May 6, 2022

Volume 2, Issue 9

Dear Friends,

It’s Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Heritage Month! Check out our Spotlight section below to see our 1990 Institute videos on Asian American issues. 

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For Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, we’re celebrating all AANHPIs in America. Check out our video bursting the Model Minority Myth wide open.


What does inclusive and intergenerational community leadership look like?

By Frances Kai-Hwa Wang


Happy Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Heritage Month! AANHPI is a long, tongue-twisting acronym, but it is part of the continuing evolution of how we understand our communities, how we learn to be more inclusive, and how we make that inclusiveness meaningful. We should always be reaching out across generations and across ethnic lines to be more inclusive because we are stronger together. 

In my town, as Ramadan drew to a close, we started off AANHPI Heritage Month and Taiwanese American Heritage Week with the clash of cymbals and beating of drums. Lion dancing! Chinese yoyo! And a gift of contemporary Taiwanese art prints for our local library. The high school students held a hands-on open community workshop to let anyone try out lion dancing and Chinese yoyo. I was impressed with how patiently the towering high schoolers taught the tiny toddlers and helped steady their yo-yo sticks – intergenerational and community learning and leadership.

At a recent 1990 Institute and U.S.-China Education Trust event, Ambassadors Linda Tsao Yang, Julia Chang Bloch, and Chantale Wong similarly brought together three generations of Chinese American women ambassadors for an amazing conversation as Wong begins her tenure as U.S. Director of the Asian Development Bank. Wong is also the first out LGBTQ+ woman of color to be appointed to an ambassador-level position in the U.S. They talked about mentorship, overcoming barriers, and the role of the U.S. at the Asian Development Bank. Another example of intergenerational and community learning and leadership.

I remember briefly meeting Bloch in Kathmandu when she was ambassador to Nepal. Everyone pointed her out to me, knowing I would need someone like her to look up to and learn from. 

And now Secretary Norman Mineta has died at the age of 90. 

Mineta was not only the first Asian American Cabinet member, the first Asian American mayor of a major U.S. city, the first Asian American Congressperson on the U.S. mainland, he was my Congressperson. As a teenager, I volunteered in his office, taking the bus for three hours one summer to type letters to his constituents one by one on the big IBM Selectric typewriter. 

As a child, Mineta was incarcerated with his family during World War II along with 120,000 other Japanese Americans. He wore his Boy Scout uniform, thinking that might deter the soldiers. He was co-founder and the first chairperson of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC), and his leadership was key in passing the Civil Liberties Act of 1988, which provided redress and reparations for Japanese Americans incarcerated during World War II. 

He was Secretary of Transportation on September 11, 2001. At a Cabinet meeting the next day, when U.S. Rep. David Bonior said that Michigan’s large population of Arab Americans were concerned about some of the security measures that were being discussed, Mineta recalled that President George W. Bush said, “We want to make sure that what happened to Norm in 1942 doesn’t happen today.”

Mineta was key in making sure that the Bush administration did not use 9/11 “as a springboard for widespread and brutal legislation” against an already vulnerable group, said Mika Kennedy, president of Japanese American Citizens League (JACL)’s Detroit chapter. Many Japanese Americans felt a moral responsibility to stand in support of Arab and Muslim Americans, and Sikh Americans, she said.

Rest in Power, Sec. Mineta.



What has led to bias against Asian Americans? See our short video on racism in America that touches on key factors in history and in the present, along with a call to action.


Curated News

House unanimously passes Asian American and Pacific Islander museum bill | NBC News  "Creating a national museum would ensure there is a physical space to commemorate and share our story with future generations,” Rep. Grace Meng said in a statement.

30 years after ‘Saigu’: Korean Americans reckon with L.A.’s past on anniversary of riots | NBC News  “Saigu has become almost like a memorial for Korean Americans,” one advocate said. “It’s a moment of profound sadness and loss, of feeling so targeted and so abandoned.”

Reading Sa I Gu: An archive of writings and images on the 1992 Los Angeles Civil Unrest | UCLA  Sa I Gu is a term used by Korean Americans to remember the 1992 Los Angeles Civil Unrest, which is commonly referred to as the LA Riots, the Rodney King Riots, or the LA Uprising. Pronounced “sah” “ee” “goo”, Sa I Gu translates to 4-2-9 and refers to the first day (4/29/1992) of the six-day civil unrest.

How Abercrombie & Fitch’s image of masculinity affected Asian men | NBC News  Anthony Ocampo, who's featured in a new Netflix documentary about Abercrombie & Fitch, described the effects of the brand's strategy of racial exclusion in the early 2000s.

Coronavirus: India and WHO at odds over New Delhi’s Covid-19 death totals | South China Morning Post  India said deaths in 2020 rose at a slower pace than previous years despite a novel coronavirus outbreak, adding to skepticism over its official Covid figures. A soon to be released WHO report estimates India’s actual Covid-19 death toll is as high as 4 million, about eight times New Delhi’s official figure.

A visit to this market turns up Ramadan decorations and growing Muslim visibility in Michigan | PBS NewsHour  “When I was a kid, we would hide all that. We would be embarrassed, you know?”

The Deep Roots of Sumida Watercress | Joysauce  Emi Suzuki nee Sumida agreed to take over her family's 100-year-old watercress farm on a whim — now, she and her partner are striking a balance between preserving the old and shepherding in the new.

The Unsolvable Mystery of “That Damned Fence” | Densho  “That Damned Fence,” a poem passed anonymously from inmate to inmate and camp to camp, put those feelings on paper. But who actually wrote the poem remains a mystery that we may never solve.

Norman Mineta, first Asian American Cabinet secretary, dies at age 90 | NPR  "Norm has given his country a lifetime of service, and he's given his fellow citizens an example of leadership, devotion to duty, and personal character."


How does social media usage in China differ from the U.S.? We explore this topic through the lens of the invasion of Ukraine. Check out this nuanced Bund to Brooklyn podcast.



  • ASIAN AMERICAN VIDEO SERIESFor AANHPI Heritage Month, we’re highlighting our videos that provide relevant education on the Asian American experience. Numbers Don't Lie - Model Minority Myth Explained in 3 Minutes explains how disparities within specific populations are hidden, leading to misperceptions and a lack of resources for disadvantaged groups. We break down the facts to show the full spectrum of the Asian American population and celebrate the diversity of all communities. Call It What it is: Racism Against Asian Americans captures historic and present events affecting bias and racism towards Asians in America in a compelling and enlightening short video. And coming soon are videos showcasing Asian Americans who have made significant contributions to American society, including Ambassador Linda Tsao Yang (our Honorary Co-Chair) and the one and only Bruce Lee. Keep and eye out for these and explore more videos on our YouTube channel. Follow us and be the first to hear about our newest launches.
  • NEW PODCAST EPISODE ON CHINESE SOCIAL MEDIA – Bund To Brooklyn is back with new episodes. On Episode 11, Chinese Social Media and Ukraine with Mengyu Dong, recorded on April 3, we were joined by journalist Mengyu Dong, who writes about technology, women’s rights, and the Chinese diaspora, to examine the nuances of Chinese social media through the lens of Putin's invasion of Ukraine. While Western social media users emphasize their support of Ukraine's defense of their homeland, the restrictive Chinese digital landscape requires a more detailed examination to uncover the true views of its netizens.
  • WE’RE HIRING We’re growing and seeking an Executive Director to build our impact through fundraising, marketing, and key collaborative partnerships. Please email Tarek Azzani of Azzani Search Consultants at or contact Eunice Azzani at (415) 987-3300. For our open Marketing Manager position, please contact us at to learn more.

Dim Sum - A Little Bit of Heart


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