart


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