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.
Lunar New Year is just around the corner. On January 23, 2012, we enter the Year of the Dragon. Thanks to the generous support of American Express, Asian-Nation is giving away a $50 gift card to five (5) lucky readers!
In celebration of the 2012 Lunar New Year, American Express today announced a new Gift Card design for the Year of the Dragon. The limited edition Lunar New Year Gift Card, exclusively from American Express, is available for purchase online with a free-shipping offer until January 31, 2012, at americanexpress.com/gift.
“For the third year in a row we have collaborated with the internal Asian Network at American Express to bring to life a unique gift card that celebrates the rich culture of several segments of the Asian community,” said Simran Kalra, Vice President and General Manager, E-Commerce with American Express’ Global Payment Options business. “American Express is excited for what the New Year will bring and we are proud to recognize Asian tradition through the release of this Gift Card.”
The Lunar New Year Gift Card features an intricate dragon image and traditional flower pattern background. The Lunar New Year Gift Card offers the perfect gift option which can serve as an exciting and special alternative to cash. The Gift Card offers the following benefits including:
Available in denominations of $25, $50, $100, and $200
Accepted wherever American Express® Cards are accepted in the United States*
Funds on the Card do not expire and there are no monthly fees
Gift Card is replaceable at no fee if lost or stolen
Unlike some other gift cards, American Express® Gift Cards have no fees after purchase for activation, checking a balance, maintenance, or card replacement. The online purchase price is $3.95 for all available denominations of this Gift Card.
* For complete terms and conditions, see Cardholder Agreement at Americanexpress.com/gift. Card may be used at merchants in the U.S. that accept American Express® Cards. Gift Cards cannot be used at cruise lines, for recurring billing charges, at casinos, or ATMs. American Express does not ship Gift Cards to the states of HI and VT.
Here is how to enter:
In the Comments section at the end of this post (click here if you’re on the blog front page and can’t see it), all you have to do is leave a comment about what you hope for in the new year — that’s all.
Be sure to include an email address where I can contact you in case you’re chosen as a winner.
Only one entry per person.
Deadline to post your comment is January 18 at 6pm ET.
Some time after 6pm on January 18, I will randomly choose 5 lucky winners to receive one of the $50 American Express gift cards. Good luck and Happy Lunar New Year!
Here are some more announcements, links, and job postings about academic-related jobs, fellowships, and other opportunities for those interested in racial/ethnic/diversity issues, with a particular focus on Asian Americans. As always, the announcements and links are provided for informational purposes and do not necessarily imply an endorsement of the organization or college involved.
Migration, Ethnicity, and Urban Inequality in Europe
Graduate Student Conference
March 2-3, 2012
UCLA Center for European and Eurasian Studies
UCLA Program on International Migration
Department of Sociology
Berlin Graduate School of Social Sciences
Over the past several decades, Europe and North America have been at once confronted and transformed by the advent of large-scale international migration. While the migrants may sometimes have been wanted, they have rarely been welcomed, with frontiers made ever tighter, a change to which migrants have responded by finding new ways of crossing borders. While issues of border management, smuggling, and trafficking have become increasingly important, control policies have had limited effect, with the result that both irregular migrants and efforts to police them are pervasive.
In addition, the countries of immigration find problems taking new form, as the migrants’ children have come of age, often understanding themselves as members of the societies in which they have grown up, and yet finding themselves not fully accepted. The challenge of incorporation has been heightened by a complex set of factors. First, immigrant-origin populations have responded to their situation in a variety of ways, whether through protest, the development of new ethnic and religious identities, or more conventional forms of political mobilization and engagement.
Second, exclusion has taken new form, driven by growing levels of inequality, changes in the fabric of urban areas, and the expansion of non-standard or precarious employment. Simultaneously, migration is feeding back to sending countries, whether through migrants’ remittances, investments, or political engagements, activities which complicate incorporation trajectories in the destination countries.
These are the topics to be discussed at a graduate student conference, to be held at UCLA on March 2-3, 2012. Part of an effort to both build an interdisciplinary network of young researchers and to begin a trans-Atlantic conversation, the conference is organized by the UCLA Center for European and Eurasian Studies and the interdisciplinary Program on International Migration, in cooperation with the the Department of Sociology at Sciences Po and the Berlin Graduate School of Social Science.
Up to 10 partially-funded invitations will be made to North American (US and Canadian based) graduate researchers to present a paper and participate in a two day conference with faculty and graduate students from UCLA, Sciences Po, and the Berlin Graduate School of Social Science. Commentary, advice, and discussion will be offered to help authors develop their papers for journal publication. The bulk of the conference time will take place in workshop sessions, each of which will feature three presentations by graduate students and a comment by a faculty member. All papers will be available beforehand on a password protected webpage.
Researchers working on European aspects of migration, ethnicity, and urban inequality are invited. We welcome papers from a broad variety
of disciplines, including anthropology, economics, geography, law, political science, sociology, urban studies, women’s studies, addressing any one of the topics below:
Incorporation of the first, second, and later immigrant generations
New forms of urban, ethnic protest and mobilization
Policies and implementation of policing, security, control and border management issues
International legal and human rights issues in the management of new migration in Europe
Ethnographies of mobility, trafficking, labor migration and refugee movements into Europe from Eurasia, the Balkans, the Middle East or Africa
Cross-border connections: remittances, investment, politics, development
Ethnic and racial inequality: education, labor market and housing
Ethnic and racial categorization
The conference will take place at UCLA. Invited participants will be offered 3 nights accommodation in Westwood in a shared room, together
with a fixed rate contribution to their travel costs according to distance (max $500 each). Sending institutions will be invited to contribute partially to funding their students.
Interested participants should submit an application, including a 750 word abstract (max), a one-page short c.v., and an airfare estimate, to be accompanied by a letter of recommendation from a faculty advisor. Applications must be submitted by no later than January 1, 2012. Applications will be taken electronically at the following site: http://apply.international.ucla.edu/?cees. Invitations will be sent by January 15. Completed papers must be delivered by February 10.
John Moy & Southwest Airlines Congressional Internship
The Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) is now accepting applications for the John Moy & Southwest Airlines Congressional Internship program. During the program’s inaugural cycle in Summer 2011, interns were placed in the offices of Representatives Xavier Becerra (CA-31) and Mike Honda (CA-15). JACL is proud to continue providing experience-based training for emerging young leaders through this program.
Duties and responsibilities will be outlined by the congressional member’s office in which the intern is placed. Placement offices have yet to be determined. Congressional interns will have a unique opportunity to experience the policymaking process and gain exposure to Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) issues.
This internship program is made possible by a generous donation from John Moy, longtime supporter and member of JACL, and roundtrip tickets provided by JACL’s official airline, Southwest Airlines.
Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis for two eight-week, paid internships beginning in Winter 2012. Preference will be given to rising undergraduate juniors and seniors and recent graduates. If you have any questions, please contact (202) 223-1240 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Internship: International Leadership Foundation
The International Leadership Foundation promotes the civic awareness, public service and economic effectiveness of the Asian Pacific American community and develops young leaders in the United States and other Pacific Rim countries in the fields of public service, entrepreneurship and the international arena through a network of business and community leaders. ILF has provided scholarships, educational seminars and leadership training for over 1,000 select college students from across the country and placed them in structured internships in government agencies for the past 10 years.
Our partner federal agencies are focusing on “STEM” (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathmatics — to include finance and accounting) for their summer interns. Students studying in these fields are especially encouraged to apply. ILF welcomes applications from all students seeking federal government experience.
ILF is accepting applications for the 2012 Civic Fellowship program. The eight week internship program will begin June 11, 2012. ILF has provided scholarships, educational seminars and leadership training for over 500 Asian American college students from across the country and placed them in structured internships in government agencies and the private sector.
For the thirteenth year, the International Leadership Foundation (ILF) will award over 30 fellowships to Asian Pacific American college students who exhibit the qualities for and potential as future business, community, or professional leaders. The ILF Civic Fellows will spend eight weeks in the summer interning for a federal government agency in Washington, DC and gaining firsthand knowledge of the workings of the American government. Any Asian Pacific American undergraduate student with at least a 3.0 GPA is eligible to apply. Applicants must be United States citizens. Interested students can visit ILF’s website to apply and obtain more information.
The Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies (APAICS) is currently accepting applicants for its 2012 Summer Internship Program in Washington, DC.
The APAICS Summer Internship Program provides select undergraduate students the opportunity to experience American politics and public policy. During the eight-week program, APAICS Summer Interns are placed in the U.S. Congress, federal agencies, or partner Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) non-profit organizations. APAICS Interns have the opportunity to engage in leadership and relationship-building events to foster a strong interest in public service.
To apply for the 2012 APAICS Summer Internship Program, please fill out the 2012 APAICS Internship Program Application here: http://bit.ly/APAICSSummerInternshipApplication2012. For additional information, please contact our Program Director, Laila Mohib at Internship@apaics.org or 202-296-9200.
National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance (NQAPIA)
Queer Asian Internships
Winter/ Spring 2012
The National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance (NQAPIA) is a federation of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) Asian American, South Asian, Southeast Asian, and Pacific Islander (AAPI) organizations. We seek to build the organizational capacity of local LGBT AAPI groups, develop leadership, promote visibility, educate our community, enhance grassroots organizing, expand collaborations, and challenge homophobia and racism.
NQAPIA is seeking talented young people for internships in the following:
National Conference Planning
Interns will assist in administration, programming, communications, and outreach for a national, pan-ethnic, multi-gender conference for LGBT AAPIs and their networks. The conference will be held in the Washington, DC area July 2012.
National Advocacy for LGBT AAPIs
Interns will attend high level national policy meetings, congressional briefings, and other events to raise the concerns of LGBTs in mainstream civil rights issues, and of AAPIs in LGBT rights issues. Interns will assist in coordinating a national conference of grassroots LGBT AAPI activists from across the nation to educate the community on policy matters.
LGBT Immigrants’ Rights and Immigration Reform
The intern will work directly with queer Asian immigrants and media professionals to develop testimonials and personal narratives that can be posted on websites, printed for publication, and developed for audio and video distribution. The goal is to bring the real lives of queer Asian immigrants to the fore and to inspire others to come out and take action. The intern will also assist in coordinating community press conferences and other community meetings.
Federation of AAPI LGBT Organizations
NQAPIA serves as a national convenor for LGBT AAPI communities and organizations. Interns will support national efforts to reach out to LGBT AAPI organizations and initiatives to coordinate activity to build capacity and to amplify their voice.
Capacity Building Resources, Workshops, and Trainings
Interns will also have an opportunity to participate in developing an organizational tool kit with best practices and model documents; special trainings/workshops; being a voice for LGBT AAPI on current issues, and explore ways to promote LGBT AAPI engagement.
Description of Internships
The intern will learn strategies in using public policy, grassroots organizing, and the media to advance social justice. Interns are supervised by NQAPIA professional staff. Interns work primarily on research and writing, policy advocacy, community outreach and organizing.
These internships are not paid positions, but academic credit can be arranged. During the winter and spring, interns work anywhere between 15-40 hours per week. Internships are usually about ten weeks.
Any bilingual ability should be stated in the resume. Bilingual ability is helpful but not required. Applications should also state the number of hours the intern is able to work per week. Send a resume and cover letter to:
NQAPIA Intern Search
1322 18th Street, NW Washington, DC
Electronic submissions strongly preferred. Please write: “Intern Applicant” in the Subject.
For more information, contact Ben de Guzman at email@example.com or 202-422-4909.
Undergraduate Research Forum, Asian American Studies, UPenn
Faces of Asian America: The First Undergraduate Research Forum on Asian American Studies
Deadline: March 17, 2012
Where: University of Pennsylvania
Please submit your original work to the Asian American Studies Program at the University of Pennsylvania for their Faces of Asian America: The First Undergraduate Research Forum on Asian American Studies on March 17, 2012. The Research Forum explores the issues surrounding the Asian American experience with the goal of promoting a more profound understanding of Asian America. Faces of Asian America welcomes research from all disciplines including but not limited to History, Literature, Sociology, and Cinema.
All students are invited to enter their work such as papers from current or past academic courses or independent study. All submitted research will be reviewed by a panel, and twelve outstanding papers will be selected to participate at the Forum. One exceptional work will be selected for an award of $300.
Dr. Elaine Kim will be their Keynote Speaker for the event. If you are interested in attending, please RSVP here. If you are also interested in submitting your work, please send it to firstname.lastname@example.org. For questions or concerns, please email Susan Hirai at email@example.com.
Position: Director, Asian/Asian American Studies, Syracuse
Syracuse University seeks nominations and applications for the position of Director, Asian/Asian- American Studies, an interdisciplinary program housed in The College of Arts and Sciences. The successful candidate will be a senior tenured professor who demonstrates a strong commitment to teaching, advising students, and conducting a serious research agenda in an area of Asian-American Studies that is consistent with the University’s vision of “Scholarship in Action.” The specific research area and discipline of the Director is open.
The charge for the Director is to lead this quickly growing interdisciplinary program in Asian/Asian- American Studies, which recently established a minor in the curriculum of The College of Arts and Sciences but is available for every undergraduate major at Syracuse University. There are currently over 30 courses offered on campus and abroad that contribute to this minor. More courses are expected, and the potential to offer a major in Asian/Asian-American Studies within a few years is extremely strong. The Director will provide local and national leadership in the field of Asian/Asian-American studies; identify areas of future growth; coordinate the curriculum offered by faculty members in this area; and work to enhance the profile of the program.
A spirit of creativity, ingenuity, collaboration, and an entrepreneurial approach to leadership are essential qualities for the Director. S/he must be a strong leader and a believer in collaborative decision-making and open communication. The Director will teach undergraduate courses in the Program, coordinate courses that contribute to the Program, work to develop the Program, and advise students who are interested in this area of study.
For full consideration candidates should complete an online Dean/ Senior Executive/Faculty application at www.sujobopps.com for job # 028604 and attach curriculum vitae with a list of 3 references, statement of teaching philosophy, cover letter describing your history in Asian/Asian American Studies. The Search Committee will begin reviewing applications on February 10, 2012 and continue until the position is filled. Inquiries regarding the position may be directed to the search committee chair, Gina Lee- Glauser, Vice President for Research (315-443-2492; firstname.lastname@example.org).
Lunar New Year is just around the corner. On February 3, 2011, we enter the Year of the Rabbit/Cat (Chinese astrology celebrates the Rabbit while the Vietnamese, as part of their Tet festivities, celebrate the Cat). Thanks to the generous support of American Express, Asian-Nation is giving away a $50 gift card to ten (10) lucky readers!
American Express makes it easy to give family, friends, and business associates what they want for the Chinese Lunar New Year, while celebrating the rich culture of the Chinese community. The new limited edition Year of the Rabbit Gift Card, exclusively from American Express, is available for purchase online with a free-shipping offer at americanexpress.com/rabbit. The limited-edition Year of the Rabbit Gift Card from American Express follows the success of last year’s Year of the Tiger Lunar New Year, Diwali and ¡Felicidades! Gift Cards.
“Working in collaboration with our internal Asian Network at American Express, we are excited to introduce this Gift Card celebrating Chinese culture,” said Alpesh Chokshi, president of Global Payment Options, American Express. “I, along with American Express, wish the Chinese-American community a happy, healthy and prosperous Year of the Rabbit.”
With its traditional paper-cut depiction of a peaceful rabbit, the Year of the Rabbit Gift Card offers a unique gift option which can serve as an exciting and special alternative to the cash usually placed in red envelopes.
To enter, all you have to do is leave a comment at the end of this post about what you hope for in the new year — that’s all. On January 27, I will randomly choose 10 lucky winners to receive one of the $50 American Express gift cards. Only one entry per person and be sure to include an email address where I can contact you in case you’re chosen as a winner.
As you know already, today is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, the national holiday when we celebrate Dr. King’s life and legacy of racial equality and justice. This year, Dr. King’s birthday is accompanied by another very auspicious and momentous occasion — the inauguration of Barack Obama to be our next President.
It is also during this time of the year that billions of people around the world prepare to celebrate Lunar New Year (occurring on January 26 this year). For Vietnamese Americans like me, our version of Lunar New Year is of course Tet. As I describe in more detail, Tet traditionally is a celebration of rebirth and renewal.
Each year, in our effort to commemorate Lunar New Year and Tet, my wife and I usually do a small presentation in our daughter’s elementary school class about the traditions of Tet. We will be doing this year’s presentation tomorrow in her class. Since the presentation will be almost a week before actual Tet, we thought we would try to do a presentation that links these important events together — Dr. King’s Day, Obama’s inauguration, and Tet.
The theme of our presentation is the title of this post — “King, Obama, Tet, and the Diversity of Change” and I’d like to summarize it here for you (fyi, the text is simplified because it’s directed at elementary school students).
Around this time, billions of people all around the world celebrate the new year, based on the cycles of the moon, which is called the lunar calendar. One of the earliest lunar calendars was invented by the Chinese around 4,000 years ago and is still one of the most widely used lunar calendars. Because the Chinese lunar calendar is the most famous, many people call this occasion the “Chinese New Year.” But we prefer to call it Lunar New Year because it’s more inclusive.
Each Lunar New Year is symbolized by one of 12 different animals and the traditional legend is that the famous Chinese philosopher Confucius called a meeting of all animals and 12 eventually showed up and he gave them each a year on the Lunar calendar. On Monday, we’ll celebrate the Year of Ox — anyone born starting Monday until the next Lunar New Year will be born into the Year of the Ox, along with anyone who turns 12, 24, 36, 48, etc.
Along with the Chinese, many other nationality and ethnic groups celebrate Lunar New Year. Because my family came from Viet Nam, our version of Lunar New Year is called Tet. Like many Lunar New Year celebrations, Tet is one of the biggest and most important holidays in Vietnamese culture, almost like New Year’s Day, Fourth of July, Thanksgiving, and Christmas all rolled into one.
Here in the U.S., you have probably seen Chinese or Lunar New Year celebrations that involve parades and Lion dances. But in more traditional terms, Tet also symbolizes “rebirth” and “renewal.” This means that whatever happened to you personally, to your family, or to your country in the past year, the New Year is your chance to start all over again to have a happy and prosperous new year.
In preparation for Tet, many families clean and even paint their home in anticipation of spring, they settle old debts and disputes, buy new clothes, and pledge to behave nicely and work hard in the new year.
This Lunar New Year occurs around the same time as another very important event that’s taking place a little later today in our nation’s capital, Washington DC — Barack Obama’s inauguration — when he officially becomes our next President.
It’s a very exciting and emotional time for many Americans. One of the reasons why it’s so exciting for many Americans is that, in many ways, Obama’s inauguration also symbolizes the rebirth of our country. In terms of his policies, he has said that he plans to do many things differently from what our last President has done, and this was one of the main reasons why so many people voted for him.
But more generally, he represents rebirth in many other ways. For example, as you probably already know, he is the first African American President of the United States. This is a very big deal — this country unfortunately has not treated African Americans and other people of color very well throughout its history. In many ways, African Americans and other people of color are still treated badly and still face many kinds of prejudice and discrimination in American society.
This kind of change was also symbolized by the person whose birthday we celebrated yesterday as a national holiday — Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Especially as Barack Obama becomes our nation’s first African American President, it’s important to remember the life and words of Dr. King, especially when he talks about change and rebirth. Here are some excerpts from Dr. King’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech that talks about change:
I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood. . . . I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. . . . With this faith, we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith, we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith, we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, and to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.
Dr. King’s word have inspired many Americans, such as Barack Obama, to do what they can to change America for the better and in the process, to help people start anew toward a better life for themselves, their families and loved ones, and our entire world.
It’s with this in mind that we celebrate these three wonderful and important events taking place all at the same time — Dr. King’s birthday, Barack Obama’s inauguration, and Tet, the Lunar New Year celebration of rebirth and renewal.