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Asians in the Spotlight

Asians in the Spotlight

By Asian Advocates
Asians in the Spotlight is a podcast branching off of Asian Advocates, a youth-led organization that aims to stand against racism and xenophobia while also creating a platform & voice for the Asian community. This podcast is centered around highlighting Asians who have broken the stereotypes and myths that attempt to limit the Asian community through series of interviews and discussions.
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D1 EP1: Remote Learning Changes + Our Career & College Aspirations

Asians in the Spotlight

D1 EP1: Remote Learning Changes + Our Career & College Aspirations

Asians in the Spotlight

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Putting a Younger Face on Active Poetry in the Community: With Tina Cane
In our second bonus episode, our hosts: Ting Ting and Sandy, interview Tina Cane about her upcoming debut novel, Alma Presses Play. Tina Cane grew up in downtown New York City during the 70s and 80s, surrounded by artists and writers and musicians, and she draws much of her creative inspiration from that era. She is the founder and director of Writers-in-the Schools, RI, for which she works as a visiting poet. She currently serves as the Poet Laureate of Rhode Island where she lives with her husband and their three children. In 2020, Cane was named a poet laureate fellow with the Academy of American Poets. Her books include The Fifth Thought, Dear Elena: Letters for Elena Ferrante, Once More With Feeling, and Body of Work. Alma Presses Play is Tina's debut novel-in-verse for young adults readers. To pre-order her novel, use the link: https://www.rhcbooks.com/books/609918/alma-presses-play-by-tina-cane
41:49
September 04, 2021
Connecting Minority Politics, Business, and Law: With Irene Chun
This is the first bonus episode of our second series, RepresentASIAN in Literature. In this episode our hosts, Ting Ting and Sandy, interview Irene Chun, a recent graduate of Georgetown University and author of the upcoming book, Coloring Ivory: The Intersection of Minority Politics, Business, & the Law. This discussion includes Irene's academic interests, college life as an Asian American, how her book Coloring Ivory came to be, and more! To learn more about Irene and her book, you can visit her linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ireneychun/ and reach out through instagram @ireney.chun. Thank you for listening to this episode! 
38:08
August 22, 2021
Books Are a Tool to Inform, Learn, & Grow: with Abigail Hing Wen & Kelly Loy Gilbert
We have a double interview in today's episode! Abigail is the New York Times Best Selling Author of Loveboat, Taipei, a romantic comedy following the journey of Ever Wong in her summer in Taipei. Loveboat, Taipei has been optioned for film by ACE Entertainment. For more information: www.abigailhingwen.com or follow IG/Twi: @abigailhingwen. Kelly is the author of the recently-released WHEN WE WERE INFINITE, PICTURE US IN THE LIGHT, which was a winner of the California Book Award and an LA Times Book Prize finalist, and CONVICTION, which was a finalist for the Morris Award. Check out her website https://kellyloygilbert.weebly.com // In our last episode for this series, hosts Ting Ting, Kaitlyn, and Sandy interview Abigail and Kelly about their friendship, writing journey + process, and more! Thank you to our team for making this series possible and to our listeners for supporting our podcast!!
55:04
May 01, 2021
Cultural Appropriation in Medicinal Practices: with Debby Nguyen
Debby Nguyen is the author of the upcoming book 'Pills, Teas, and Songs.' Her book is a collection of 11 stories about diverse medicine practices from China, India, Vietnam, to Russia, Nigeria, and the United States. It combines Debby's love for healthcare, people, culture, and history. Understanding the cultural and historical context of Asian medicine is crucial, rather than blindly following wellness trends. In this episode, we talk about the westernization/appropriation of Asian medicine practices, the importance of diverse storylines to educate people, and much more! You can check out Debby's website: www.debbynguyen.com and @debbyiswriting on Instagram for book updates. Thank you for listening! 
46:39
April 25, 2021
Recognize Us & Educate Yourself: with Natasha Sondakh
Kaitlyn and Ting Ting host this week's episode, an enriching and thoughtful conversation. This interview highlights Natasha Sondakh, the author of 'She Smells of Tumeric,' which is set to release later this April. She shares her thoughts on how the American education system has failed us, self love, and how stereotypes have fueled the recent rise in anti-Asian hate crimes. 'She Smells of Turmeric' is a journey of finding and loving yourself. The book was born out of a desire to represent Indonesia in Western literature. Natasha was largely inspired by the Indonesian people that she has grown alongside. Follow @natasha.sondakh on Instagram and her website https://tashasondakh.com for updates on her soon to be released novel.💜 Thank you for supporting our podcast! Come back next Saturday to hear more from us 💜
52:45
April 17, 2021
KPOP– On Its Way to Asian Representation in Western Media: with Wooseok Ki
This week's episode features Wooseok Ki, author of 'K-POP: The Odyssey (Your Gateway to the Global K-Pop Phenomenon)'. Kaitlyn and Sandy discuss with Wooseok on the rise of K-POP in Western media/entertainment...is it an accurate depiction of the Asian community? Wooseok also shares his thoughts on recognizing and celebrating the differences within the Asian community itself. Listen in on this insightful episode that will have you reflecting on the stereotypes embedded from KPOP onto the Asian community. Check out 'K-POP: The Odyssey' on Amazon and Barnes & Noble or @kpop.odyssey on Instagram! 
34:17
April 10, 2021
The Lack of Representation in the Publishing Industry: with Belinda Lei
"Not That Rich" is a dramatic and fun novel about a group of private high schoolers in an affluent Southern Californian suburb. The author of this 'Gossip Girls x Crazy Rich Asians' book joins hosts Lisa and Sandy in today's episode. Belinda Lei shares her diverse experiences as a writer, software engineer, the managing director of Act to Change, and more. Listen in as Belinda shares how her book "Not That Rich" came to be, as well as her thoughts on the lack of representation in the publishing industry. You can purchase "Not That Rich" on Amazon or Barnes & Noble, and learn more at https://notthatrich.com. Thank you for listening to this episode of our series RepresentASIAN in Literature!!
35:17
April 04, 2021
Why We Should Diversify Literature: with Sara Guo
Sandy and Lisa interview Sara Guo, our first Canadian guest (and the youngest) on our podcast! Sara gives us some insight on her self publishing journey and how she wrote and illustrated her book "One Point in Time: To All East Asian Youth." We also have some fun talking about the differences between the Canadian and American university/college application process and those tin cookie boxes that turn out to be sewing kits... More importantly, Sara addresses her motivations for creating her book and why it's essential to have a diverse bookshelf. It's vital to have books represent Asian identity!  Thank you for listening 🤍
29:28
March 30, 2021
Reclaiming Our Voice In A White Society: with Giboom Park
In our new series called RepresentASIAN in Literature, we'll be interviewing Asian authors and highlighting moments in their career. Literature, from poems to novels, is a powerful part of sharing stories and new ideas. Having representation of Asian culture through these stories and the authors who write them is crucial to the way we, as Asian youth, see ourselves in American culture. This series' second episode features Giboom Park, the author of 'Not Your Yellow Fantasy'. In this interview with hosts Lisa and Sandy, she shares why she decided to write a novel highlighting the reality of yellow fever along with her own personal experiences. She also gives some insight on the writing process and obstacles while balancing a student life.  You can find her on Instagram @notyouryellowfantasy and purchase her book on Amazon and Bookshop!
27:37
February 27, 2021
Embracing My Story Through Writing: with Calista Ogburn
Welcome back to Asians in the Spotlight! We're starting off the new year with a new series called RepresentASIAN in Literature, where we'll be interviewing Asian authors and highlighting moments in their career. Literature, from poems to novels, is a powerful part of sharing stories and new ideas. Having representation of Asian culture through these stories and the authors who write them is crucial to the way we, as Asian youth, see ourselves in American culture.  In our pilot episode of our second series, we interview poet Calista Ogburn, a senior in University of Maryland. Hosts Lisa and Kaitlyn talk with Calista about her latest poetry collection 'This Is It', her experience living in Korea and Vietnam, and how she channels her experiences into powerful poetry. Check out her website calista-ogburn.com for more info about her writing and publications!  Thank you to our listeners for supporting us into our new series. We can't wait for what's to come for our podcast in this new year!
28:40
February 13, 2021
Meet Ting Ting Li, CEO & Co-Founder of Asian Advocates
Get to know Asian Advocates' co-founder, CEO, and web director! In this episode, we learn about the different roles that Ting Ting takes on in AA. She shares about the reason why she wanted to create a platform for Asian Advocacy. Outside of managing Asian Advocates, she takes part in many other activities she's passionate about. We hope that you enjoy listening and learning about one of the most important members of our organization! 
20:18
December 19, 2020
D1 EP3: Racism & Its Influence During Covid-19
As we transition into our next podcast series, we'll be recording discussion episodes with various topics with our hosts. For our third and last discussion episode, your hosts reflect on personal experiences dealing with racism, micro-aggressions, and intersectionality. Conversations about racism is not a trend. It should not be a checkbox for performative activism. We encourage you to reach out to your friends and family, keep each other accountable, and continue educating yourself so that we can see change in our society.  We're so excited to be starting our next podcast series next week! Follow us at @asiansinthespotlight on IG to stay updated– we'll be releasing the series topic soon!  Thank you for listening and to our team for making this podcast possible. See you next Saturday 💛
39:59
November 28, 2020
D1 EP2: Mental Health in the Youth Asian Community
As we transition into our next podcast series, we'll be recording discussion episodes with various topics with our hosts. This week, Kaitlyn, Sandy, and Lisa talk about how balancing school and friendships while maintaining a healthy mental well-being. We also talk about the effects of having an 'immigrant success mentality' as well how we learn to self love.   We hope that you are able to find understanding in this episode, knowing that you are never alone! There are so many resources and people here for you. Your story, your feelings, and your life is so valid. Below are some of the many resources you can use to get help if you need it! Sending much love and thanks for your support! 1. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, 1-800-273-8255 2. The National Alliance on Mental Illness, 1-800-950-6264 - To communicate and get information from experts on mental health illness treatments and support groups. 3. National Institute of Mental Health, 1-866-615-6464 - Communicate to people about mental health issues you or your family & friends might be experiencing.
27:32
November 21, 2020
D1 EP1: Remote Learning Changes + Our Career & College Aspirations
As we transition into our next podcast series, we'll be recording discussion episodes with various topics with our hosts. This week, Kaitlyn, Sandy, and Lisa catch up to talk about the difficulties of remote learning and being in quarantine. We also discuss our aspirations in college and beyond! Thank you to all our listeners for the support, and of course to our team for making this podcast possible! We hope that you'll enjoy this light-hearted conversation. Tune in next week for our second discussion episode!⚡️
39:41
November 14, 2020
What Are the Struggles of a Female Politician?: with Angela Yip
For our first series, we will be focusing on Asians in The Political Field as the general election on November 23rd, 2020, nears in the United States. For this series we will be interviewing different Asians in The Political Field to empower the Asian community to get more involved with politics as well as vote in not just this year's general election but all elections in the future as well. Angela Yip is a policy and public affairs professional in the San Francisco Bay Area with extensive experience working with Asian American and Pacific Islander communities. Angela serves as Senior District Representative for California State Senator Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley) and co-founded and co-directs AAMPLIFY, an education nonprofit working to support Asian American youth leadership development, community advocacy, and college opportunity. In this episode, hosts Ting Ting and Sandy talk with Angela Yip about working in a male dominated workplace, as an Asian female. Ms. Yip also talks about representation in the AAPI community, civil engagement, and diversifying your mindset. We hope you feel inspired and empowered in our last episode with this special guest!  Thank you for tuning in to this episode of AITS, the last episode of our first series! We appreciate you and our listeners for the support for the last two months! As always, thank you to the team for making this series possible. 
47:06
October 24, 2020
The Importance and Impact of Youth Leadership: with Dustin Liu
For our first series, we will be focusing on Asians in The Political Field as the general election on November 23rd, 2020, nears in the United States. For this series we will be interviewing different Asians in The Political Field to empower the Asian community to get more involved with politics as well as vote in not just this year's general election but all elections in the future as well. Dustin (he/his) is the son of two Taiwanese immigrants who have long fostered in him the belief that individuals can inspire social change - he is thrilled to join an organization that believes in the power of youth to change the world. Dustin’s prior work experiences have been with organizations such as Breakthrough Collaborative and Matriculate in student-facing roles focused on education access as well as with organizations such as the Center for Collaborative Education and Ashoka where he worked to support the professional learning and network activation of educators in both K-12 and post-secondary settings. He is currently serving as the 9th US Youth Observer to the United Nations and works to support IDEAS, an annual social innovation challenge at MIT. In his free time, Dustin is a certified Zumba instructor and loves to share his love for playing the cello in community with others. Dustin holds a B.S. in Industrial and Labor Relations from Cornell University where he was named a Fulbright Grantee and is currently an Ed.M. candidate at the Harvard Education Graduate School of Education. Listen in as Dustin talks about his privileges that allow him to be a youth change maker, why he think youth leaders are important, and his experience as the son of immigrants.  Thank you to our listeners for your support, and to the AITS team for making this episode possible!
36:48
October 24, 2020
Learning to Agree to Disagree: with Sam Cho
For our first series, we will be focusing on Asians in The Political Field as the general election on November 3rd, 2020, nears in the United States. For this series we will be interviewing different Asians in The Political Field to empower the Asian community to get more involved with politics as well as vote in not just this year's general election but all elections in the future as well. Sam Cho was elected to the Port Commission in 2019. Cho is the son of immigrants from South Korea, who came to the United States through the Port of Seattle. He is currently the only person of color serving on the Commission. Commissioner Cho was the Founder and CEO of Seven Seas Export, an international trading company that was headquartered in Seattle and exported to Asia. He identified an opportunity to sell eggs to Asian countries that were experiencing an egg shortage at the height of Asia’s avian influenza epidemic in the winter of 2016. He exported more than 2.5 million pounds of eggs to countries like South Korea. Prior to his entrepreneurial endeavor, Commissioner Cho was a political appointee under President Barack Obama serving at the US General Services Administration. He helped manage a federal agency of more than 10,000 federal employees and worked on executing the administration’s agency-wide policies in real asset management, federal procurements, acquisitions, and technology. Commissioner Cho also served as a Legislative Assistant to a Washington State Senator and a member of the United States Congress for whom he managed a portfolio of Foreign Affairs, Trade, Small Business, and Financial Services. He also served as an analyst at the US Department of State. His priorities as a commissioner include promoting trade, working towards environmental sustainability, ensuring diversity and inclusion in the workforce and contracting, and stopping human trafficking. We hope that you'll enjoy listening to this episode with the esteemed Sam Cho as he talks about his humbling experiences during his first job, working with people who have different views, and his Korean identity.  Thank you to our listeners for listening, and to our AITS team for making this episode possible! 💛
53:01
October 11, 2020
The Failures That Build Your Journey: with Doug Chin
For our first series, we will be focusing on Asians in The Political Field as the general election on November 3rd, 2020, nears in the United States. For this series we will be interviewing different Asians in The Political Field to empower the Asian community to get more involved with politics as well as vote in not just this year's general election but all elections in the future as well. Doug Chin is a litigation attorney and is part of the police commission of Hawaii. He serves as the Hawaii lieutenant governor. He is known for his position as he defended the Marriage Equality Act in the Hawaii Supreme Court, and when he filed for a lawsuit against President Trump's immigration ban. Mr. Chin has also helped stop the reversal of student loans to graduates from fraudulent for-profit colleges. From the perspective of a lieutenant governor, Mr. Chin talks about the importance of police accountability, his motives for suing the Trump Administration for the immigration ban, and how his failures have built his career journey.  Thank you to our listeners for listening, and to the AITS team for making this episode possible! We appreciate your support always. 
50:19
October 03, 2020
Standing Your Ground and Being True to Yourself: with Sam Park
For our first series, we will be focusing on Asians in The Political Field as the general election on November 23rd, 2020, nears in the United States. For this series we will be interviewing different Asians in The Political Field to empower the Asian community to get more involved with politics as well as vote in not just this year's general election but all elections in the future as well. Representative Sam Park is the first openly gay man and first Asian American Democrat elected to the Georgia State Legislature. He is the grandson of refugees from the Korean War and a son of immigrants. Sam is a native Georgian, born and raised by a single mother. He became the first lawyer in his family, and has a Masters in Law, Politics, and Legislation.  In 2016, Sam unseated a three-term Republican chairwoman running on Medicaid expansion to provide access to healthcare for more than 500,000 Georgians after his mother was diagnosed with terminal cancer. After winning by less than 2% as a first-time candidate, Sam won his first reelection in 2018 with more than 18% of the vote. Currently, Sam serves in leadership as a Deputy Whip in the Georgia House Democratic Caucus and the Vice-Chair of the Gwinnett State House Delegation. We hope you enjoy this meaningful and insightful interview. Sam Park talks about his experiences as a gay and Asian man growing up in the Church in the Deep South. He also shares the importance of telling his story and being rooted in his morals to connect with other people in order to help his community. Thank you to our listeners for your support, and thank you to the AITS team for making this podcast possible! 
51:12
September 26, 2020
Discovering Identity in a Different Culture: with Joey Manahan
For our first series, we will be focusing on Asians in The Political Field as the general election on November 23rd, 2020, nears in the United States. For this series we will be interviewing different Asians in The Political Field to empower the Asian community to get more involved with politics as well as vote in not just this year's general election but all elections in the future as well. In the second episode of Asians in the Political Field, AITS hosts Lisa Wong and Kaitlyn Cui are joined by Joey Manahan, a Filipino American, politician, and member of the Honolulu City Council. He is also a member of the Hawaii Filipino Junior Chamber of Commerce and the National Federation of Filipino American Associations. Listen in as we learn about Mr. Manahan's childhood as he immigrated to America, and how he discovered what it means to be American and Filipino. We also discuss his career failures and successes that have led him to be the person he is today.  Mr. Manahan has greatly helped his community through partaking in projects and through his roles in the state. Asians in the Spotlight is honored to be the first podcast to interview Mr. Manahan and we hope that our listeners will enjoy this episode as well. Thank you for all your support, and to the AITS team for making this episode possible.
45:33
September 20, 2020
Young, Queer, Politician: with Alex Lee
For our first series, we will be focusing on Asians in The Political Field as the general election on November 23rd 2020, nears in the United States. For this series we will be interviewing different Asians in The Political Field to empower the Asian community to get more involved with politics as well as vote in not just this year's general election but all elections in the future as well.  For the first episode, listen in as our hosts, Lisa Wong and Sandy Chen, interview our special guest, Alex Lee. Alex Lee (李天明) is a 25-year-old progressive Democratic candidate for State Assembly in California's Bay Area who has served as a legislative policy advisor in the Senate & Assembly. While rejecting all corporate money and being outspent 15 to 1 by his primary opponents, his grassroots progressive campaign beat out 7 other Democrats. If elected in November, Alex would be the youngest state legislator in almost a century, the first openly bisexual state legislator, and first GenZ legislator in California history.  We hope you enjoy this meaningful conversation as Alex shares his journey in his political career as a part of the young, queer, & Asian community, maintaining mental health, and the importance of voting. 
46:47
September 13, 2020
Welcome to Asians in the Spotlight!
Welcome to the first episode of Asians in the Spotlight 🥳  In this episode, get to know your hosts Kaitlyn, Sandy, and Lisa. Learn about their upcoming series and what to expect for the future!  Thank you to the Asian Advocates' podcast team for making this possible, and to the listeners for the support 💛
11:24
September 05, 2020