HBO launched an "Asian Pacific American Visionaries" short film competition while the Bay Area chapter of the Asian American Journalists Association, organized the popular “Hella Asian” storytelling night. In the style of The Moth or other storytelling evenings, the event featured API editors, writers, filmmakers and creative directors, with proceeds supporting AAPI journalists through scholarships, workshops, events and other programming.
Kelly Marie Tran, a Vietnamese American actress in the latest Star Wars flick, was hounded off Instagram earlier this year by web critics dissatisfied with her performance. She blasted back this month with an op-ed in The New York Times, claiming, “I Won’t Be Marginalized by Online Harassment."
Constance Wu calls 'Crazy Rich Asians' 'historic': 'We all have a story' (USA Today)
"Director Jon M. Chu says he hopes the film's success will enable more like it in the future that can show the diversity of an under-represented community." (NBC News)
“When a movie with all Asian leads brings up $35 million in the first week, executives sit up and take notice.” (NBC News)
"An all-Asian cast and no martial arts: Why the ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ movie matters" (Allyson Chiu in the Washington Post)
‘It’s not a movie, it’s a movement’: Crazy Rich Asians takes on Hollywood (The Guardian)
EDUCATION & WORKPLACE
The U.S. Department of Justice backed the lawsuit filed by Asian-American applicants against Harvard, alleging discrimination (NY Times). Conversely, another article considers “How the Fight Against Affirmative Action at Harvard Could Threaten Rich Whites,” suggesting that “if preferences for black and Hispanic applicants are abolished, expect a backlash against admissions boosts for children of alumni and donors.” (ProPublica) The Harvard Asian American Alumni Alliance wrote an open letter to their membership expressing the organization’s nuanced position on the complex issue of race and admissions:
"The very foundation of our organization is the belief that our racial and ethnic background is an indelible part of who we are. As a community of Asian Americans we are highly diverse and yet we have come together first as students and now as alumni through our shared experiences—of immigration, family, expectations, language, food, values and even a Hollywood movie that we thought we might never see.
That shared experience...includes persevering in the face of discrimination ranging from everyday slurs and the questioning of our right to belong to American society, to extreme injustices, oppression and hate crimes...that is why we feel we must raise our voice."
"We strongly believe that any bias or potential bias against any group must be addressed by more and deeper understanding of racial, ethnic and cultural issues, not less” and we “also believe that race and ethnicity are critical components of the diversity of the student body that enriched our Harvard educations.”
A scholar in Philadelphia worries that nationally, “Asian teachers comprise only 2 percent of the teacher labor force although nearly 6 percent of public school students identify as Asian.”
However, discrimination is not only limited to education. Stanford psychology professor Jeanne Tsai and former graduate student Lucy Zhang Bencharit, PhD 2018, find that workplace bias stemming from cultural difference about “how emotions are displayed” could influence hiring decisions. According to Stanford News, “Tsai believes their research might also provide a possible explanation of the “bamboo ceiling,” a phenomenon that describes how in American corporate culture, Asian Americans often stall in middle management and rarely make it to top leadership positions.”
Jeffrey Li, lives a double life (Aspen Times) as a talented cellist and Google software engineer. Though not an alumnus, he has played in the Stanford Festival Orchestra, which performed live waltzes and polkas at the Viennese Ball.