December 15, 2023

Volume 3, Issue 25 

Dear Friends,

The year is coming to a close and we want to thank you again for all your support during 2023. We have exciting plans for the future, including some updates to our programs and a full schedule of Teachers Workshops to share with you in 2024. 

We rely on individual contributions to sustain and grow our nonprofit programming. If you are able to make a year-end charitable contribution, we would be so grateful to continue our work toward supporting teachers and students with our resources that support a foundational understanding of Asian American studies and the complexities of U.S.-China relations.

Donations will be used in part to support our one-stop resource library, which contains a wealth of information on Asian American, contemporary China, and U.S.-China topics. The 1990 Institute is pleased to be included in Ray Pun's recommended list of resources for those interested in Asian American studies. Ray Pun is the academic and research librarian at the Alder Graduate School of Education, a teacher residency program in California. He served as an instructor for a master’s seminar focused on educational research methods within the field of education and recently compiled a list of resources for those interested in Asian American studies. He recommended, “If you are looking for additional lesson plans on Asian American experiences, another useful resource is the Reference Library from The 1990 Institute. … The Reference Library contains lesson plans, videos and other resources that promote the history of the U.S.-China relations, and Asian American experiences.” 

We wish you and your loved ones safe and happy holidays – may all your winter celebrations be filled with joy!! Our next newsletter will be in January. Please share our newsletter with your friends and family, encourage them to subscribe, and scroll down to Spotlight for a recap of our 2023 programs.


Board member Sean Niu shared a sneak peek of our plans for 2024 and why your support is vital. Please donate here. Thank you!


How books by Asian American and Pacific Islander authors can connect us

By Frances Kai-Hwa Wang

A famous British supermodel and mental health activist with 1.8 million followers posted about my book on her Instagram Stories last week. I did not know who Adwoa Aboah was, and I had never heard of her nonprofit GurlsTalk. The Guardian describes her as “one of the most photographed women in the world,” who has appeared on the cover of many Vogues, 100-foot canvases in airports, and even has her own Barbie. Yet somehow, my small book of Asian American prose poems, “You Cannot Resist Me When My Hair Is in Braids,” connected with her, so beautiful in all her braids.  

Books connect us. Giving someone a book is so much more than giving a simple object. We are also giving ideas, questions, dreams, hope, exploration, inspiration, lessons, and more. My memory of every book is forever entwined with the person who gave or suggested it to me, and the conversation we had.

If you are looking for holiday gift ideas that support Asian American and Pacific Islander authors, here are some books that came out this year.


Watermark: Vietnamese American Poetry and Prose, 25th Anniversary Edition (Diasporic Vietnamese Artists Network Series) edited by Barbara Tran, Monique Truong, and Khoi Luu, foreword by Isabelle Thuy Pelaud. Celebrating the 25th anniversary of its publication, this updated edition of Watermark continues to center Vietnamese American literature, with some of the most innovative contemporary Vietnamese American writers, plus a few new voices. A collection considered foundational and pathbreaking is now available again for a new generation of readers.

From Unincorporated Territory [åmot] by Craig Santos Perez. This book is the fifth collection in the author’s ongoing series about the history of his homeland, the western Pacific island of Guåhan (Guam), and the culture of his indigenous Chamoru people. “Åmot” is the Chamoru word for “medicine,” commonly referring to medicinal plants. Winner of the 2023 National Book Award for Poetry.

Young Adult (YA) and Children’s books

When We Become Ours: A YA Adoptee Anthology by Shannon Gibney, Nicole Chung, and 13 more, foreword by Rebecca Carroll, afterword by JaeRan Kim, MSW, PhD.  This anthology for teens contains a wide range of powerful, poignant, and evocative stories in a variety of genres reflecting the complexity, breadth, and depth of adoptee experiences. This groundbreaking collection centers stories by adoptees, for adoptees, reclaiming their own narratives. Editor book talk.

See Us Bloom: Poems on Compassion, Acceptance, and Bravery by Kyunghee Kim, illustrated by Emily Paik. An inspiring and comforting collection of poems that will take kids on a journey to discover their own identities, find inner strength, and learn to love themselves — and one another. Author reading.

Our Donut Shop by Ratana Kim, illustrated by Cendy Apsari. Embark on a delightful morning with a Cambodian American family at their cherished donut shop. With an array of tempting treats on display and steaming hot coffee, customers eagerly await their orders in pink boxes. 

Cookbooks and Food books

Made in Taiwan: Recipes and Stories from the Island Nation by Clarissa Wei with Ivy Chen. An in-depth exploration of the vibrant food and culture of Taiwan, including never-before-seen exclusive recipes and gorgeous photography. A Bon Appetit, Wired, Forbes, Food & Wine, New York Magazine, Eater, Tasting Table, and San Francisco Chronicle Best Cookbook of 2023. Author book talk.

Ever-Green Vietnamese: Super-Fresh Recipes, Starring Plants from Land and Sea by Andrea Nguyen, photographs by Aubrie Pick. Showcasing a wide array of herbs and vegetables in flavorful, comforting recipes, the latest cookbook from this James Beard Award-winning author is filled with the brilliant advice, flavor-boosting condiments and sauces, and dozens of vegetable-driven sides and mains. A Los Angeles Times, Epicurious, and San Francisco Chronicle Best Cookbook of 2023.

Chinese Menu: The History, Myths, and Legends Behind Your Favorite Foods by Grace Lin.  An award-winning children’s book author and illustrator provides a visual and storytelling feast for all ages on the history, legends, and myths behind your favorite American Chinese dishes, from fried dumplings to fortune cookies. Not really a cookbook, but a New York Times bestseller. Sneak peak. Read about Grace Lin on New Asian American Voices.

More 2023 fiction and nonfiction books in our previous newsletter.



Follow us all month on New Asian American Voices as we spotlight the Asian American authors whose 2023 books make great holiday gifts – for a loved one or yourself!


Curated News

18 folds and 21 grams. How the soup dumplings of Din Tai Fung are conquering the U.S. | Los Angeles Times  Din Tai Fung’s success rides on the consistent quality of its soup dumplings. And in any Din Tai Fung location, customers can anticipate a familiar experience. By Clarissa Wei.

Essay: As an immigrant kid, I learned about Christmas from TV — and it nearly broke my heart | Today  New to the U.S. and unfamiliar with Christmas traditions, these holiday movies shaped my childhood, for better or worse. By Nancy Wang Yuen.

63 Asian American groups slam potential reauthorization of controversial surveillance measure | NBC News  The statute, Section 702, gives U.S. intelligence agencies the authority to acquire communications of non-Americans who use American platforms without a warrant.

Twin Cities Hmong artist and activist Tou Ger Xiong kidnapped and killed in Colombia | Sahan Journal  “The pain of his loss is indescribable,” Xiong’s family said. A Colombian newspaper reported that he was kidnapped while on a date with a woman he met on social media. A snapshot of his activism from 2015.

San Francisco cracks down on appropriation of Chinese names for gains at the ballot box | NBC News There’s tension over duplicating names, and in the past some officials have taken on Chinese names with meanings like “safety and pleasant” as a way to seemingly bolster their campaign.

A year after lifting COVID rules, China is turning quarantine centers into apartments | NPR  During the global coronavirus pandemic, China built dozens of makeshift hospitals and state quarantine centers. Now, cities are turning the huge centers into affordable housing units for young workers.

Chinese methane-powered rocket launches satellites into orbit | Al Jazeera  Success of LandSpace Technology’s Zhuque-2 Y-3 could boost investor confidence in methane as a potential rocket fuel.

How China’s buses shaped the world’s EV revolution | BBC  In the 2010s, China rolled out a rapid and widespread electric bus network. Today, China's electric buses are influencing not just the country's EV uptake, but the world's.

China mourns Kissinger — ‘a most valued old friend’ | CNN  Paying tribute to the late statesman, China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said “the Chinese people will remember Dr. Kissinger’s sincere devotion and important contributions to China-U.S. relations.”

Brookhaven mayor-elect hailed as first Asian American mayor in Georgia | 11 Alive  John Park, the new mayor-elect in Brookhaven, will be the first Asian American mayor in Georgia, with 59 percent of the vote.

Actor Charles Melton thanks his Korean immigrant mom in emotional speech at Critics Choice event | NBC News  "Umma, umma,” a tearful Melton said in his acceptance speech for best breakthrough performance. “You are my hero.”


We received very positive feedback on our programming this year, including our Video Program. See below for a recap of our 2023 programs.



  • 2023 TEACHERS WORKSHOPS HIGHLIGHTS  – We organized four Teachers Workshops in 2023 and received rave reviews from teachers, scholars, and participants on their breadth and depth. The events garnered over 660 registrants from 37 states and the recordings have been viewed close to 1,400 additional times on YouTube. Two Teachers Workshops covered Asian American and Pacific islander (AAPI) studies: we kicked off the program in March with an in-person meeting in San Francisco focusing on the people, movements, and laws that were initiated by “Asian American Trailblazers in Civil Rights” and followed up with “Teaching Asian American Narratives Through Literature” in September. The latter conversation recommended much-needed tips on cultivating intersectional discussions in classrooms using literature as a starting point. Our two Teachers Workshops on the U.S. and China were: “U.S.-China Relations: Coexistence in a Changing World” in June and “Media Narratives: Evaluating U.S.-China Headlines'' in November. Both explored how to understand the complexities of the evolving relationship between the two superpowers. We also expanded our dedicated Teachers Portal and Reference Library with lesson plans, discussion guides, and additional resources.
  • 2023 VIDEO PROGRAM – Our four 2023 videos have received over 81,000 views on YouTube thus far this year. Our two foundational videos for AAPI studies were praised for their content and approach. “Waves of Immigrants: The Asian American Journey” and “Exclusion: The Shared Asian American Experience” are recommended by Madeline Hsu, Professor of History at the University of Maryland, and Russell Jeung, Professor of Asian American Studies at San Francisco State University. Many of Dr. Jeung’s students commented on feeling a greater solidarity with other Asian Americans after watching our “Exclusion” video in their classroom. One student said, “Given this shared history of exclusion and discrimination, I personally feel that there exists a compelling basis for connection and solidarity with Asian Americans. I can only imagine how the people at that time would have felt being categorized as aliens and the feeling of leaving one's own home. I had no prior knowledge about the kind of struggle faced by the people who left their homeland in the hope of a better future for them and their succeeding generations.” “Beyond the Tiles: Making Connections Through Mahjong” explained the history and cultural significance of this pastime that now connects people all over the world. We also engaged our followers with a ”Mahjong in the Classroom” giveaway, where an educator received a set of mahjong tiles to use as a fun way to practice math skills in the classroom. Finally, the 1990 Institute produced its first half-hour comedy, news satire, and talk show that covered AAPI issues and events. The pilot episode of ChatAAPI with host Joe Wong premiered during Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific islander Heritage Month and featured author Paula Yoo and correspondent Victor Li, aka Riceman.
  • 2023 NEW ASIAN AMERICAN VOICES PROGRAM AND SOCIAL MEDIA – On New Asian American Voices, we posted over 100 remarkable Asian American stories this year. The program aims to provide much-needed AAPI visibility and representation in the mainstream by highlighting AAPI individuals and collectives that have made significant strides in all sectors of U.S. society. This month, we are featuring authors of 2023 books, including Curtis Chin. For our 1990 Institute social media platforms, we created original reels providing educational information in small bites. All together, our social media accounts delivered 2.4 million impressions over the past eight months. Both our 1990 Institute Instagram account and our YouTube channel reached a milestone of exceeding 1,000 followers in 2023.
  • 2023 WEBINARS AND ESSAY CONTEST – In addition to our workshops, we organized two fireside chats. “Climate Change: Can the U.S. and China Work Together” covered the challenges and opportunities in U.S.-China collaboration on climate change and featured the winners of the Essay Contest on climate cooperation. The contest, presented jointly by the 1990 Institute, 21st Century China Center at UC San Diego, Fudan-UC Center, Carter Center, and China Focus magazine, received a record number of submissions this year. “The Past is Always Present: Preserving Family Foots With Technology” discussed why understanding one’s own heritage is important in finding your own sense of belonging. Visit our Reference Library for more information on both topics and stay tuned for more in 2024!

Dim Sum - A Little Bit of Heart


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


Copyright 2023 The 1990 Institute. All rights reserved. 

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