Japanese Americans speak out in support of Muslims and Arab Americans

Japanese Americans from the Bay Area Day of Remembrance Consortium this morning expressed their support and solidarity with the Muslim, Sikh, Arab, and South Asian American communities at a press conference at the National Japanese American Historical Society. this Tuesday, December 22 at

The press conference is in response to anti-Muslim hate and rhetoric that has increased following recent terrorist attacks.

The following community leaders were scheduled to speak this morning:

  • Hiroshi Shimizu—Former incarceree, Topaz incarceration camp, Tule Lake Segregation Center, Chair of the Bay Area Day of Remembrance Consortium
  • Samina Sundas—Founder and Executive Director of American Muslim Voice
  • Hiroshi Kashiwagi—Former incarceree, Tule Lake Segregation Center.  Poet and writer
  • Karen Korematsu—Co-founder of the Fred Korematsu Civil Rights Foundation. daughter of late Fred Korematsu, Supreme Court challenger
  • Rev. Ronald Kobata—Resident Minister, Buddhist Church of San Francisco, representative of Japanese American Religious Federation (JARF)

Following the press conference there will be a brief vigil.

Members of the consortium include: Asian Improv aRts, Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Asian Law Caucus, API Legal Outreach, Campaign for Justice: Redress NOW for Japanese Latin Americans!, Center for Asian American Media (formerly NAATA, Japanese American Citizens League-SF Chapter, Japanese American Religious Federation, Japanese Community Youth Council, Japanese Cultural & Community Center of Northern California, Japanese Peruvian Oral History Project, Nakayoshi Young Professionals, National Japanese American Historical Society, Nichi Bei Foundation/Weekly, Rosa Parks Japanese Bilingual Bicultural Program, and the Tule Lake Committee.  Other organizations: Japantown Task Force, Kimochi, Inc., Sansei Legacy.

East West Eats: Favorite Asian Recipes from Top Bay Area Chefs

EastWestEatsMockUpThe Asian American Journalists Association San Francisco Bay Area Chapter is offering East West Eats: Favorite Asian Recipes from Top Bay Area Chefs for a special pre-order price of $55.00 through Oct. 30.

The cookbook carries on the tradition of AAJA-SF’s signature culinary event and benefits our student scholarship program.

The delectable compilation provides samplings from:

Francis Ang of Dirty Habit
Brian Beach of Le Colonial
Helen Mok Chan of Yank Sing
George Chen of Shanghai 1930 & China Live
Eric Ehler of Seoul Patch
Remi Hayashi Girouard of Goody Goodie
Robert Lam of Butterly
Belinda Leong of B. Patisserie
Richie Nakano of Hapa Ramen
Ronny Ng of M.Y. China
Alexander Ong of Betelnut
Charles Phan of Slanted Door
Vittal Shetty of Amber Restaurants
Hiro Sone of Ame & Terra
Lissa Doumani of Ame & Terra
Philippe Striffeler of Anzu
Daniel Sudar of Ysk Castro Inc.
Scott Whitman of Sushi Ran
Michael Yakura of Dobbs Ferry
Chris Yeo of Straits & Sino Restaurants
Martin Yan of M.Y. China
Cream & Sugar
Tim Luym of Attic
Willy Ng of M.Y. China
Nathan Payo of Roy’s

East West Eats was conceived as a fundraiser for AAJA’s San Francisco Bay Area chapter, and has helped raised thousands of dollars for our student scholarship program.

To order your copy, email ellen.t.lee@gmail.com or pattitom@gmail.com and provide the information noted in this form.

To become a project sponsor and be recognized in the cookbook, or for more information about the cookbook fundraiser, visit https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/east-west-eats-cookbook#/story and contact ellen.t.lee@gmail.com.

APIAVote and Asian American Journalists to Partner on Presidential Town Hall in August 2016

The Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA) announced that the organization will partner with Asian & Pacific Islander American Vote (APIAVote) to bring a Presidential Candidate Town Hall to the 2016 AAJA National Convention August 10 – 13 in Las Vegas, NV. This will be the largest convergence of Asian Pacific Islander American professionals in the nation.

Since 2008, the Presidential Candidate Town Hall has served as an avenue for the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community to place AAPI issues on the radar of campaigns and the media. “APIAVote is excited to partner with AAJA in bringing our Town Hall to Las Vegas,” said Christine Chen, APIAVote Executive Director. “AAPI voters are still largely untapped by presidential candidates and their parties, even though this population continues to grow.”

According to Chen, the margin of victory in the state of Nevada in 2012 between the two leading candidates was 67,806—though there are over 149,000 potential AAPI voters to be reached. “We look forward to the participation of the Presidential candidates as they directly address this growing base of new voters,” said Chen.

“I’m excited to partner with APIAVote to welcome the Presidential Candidate Town Hall at AAJA’s 2016 convention,” said Paul Cheung, AAJA National President. “Asian American Pacific Islanders represent the fastest growing minority group in America. Our partnership will bring critical issues facing the AAPI community today onto a national platform during a presidential election year.”

APIAVote partners with local community groups in 22 states and works to expand the AAPI electorate by organizing ongoing voter registrations drives and get-out-the-vote activities. “Based on APIAVote’s poll in 2012, over 31% were undecided voters and during every Presidential cycle this Town Hall plays a key role in educating the AAPI electorate and preparing them to vote on Election Day,” said Johnnie Giles, chair of the APIAVote board of directors. “AAPIs are not only visible, but actively present in this election cycle. With AAJA, I’m certain that we will elevate the profile of our communities, and ensure our voices are heard.”

Japantown Foundation to Accept Grant Requests of Up to $10,000

San Francisco Japantown Foundation

Starting June 29, 2015, the San Francisco Japantown Foundation will accept applications from qualified organizations for direct grants of up to $10,000.

Applications will open on Monday, June 29, 2015, and are due by Friday, July 31, 2015, before 5:00 p.m. PT.

Our 2015 grants program will provide (a) direct unrestricted grants for organizations; and (b) planning grants for organizations focused on enhancing an existing structure of building in Japantown, or creating a product or service that would advance Japantown.

Organizations awarded a planning grant will have an opportunity to collaborate with the Foundation potentially resulting in additional funding of up to $15,000.

Learn more about our grants program.

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Hillary and SF Mayor Ed Lee Hang Out

Hillary Clinton met with San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee yesterday  for a wide-ranging discussion that included some of the most challenging issues facing urban cities and how best to address them.

During their nearly hour long tea at Red Blossom Tea Company in San Francisco Chinatown, Clinton asked questions and shared ideas about the housing challenges in the city and how to help boost the local economy.

Clinton has made clear that “one of the four big fights” of her campaign is building the economy of tomorrow, not yesterday.

“Whether it was housing, the economy, homelessness, or tech innovation, Hillary Clinton was excited to hear directly from Mayor Lee about how best to tackle the challenges facing San Francisco and similar urban centers across America, “ said Hillary for America National Press Secretary Brian Fallon.

“Throughout this campaign, Hillary Clinton will continue to sit down for conversations about the issues impacting communities and daily lives of everyday Americans.”

Among the many concerns Mayor Lee outlined, two were of critical importance to his city – chronic homelessness and high rents. Lee cited the bundling of federal and city funds for a long term program designed to house homeless veterans.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, “the city has already used combined funding to renovate buildings like the Stanford Hotel, and found housing for more than 500 such veterans since 2013.”

Clinton has been a champion of urban revival throughout her career; as Senator, she introduced legislation to promote neighborhood revitalization and keep families in their homes, fought for more funding for communities, and helped spur economic growth in cities in upstate New York through projects like Artspace in Buffalo.

Source: Hillary for America media release

CAPE, Verizon Launch Mini-Docs Showcasing AAPI Talent

CAPE (Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment) and Verizon just launched Season 2 of the #IAm Campaign, a series of mini-documentaries showcasing the voices and achievements of Asian Americans & Pacific Islanders.

This is the second year that CAPE, a non-profit organization that champions diversity in entertainment and media, joined forces with Verizon to produce this #IAm digital awareness campaign.

Season 2 highlights the inspiring stories of the following seven artists:

  • Jason Chen, musician
  • Arden Cho, actress (“Teen Wolf”)
  • Cassey Ho, lifestyle and fitness guru (Blogilates)
  • Daniel Dae Kim, actor (“Lost,” “Hawaii Five-0”)
  • Ki Hong Lee, actor (THE MAZE RUNNER, “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”)
  • Ted Kim, Yong Kim, and Chris Oh, founders of Seoul Sausage Co.
  • Constance Wu, actress (“Fresh Off The Boat”)

In addition to releasing the mini-documentaries, the #IAm Campaign will host two free live events, hosted by comedian Paul “PK” Kim, featuring the artists and live performances:

  • Los Angeles: Japanese American National Museum, 100 N. Central Avenue, Los Angeles, CA, 6 pm – 8:30 pm (May 27)
  • New York: Japan Society, 333 E. 47th St., New York, NY, 6 pm – 8:30 pm (June 18)

“Reuniting with Verizon and working with these seven artists on this year’s campaign was an amazing and uplifting experience,” said Michelle K. Sugihara, CAPE’s Executive Director. “This campaign reminds us all to embrace our identity, take risks, and dream big. I hope it inspires everyone to share their #IAm story.”

Jessica Shih, Director of Corporate Social Responsibility and Community Relations at Verizon stated, “Verizon is thrilled to be collaborating with CAPE to build an online platform for all individuals, not just Asian Americans & Pacific Islanders, to share their own journeys and stories. Through the mini-documentary series and live events, we hope to empower the community to inspire each other to achieve their dreams.”

To learn more about #IAm and to join the conversation online, visit http://www.iam-campaign.com. Follow and share your own story on social media at #IAm.

18MR: Support #BaltimoreUprising

The text below is from an email this morning sent by PaKou Her, campaign director at 18MR.

This morning, my 6-year old daughter caught less than a minute of television news coverage about the wave of protests in the aftermath of Freddie Gray’s death while he was in the custody of Baltimore police officers.

This morning, my 6-year old daughter caught less than a minute of television news coverage about the wave of protests in the aftermath of Freddie Gray’s death while he was in the custody of Baltimore police officers.1 She turned to me and said, “Mommy, I think the police hurt a Black person.” I replied truthfully, saying, “Yes, I think they did.”

As the nation’s eyes turn toward Baltimore, it can be easy to feel hopeless, exhausted, and spent. As Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, it can be tempting to turn away and tell ourselves that while this is horrible, we are not Black America.

But if there’s anything we’ve learned from Ferguson, it’s that Black America’s struggle against the long arm of police brutality is a struggle in which we’re all intertwined.2 As AAPIs, we can choose to be silently complicit with the status quo, or we can pick up the mantle of #Asians4BlackLives.

At 18MR, we’re doing the latter – and we want you join us.

No matter where you live, you can support the organizers and activists who are trying to make a difference in Baltimore. Here are 3 things you can do right now to help:

1. Donate to the #BaltimoreUprising legal defense fund to ensure that every person arrested during the rebellion in Baltimore has access to proper legal representation, regardless of the charges.

2. Follow and share the real stories of what’s happening from people who are living and organizing in Baltimore. We suggest you start with these folks on Twitter. You can also Tweet and post status updates using the hashtags #BaltimoreUprising, #FreddieGray, #BlackLivesMatter, and #Asians4BlackLives.

3. Demand police accountability in the death of Freddie Gray. By adding your name to Color of Change’s petition, you can help increase the pressure on Maryland’s Governor Hogan to ensure he puts in place the necessary independent oversight required to bring Gray’s killer to justice and overhaul the Baltimore police department.

Sadly, as AAPIs, we face yet another moment that demands our solidarity, support, and allyship. I urge you to join me and others at 18MR to make the right choice today by supporting those in Baltimore fighting for their dignity, humanity, and lives.

Help me tell my daughter that while it’s true that the police are hurting – and killing – Black people, many of us are fighting to make it stop.

In struggle,
18MR Campaign Director

[1] The Mysterious Death of Freddie Gray The Atlantic, 4/22/2015
[2] Why Ferguson Matters to Asian Americans RaceFiles, 8/20/2014

Profile on Maya Harris

maya-harris-hillary-clinton-policy-advisorThe Hillary Clinton campaign on April 14 announced three new policy advisors, including Maya Harris (@mayaharris_). An article calls it the campaign’s “most interesting hire yet.”

Maya is of Indian descent on her mother’s side and Jamaican on her father’s side.

She comes to the Clinton campaign after serving as a Senior Fellow at American Progress and a visiting scholar at Harvard Law School. Her focus was on promoting policies that strengthen the U.S. economy and democracy through greater inclusion of women and people of color.

Before her time at the Center for American Progress, she was the Vice President of Democracy, Rights and Justice and an officer of the Board of Trustees at the Ford Foundation, where she led a global team in investing more than $150 million annually in grants to promote effective governance, increase democratic participation, and protect human rights in the United States and in 10 countries around the world.

Maya received her bachelor’s degree from the University of California at Berkeley and graduated with distinction from Stanford Law School. After practicing law as a civil litigator at Jackson Tufts Cole and Black, LLP, and teaching law as an adjunct professor, Maya was recruited to serve as dean and chief executive officer of Lincoln Law School of San Jose—at age 29, she was reportedly one of the country’s youngest law school deans.

Maya subsequently joined PolicyLink, a national research and action institute, and later served as executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union, or ACLU, of Northern California, where she led the litigation, public education, advocacy, and organizing efforts of the nation’s largest ACLU affiliate.

Dowa no Omatsuri: A Festival of Children’s Stories

San Francisco Japantown Foundation

2015 Dowa Poster Final SMLThe children of Nihonmachi Little Friends (NLF) will present their annual theater production and auction, “Dowa no Omatsuri: A Festival of Children’s Stories” on Sunday, March 8, 2015, at the Palace of Fine Arts Theater, 3301 Lyon Street in San Francisco.

Well-known community personalities Ms. June-ko Nakagawa and Mr. Benh Nakajo will serve as co-hosts for the theater program.

Nihonmachi Little Friends is a previous grantee of the San Francisco Japantown Foundation. Ms. Nakagawa serves on the foundation’s board of directors.

Featured will be GenRyu Arts and the students of NLF. The preschoolers will present their version of the children’s tales of “Three Little Pigs, Part 2” and “Rainbow Express”. The elementary school-age children will perform an original story, “The Magic Diary”. A silent auction beginning at 12pm in the lobby will precede the 1:30 performance and will feature a special performance of live music by The Shut-Ins, a mostly…

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