The 1990 Institute stands alongside our partners and allies in feeling grief and sharing condolences to the Asian American and Pacific Islander, Latino, and immigrant communities impacted by the mass shootings in Monterey Park on Lunar New Year’s Eve and Half Moon Bay three days later. Please see our full statement here.
A fund has been started by some of ally AAPI organizations, including Asian American Advancing Justice and Stop AAPI Hate. If you would like to and are able to contribute, with 100% of funds going to the many individuals who are suffering from this violence, please find more information here.
Immigrants have long endured discrimination, obstacles, and violence in reaching their American dreams. We are kicking off our new year of programs with a brand new video on the complicated history of Asian immigration to the United States. In an easy-to-follow timeline, we cover the laws and events that have affected Asians planting roots and calling America home. This video is narrated by actor Krista Marie Yu (“Dr. Ken”/”Reboot”). See our Spotlight section below to find out more.
And to celebrate the beginning of another lunar year, the Year of the Rabbit, we made three short videos that explain the origins of some typical Chinese new year traditions. Read more below and check them out on Facebook or Instagram.
We also wish you a Happy Fred Korematsu Day on January 30, which recognizes the civil rights activist who refused to be forced into an internment camp during World War 2. Please see more in Spotlight below.
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Immigrants from Asia have been arriving on U.S. land since the 1600s. Sometimes with a choice to stay; sometimes with no choice but to stay. Learn about immigration from Asia throughout American history in our NEW video launching TODAY: “Waves of Immigrants: The Asian American Journey.”
Standing together after the tragedies in Monterey Park and Half Moon Bay
By Frances Kai-Hwa Wang
The Chinese grocery store was packed on Saturday, the afternoon of Lunar New Year’s Eve. I was so excited that the holiday fell on a weekend (rare) that I had dawdled and waited until the weekend to buy groceries. As did, apparently, everyone else in town, from immigrant aunties to international students to non-Asians to me. Everyone was in good spirits, with lots of Happy New Year wishes, all looking forward to our favorite Lunar New Year’s dishes (and red envelopes) to ensure a prosperous and lucky new year.
But then we awoke to the terrible news in Monterey Park. The worst mass shooting since Uvalde. The 33rd mass shooting in 2023. Eleven people killed and nine injured in a mass shooting at a ballroom dancing club on Lunar New Year’s Eve, plus a second incident at another ballroom dancing club in Alhambra (no one was injured there). Monterey Park is one of the first and largest Asian American ethnoburbs in the country, with a population of about 60,000 – 65 percent of which is Asian American. The suspected gunman was a 72-year-old Asian American man who died of a self-inflicted gunshot.
“This shooting in my hometown of Monterey Park has torn a hole through all of our hearts,” Rep. Judy Chu, Chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus and former mayor of Monterey Park, said in a statement on Sunday. “While there is so much we do not yet know, we do know this occurred at a time that should have been very special to Asian Americans in this country and around the world. Lunar New Year is the highlight of the year for Asian American communities, and a time of celebration and of being with our families. In fact, it is horrific to think that only hours before, and only one block away, I joined with thousands of people and many elected officials at the opening of the Lunar New Year Festival. But now, Asian Americans in the Monterey Park community and nationwide are in mourning and are terrified instead of celebrating.”
Less than 48 hours later, another mass shooting involved Asian Americans in Half Moon Bay. Seven people were killed and one injured – Asian American and Latino farmworkers – by a 66-year-old Chinese American man, who is in custody. Officials say that workplace violence is the suspected motive.
As more is discovered in the days and weeks to come, our community — immigrant and American born — will keep looking forward with the support of the White House, federal officers, elected representatives, and community leaders. Today, we are not alone.
Last week the White House released its first-ever “National Strategy to Advance Equity, Justice, and Opportunity for Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AA and NHPI) Communities” and represents a “whole of government approach” with action plans from 32 federal agencies, including all 15 executive departments in the President’s Cabinet. These plans detail remedies and investments in AA and NHPI communities that prioritize belonging and combating anti-Asian hate and discrimination, data disaggregation, language access, equitable and inclusive COVID-19 response and recovery, capacity building, federal workforce diversity, and outreach and engagement.
“The pandemic has hit AAPIs particularly hard as the virus and anti-AAPI hate and scapegoating have ravaged our communities,” Norman Chen, Chief Executive Officer of The Asian American Foundation (TAAF) said in a statement. “For AAPI communities who have long been denied the chance to thrive in the way that all Americans deserve, this type of representation helps foster a much-needed sense of belonging.”
Happy Year of the Rabbit! Have you ever wondered how some Chinese traditions surrounding the Lunar New Year got their start? Explore the legends behind some of the most popular traditional activities with our new short videos on
Instagram Reels and Facebook.
Community seeks answers after deadly Lunar New Year shooting in California | PBS NewsHour and Another community mourns after California’s 2nd mass shooting in 48 hours | PBS NewsHour Amna Nawaz talks to community leaders, elected officials, neighbors, and a mental health organization in Monterey Park.
No jail time for Kansas professor convicted for undisclosed research ties to China | Science The sentencing of Franklin Tao is the latest rejection by U.S. courts of government’s prosecution of Chinese-born scientists.
The cost of anti-Asian racism during the COVID-19 pandemic | Nature Researchers find that Asian restaurants experienced an 18.4% decrease in traffic and lost $7.42 billion in revenue in 2020 relative to comparable non-Asian restaurants, with greater decreases in areas with higher levels of support for Donald Trump, quantifying the harm of anti-China rhetoric on the Asian American community.
After Indiana Univ. stabbing, Asian American students say they haven’t received enough support from school | NBC News The suspect told Bloomington police that she targeted the student, who survived, for “being Chinese,” adding, “It would be one less person to blow up our country.”
Biden admin releases first plan to support Asian American, Pacific Islander and Native Hawaiian communities | NBC News The plan's priorities are combating anti-Asian hate and discrimination, the disaggregation of data across the communities, and better language access, according to the report.
How China’s population decline could alter the global economy | PBS NewsHour China announced its first population decline in six decades with 850,000 fewer people at the end of last year than in 2021. Pulitzer Prize-winning author and journalist and 1990 Institute Advisory Board member Mei Fong discusses the cause of the decline and what it could mean for the global economy.
China’s reopening ‘good news’ for growth — but could be inflationary, economists warn at Davos | CNBC China’s economic reopening might boost global growth, but the business leaders and policymakers at the World Economic Forum this week are also a little anxious on its potential inflationary impact.
Lunar New Year dilemma for China’s post ‘zero-COVID’ travelers | Al Jazeera Despite removal of COVID travel restrictions, many have still grappled with the decision of whether to visit vulnerable loved ones.
How Asian Americans are keeping Lunar New Year traditions alive | CNN Millions of Americans with roots in China, Vietnam, South Korea, and other Asian countries will ring in the Lunar New Year with family celebrations at home, public events, public school holidays, and commercialization.
For Fred Korematsu Day, learn about the civil rights activist and the Supreme Court case after his arrest for refusing to go to a WW2 incarceration camp for Japanese Americans.
NEW VIDEO ON THE HISTORICAL WAVES OF ASIAN IMMIGRATION TO THE U.S. – In our new video, “Waves of Immigrants: The Asian American Journey,” we follow the treacherous and brave path of Asian Americans who came to the U.S. before us. At times, arriving freely and by choice. At times, arriving forcibly, coerced, or out of necessity. And for decades, excluded and barred from entry. Through the lens of the earliest surviving films and the eyes and pens of historical illustrators and photographers, see how, together as a community, they endured politics, imperialism, capitalistic development, xenophobia, and more. Learn how their tenacity helped shape immigrant rights – not just for Asian Americans – but for the many who came after them and are citizens of America today. Narrated by Krista Marie Yu, who starred in ABC’s “Dr. Ken” with Ken Jeong and is currently in Hulu’s “Reboot”. See this NEW video on our YouTube channel.
NEW VIDEOS! FUN FACTS ABOUT LUNAR NEW YEAR – Have you ever seen a rabbit on the moon? Wondered why people give red envelopes or why people wear red for Lunar New Year? We have three one-minute videos with fun explanations of these traditions. We’ve posted them on Instagram and Facebook – check them out! If you enjoy them, click “like” and we’ll make more short reels. And for more videos and content like this, follow us on social media!
- FRED KOREMATSU DAY IS JANUARY 30 – Who was Fred Korematsu? He was a California-born Japanese American who was arrested in 1942 while walking down a street in the San Francisco Bay Area for refusing to relocate to an incarceration camp. He was convicted of defying the government’s order. In 1988, he was awarded a Presidential Medal of Freedom. Korematsu Day is officially recognized in California, Hawaii, Virginia, Florida, Arizona, New York City, and as of last month, New Jersey. Read more about Fred Korematsu and his case, Korematsu v. United States, in his profile on New Asian American Voices.
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