April 21, 2023

Volume 3, Issue 8

Dear Friends,

We are proud to introduce our Teachers Forum, a newly launched project of the 1990 Institute that complements the work of our flagship Teachers Workshop program. The Forum provides a closed-door affinity space that will support secondary school teachers implementing AAPI/ethnic studies. We welcome teachers in public or independent schools to join us for our inaugural Teachers Forum on April 27. In case you missed our March 22 Teachers Workshop, you can watch the recording of “Asian American Trailblazers In Civil Rights” on YouTube. Find details for these events and see what else is new in our Spotlight section below, including new climate change reels and the final deadline for the essay contest (it’s today!).

We appreciate your continued support. Please share our newsletters with your friends and family and encourage them to subscribe.


Are you a secondary school teacher in a public or independent school and want to be part of a new community addressing AAPI and ethnic studies in the classroom? Join us for our inaugural Teachers Forum, held virtually on April 27. Details in Spotlight below.


How do you bring your heritage and culture to Earth Day?

By Frances Kai-Hwa Wang

Earth Day in my town is bright yellow forsythia bursting to life after a long cold winter. Taking photographs in front of pink cherry blossoms recalling international friendships and alliances. Little children dressed as endangered species parading through the neighborhood. The annual free electronics recycling day at the high school. 

When Earth Day was created in 1970, there was no Environmental Protection Agency, no Clean Air Act, no Clean Water Act, no legal or regulatory mechanisms to protect the environment. Today the movement is global and searching for solutions.

When I was an international student at the Beijing School for Overseas Chinese, a green Phoenix brand bicycle was not only the fastest way to get around town without being crushed in the crowd, it was also the best way for us American Born Chinese (ABCs) to blend in and pass for local Chinese. Especially if you wore your hair in two long braids. In those days, bicycles filled the wide boulevards. It is hard to imagine what it must be like now, so many of those bicycles exchanged for cars. 

The auto manufacturers in my state (Michigan), like Chinese auto manufacturers, have a goal to create a better electric vehicle and a longer lasting electric vehicle battery. China and the Asian Pacific region account for approximately 75% of global manufacturing capacity across seven clean energy technologies.

It is not just young people plogging.

“The U.S. and China are the two largest economies and polluters in the world,” 1990 Institute Board Vice Chair Dan Chao said. “Despite many differences, these two countries should determine where they can work together on saving our environment for the benefit of all of us in this world. Just do it!”

The people living in and around the Pacific are among the most vulnerable to the effects of climate change. Despite their tiny contribution to greenhouse gas emissions, many Pacific Island nations are at risk of disappearing under rising oceans and increasingly intense storms. However, they also offer valuable insights and solutions that draw upon their cultures and experience. Today, young Pacific Islanders are bringing the issue of climate justice to the United Nation’s International Court of Justice, asking for a determination about what countries are obligated to do to fight climate change. The people of Bangladesh are also innovating ways to predict and protect against the impacts of climate change and discovering new ways to build resilience using natural resources.

How do you bring your heritage and cultural values with you on Earth Day?



Earth Day is April 22 – what are the facts about climate change and how is it being addressed? Go to Instagram to check out three new reels.


Curated News

Jeff Chang: Asian Americans spent decades seeking fair education. Then the right stole the narrative | Guardian  Affirmative action opponents have used racial scapegoating to reframe the national debate, exploiting middle-class fears amid a toxic obsession with meritocracy.

Merrie Monarch hula dancer uses her Native Hawaiian law degree for community outreach | Hawaii Public Radio  Makawao native Uʻilani Tanigawa Lum never thought her decades of hula training would lead to a career in Native Hawaiian law. “I get to use my law degree in communities and on ʻāina.”

Where are Clean Energy Technologies Manufactured? | Visual Capitalist  China accounts for approximately 75% of global manufacturing capacity across seven clean energy technologies.

Taiwan makes tough decisions as it faces its worst drought in nearly a century | NPR  A serious drought in Taiwan has depleted reservoirs, cut off farmers, and limited some of the world's most advanced and water-hungry semiconductor factories.

China health officials lash out at WHO chief, defend search for origin of COVID-19 | PBS NewsHour  Chinese health officials defended their search for the source of the COVID-19 virus calling the World Health Organization leader’s comments “offensive and disrespectful” and “attempting to smear China.”

China promises not to sell arms to any party in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine | PBS NewsHour  China won’t sell weapons to either side in the war in Ukraine, the country’s foreign minister said, responding to Western concerns that Beijing could provide military assistance to Russia. China says it is neutral.

Pew: American attitudes toward China continue to harden | The China Project  "This popular fear and resentment of China will only make members of the U.S. Congress even more motivated to do more to contain the rise of China," said Dr. Yawei Liu, Director of the China Program at the Carter Center.

How 'Better Luck Tomorrow' helped change how Hollywood saw Asian Americans | NBC News  When the cult classic premiered 20 years ago, it showed Asian Americans breaking away from the model minority stereotype.

How Netflix's 'Beef' nailed the Korean American evangelical experience | NBC News  Viewers have strong feelings about the show's authentic depiction of the sense of belonging, social pressures, and uncomfortable dynamics inextricably linked to the church.

Emil Guillermo: Justin Jones is still Black. . . and Asian American Filipino | AALDEF “Don’t ignore his Asian American Filipino side. And don’t let the news media get away with saying, ‘the Black lawmaker.’ Make them say it. Jones is a Black Asian American Filipino. Use the overt language of diversity.”

Scholastic Wanted to License Her Children’s Book — if She Cut a Part About ‘Racism’ | KQED  To the book’s author, her experience with Scholastic is another instance in which publishers are yielding to conservative advocacy groups in the face of recent battles over book bans and author censorship.


In case you missed our event with Asian American pioneers in civil rights, you can watch the recording on our YouTube channel. See details below.



  • WATCH “ASIAN AMERICAN TRAILBLAZERS IN CIVIL RIGHTS” – This in-person Teachers Workshop highlighted Asian American pioneers and the pivotal court cases that changed the landscape of U.S. civil rights and featured luminaries of the civil rights movement who shared personal stories and the history of Asian American studies. Seven landmark cases establishing rights for birthright citizenship, public education, equal protection under the law, the Miranda Act, political asylum, civil disobedience, and bilingual education were fought by Asian Americans to the benefit of all Americans. See the recording on YouTube and find lesson guides and more resources in our Reference Library.
  • REGISTER FOR OUR TEACHERS FORUM – We invite secondary school teachers in public and independent schools to join us for our inaugural Teachers Forum on April 27 on Zoom. These closed-door meetings are designed to support teachers to network, find community, learn from, and strategize with other teachers on implementing AAPI studies or ethnic studies. Topics include how to navigate discussions in a classroom about exclusionary history and potentially difficult topics and make them more meaningful and impactful in the classroom and beyond. In this session, Dr. Elizabeth Bambacus and Julie Nguyen from Virginia Commonwealth University will provide tips on applying mindfulness in classrooms. Register for the virtual meeting at 3:30 pm PT / 5:30 pm CT / 6:30 pm ET on Thursday, April 27. We hope to see you there!
  • SEE OUR CLIMATE CHANGE VIDEOS – The clock is ticking. Earth’s average global temperature has been rising with the hottest years ever recorded in the last eight years. Scientists believe that unless we take urgent action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, our planet will reach a tipping point when we will be headed toward an environment unsustainable for life on Planet Earth. For Earth Day, see our three short reels on climate change on Instagram and head over to YouTube for our full video, “Why are Chinese and Americans the Key to Life on Planet Earth?," to find out what the U.S. and China, the top emitters of greenhouse gasses, are doing to reverse the trend.  
  • ENTER THE ESSAY CONTEST: DEADLINE IS TODAY – The deadline for the China Focus Essay Contest for college and grad students and recent grads has been extended to today, April 21 at 11:59 pm PT – enter for your chance to share your essay on China and win a prize up to $2,000. We are jointly hosting our annual contest with the Fudan-UC Center on Contemporary China, the Carter Center, and the 21st Century China Center at UC San Diego’s School of Global Policy and Strategy.

Dim Sum - A Little Bit of Heart


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



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