The views and opinions expressed on this site and blog posts (excluding comments on blog posts left by others) are entirely my own and do not represent those of any employer or organization with whom I am currently or previously have been associated.
Academic Version: Applying my personal experiences and academic research as a professor of Sociology and Asian American Studies to provide a more complete understanding of political, economic, and cultural issues and current events related to American race relations, and Asia/Asian America in particular.
Plain English: Trying to put my Ph.D. to good use.
Here are some more announcements, links, and job postings about academic-related jobs, fellowships, and other related opportunities for those interested in racial/ethnic/diversity issues. As always, the announcements and links are provided for informational purposes and do not necessarily imply an endorsement of the organization or college involved.
Today is the last day to help take the Queer Southeast Asian (QSEA) Census, March 1, 2011. As of now, we have collected 380 surveys nationally by Hmong, Thai, Laotian, Vietnamese and Cambodians who are LGBTQ living in the US. We need 20 more surveys to be taken to reach our goal of 400 and it would be fantastic if we surpass that goal!
I wanted to reach out to you all again in hopes that if you haven’t taken the survey yet, to please do so, as this is historical and ground breaking data that we have been needing to
help support our work and bring visibility to our communities that do exist for over 30 years in the US. And for those that have taken it or don’t fit the criteria, please help us outreach it to your family, friends and network until midnight via Facebook, social networks, website and email.
Our QSEA Census is directed towards Queer Southeast Asians that have been affected by the Vietnam War living in the countries of Laos, Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia.
Leadership in Action (LIA) is an eight-week paid summer internship program designed to develop emerging young leaders by providing college students with practical leadership skills and the opportunity to work hands-on in the Asian and Pacific Islander (API) community in Southern California.
Approaching its 14th year, the program takes learning beyond the classroom, and places the student interns in a range of API community based organizations in order to gain real-life experience working at nonprofits. The intern will be paid $2,000 for the eight-week internship.
The intern’s weekly schedule is comprised of 4 days at their assigned community based organization (CBO) and 1 day at LEAP. At the CBO, the intern works with their assigned supervisor on a meaningful project. At LEAP, the intern’s day is devoted to leadership development training, issue discussions, CBO site visits and a community impact project. Nationally recognized trainers deliver workshops in critical skill areas. Issue discussions are on local or timely topics of interest and are facilitated by local community leaders/activists and LEAP trainers.
The community impact project will give the students interns an opportunity to flex their leadership skills in a safe setting, as well as allow them to contribute a service that has lasting impact on to the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities. The 2011 program will be held in Los Angeles from June 20 – August 12, 2011.
The application process for interns is now open. Applications are due Friday, March 11th, 2011. There are two rounds in the application process. The first round is where a committee reviews all the applications and decides who they want to come in for an interview. The second round is the actual interview either at LEAP or by teleconference. The results will be decided by the end of March and interns will be notified by the first week of April.
Junior Faculty Development Workshop, Penn State
On June 2-4, 2011, the East of California Caucus and the Pennsylvania State University will sponsor a junior faculty development workshop for early-career Asian Americanists. The workshop reflects EOC’s historical commitment to mentoring junior faculty and providing support to those working to increase the disciplinary and curricular visibility of Asian American Studies in higher education. Specifically, the workshop will help professionalize junior faculty by focusing on how to:
Create extra-institutional networks of support
Identify meaningful research projects and develop vocabularies for how to talk about such projects with a variety of audiences (department chairs, audiences outside of Asian American Studies, potential editors)
Confront pedagogical challenges
Establish effective collegial relationships
Navigate the tenure process successfully
To accomplish these goals, the workshop will feature panel discussions, breakout sessions, and work-in-progress workshops. Please note that space will be limited to ensure a high level of interaction among all participants. Interested scholars should submit a brief letter of application outlining what the applicant hopes to gain by attending the workshop, a draft or excerpt of approximately 7-15 pages of the article or book chapter being proposed for workshop development (only work that has not yet been published is eligible), and a c.v. Please send materials to Tina Chen firstname.lastname@example.org and Eric Hung email@example.com; questions should be directed to Tina Chen.
This event is funded by the Penn State Asian Studies Program (ASP) with additional support from the Center for American Literary Studies (CALS). The workshop will begin on Thursday evening (6/2) and conclude at 12:30 on Saturday (6/4). PSU will cover lodging and all meals during the event (specifically, 2 nights of lodging; dinner on Thursday; all meals on Friday; and breakfast and lunch on Saturday).
Examining the Resettlement & Integration Experiences of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex Refugees
Intensive Internship Yielding Thesis-Level Stand-Alone Report and Publication
[10-week Program from June 13th to August 19th]
ORAM (Organization for Refuge, Asylum and Migration) is a California-based non-profit organization with a mission to advocate for refugees fleeing sexual or gender based persecution. ORAM conducts international education and advocacy on behalf of these highly vulnerable individuals. It also provides legal counseling and representation as these persons struggle to find security and safe haven. We work with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), with other non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and with community-based groups in the U.S. and abroad to achieve our mission. More information is available at www.oraminternational.org.
Project: Conducting a Survey on the Resettlement Experiences of LGBTI Refugees
ORAM is looking for exceptionally committed and highly qualified interns to conduct and report upon a survey documenting the experiences of LGBTI refugees in the United States. Each intern will be assigned a geographic area corresponding to his/her location. After contacting local resettlement organizations and locating LGBTI refugees, the intern will conduct in-person interviews with the persons identified. ORAM will provide translation services on an as-needed basis. Basing their work on a survey designed by ORAM, interns will inquire into areas including the refugees’ access to medical and mental health care, ability to find employment, and access to safe housing.
Participants’ stand-alone papers based on these interviews will be appropriate for use as graduation theses, upon school approval. ORAM will utilize the information gathered to compile a high quality analytical advocacy report, along with extensive recommendations for organizations and government agencies resettling LGBTI refugees. As in all ORAM projects, student contributors will be fully credited in the final published work.
Anthropology, sociology, gender studies, social work and journalism students are encouraged to apply. Applicants must have excellent interviewing, listening and writing skills. High-level fluency in a second language, including (but not limited to) Spanish, Arabic, French or Farsi is highly desirable. Applicants receiving academic credit for this internship are strongly preferred. Interns are unpaid. They will work a minimum of 20 hours of work per week during a 10-week period in the summer of 2011. Interns will report to an ORAM supervisor and will be required to attend a weekly meeting via Skype.
Interested applicants should send (1) a resume, (2) a cover letter, and (3) an original, non-fiction writing sample to ORAM Internship Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please write “Resettlement Experiences Internship Application” in the subject line of the email. Applications will be evaluated on an ongoing basis until May 1, 2011.
One of the biggest stories this past week was the suicide of 18-year old Rutgers University freshman Tyler Clementi. Most reports describe that he was apparently pushed into ending his life after his roommate and another student (Dharun Ravi and Molly Wei) broadcast a video stream on the internet of Clementi having sex with another male student:
On the evening of September 19, Rutgers student Dharun Ravi is believed to have sent a message by Twitter about his roommate, Clementi. “Roommate asked for the room till midnight. I went into molly’s room and turned on my webcam. I saw him making out with a dude. Yay.”
Ravi, 18, of Plainsboro, New Jersey, surreptitiously placed the camera in their dorm room and broadcast video of Clementi’s sexual encounter on the internet, the Middlesex County prosecutor’s office said. Ravi tried to use the webcam again two days later, on September 21. “Anyone with iChat, I dare you to video chat me between the hours of 9:30 and 12. Yes it’s happening again,” Ravi is believed to have tweeted. The next day, Clementi was dead. . . .
Ravi and Wei, 18, of Princeton, New Jersey, are charged with two counts each of invasion of privacy for the September 19 broadcast, according to the prosecutor’s office. Two more counts of invasion of privacy were leveled against Ravi for a September 21 attempt to videotape another encounter involving Clementi, the prosecutor’s office said.
At this point, the focus should be on supporting Tyler Clementi’s family, his friends, and all LGBT persons who are in similar situations of feeling humiliated, alienated, and alone in a society that it often too quick to ridicule and marginalize their identities. This is indeed a sickening tragedy on all levels and for everybody involved and as the NBC video segment below describes, bullying that leads to suicide is a real problem:
Inevitably, many will place the blame squarely on Ravi and Wei for perpetrating such a immature, callous, and reckless act. They indeed need to be disciplined but we also need to consider a few other factors before “locking them up and throwing away the key.”
The Double-Edge Sword
Ultimately people are responsible for their own individual actions, but as a sociologist, I would argue that their actions are another example of one of the unfortunate results of the growing ubiquity of the internet and technology — the erosion of basic social etiquette and norms of behavior. That is, while the internet and social networking sites now allow us to interact with and share information between people much more easily, widely, and quickly than ever before, as some researchers argue, they have also led to the decline of many social norms. A Pew Research Institute report notes that some of the negatives associated with increased internet use are:
. . . time spent online robs time from important face-to-face relationships; the internet fosters mostly shallow relationships; the act of leveraging the internet to engage in social connection exposes private information; the internet allows people to silo themselves, limiting their exposure to new ideas; and the internet is being used to engender intolerance.
It’s with this in mind that I would argue that part of Ravi and Wei’s mindset in perpetrating these acts was based on being desensitized to and detached from the consequences of their actions. This is not an excuse for their actions, which were indeed thoughtless. Nonetheless, from a sociological point of view, like many young people these days who grew up surrounded by the internet and the ease of uploading videos, electronically chatting with friends, and sharing virtually all aspects of their public and private lives, they probably felt that streaming Clementi’s private life online was just like other forms of social life that they engaged in themselves or saw on television through reality shows, etc.
I also need to mention the racial/ethnic aspect of this episode: both Ravi and Wei are Asian American and just like other tragic events in recent history in which the perpetrators were Asian American (the murders at Virginia Tech committed by Seung Hui Cho as one example), there are also likely to be generalizations about Asian Americans being conniving, intolerant, mentally unstable, and/or feeling of superiority perhaps due to their academic success, etc.
I hope that we can all recognize that, as with any racial, ethnic, cultural, or religious group, the unfortunate actions of one person or a small group of people should not indict everyone of that same group as being guilty by association.
As I noted earlier, I agree that Ravi and Wei need to be appropriately disciplined. But even if one or both of them had any anti-gay beliefs beforehand (there does not seem to be any evidence of that so far), as I’ve also written before about those who commit hate crimes against Asian Americans and other minority groups, I do not support criminalizing them in such a harsh and punitive way that they become “lifelong racists” — or in this case, lifelong homophobes.
I hope we can emphasize the need to condemn and punish the act while also making sure the actors learn from their mistakes so that they can eventually join the fight to make sure these kinds of tragedies do not happen again.
Moving Forward Together
As I noted earlier, the focus should be on Tyler Clementi, his family, his social community, and others in a similar position. It’s with this in mind that I point out that LGBT Americans and Asian Americans share many things in common. As I’ve chronicled on many occasions on this blog, many Asian Americans have and continue to endure bullying, racist taunts, and even physical violence in their daily lives. Like Tyler Clementi, many Asian Americans feel isolated, alienated, and even despondent over how they’re treated by mainstream American society — to the point of also taking their own lives as a result.
A tragedy like this can tear us as a society apart, or it can help open up a dialog and ultimately bring us closer together. I believe that the despite inevitable differences that many individuals have within each minority group, the common experiences on feeling shut out of the American mainstream is an unfortunate but powerful bond that we do share together.
A New Jersey jury today found former Rutgers student Dharun Ravi guilty on all counts for using a webcam to spy on his roommate, Tyler Clementi, having a gay sexual encounter in 2010.
Ravi, 20, was convicted of invasion of privacy, bias intimidation, witness tampering and hindering arrest, stemming from his role in activating the webcam to peek at Clementi’s date with a man in the dorm room on Sept. 19, 2010. Ravi was also convicted of encouraging others to spy during a second date, on Sept. 21, 2010, and intimidating Clementi for being gay.
Ravi was found not guilty of some subparts of the 15 counts of bias intimidation, attempted invasion of privacy, and attempted bias intimidation, but needed only to be found guilty of one part of each count to be convicted.
The convictions carry a possible sentence of five to 10 years in prison. Because Ravi is a citizen of India, and is in the US on a green card, he could be deported following his sentencing.
Several years ago, I worked as Director of Education for the Asian Pacific Islander Coalition on HIV/AIDS (APICHA) in New York City. I oversaw our organization’s community outreach programs to educate the Asian American community in New York about HIV/AIDS. It was challenging but rewarding work and was one way for me to apply my academic knowledge and training to make a contribution to my community.
Along the same lines, today is the sixth annual National Asian & Pacific Islander HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. To continue the efforts to educate Asian Americans about HIV/AIDS, the Asian & Pacific Islander Wellness Center in San Francisco is the lead organization for the Banyan Tree Project, a national HIV/AIDS anti-stigma social marketing campaign targeting Asians & Pacific Islanders (A&PIs), funded by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The Banyan Tree Project raises awareness about sexual health in A&PI communities by addressing the silence and shame surrounding HIV. For this year’s Awareness Day event, they’ve created the following public service announcement that airs nationally on television stations across the country, along with the following summary:
On May 19th, Asian & Pacific Islander (A&PI) communities across the U.S. and Pacific Island Jurisdictions will gather at over 25 events to acknowledge the impact of HIV on A&PIs, an often overlooked population at increasing risk for HIV. May 19th, 2010 marks the 6th annual observance of National Asian & Pacific Islander HIV/AIDS Awareness Day.
At the events, the Banyan Tree Project will premiere a new social marketing campaign and public service announcement, “Saving face can’t make you safe. Talk about HIV.” Saving face is a common cultural concept for many A&PIs, where the individual seeks to protect the family or community from shame or public disgrace. In practice, “saving face” can prevent people from talking about sexual health or HIV, leading to low HIV testing rates, misconceptions about HIV transmission, a lack of knowledge about safer sex practices and ultimately, increased HIV risk. The Banyan Tree Project urges A&PIs to have the courage to talk about HIV in order to create healthy A&PI communities.
The threat of HIV/AIDS continues to grow in the U.S., particularly in communities of color who collectively represent 70% of the national epidemic. The impact of the disease among A&PIs is alarming, though less-publicized than that of Blacks and Latinos. The most recent data shows A&PI men and women have the highest percentage annual increase in new HIV infections, higher than any other racial or ethnic group. Similarly, HIV infection rates among A&PI youth are on the rise. Between 2001 and 2006, the number of HIV diagnoses among young A&PI gay men more than doubled. Despite this, over two thirds of A&PIs have never been tested for HIV.
In addition to cultural barriers to HIV prevention education such as “saving face,” there are other unique challenges in reaching the diverse community of more than 13 million A&PIs in the U.S., making up a population of over 49 distinct ethnic groups speaking more than 100 languages and dialects. The need for culturally and linguistically competent health information and providers is great, yet HIV prevention information is available mostly in English and Spanish. This, coupled with the common misconception that A&PIs are at “low risk” for HIV, makes it difficult to communicate HIV risk to many A&PIs. Clearly, HIV stigma affects the A&PI community—where high-risk behavior is often kept under wraps, even between peers—posing significant barriers to HIV testing and timely access to care for many A&PIs.
The federally endorsed Awareness Day events are coordinated by the Banyan Tree Project, a national partnership led by Asian & Pacific Islander Wellness Center in San Francisco. The Banyan Tree Project aims to increase HIV awareness and access to life-saving services for A&PIs by offering HIV testing, educating the community and reducing HIV stigma. To find an event in your area, please visit banyantreeproject.org. Join the conversation and talk about HIV.
Here are some more announcements and links out that have come my way relating to Asians or Asian Americans. As always, links to other sites are provided for informational purposes and do not necessarily imply an endorsement of their contents:
According to Camden Lee, an OCA intern and University of Maryland student, the directory is “an amazing resource that provides opportunities that I never even knew about.” Available at OCA & JACL events and online at the University of MD AAST site, this one of a kind Directory includes information and resources for AAPI students and their families. . . .
Professor Larry Shinagawa, director of AAST, said: “The directory is a handy reference that can be used by all students and parents who are interested in finding the financial means and experiential resources to pursue higher education. You will find here a wealth of information, tips, and resources that can help enable students to pursue a quality higher education. The adage that education can never be taken from you and enables you to persevere and succeed continues to be the age-old truth. We hope this directory serves the purposes of advancing educational opportunities to collegiate-age students of APA background.”
The Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) announces an opening for the JACL Norman Y. Mineta Fellowship in the Washington, D.C. office of the JACL. This fellowship is in the Washington, D.C. office of the JACL and will be focused on public policy advocacy as well as programs of safety awareness in the Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) community. The fellowship is named for the Honorable Norman Y. Mineta, former Secretary of Transportation and former Secretary of Commerce, and is funded by State Farm Insurance.
Support Federal Hate Crimes Legislation
Earlier this week, Senator Leahy introduced the Leahy/Collins/Kennedy/Snowe Hate Crimes Amendment (identical to the text of the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act) to S. 1391, the FY 2010 Department of Defense Authorization Bill. The Senate has begun periodic debate on the amendment that would provide significant improvements to our current hate crimes prevention laws. The House of Representatives already passed the bill in April.
This bill expands the coverage of existing hate crime laws to include crimes not only based on race, color, religion, and national origin, but also bias-motivated crimes based on the victim’s actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, or disability.
It also provides the federal government jurisdiction to prosecute hate crimes in states where current law or local law enforcement action are inadequate. This increased protection will help ethnic and racial groups that continue to be subjected to bias-motivated violence and intimidation.
Hate crimes cut across every community. Passing this bill will ensure that all people have the right to be safe and free from physical harm and intimidation. The Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act sends a clear message that Americans do not have to live in fear.
Senators will vote soon. Please call your Senators toll-free at 866-659-9641 and urge his or her support of the Leahy/Collins/Kennedy/Snowe Hate Crimes amendment (Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act), which will provide safety and security for all individuals. We appreciate your support and the action you will take to help fight hate crimes.
The Asian Division Friends Society announces the Florence Tan Moeson Research Fellowship Program for 2010. This Fellowship Program is made possible by a generous donation of Florence Tan Moeson, for 43 years a Chinese Team cataloger in the Regional and Cooperative Cataloging Division at the Library of Congress before she retired in 2001. Mrs. Moeson passed away on November 15, 2008.
The purpose of the Fellowship Program is to give individuals the opportunity to use the Asian and Asian American Pacific Islanders (AAPI) collections in the Library of Congress to pursue scholarly research projects. The Library’s Asian collections are among the most significant outside of Asia and consist of over 2.8 million monograph, serial, newspaper, manuscript and microform titles in the vernacular languages of East, South and Southeast Asia.
The Library’s AAPI collection was officially launched in 2007. It contains primary resource materials including monographs, serials, government reports, newspapers, census data, photos, oral histories, sound recordings, film, and miscellaneous ephemera pertaining to Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.
For more details regarding this fellowship and information about past awardees, please visit the ADFS website. The deadline for the 2010 application season is September 30, 2009.
The Florence Tan Moeson Research Fellowship awards total $14,000 each year for 10 years in support of grant support for research projects employing the Asian Division’s Reading Room and the Library’s extensive Asian collections.
The grants are awarded upon demonstration of need through a competitive process. Grants are intended to subsidize the researcher’s transportation fares to and from Washington, DC, overnight accommodations and photocopying fees. Graduate students, independent scholars, community college teachers, researchers without regular teaching appointments, and librarians with a demonstrated need for research fellowship support are eligible to apply.
The Library’s Asian collections began in 1869 with a gift of 10 works in 933 volumes from an emperor of China to the United States. Spanning a diversity of subjects from China, Japan, Korea, the South Asian subcontinent, Southeast Asia, and the Asian Pacific American community, the Library’s Asian and AAPI collections have become one of the most accessible and comprehensive sources in the world. To learn about the content of LC Asian and AAPI collections, visit the Library’s Asian Division’s website.
Contact: Dr. Anchi Hoh, Co-Chair, Florence Tan Moeson Fellowship Program Committee, email@example.com, 202-707-5673.
Asian Pacific Community Fund Annual Gala
Join the Asian Pacific Community Fund (APCF) in celebrating its 3rd Annual Giving For All Seasons Fundraising Gala on Thursday, July 23, 2009 at the Grammy Museum Terrace in LA Live (800 W. Olympic Blvd.). The event is about promoting philanthropy and civic engagement in the diverse community throughout Los Angeles County.
Reception starts at 6:30 pm. Program starts at 8:00 pm and includes the 2009 Grant Distribution to our Affiliate Agencies and an Awards Presentation. Attire is Cocktail or Business.
APCF is honoring Assemblymember Mike Eng and Edison Chinese Connection for their leadership and service for the advancement of Asian Pacific Islanders throughout Los Angeles County.
Tickets can also be purchased by contacting Christine at firstname.lastname@example.org or (213) 624-6400 ext. 4.
Sponsors Needed for 2010 Asian Olympics
“Dai Hoi The Thao (Asian Olympics) is an ongoing tradition for 30 years. Hosted by the University of Texas Vietnamese Student Association, this three-day event gathers Asian-Americans from all over the U.S. to compete in many sporting games and activities. In addition to these activities, we also host an opening ceremony that consists of cultural and modern performers from all over the state. The growing number of participants and spectators has reaches huge numbers (3000), making it one of the biggest Asian-American sporting events in Texas.
At this current time, we are looking for sponsors to help fund an event of this magnitude. Sponsoring an event here in the capital of Texas not only promotes goodwill and high public relations, but also offers a chance to meet and gain prospective employees as well as a chance to help developing minds. If you are interested, please visit our website at http://daihoithethao.org/sponsors.html and/or e-mail email@example.com.