June 14, 2024

Volume 4, Issue 6

Dear Friends,

We would like to share with you that Susana Liu-Hedberg, who joined us as our Executive Director in 2022, departed the 1990 Institute earlier this month. Board Chair Grace Yu shared the news with the board on June 4: “It is with mixed emotions that I announce the departure of our Executive Director, Susana Liu-Hedberg, who has been an integral part of our organization for the past two years. While we are saddened to see Susana leave, we are also excited for the new opportunities awaiting her in government service at the New York City Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs. During her tenure, Susana has been a driving force behind several of our organization's initiatives, such as our fundraising and grant-making efforts and our Teachers Workshop programming. … Please join me in extending our heartfelt gratitude to Susana for her valuable contributions to the 1990 Institute and in wishing her the very best in her future endeavors.” 

You’re invited to our upcoming Teachers Workshop on untangling campaign rhetoric from policy with regards to U.S.-China relations. With U.S. elections looming, political campaigns have and continue to portray China in an unfavorable light, undermining decades-long efforts to build constructive bilateral relations, which has local and global implications. A new report by Pew Research Center released on May 1 states that for the fifth year in a row, about eight in 10 Americans report an unfavorable view of China, including 43 percent who hold a very unfavorable opinion. The study found that about four in 10 Americans now label China as an enemy, up from a quarter of Americans two years ago, and the highest level in five years. Please join us for this timely online event, “U.S.-China Relations: Untangling Campaign Rhetoric & Understanding Policy,” this Thursday, June 20 at 4 pm PT / 7 pm ET. All are welcome! Register here and scroll down to Spotlight to learn more about our esteemed panel.

Looking for a summer activity for your 6th to 12th grade students? School may be out for the summer break, but it’s always a good time to take part in activities that keep young minds active. To elevate AAPI studies and the Asian American community, we are inviting middle and high school students to actively learn about the significant and positive impact that Asian Americans have on American life. Our New Asian American Voices program is accepting submissions from secondary school students for short, interesting bios of notable Asian Americans. Bios can be presented as creatively as students wish – such as through a short video, artwork, poetry, songs or lyrics, animation, graphic text, etc. We are also seeking middle and high school teachers who can share this program with their students. We are offering a small prize for each published story. Learn more in Spotlight below.

We rely on individual donations to sustain and grow our nonprofit programming which supports teachers and students. Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) Heritage Month may be over, but our work continues year-round. If you are able to make a charitable contribution of any amount, we would be very grateful. Please share our newsletters with your friends and family and encourage them to subscribe.


Don’t miss your chance to register for our Teachers Workshop and better understand the nuances of this crucial international relationship and the implications for this year’s election and beyond.


How can we remember Vincent Chin and stand up for our communities?

By Frances Kai-Hwa Wang


Last month, I had the honor of giving the commencement speech for the University of Michigan Asian Pacific Islander graduation. It was nerve wracking. I completely rewrote the speech three times in the final week, as the situation around students’ campus protests of the war in Gaza kept changing. My son also forbade me from telling any funny childhood stories about him. Still, his friends who graduated said that his mom was “cool and fun.”

One of the things I talked about was how Asian Pacific Islander American history is a history of resistance and coalition building. We have been standing up together for fair treatment and equal rights since the first Filipinos landed at Morro Bay in 1587, with many collective actions and legal challenges over the years.

This June will be the 42nd anniversary of the 1982 hate crime killing of Vincent Chin in Detroit. Two white autoworkers who blamed the Japanese for the auto industry’s problems beat Chin to death with a baseball bat, but after plea bargaining the charge down to a misdemeanor, they were fined $3,000 and never spent a day in jail. The fight for justice went from local to national and changed the course of American civil rights law and Asian American activism because Asian Americans of all ethnicities stood up together with the Black community and the Jewish community and said this is not OK. 

Many young people first learned about the Vincent Chin case after the anti-Asian American violence that erupted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Asian Americans once again came together and spoke out against the political rhetoric and the hate-fueled violence that lashed out at Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders (AANHPI), especially women, children, and elders. Artists and activists responded with art and creative community-based solutions, interracial solidarity, and allyship.

As election season heats up, we will likely hear more political rhetoric conflating the Chinese government with Chinese Americans and Asian Americans. But this time, we will have an important tool in the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act.

“In the three years since our bill was signed into law, we’ve seen the federal government take important steps to help track, understand, and combat hate-based crimes,” Sen. Mazie Hirono (HI) said. “Passing this law was an important step in our fight to end hate-based violence, but our work is far from over.”

This year also marks the sixth annual National Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Day Against Bullying and Hate, set on Chin’s birthday, May 18. He would have been 69 years old.

“Even at our highest levels of government leadership, we have seen rhetoric charged with xenophobia and hiding behind thinly veiled concerns for national or economic security that has contributed directly to the rise in hate and violence against our communities,” Rep. Judy Chu (CA-28) said. “Even in schools, AANHPI students face bias-based bullying and harassment, much of which goes unreported. This bigotry must come to an end. Our communities, and all communities, deserve to live without fear.



We are inviting secondary school teachers and students to participate in our New Asian American Voices program which integrates AAPI and ethnic studies academic learning with real-world skills such as research, communications, creative development, media literacy, project management, and teamwork. Scroll down to Spotlight for more information.


Curated News

Immigrants are vastly underrepresented in elected office. This program is trying to change that | PBS NewsHour  New American Leaders, a national nonprofit nonpartisan organization, has trained more than 1,700 people across the country, and of those, at least 500 are in the organization’s Elected Officials Network, its diverse alumni base.

Expulsions of Chinese Students Spread Confusion From Yale to UVA | Bloomberg  Customs agents at U.S. airports have barred entry to at least 20 students and scholars with valid visas since November in a “more insidious” version of the U.S. Department of Justice’s disbanded China Initiative.

Biden delivers remarks at Asian American and Pacific Islander heritage month reception | PBS NewsHour  Remarks by actor Lucy Liu, VP Kamala Harris, and President Joe Biden. And Vice President Harris Participates in a Moderated Conversation at the APAICS Legislative Summit | The White House with actor and comedian Jimmy O. Yang.

Sick of swiping, some South Asian Americans consider arranged marriage | NBC News  Young South Asian Americans who are looking for love and over dating apps are exploring an option they once saw as ancient: arranged marriage.

China to send two giant pandas to Washington, DC, zoo | Al Jazeera  Bao Li and Qing Bao are to arrive this year under a decade-long breeding and research agreement, the zoo says.

China to invest $845 million on ramping up its advanced EV battery ambitions | CNN  Beijing is ramping up efforts to accelerate electrical vehicle (EV) production as it tries to counter a property-induced economic slowdown and promote a low-carbon economy.

China’s Xi calls for peace conference to end 'tremendous suffering' in Gaza | Al Jazeera  China’s leader tells Arab leaders that Israel’s war on Gaza “should not continue indefinitely,” pledges more aid.

She won a case challenging imprisonment of Japanese Americans. She still hasn't gotten her Medal of Freedom. | NBC News  Mitsuye Endo Tsutsumi is the only woman of the four challengers and the only one to be excluded from the nation’s highest civilian honor.

What Andy Kim's run means to Asian Americans, the fastest-growing racial group in NJ | NBC News  “We don’t only want to be talked to by political figures when there’s a spike in xenophobia,” Kim told NBC News, speaking as a member of the Asian American community himself.

Essay: Chili crisp capitalism meets a new wave of Asian American cynicism | Los Angeles Times  Once an Asian American hot sauce entrepreneur might have been viewed as a heroic pioneer in a white-dominated space, bravely fighting to properly represent their culture. But do those feel-good narratives still apply, as those cultural pioneers age into corporations and institutions? By Frank Shyong.

Record 13 million to sit ‘world’s toughest’ college entrance exam | CNN  A record number of high school students across China have begun a highly competitive exam that could decide their future. See our video about the gaokao exam and learn more in Spotlight below.


While opinions may vary on the role standardized testing should play in college admissions in the U.S., the importance of China’s formidable gaokao college admission test, which takes place every June, is not in doubt. Hear from students on how the impact this annual challenge has on their futures in our video: “What is Gaokao? The World’s Toughest College Admissions Test.”



  • SECURE YOUR SPOT TODAY FOR “U.S.-CHINA RELATIONS: UNTANGLING CAMPAIGN RHETORIC AND UNDERSTANDING POLICY” ON JUNE 20 – Interested in exploring key issues during this election year? Join our dynamic workshop designed to support educators and the general public in better understanding the important strategic issues shaping U.S.-China relations, such as trade, technology, and Taiwan. In today's interconnected world, understanding the nuances of this relationship is more crucial than ever. This workshop will focus on untangling political campaign rhetoric and comparing it to actual policies, providing educators, their students, and everyone interested with a deeper understanding of this critical geopolitical dynamic with global implications. Register today for “U.S.-China Relations: Untangling Campaign Rhetoric and Understanding Policy” on Thursday, June 20, 2024 at 4 pm PT / 7 pm ET. We are pleased to welcome these expert speakers who will guide the discussion and provide valuable insights:
    • Neysun Mahboubi: Director of the Penn Project on the Future of U.S.-China Relations at the University of Pennsylvania
    • Susan Thornton: Retired senior U.S. diplomat with almost three decades of experience with the U.S. State Department in Eurasia and East Asia – and currently a Senior Fellow and Visiting Lecturer in Law at the Yale University Law School Paul Tsai China Center, Director of the Forum on Asia-Pacific Security at the National Committee on American Foreign Policy, and a Non-Resident Fellow at the Brookings Institution
    • Hua-Yu Sebastian Cherng (moderator): Vice Dean for Research and Equity and Associate Professor of International Education at the New York University Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development
  • SEEKING STUDENT SUBMISSIONS FOR NEW ASIAN AMERICAN VOICES – Our New Asian American Voices program aims to provide much-needed visibility and representation for Asian Americans. We are seeking secondary school students who would like to submit an Asian American story to be published in our program as well as teachers who can share this opportunity with their students. These stories can include, but are not limited to, notable deeds, accomplishments, innovations, positive influences, valuable efforts, and/or meaningful actions that have purpose and significance for a particular community or the greater good. Please visit our program webpage to learn how to submit a story. Each published submission will be offered a small monetary prize. Are you a member of a teacher group and would like to share this program with your colleagues or have questions on implementation? We’d love to connect with you! Please contact us at naav@1990institute.org.
  • SEE OUR VIDEO ON GAOKAO, THE WORLD’S TOUGHEST COLLEGE ADMISSIONS TEST – The gaokao exam 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. Gaokao, which means “high exam,” is a college admissions test in China. But unlike the SAT or ACT, 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 test is to their futures. See a trailer for our video and then watch What is Gaokao? The World’s Toughest College Admissions Test to learn more.
  • VINCENT CHIN LEGACY GUIDE – As we remember Vincent Chin, who was born May 18, 1955, attacked on June 19, 1982, and died four days later on June 23, 1982 at the age of 27, we would like to bring attention to the Vincent Chin Legacy Guide: Asian Americans and Civil Rights. This reference and teaching tool is free to download and provides important historical context about how Vincent Chin’s legacy helped ignite the pan-Asian civil rights movement, ultimately building a multiracial, multicultural coalition united for equal justice and human dignity which stands as a landmark in American history. This guide, available in English and other languages, is provided through the Vincent Chin Institute, founded by journalist Helen Zia, a long-time partner of the 1990 Institute.
  • AANHPI MENTAL HEALTH WEBINAR – A webinar hosted by the Ad Council, Huntsman Mental Health Institute, and the Asian American Advertising Federation (3AF) on June 18 will unveil the Ad Council and Huntsman Mental Health Institute’s latest research insights on AANHPI mental health. Attendees will learn more about the prevalent mental health mindsets, key attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors within the AANHPI community. The webinar will also explore effective communication strategies to foster a more proactive approach to mental health. This event will include a Q&A with psychiatrist Dr. Amanda Fujiki from Huntsman Mental Health Institute and Catherine Chao, MPH, VP of Strategy and Insights, at the Ad Council. Register here to join on June 18 at 10 am  PT / 1 pm ET.

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. 

Follow Us


Having trouble viewing this email? View it in your web browser

Unsubscribe or Manage Your Preferences