April 22, 2022

Volume 2, Issue 8

Dear Friends,

Happy New Year’s Day, Vaisakhi, Songkran, Holi, and more from the 1990 Institute! For Earth Day today, we’re sharing our video about millennials cleaning up litter on the streets of Shanghai. In addition, see our interviews with Chinese millennials to hear their perspectives on life and America, register for a webinar featuring our Honorary Co-Chair, Linda Tsao Yang, and check out our job openings. Visit our Spotlight section below to see details. 

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.


Plogging is an activity that combines running with trash pickup. Watch our video called “Plogging: Trash Runners in Shanghai” for Earth Day today!


How do we balance the celebration, the hurt, and the work of Asian America?

By Frances Kai-Hwa Wang


I took one precious vacation day this week to finish my taxes and get my garden started, only to be met by a day of snow. In April. Snow in April (or even May) is so Michigan, it was hard to be angry, so I took a picture of the snow and joined everyone else in poking fun at #puremichigan.

This April feels even more full of spring and celebration than usual, as people begin to come out of COVID isolation and with Ramadan, Passover, and Easter coinciding. April also brings Songkran, the Thai/Cambodian/Laotian water-splashing New Year’s festival; Holi, the Hindu festival of colors; Burmese, Nepali, Tamil, Bengali, Sikh, and Hindu New Year’s Days; National Poetry Month; Earth Day; the Merrie Monarch hula festival; and local favorites in my town: Festifools and Hash Bash.

I recently attended the inaugural Michigan Ramadan Market, in which Muslim American artists, craftspeople, bakers, cooks, and entrepreneurs – mostly women – brought together beautiful Ramadan-themed art, calligraphy, clothes, home décor, children’s toys and books, and delicious food from za’atar croissants to Egyptian kunafa to Bengali beef haleem and naga wings. The organizer, Fatima Siddiqui, said that she saw a lot of Christmas craft fairs, but she had never seen a Ramadan craft fair, so she created one. And the community came out in support and celebration. 

Last week we mourned the somber anniversary of the 2021 shootings at an Indianapolis FedEx facility, which killed eight people, four of them Sikh American: Amarjeet Kaur Johal, Karli Smith, Matthew R. Alexander, Samaria Blackwell, Jasvinder Kaur, Jaswinder Singh, Amarjit Sekhon, John Weisert. 

The FBI has determined that these were not hate crimes, although the Sikh American community has urged investigators to recognize how bias played a role in the attack.

“The shooter chose a place known for hiring people of color, specifically a Punjabi Sikh-majority, for his attack,” Amrith Kaur, Sikh Coalition legal director, said in a statement. “We are not dismissing that mental health issues nor the toxic masculinity discussed during the press conference played a role in this attack. But it is important to recognize that bias can be a factor in addition to these other issues.”

In California, a suite of three No Place for Hate bills addressing anti-Asian American hate and harassment continue to move forward — SB1161, AB2549, AB2448. Together, they declare street harassment a public health problem, seek to collect data and design solutions to hate incidents on public transit, and empower businesses to take a stand against customer-on-customer harassment in their stores.

“Street harassment is a pervasive issue that causes harm not just to individuals but to our society as a whole,” said Cynthia Choi, co-Executive Director of CAA and co-founder of Stop AAPI Hate. “People who have experienced street harassment may limit their freedom of movement, which can then impact their economic opportunities and further ripples out on their families and communities. We all win when women and vulnerable community members feel safe and have freedom and respect in our shared spaces.”


We interviewed millennials in Shanghai to hear their observations on life and America – see our new video: “Chinese Millennials: Reflections on Life and America


Curated News

A year after Atlanta and Indianapolis shootings targeting Asian Americans, activists say 'we can't lose momentum’ | PBS NewsHour  “We must continue building solidarity amongst oppressed and marginalized communities. Recognizing our shared struggles, we must move together toward collective liberation.”

Op-Ed: Fight against hate starts in schools. Teachings must be be inclusive to all | Indy Star  Upkar Singh makes the case for why the fight against hate starts in schools and the personal responsibility we each have to stand up and speak up for the change we want to see in our communities.

A year after FedEx shooting, Sikh Americans honor victims | NBC News  “The purpose of the service was to acknowledge that the whole community was impacted,” the CEO of Immigrant Welcome Center said. “It was a space to pray and to ask for healing.”

'Dream come true': Simone Ashley, Charithra Chandran never imagined being part of 'Bridgerton' | NBC News  "She isn’t the typical heroine. I think she’s a beautifully flawed, self-realized character.” 

Frustration and anger among Shanghai residents as China doubles down on zero-COVID policy | PBS NewsHour  Shanghai reported 27,000 cases of COVID, the highest single-day total in China during the pandemic. Much of the city’s 25 million people have been under strict lockdown for three weeks.

Russia-Ukraine war: In Chinese media, the US is the villain | Al Jazeera  In tightly-controlled media space, conflict is an opportunity for Beijing to advance its ‘information proxy war.’

China holds military drills around Taiwan as U.S. delegation visits | CNBC  China’s military sent frigates, bombers and fighter planes to the East China Sea and the area around Taiwan on Friday, saying that the move was intended to target the “wrong signals” sent by the United States.

The Paper Dreams of Harry Chin | San Francisco Playhouse  Written by Jessica Huang and directed by Jeffrey Lo, this play based on a true story during the Chinese Exclusion Act opens in May.

The Linda Lindas make their debut for NPR’s Tiny Desk (Home) Concert | AsAm News  The Linda Lindas returned to the Los Angeles Public Library for NPR’s Tiny Desk (Home) Concert, a year after their first viral library performance.


Register for this event with three Ambassadors, featuring Linda Tsao Yang, our Honorary Co-Chair – 1990 Institute is an event partner



  • VIDEO PLOGGING: TRASH RUNNERS IN SHANGHAIIt’s Earth Day, today, April 22! We followed some millennials in Shanghai who are on a mission to clean up plastic trash from their streets while also getting in some exercise and socializing. Learn about the worldwide movement called plogging (picking up litter + jogging) in Plogging: Trash Runners in Shanghai.” The rise in rapid economic growth, increased wealth, purchasing power, and consumption in China has had an impact on its environment. Trash, especially plastic waste, is a common problem in Chinese cities as well as other cities around the world. See our video on our YouTube channel and visit our Reference Library for more resources on this and related topics.
  • VIDEO CHINESE MILLENNIALS: REFLECTIONS ON LIFE AND AMERICAHear from millennials in Shanghai as they share perspectives on their lives and American counterparts in “Chinese Millennials: Reflections on Life and America.” Do you wonder if the way people in China think is different from what’s shown in the news? We sent a film team onto the streets of Shanghai to conduct a sampling of candid interviews. Watch our new video to hear what they had to say. You may be surprised at some of the answers! Visit our Reference Library, which provides educational materials on this topic, including lesson plans and additional resources for teachers.
  • WEBINAR – CHANTALE WONG AND JULIA CHANG BLOCH WITH 1990 INSTITUTE’S HONORARY CO-CHAIR LINDA TSAO YANG U.S.-China Education Trust (USCET) is presenting an event with Ambassador Chantale Wong as she begins her tenure as U.S. Director of the Asian Development Bank. There will be a special appearance by her mentor and predecessor, Ambassador Linda Tsao Yang, our long-time Board member, a strong supporter of our past Spring Bud and Microfinance programs, and Honorary Co-Chair. Julia Chang Bloch, the first U.S. ambassador of Asian descent, will also be featured. This hybrid event will be held on Zoom and in-person at the Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University on Monday, April 25. The 1990 Institute is an Event Partner. Register here.
  • JOB OPENINGS EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR AND MARKETING MANAGERDo you know anyone who might be interested in joining our team? We are seeking a passionate, strategic, and entrepreneurial Executive Director to build our impact through fundraising, marketing, and key collaborative partnerships. Please email Tarek Azzani of Azzani Search Consultants at tazzani@azzanisearch.com. Eunice Azzani is available for questions at (415) 987-3300. See details here. We also still have an open Marketing Manager position. Please contact us at hiring@1990institute.org to learn more about this opportunity. The right candidate should have demonstrated success leading social media marketing efforts for nonprofit organizations and hands-on experience with relevant marketing tools

Dim Sum - A Little Bit of Heart


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



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