July 29, 2022

Volume 2, Issue 15

Dear Friends,

We’re ready! Are you? Our Teachers Workshop 2022 starts tomorrow, July 30, 8 am–11:30 am PT, and continues next Saturday, August 6, 9 am–12:30 pm PT. We’ve gathered an esteemed group of experts on both the Asian American experience and modern China. See more in our Spotlight section below and sign up today.

Thanks for your continued support of the 1990 Institute and newsletter. Please share this newsletter with your friends and family and encourage them to subscribe.


Join us tomorrow, July 30, for Day 1 of our free Teachers Workshop 2022 with webinars on the Asian American experience. And see below for information about Day 2, August 6, with sessions on modern China.


How can education and arts help connect communities?

By Frances Kai-Hwa Wang


I have been away, far away, for the past two weeks. Out in the woods far. Summer camp far. 

I thought that this arts journalism fellowship would be a glamorous retreat, watching plays while sipping white wine on the beach, and instead I find that it is an arts criticism boot camp. Every evening we see a play, staged reading, concert, dance, musical, film, or restaurant. Every night and early dawn, we are up in our dorms writing another 750 word review to turn in by 8:30 a.m. Every morning we gather under the big trees with our laptops, discussing each other’s reviews, looking closely at grammar, and talking with directors, actors, playwrights, and writers. 

Thinking big thoughts about art and life.

My specialty is introduced at one point as “All things Asian American.” I like that.

At first, I am hung up on how to communicate with non-Asian American readers, and after two weeks of resistance, I finally trust the strength of my voice to move readers of all backgrounds to go learn more.

The days of randomly mixing Asian cultures together like in “Gung Ho” or “The Mikado” and having Asian American actors randomly shouting anything in any Asian language are over. Artists are making sure that references to heritage dance, culture, art, or historical traditions are accurate and/or transformative. In the television series, “Warrior,” originally developed by Bruce Lee, in between martial arts sequences, the characters call out the laws and structural racism in this historical context. Every Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, college students fuse classical forms like bharatanatyam or tinikling with hip hop. “Fresh off the Boat,” “Crazy Rich Asians,” and “Shang Chi” show that one can even make money at this. 

Key to making this sort of transformative art are education initiatives like the 1990 Institute’s Teachers Workshops. Educating teachers is such an important part of educating the next generations. Upcoming workshops include The Making of Asian Americans, Mapping Asian American Identity, Major Asian American Legal Cases that Shaped Civil Rights for All, China’s Past Is Always Present, and Headline: China.

With education and understanding, solidarity comes easily. August 5 will be the tenth anniversary of the mass shooting at the Sikh Temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin. The shooter reportedly had ties to white supremacist organizations, and he killed seven people and injured several more. Sikh Americans will be commemorating this day and these individuals with blood drives, feeding the hungry, community outreach, and volunteer efforts across the country. Find a National Day of Seva project in your community and join.



Next Saturday, August 6, you’re invited to our free webinars on China: Past and Present on Day 2 of our free
Teachers Workshop 2022. Don’t miss it!


Curated News

Disney’s ‘Ms. Marvel’ features 1st Muslim superhero | PBS NewsHour  A new Disney+ series called "Ms. Marvel" features the first Muslim superhero in the marvel cinematic universe, and is now one of the highest-rated shows of its kind. 

There have been 11,500 reports of anti-Asian bias since 2020, report says | NBC News  Despite an increase in anti-Asian bias incidents, a minority of those surveyed said that more law enforcement is an effective solution, Stop AAPI Hate found.

Supreme Court to issue separate rulings on affirmative action in college admissions | NBC News  Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson previously said she would recuse herself since the court had consolidated cases on a state school and Harvard, where she was on an advisory board. By separating the two, Jackson can now participate in the state-focused case.

FBI investigation determined Chinese-made Huawei equipment could disrupt U.S. nuclear arsenal communications | CNN Exclusive  While concerns about Huawei equipment near U.S. military installations have been well known, counterintelligence activity by the FBI and other federal agencies have found a dramatic escalation of Chinese espionage on U.S. soil over the past decade.

Module launch brings China closer to space station goal | Al Jazeera  The module is the second of three launched so far as Beijing hopes to complete its space station by the end of the year.

‘We show hotshots who’s boss’: how China disciplines its tech barons | The Guardian  Chinese internet giants have become compliant parts of the regime they promised to disrupt. For Tencent’s Pony Ma and other tycoons the future is fraught.

China turns to durian diplomacy to boost ties with Southeast Asia | South China Morning Post  The pungent fruit divides opinion like no other, but for Beijing the vast domestic market offers a way to boost ties with neighboring countries like Vietnam.

Constance Wu said she attempted suicide 3 years ago after Twitter backlash | NBC News  Wu returned to social media Thursday with a statement detailing her experience with mental health issues following a series of viral tweets about "Fresh Off the Boat" in 2019.



JOIN US FOR OUR FREE TEACHERS WORKSHOP WEBINARS – STARTING TOMORROW JULY 30 AND CONTINUING ON AUGUST 6 – YOU are invited to our Teachers Workshop on the next two Saturdays. We have registrations from across the U.S. – at least 33 states – and 8 countries. Everyone who would like to learn more about the Asian American experience (July 30) and modern China (August 6) is welcome to attend our FREE webinars that offer professional development for teachers and valuable resources for all. We welcome you to register for one or both tracks

We have many extra features that we are including for those participating in the live event. 

  • We are launching an exclusive new web portal, designed for educators but containing references and recommendations that may be of interest to all. 
  • Materials from the workshops (presentations, shared digital whiteboards, resources, and recordings) will be available on this site. 
  • You will have a chance to interact with each of our expert speakers for Q&A sessions following each presentation. 
  • Two of our partners will provide attendees who are participating synchronously the chance to receive a free download of a digital graphic novel about Angel Island and a free book on Beijing’s forbidden city (for a small shipping fee). 

Here are details on the two days:

  • Track 1: Missing in History: The Asian American Journey
    Saturday, July 30, 2022, 8 am-11:30 am PT (11 am-2:30 pm ET) 
    • Asian American history is part of American history. This workshop will address key issues on Asian Americans and follow an ethnic studies framework and curriculum requirements. 
    • Session 1: The Making of Asian Americans, 8 am PT with Lok Siu, Associate Professor of Ethnic Studies, UC Berkeley, followed by Mapping Asian American Identity with Margaret Yee, Manager of School and Teacher Programs, Asian Art Museum
    • Session 2: Major Asian American Legal Cases that Changed America, 10 am PT with John Trasviña, former California Executive Director, Generation Citizen, and former Dean, University of San Francisco School of Law
  • Track 2: The China You Should Know: Past and Present
    Saturday, August 6, 2022, 9 am-12:30 pm PT (12 pm-3:30 pm ET) 
    • As an emerging superpower, what impact will China have globally, both economically and politically? This track will focus on Modern China and its impact on the U.S and on the world.  
    • Session 1: China’s Past Is Always Present, 9 am PT with Thomas Gold, former Professor of Sociology, UC Berkeley
    • Session 2: Headline: China, 11 am PT with Clay Dube, Executive Director, U.S.-China Institute, USC

Register or learn more on our event page. We hope to see you there!


Dim Sum - A Little Bit of Heart


1990 Institute
P.O. Box 383  | San Francisco, California 94104



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