June 2, 2023

Volume 3, Issue 11 

Dear Friends,

Happy June! We ended our Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Heritage Month programming with the exciting launch of our NEW comedy talk show called “ChatAAPI.” Hosted by comedian and TV host Joe Wong and filmed in front of a live audience two weeks ago, the pilot episode touches on current news and events of interest to AAPI communities and our allies. See it exclusively on 1990 Institute’s YouTube channel. Scroll down to Spotlight for more information.

We’ve also announced our next Teachers Workshop which delves into the complex history of U.S.-China relations that’s led to where we are now and how to move forward. Join us – registration is open! In addition, we’re uplifting our video in advance of the Gaokao college admission test in China and looking forward to celebrating Pride Month on New Asian American Voices. Please share this newsletter with your friends and family and encourage them to subscribe so they get all the news straight to their inboxes!


“ChatAAPI,” a brand-new comedy talk show hosted by Joe Wong debuted on Wednesday, May 31 – See the pilot episode on 1990 Institute's YouTube channel with our special guest, author Paula Yoo, and street interview correspondent, Riceman, who searches for opinions on affirmative action in college admissions. More details in Spotlight below!


How the chores (and opportunities) of home ownership anchor us

By Frances Kai-Hwa Wang

I finally mowed the lawn! No Mow May is supposed to be good for the bees and the pollinators, but it is unexpectedly nerve wracking among the neighbors. The family with the child-made No Mow May sign had already mowed its lawn. The lady with the wildflowers had mowed her lawn. Even the hippies had mowed their lawn. We were the very last ones on the block with 18-inch tall grass. My son was happy to keep on not mowing until well into June, but the Memorial Day Parade was approaching and the whole neighborhood would be passing by our front door. 

I never used to worry about what the neighbors might think. 

But as I reflect on the long passage through Angel Island and barriers of the Chinese Exclusion Act and alien land laws, I understand how precious and tenuous this raggedy patch of grass is. It anchors me to this place.

In the early 1900s, discriminatory alien land laws were written in many states to prohibit “aliens ineligible for citizenship,” meaning Asians, from owning land. Asians found ways to form corporations with white partners to buy land and also bought land in the names of their American-born children. In 1952, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled alien land laws unconstitutional, although years later when activists sought to remove some of these old unenforceable laws from the books, they still found resistance. 

Last week, the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) Chair Rep. Judy Chu and CAPAC Housing Task Force Chair Rep. Al Green introduced the Preemption of Real Property Discrimination Act which would prevent at the federal level, state level attempts such as those by Texas, Florida, and South Carolina to prohibit or prevent the purchase of property by individuals based on their country of citizenship.

“Buying real property – whether that’s a new house to call home or a commercial property to run a business in – is a critical step for immigrant families, students, and refugees to pursue the American Dream,” said Chu. “Unfortunately, lawmakers in Florida and state legislatures across the country are seeking to prohibit this right for nationals from the People’s Republic of China, Iran, North Korea, and other countries and implement a property-owning regime where Asian Americans and people of Asian descent will face undue suspicion and potential racial profiling by realtors, lenders, and others in the real estate industry. While there are specific, legitimate threats that these foreign governments and their state-owned enterprises pose to our national security, banning individuals from purchasing land or properties because of their citizenship, national origin, race, ethnicity, or immigration status is a flagrant assault on their civil rights and unconstitutional.”

This bill is supported by the 1990 Institute alongside our partners and allies, including the Committee of 100.



Join our esteemed experts on U.S.-China relations as they provide insights into the differing positions of both countries and how they can coexist moving forward. Registration is open for our FREE Teachers Workshop on June 28.


Curated News

South Korean court orders agency to compensate Asian American adoptee | NBC News  Adam Crasper's lawsuit accused the adoption agency of manipulating his paperwork, employing poor background checks on adopters and not following up on his U.S. citizenship.

Letting go of hate by questioning the very idea of evil | NPR  Simran Jeet Singh, author of “The Light We Give: How Sikh Wisdom Can Transform Your Life,” speaks on the nature of forgiveness and trying to see the humanity in a mass murderer. Learn more about Simran Jeet Singh in our profile on New Asian American Voices.

Bipartisan bill seeks to award Medal of Honor to doctor who died tackling Laguna Woods shooter | NBC News  Dr. John Cheng tackled the gunman, sustained multiple gunshot wounds, and died at the scene.

After being wrongfully accused of spying for China, professor wins appeal to sue the government | NBC News  “I’m very, very glad that we can finally put the government under oath to explain why they decided to do what they did, violating our constitutional rights,” Professor Xiaoxing Xi said.

China says it will make efforts for political solution to Ukraine crisis | Reuters  "China has always followed the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, adhered to an objective and fair position, actively persuaded peace and promoted talks, decided its own position," special envoy Li Hui said.

China dominates the solar power industry. The EU wants to change that | NPR  Europe aims to make solar power its biggest source of energy by 2030, competing with China, which dominates the market.

China plans to land astronauts on moon before 2030 | Politico  It also plans to expand its orbiting space station. Also, China will send its first civilian astronaut into space as part of a three-person mission.

For many Asian Americans, medical interpreters are a vital but scarce resource | PBS NewsHour  For many immigrants, medical interpreters play a crucial role – but access to these highly skilled professionals isn’t guaranteed for many Asian American and Pacific Islander communities.

Survey of Asian Americans paints sobering picture of fears about violence | PBS NewsHour  Norman Chen, CEO of The Asian American Foundation, points to new research on the rise in anti-Asian sentiment and its toll on Asian Americans communities.


The Gaokao college admission test, considered by many to be the world’s most formidable, takes place on June 7 and 8. Jia you to this year's test takers! We hear directly from students in our YouTube video: “What is Gaokao? The World’s Toughest College Admissions Test.”



  • “CHATAAPI” – WATCH A NEW AAPI COMEDY TALK SHOW EXCLUSIVELY ON OUR YOUTUBE CHANNEL – “ChatAAPI'' is a half-hour comedy talk show that combines comedy and education to enrich our understanding of the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) experience and allows us to find laughter in shared experiences. Comedian and TV host Joe Wong shares his comedic take on stories in the news and welcomes acclaimed author Paula Yoo for an exclusive interview – together, they discuss little-known stories behind the tragic killing of Vincent Chin, the forming of the Asian American identity, and more. Then, special correspondent Riceman takes to the streets of Los Angeles to get students’ opinions on affirmative action in college admissions in advance of the upcoming U.S. Supreme Court decision. “ChatAAPI”' is produced and funded by the 1990 Institute. It’s filled with humor, heart, and insight into today’s timely topics and you won’t want to miss it! Watch “ChatAAPI”' exclusively on 1990 Institute’s YouTube channel.
  • JOIN US ON JUNE 28 FOR OUR TEACHERS WORKSHOP ON U.S.-CHINA RELATIONS – You're invited to our upcoming Teachers Workshop titled “U.S.-China Relations: Coexistence in a Changing World” on Thursday, June 28 at 3 pm PT / 5 pm CT / 6 pm ET. The emergence of China’s economic strength and ambition has changed the global order. Can this world accept multiple leaders? How has the current U.S.-China relationship been influenced by culture, philosophy, and history? Our esteemed panel of experts will lay down a foundational understanding of the relationship and provide perspectives on the path forward. This online Teachers Workshop supports educators who teach Social Studies, World History, Modern History, Languages, and AAPI and/or Ethnic Studies but is open to all. Our co-sponsor for the event is the Center on U.S.-China Relations at Asia Society. Registration is free.

    Our speakers are: 
  • SEE OUR VIDEO ON GAOKAO, THE WORLD’S TOUGHEST COLLEGE ADMISSIONS TEST –  This year, the Gaokao exam is on June 7 and 8. Gaokao is a Chinese high school student’s gateway to a better future and also the bane of their existence from the day they enter high school. The phrase, meaning “high exam,” is a college admissions test in China. But unlike the SAT, Gaokao is more than just a test. Given the number of high school graduates taking the exam and the relatively small number of colleges in China, the stakes for students and their families are very high. Three high school students from different socioeconomic and geographic backgrounds opened up to us about how critical this exam is to their futures. Watch “What is Gaokao? The World’s Toughest College Admissions Test“ to learn more about Gaokao and why it is so important for the Chinese. 

Dim Sum - A Little Bit of Heart


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