May 5, 2023

Volume 3, Issue 9

Dear Friends,

Happy Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Heritage Month! We’re joining Asian Pacific Fund and AAPI Data’s Give In May campaign to raise awareness and funds for AAPI nonprofits across the country. Celebrate all month with us and consider supporting our work by donating today at our Give In May page. Your donation is an investment in education, teachers, and the next generation of Asian Americans to see themselves represented and visible in the classroom. Thank you! Check out our Spotlight section below to see what’s new this month. And please share this newsletter with your friends and family and encourage them to subscribe.


Happy AANHPI Heritage Month! What is it and how did it start? Find out its history and significance in our new video.


Where can we find ourselves in film and TV?

By Frances Kai-Hwa Wang

“The Donut King,” “Free Chol Soo Lee,” “In Search of Bengali Harlem,” “Like a Rolling Stone: The Life and Times of Ben Fong-Torres,” and “Photographic Justice: The Corky Lee Story.” These Asian American Pacific Islander films, among others, are streaming and showing at theaters across the nation, including the Los Angeles Pacific American Film Festival, the Center for Asian American Media CAAMFest in San Francisco, the Freep Film Festival in Detroit, and more. I am looking forward to sitting in the darkened hall and letting these stories wash over me. Happy AANHPI Heritage Month!

I think back to the very few Asians and Asian Americans I saw in film and television as a child. “The King and I,” “The Last Emperor,” Arnold from “Happy Days,” and, of course, Connie Chung. 

Where was I in any of these depictions?

It was not until college that I saw a documentary film about the representation of Asian women in film and television that I began to understand the impact that lack of representation had on me and the way other people saw me. Since then, I have searched for Asian Americans in film, television, books, and art.

A new study conducted by Committee of 100 and Columbia University School of Social Work looked at the health, economic, and sociopolitical conditions of Chinese Americans, and also analyzed how our community is perceived. Researchers gathered information from nearly 6,500 Chinese Americans in 46 states. 

The study found that although most Chinese Americans see themselves as an accepted part of American society, culturally blended between American and Chinese traditions, they also experience racism and discrimination. Researchers found that 74 percent of the Chinese Americans surveyed reported experiencing racial discrimination in the past 12 months, 55 percent worried about hate crimes and harassment, and 46 percent reported experiencing being treated with less respect in the past year. 

At the same time, 83 percent of Chinese American citizens are registered voters, and 91 percent of registered voters voted in the 2020 presidential election. Racism, crime, gun control, and the economy ranked as the top four concerns. 

Regarding U.S.-China relations, 82 percent feel that the U.S. should build a collaborative economic relationship with China, and economy and trade were identified as the top two areas for mutual benefit and collaboration. 

Finally, the study also found that despite model minority stereotypes, Chinese Americans face hardships. Almost a quarter of Chinese Americans surveyed were at moderate to severe risk of mental illness and psychological distress, and almost a quarter reported fair to poor physical or mental health. Ten percent reported a household income below $15,000, and 9 percent reported experiencing hardship purchasing food or paying bills in the past 12 months.

“The Chinese American population is one of the fastest-growing ethnic groups in the United States, yet it remains underrepresented in politics and policy, and underserved in healthcare, education, and social services,” said Gary Locke, Chair of Committee of 100, former U.S. Ambassador to China, and current President of Bellevue College in Washington. “This is a group that is both politically active and engaged. These findings are certain to influence economic, social, and political policies to help improve the well-being of the entire Chinese American community.”

This May, check out an AANHPI film near you!



Imagine moving to a new place to call home and facing discrimination. What would you do? See three short reels on Asian exclusion throughout U.S. history.


Curated News

Vincent Chin Institute Launched by AsAm Lawmakers, Organizers at US Capitol | Ethnic Media Services  At the launch of a new institute dedicated to the late Vincent Chin, speakers drew parallels between the circumstances of Chin’s death and the anti-Asian racism today that puts all Asian Americans at risk.

Arrested for Selling Poetry: Shig Murao, Howl, and the Erasure of a Beat Scene Bookslinger | Densho  Shig Murao was a fixture in the San Francisco Beat scene as co-owner of City Lights Bookstore and a central figure in the Howl scandal; his story has been systematically erased from the record. 

Opinion by Jeff Yang: The big casting blunder on ‘Beef’ sends a message | CNN  The casting of infamously chaotic street artist David Choe as a cousin in “Beef” resurrects an old 2014 controversy over consent.

Gil Asakawa: “Photographic Justice: The Corky Lee Story” Turns The Lens On The Asian American Photographer Laureate | CAAM  “Corky was really about people, history, and culture. How many people do you know that photograph all things Asian American for no other reason than he feels like it needs to be documented?” said Jennifer Takaki.

India overtakes China to become world’s most populous country | Guardian  India will be the world’s most populous country by the end of this month, eclipsing an aging China, the United Nations said. 

Ya Ya the giant panda returns to China after 20 years abroad | PBS NewsHour  Ya Ya the giant panda returned to Shanghai after 20 years on loan to the Memphis Zoo in Tennessee.

China's Xi calls Ukraine's Zelenskyy, after weeks of intensifying pressure to do so | NPR  Chinese leader Xi Jinping called Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, over a month after Xi's summit in Moscow with Russia's leader Vladimir Putin. Zelenskyy said the call was "long and meaningful."

Textiles show history of Secret War in Laos and how women perceived conflict | NBC News  50 years since the U.S. ended its nine-year bombing of Laos, traditional textiles with missiles, grenades, and attack planes offer a haunting glimpse of the attacks.

How a restaurant is helping diners think deeply about immigrant culture and food | PBS NewsHour  A new restaurant in Boston, Comfort Kitchen, traces the remarkable journey of immigrant food and celebrates the people who help bring it to our tables.


The SupChina Women’s Gala and Conference is on May 17 and 18. Ticket sales go toward promoting a program of women empowerment.



  • JOIN US AS WE CELEBRATE AANHPI HERITAGE MONTH – All month, we’ll uplift bite-sized videos on AAPI culture and history, stories and profiles of Asian American activists and change-makers, new reels on topics ranging from the history of racism against Asian Americans and the harm caused by the model minority myth to lighter topics infused with humor, and more. First up are short videos on how AANHPI Heritage Month got its start and why it’s held in May. We can thank Jeanie Jew, a fourth-generation Chinese American activist whose great-grandfather immigrated to the U.S. in the 1800s, worked on the Transcontinental Railroad, and was tragically killed during a time of peak anti-Asian sentiment. Honoring AANHPIs grew from one week in May in 1979 to the annual celebration we know today. Follow us on social media and you won’t miss anything!
  • LEARN ABOUT THE HISTORY OF EXCLUSION IN OUR VIDEOS – Three new reels walk you through key facets regarding the similar conditions of exclusion that Asian immigrants and their families have faced in the U.S. During AANHPI Heritage Month, we revisit this often painful history that is essential to understand where we were and where we are headed as a nation. Check out our short clips one, two, and three on Instagram, and watch the full video, “Exclusion: The Shared Asian American Experience” on YouTube.
  • OUR INAUGURAL TEACHERS FORUM WAS ON APRIL 27 – Thank you to those who joined our first meeting where we spoke about the usefulness of mindfulness in the classroom and held a guided practice. We also had an affinity space discussion about how to uplift AANHPI stories during and beyond this Heritage Month and brainstormed types of activities and ways teachers are bringing greater awareness and engagement from students. We invite you to share any resources or activities with Denise Zheng (, Teachers Forum Coordinator, along with preferences for the meeting focus, dates, and times for our second meeting.
  • REGISTER FOR THE SUPCHINA WOMEN’S CONFERENCE AND GALA – We are a proud partner of this year’s SupChina Women’s Conference and Gala on May 17 and 18. The event shines a spotlight on visionary women leaders shaping the U.S.-China dialogue. The May 17 complimentary virtual conference features speakers such as Chelsea Clinton imparting knowledge on key global issues. On May 18, join us at the black tie Gala in New York City with live entertainment, amazing auction prizes, and the honoring of four magnificent women – CEO of BYD Americas Stella Li, renowned artist Dora Fugh Lee, acclaimed concert pianist Yuja Wang, and bestselling author Amy Chua. For more information, go to the SupChina Women’s Conference and Gala website.
  • JOIN A FREE FAMILY-FRIENDLY WALK/RUN IN SAN FRANCISCO WITH AAPI LANDMARKS ALONG THE WAY – Our friends at Asians Are Strong are holding a 5K fun walk/run that honors and celebrates the rich Asian and Pacific Islander history in San Francisco. Register for the Our Heritage 5K through the heart of the city on Sunday, May 7 at 10 am PT, which will pass by over 14 historic AAPI landmarks.

Dim Sum - A Little Bit of Heart


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


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