Gil Asakawa's Nikkei View | aapi
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To lead up to October, which is National Domestic Violence Month, the Boston-based Asian Task Force Against Domestic Violence (ATASK)'s Youth Empowerment Project produced a rough-around-the-edges but sweet public service announcement video to educate people about how casual sexist attitudes can lead to abusive and violent behavior: I think it's cool that young Asian Americans created the PSA....

I'm passing this text along from an email sent out, trying to reach Asian Americans, Native Hawai'ians and Other Pacific Islanders: Did you know that 20% of Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders (NHOPIs), and 17% of Asian Americans (AAs), are uninsured? That’s higher than the national uninsurance rate of 16%. Did you know that 30-31% of Korean-Americans are uninsured? That’s as high as the national uninsurance rate for Hispanic-Americans and Native Americans. Did you know that 24% of Native Hawaiians, 21% of Vietnamese and 20% of South Asians are uninsured? That’s higher than the national uninsurance rate for African-Americans. Did you know that 1 out of every 3 AA NHOPIs is Limited English Proficient? That's 20 times the rate for non-Hispanic Whites. Did you know that 1 out of every 8 AA NHOPIs lives in Poverty? That's higher than the non-Hispanic White poverty rate. America’s 2.4 Million uninsured, and 14.2 Million insured AA NHOPIs, have a vested stake in the Affordable Care Act. Wellness Matters. Informed Choice Matters. In fact, if you were to ask America’s 2.4 Million uninsured and AA NHOPIs “What does the Affordable Care Act Mean for You?” the answer would be:

I met the affable, energetic Andrea Lwin last fall at the Banana conference of Asian American bloggers (Banana II details coming soon!). At the time, she had just launched "Slanted," a comedic web series based on her one-woman show of the same name, about an Asian American actresses' struggles to make her mark in Hollywood. I know, not a...

I've been meaning to post a reminder for everyone (non-Asians too!) to fill out your U.S. Census forms, or if you don't get it done and postmarked by the end of March, to be sure respond to census workers when they come to your door in the months to come. It's especially important for ethnic minority communities to be counted because an accurate accounting means every community will receive the federal services and funding it deserves. And remember, this has nothing to do with citizenship, or whether you're a student, visitor, legal, illegal, whatever. It's just counting people across the U-S of A. Here's an article from the JACL about the Census and why it's important:
JACL Says “Get Everyone Counted in the 2010 Census” By Phillip Ozaki and Carla Pineda Another decade has gone by, so that means its Census time! The JACL is making extraordinary efforts to make sure everybody in our community gets counted. Over $400 billion in federal funding is at stake. One person left out is equal to a loss of $1,300 over the next 10 years to his neighborhood. Everyone deserves a piece of the pie so make sure to get your forms in at the beginning of April. Historically, racial minorities have been undercounted including Asian Pacific Americans, and the JACL hopes to prevent that in 2010.

I caught Corky Lee preparing to shoot photos of singer-songwriter Cynthia Lin at a 2006 Asian festival in New York City (picture #22) We're thrilled to announce the next interview of visualizAsian.com's Asian American Empowerment Series, a free one-hour conversation with award-winning photojournalist Corky Lee, who has captured Asian America through his lenses for over three decades! Register now for the call, which will be Tuesday April 20 at 6 pm PT -- this one's going to be extra-special!

In addition to the conversation that you can listen to as usual, via phone or webcast, we'll be showing Corky's work in a slideshow, and you can vote on your 10 favorite images from the 30 shown here, and Corky will share the stories behind the Top 10 during our talk!

Secret Asian Man: The Daily Days by Tak Toyoshima Tak Toyoshima is a pioneer. He's been publishing "Secret Asian Man," a smart, funny Asian American comic strip, since 1999 in various Asian American and Japanese American newspapers and websites. He's a visual AAPI blogger, tackling issues of the day, racial stereotypes, friendships, the foibles of family life and of course, Asian American Pacific Islander identity. SAM is an autobiographical reflection of Toyoshima. In fact, the main character, Sam, is, according to the cast of characters rundown in the book,"an aspiring cartoonist who works as an art director at his local alternative newsweekly. He is an incurable dreamer who is fascinated by what makes us all tick." The Boston-based artist has been the art director of a alternative newspaper, the Weekly Dig, the whole time that he's been building a following for SAM. A couple of years ago, SAM was picked by by United Media, which syndicated the strip in mainstream newspapers across the country. That was great for Tak, because he was able to reach a much wider, mainstream audience with his witty, observant social jabs. Earlier this fall, though, Toyoshima parted ways with United Media to concentrate on promoting SAM once again through AAPI channels and with a new, full-color comic every Sunday on his own website. And now, he's collected every strip syndicated by United Media into his first book, "Secret Asian Man: The Daily Days," which is available now for pre-order from Amazon.com. I ordered my copy -- be the first one on your block to have a copy!

Margaret Chin is poised to become the first Chinese American, never mind a Chinese American woman, to be elected to City Council to represent New York CityI love New York City's Chinatown. I spent many afternoons wandering its streets when I was an art school student in the 1970s in Brooklyn, and I spent nights wandering its streets when I worked for six months in Jersey City on the other side of Manhattan several years ago. There's no feeling like it -- crowded streets teeming with people, shops overflowing onto the sidewalks, amazing arrays of food and enticements everywhere, the sound of Cantonese and now, more often Mandarin, echoing everywhere. The streets are a tangle; they start out like a grid but then alleyways curve off and what looks like nooks hide more restaurants to try. San Francisco's Chinatown is more of a straight line, and though it's also great, it doesn't hold the same sense of discovery that New York's does. Chicago's is good. LA's is nice. Boston's is cool too. DC's is kinda pitiful. But New York -- THAT's Chinatown! Carved out as if it were its own country with Canal Street serving as the hard boundary between it and Little Italy just to the north, Chinatown rises above New York's energy with a spirit that's its own, and unique. So imagine my surprise when I found out recently that that bustling district of Manhattan, along with the Wall Street area south of Chinatown, has never had a Chinese American representing its citizens and businesses in New York's City Council. Until now, that is. Margaret Chin, a 56-year-old longtime community activist who was born in Hong Kong, is the front-runner to win that pioneering position this Tuesday. (Thanks to APA for Progress for turning me on to the CNN story about Chin.)