Tuesday, March 11, 2008

What is CRAASH?

CRAASH is a student led coalition that was formed in April 2007 in response to the inadequate conditions of the Asian American Studies Program (AASP) at Hunter College. Students have led a campaign on and off campus to fight for the education that they were promised when they entered Hunter College.

Currently, the AASP lacks sufficient financial, structural, and institutional support from both Hunter College and the greater CUNY administration, rendering it unable to flourish as a true academic program. Asian Americans constitute 26 percent of the undergraduate student population, making them the largest ethnic group, yet they continue to be the most under-represented. Although there have been vague promises from Hunter administrators, CRAASH has yet to see actual results. CRAASH will not cease to exist until institutional changes are made.

CRAASH’s initiatives also include organizing a petition of over 1,000 signatures that support the AASP. They’ve also had feature stories in different media outlets such as the popular AngryAsianMan and Racialicious blog, a full page article in the Hunter Envoy and East Coast Asian American Student Union newsletter, a Facebook group with over 300 friends, and a podcast interview on Fallout Central a popular Asian American activist website. AsianWeek magazine and Pacific Citizen will also feature CRAASH’s efforts.

CRAASH aims to ensure increased funding for a greater variety of classes, a stable office, full-time faculty members, a permanent director to lead the program, and space to conduct events that will engage and benefit the Hunter community.

CRAASH on Fallout Central!

Olivia Lin, Founder of The Coalition for the Revitalization of Asian American Studies (CRAASH), and I (Associate Director of CRAASH) went to do an on-air interview about the lack of support for Asian American Studies at Hunter College for Fallout Central on their weekly podcast.

Fallout Central is an online site that informs and mobilizes the Asian American community against racism and prejudices that they experience in the United States. They have a huge following in not only America but Asia as well. They provide progressive social change through education, organized action and other non-violent means and methods, as found on their website, www.falloutcentral.com.

The podcast was really great!
I really suggest you listen to it at

Because one, you will get to catch up on what is hapenning in the Asian American community all across America.
Plus! Yours truly is on there towards the end of the podcast, talking about CRAASH and social commentary on such great things like America's Best Dance Team!
Go jabawokeez and kaba modern!

Here are the jabawokeez! I love them!
Did they ever say why they wear masks?
I think it's so they can be judged solely on their skills and not their ethnicity, because when I first saw them my initial reaction was whoa..creepy masks!
Then I watched them and went, whoa...sweet moves.
Then they took their masks off and I went, WHOA! They're ASIAN?!!?!

watch them for yourself
and listen to the FALLOUT CENTRAL PODCAST!


Monday, March 10, 2008

Grassroots Media Conference Review


The conference was great! It was all about media advocacy and teaching students how to use independent media.
I met a lot of great people, a lot of great documentary filmmakers, but most importantly I saw Luis Mostacero, my friend from The Ethnic News Project at Hunter College!

We went to two workshops together.
"2008 Presidential Elections: Through the lens of ethnic press"
With Anthony Advincula from The New York Community Media Alliance formerly known as the Independent Press Association of New York (IPA-NY) and other reporters from ethnic publications including the Sing Tao Daily(far left) ,Polish Daily News(middle left), and Bangla Patrika(middle right) and Anthony is on the far right.

That was a great workshop because they explained their communities perspectives on the upcoming Presidential election. This was an especially important workshop to attend because the ethnic voice is one that isn't heard in mainstream media. Also it was great to reconnect with Anthony who had helped me so much during my Ethnic News Project days.

Then Luis and I went to "Getting Started on Your Documentary Film," with our former professor, Tami Gold!
She has produced several fantastic documentaries, my favorite is her series on Oaxaca Mexico because they are so touching and enlightening.

I also went to the film screening, "A call for change series: Presented by third world newsreel."

(here is a picture of the documentary film makers)

This was a series of 16 short documentaries that highlighted various communities of color in New York City.
The documentary that really affected me the most was,
Dastaar: Defending Sikh Identity
Here is a synopsis...
A restaurant owner beaten. A policeman fired. A 20 year subway conductor born in the U.S., threatened with job loss: All for wearing the signature turbans of their religion, Sikhism. Since 9/11, hate crimes and job losses have plagued the Sikh-American community, whose religion originated in India, and is not even Islamic. In response, the NYC Sikh community has organized to confront the bias and attacks, through legal suits, pressure on city officials and proactive public education. An excellent introduction to an often misunderstood religion and the success of community activism.

I know you're all very busy but please watch a short preview of this film and I promise you that you'll leave knowing something you didn't know before.
here is the link...


Wednesday, March 5, 2008

International Women's Day



March 8th against the war!
International Women's Day arose from the upsurge of women's activism on both national and international politics. 1913 was a watershed for the women's movement. On March 8th, women led peace rallies in Europe, in protest against the looming threat of a world war. In Russia, the women went on strike, calling for "peace and bread," thereby starting the cresting of a revolutionary wave until the 1917 October revolution. In the US, Ida Wells-Barnett, an African-American journalist, broke segregation laws by marching with her white colleagues, calling for the women's right to vote. Indeed, the 20th century was replete with instances of women challenging national and international politics, culminating in rallies, pickets, demonstrations on March 8th.

Since then March 8th has been co-opted and turned into a so-called commemoration of women's achievements, as though there were no more need for further achievements. It is time to return March 8th to its historic role as the day women challenge government decisions and policies inimical to peace, justice and the preservation of the human species. It is time for March 8th to be known as the day when women unite and march against state policies dangerous to the health and safety of the nation.

In the year 2008, we issue the call to all women to transform March 8th into a historic protest against the war in Iraq. Despite the majority opprobrium against this war, it continues, sucking up resources needed for education, health and social services. Despite majority opposition to the war, it continues, funneling hundreds of billions of taxpayers' money into the maws of war-profiteers and war-racketeers. Despite majority disgust with the war, it continues, killing one US youth after another, nearly 4,000 now; killing nearly 2 million Iraqis; the endless carnage justified by hollow assertions of "victory" and "it's working."

The March 8th Against the War Committee call on all women to use this day of international activism to protest the war, call for its end, and for US troops to return to US soil. The March 8th Against the War Committee invokes the memory of Clara Zetkin and Alexandra Kollontai, of the European women and the Russian women who opposed imperialist wars. May their likes walk with us again, in the 21st century!

- all information found on www.gabnet.org -

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Grassroots Media Conference

what is this conference about?
For the past four years, we’ve come together to explore the political dimensions of media and how it shapes our lives. By developing relationships between community and media organizations, the NYC Grassroots Media Coalition is working to re-imagine issues of access to, control of, and power over our media system. That means defining our struggle as a struggle for Media Justice.

Media Justice recognizes the need for a media that comes from, and is responsive to, the people, a media that addresses systemic marginalization and discrimination and that speaks truth to power. Media Justice asserts that our communities and airwaves are more than markets, and that our relationship to the media must be more than passive consumption. Media Justice recognizes that the form of our current media system is not inevitable, but the result of an interplay of history, technology, power, and privilege. Media Justice seeks to integrate efforts to reform our media system with a social justice agenda, in order to create not just a better media, but a better world.

We invite you to join us at the 2008 NYC Grassroots Media Conference as we seek to define our understanding of and relationship to Media Justice as a community, and explore how we can not only envision an ideal world, but to make this vision a reality.

when is it?
Sunday | March 2nd 2008

Hunter College, 68th Street and Lexington Ave | West Building

(Southwest Corner, enter from street or directly from 6 train)


Hope to see you there!!
For more information and to register visit www.nycgrassrootsmedia.org

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Passing Poston

It's been a while since my last post.
I've moved to New York City and I'll update on that later.
But more importantly I wanted to tell everyone about this film,
Passing Poston.

"For the tens of thousands of Japanese Americans forcibly interned during World War II, the scars have never healed.

Passing Poston tells the moving and haunting story of four former internees of the Poston Relocation Center. Each person shadowed by a tragic past, each struggling in their own painful way to reconcile the trauma of their youth, each still searching and yearning during the last chapter of their lives, to find their rightful place in this country.

The Poston Relocation center, built on the Colorado River Indian Tribes reservation, served as one of ten internment camps built in seven states. Between 1942 and 1945, the Poston camps housed over 18,000 Japanese and Japanese American detainees.

Unlike, the nine other internment camps, Poston was unique and was built with a very different purpose. It served as a place to house thousands of Japanese detainees but also the infrastructure created by and for them served to recruit more Native Americans from surrounding smaller reservations to the much larger and sparsely populated Colorado River Indian Tribes (CRIT) reservation, after the war.

The Japanese detainees held at the three Poston Camps were used as laborers to build adobe schools, do experimental farming, and construct an irrigation system that could later be used by the Native Americans, thus aiding the settlement of the area as planned by the Office of Indian Affairs (known today as the Bureau of Indian Affairs).

- as found on www.passingposton.com -

Watch the trailer here!

Barret, my favorite bakla, and I will be attending the film screening tomorrow at Anthology Film Archives
32 Second Avenue (between 1st and 2nd Street) at 7:30 pm
The film will also play on February 25th at 7:30 pm
But check the website becuase it will also premeire in California, Washington DC, Seattle, and Connecticut!

Everyone needs to watch this film and acknowledge that during World War II America had its own Concentration Camps.

"Although the term “internment camp.” is often applied to the War Relocation Authority (WRA) camps for West Coast families, such as in the official name for the recently designated Minidoka Internment National Monument, the WRA facilities should technically, and more accurately, be termed concentration camps. While they were not “death camps” in the same sense as the concentration camps operated by Nazi Germany during World War II, they nevertheless housed both U.S. citizens and non-citizens who were forcibly imprisoned there and who could not come and go freely. "
- as found on http://www.uidaho.edu/LS/AACC/SENSITIV.HTM -

Thursday, December 13, 2007

lets talk about race

- courtesy of Julian Do -

New America Media has just completed a national poll on race relations between Black, Hispanic, and Asians. And we would very much would like to invite your participation our media event on Friday, December 14.

This first-of-its-kind multilingual poll of Black, Hispanic and Asian Americans finds a multi-ethnic America that is at once divided by race and ethnic tension, while at the same time optimistic about a more harmonious multi-ethnic future. All three groups underscore racial tensions among them as a serious problem demanding attention, and share negative stereotypes of each other. Yet these same majorities also believe that race relations will improve significantly over the next 10 years.

Viewed in historical perspective, the poll is a benchmark for America's evolution as a global society. Unlike earlier European (White) immigrants to America who often advanced by setting themselves apart from African Americans, today's Hispanics and Asians see themselves as belonging to the same country as the Blacks and Whites preceding them. Pointedly, both Asians and Hispanics acknowledge that Black America forged the path for their own assimilation through the civil rights movement. And all three groups believe that advances by each will benefit the other, and describe their futures as interdependent. All three expect that time will improve race relations.

Please join us for a full presentation of the poll results to be followed by a diverse panel of speakers on the future of our society.
Below please find an invite with details for the media briefing event. Parking is free.

To RSVP, you could reply to this email jdo@newamericamedia.org