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Behind the Headlines: APA News Blog

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.

April 2, 2012

Written by C.N.

Links, Jobs, & Announcements #62

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.

Video Contest: Asian American Justice Center

© Corbis

Asian American Justice Center (AAJC) and the American Community Survey (ACS) Public Service Announcement Video Contest

ABOUT THE ACS: The Census Bureau administers the ACS, which provides detailed information for many Asian American population groups that can’t be obtained anywhere else. The government needs information about you that will affect resource distribution for many services Asian American families need, including schools and roads. Your PSA video submission will help spread the word on the importance of the ACS in building better communities for Asian Americans and encourage others to participate if they receive the survey.

Contest Guidelines:

  • Your video must address why the ACS is important for the Asian American community and/or the individual’s Asian American family (see attached for more information)
  • Your video must note in some fashion that the information provided by respondents to the ACS is confidential and protected by law (i.e. the Census Bureau cannot share your information with anyone else, not even other federal agencies.)
  • Your video must incorporate an image of the American Community Survey somehow
  • Your video must be 90 seconds in length
  • Please submit the following information in an e-mail body accompanying your entry attachment: name, phone number, e-mail, brief explanation of your submission
  • Please submit original work only
  • Entries must be submitted in any of the following formats: AVI, MPG, WMV, and MPEG
  • Signed release forms are required for copyrighted images or materials. Release forms are also needed for “subjects,” whether private or public citizens
  • Multiple entries may be submitted
  • Must be 18 years of age to participate

Grand Prize of $1,000
Two Runner-Up Prizes of $500

Deadline for Submissions: April 16, 2012. Submit all entries to: psacontest@advancingequality.org. By submitting a PSA entry to: psacontest@advancingequality.org I consent to the following terms & conditions:

In consideration for submitting my video submission to the contest, I hereby grant, consent and authorize the Asian American Justice Center, its affiliates, licensees, successors, assigns, legal representatives, agents, employees and contractors (“AAJC”) the irrevocable and unrestricted right to use, reuse, publish and republish such video/PSA for any purpose and in any manner or medium (e.g. print or electronic medium such as publications, marketing materials and Web content), and to alter the same without any restriction, as AAJC may determine in its sole discretion. AAJC reserves the right to not publish or otherwise use your video in the event AAJC determines, in its sole discretion, that your video contains inappropriate language, content, etc. I hereby release AAJC from any and all claims and liability relating to such video/PSA.

For more contest rules and information click here.

Networking Event: Asian Americans in Boston

Asian|Boston Media Group (ABMG) is proud to announce the 5th Asian|Boston Networking Event, the ABNE-V. At this event, we will also be unveiling the first annual ‘ABMG Awards.’ This program was established to recognize Asian Americans, who reside and contribute to New England and New York, via excellence in their respective fields of media, high-technology, medicine, education, etc.

ABMG’s inaugural award will be in the media division, and will be presented during the event. It’s an honor to announce that the recipient of the first annual ABMG’s ‘Distinguished Asian-American in Media’ award is . . . WHDH-TV’s 7News Reporter, Susan Tran.

The ABNE-V and ABMG Awards Ceremony will be held on Thursday, April 26th, at Hei La Moon Restaurant in Chinatown. Time: 6:30pm-9:30pm. Interested in being a Presenter at the ABNE-V? ‘Presenters’ are individuals or businesses that do short 3-minute promotions for their particular cause, ideas, new business ventures, etc. (Please see below for guest ticket info and how to become a ‘Presenter’). We will be honored to see you at the ABNE-V.

Best regards,
Leo Anthony

Location:
Hei La Moon Restaurant
88 Beach St
Chinatown, Boston (617) 338-8813

There is a parking garage adjacent to the restaurant.

Event Details:

  • Please RSVP by Monday, April 23rd, to info@asianboston.com
  • $20 per person at door. Includes buffet dinner
  • Cash Bar
  • For group or student discounts, please contact Ted at woo77@comcast.net

How to Become a Presenter:
Please send a Presenter request with your business topic to Ted at woo77@comcast.net.

About Asian|Boston Media Group
Asian|Boston Media Group (AB|MG) is the first media company for the entire Asian community of the northeastern United States, with an ever-growing national/international interest. It is our goal to utilize the most reputable resources in order to deliver products of unparalleled quality. Our market is the most rapidly growing demographic in the United States, and we are expanding accordingly.

Call for Applications: Vietnamese American Social Justice Training

We’re excited to announce the call for applications for Hai Ba Trung School for Organizing, 2012! This is a progressive training program for young Vietnamese Americans. Please forward widely.

Hai Bà Trưng School for Organizing, 2012

The Hai Bà Trưng School for Organizing is a training program for young organizers, ages 18-25. As a participant, you’ll have the opportunity to explore what it means to be a progressive Vietnamese American, learn the basics of organizing theory and skills, and connect to local Vietnamese American organizers doing social justice work. The training will focus on best practices and challenges unique to organizing in the Vietnamese community.

The training will be held from June 22 to June 24, 2012 (Friday-Sunday) in Los Angeles and Orange County. In alignment with election season, this year’s training may explore electoral organizing and its challenges and opportunities for the Viet community. Click here to download the application. The deadline to submit applications is no later than: Friday April 27, 2012 by 5pm to hbt.organize@gmail.com.

The School’s planning committee is made up of Vietnamese American progressives with experience in organizing youth, low-wage workers, immigrants, and women from diverse communities. We have worked in non-profit organizations as well as volunteer groups, and believe in building the capacity of the Vietnamese American community to work for social justice. For questions, email us at hbt.organize@gmail.com.

Fellowship: Japanese American Citizens League

The Japanese American Citizens League (JACL), the nation’s oldest and largest Asian American civil and human rights organization, is now accepting applications for the 2012-2013 JACL Mike M. Masaoka Congressional Fellowship.

The Mike M. Masaoka Fellowship Fund was established in 1988 to honor Mike M. Masaoka for a lifetime of public service to the JACL and the nation. Masaoka was the JACL’s national secretary, field executive, national legislative director of the JACL’s Anti-Discrimination Committee, and the JACL Washington, D.C. Representative. He worked tirelessly to advance the cause of Japanese Americans during difficult times in our history. He was instrumental in the formation of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team and for the abolition of many discriminatory laws against Asian Americans. He passed away in 1991.

The Fund was set up by good friends of Mike Masaoka. Dr. H. Tom Tamaki of Philadelphia administered the program for the JACL for twenty years since its inception in 1988. The JACL Washington, D.C. office now administers the Masaoka Fellowship.

The JACL Masaoka Fellows are placed in the Washington D.C. Congressional offices of members of the U.S.House of Representatives or the U.S. Senate for a period of six to eight months. The major purpose of the Masaoka Fellowship is to develop leaders for public service. The current Masaoka Fellow is Mackenzie Walker, who is working in the office of Congresswoman Judy Chu of California.

Floyd Mori, National Executive Director of the JACL, stated: “The Mike M. Masaoka Fellowship is a wonderful program which gives young people the opportunity to work in the office of a member of Congress and to learn the workings of government firsthand. The friends of Mike Masaoka had great foresight in establishing the Fund for the Fellowship to develop leadership.”

National JACL President, David Kawamoto, said: “We encourage young members of the JACL who are college graduates to apply for this Fellowship which offers a unique experience for service in the nation’s capital. We anticipate that these young people will be our future leaders in the JACL.”

Interested college graduates may find further details and application materials at our website. Applicants must be current members of the JACL. Applications should be submitted to the JACL Washington, D.C. office as per instructions on the website. The deadline for applications is May 20, 2012. The announcement of the selected Fellow is expected to be made by July 1, 2012.

Fellowship: National Gay & Lesbian Task Force

National Gay & Lesbian Task Force: 2012 Summer Academy Fellowship

Application Deadline: Monday April 30, 2012. Decisions will be made and communicated by June 29. Placement dates are July 30–November 9, 2012.

What is the Academy for Leadership and Action?

The Task Force’s Academy for Leadership and Action (the Academy) prepares leaders to fill the staff, board, and volunteer roles critical to the success of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) movement. Through direct action we strive to win immediate policy gains, develop leadership and long-term organizational capacity and build stronger alliances between secular and religious communities.

The Task Force is committed to building a social justice movement where everyone can be their full selves. We work with individuals and communities that reflect the full spectrum of LGBT people and their allies. We bring a racial and economic justice analysis to all of our movement building work and makes explicit the connections to struggles against systematic oppression. The Academy for Leadership and Action’s ultimate goal is to build movements, leaders and organizations that transform society.
What is the Summer Academy Fellowship?

This isn’t your average fellowship — this is your chance to create change! The Academy Fellowship is a paid social justice fellowship that’s furiously intense. The program provides the first-hand real-world experience working for social justice that is necessary for becoming a professional organizer. You’ll learn to disseminate a progressive worldview that connects LGBT issues to struggles against racism, classism, ableism, and spiritual oppression; to build relationships with a broad-cross section of other LGBT movement leaders, especially in communities of faith and communities of color; and to mobilize mass numbers of people for direct action targeted at achieving immediate political gains for the LGBT community.
Stipend and Placement

Fellows are paid a net stipend of $500 per week. The 2012 term runs for 15 weeks, from July 30–November 9, 2012. Position placement varies and fellows will need to be able to travel for long periods of time. This year potential placements and travel locations are New York City, Los Angeles, Minnesota, Maine, and Washington. Fellows are responsible for their own housing and living expenses.

Applications must be received by Monday, April 30. Decisions will be made and communicated by June 29. Questions can be sent to: Causten Wollerman, cwollerman@thetaskforce.org. Selection of fellows is based on the demonstrated critical thinking and values as observed in the application and interviews.

Call for Papers: Immigration Conference, France

Comparative and Multi-sited Approaches to International Migration
12-14 December 2012, Paris, Ined
Deadline for submission: 1st June 2012

The objective of the conference is to promote a multi-sited and comparative approach to international migration, explicitly bringing together researchers and research evidence from different parts of the world. The conference will focus on quantitative approaches to international migration that deal simultaneously with processes in places of origin and destination. Papers are welcomed across a number of areas and regions, with those that address significant policy concerns especially welcome.

Keynote speakers:

  • Cris Beauchemin (Ined, France)
  • Eleonora Castagnone (Forum Internazionale ed Europeo di Ricerchesull’Immigrazione, Italy)
  • Katherine Donato (Vanderbilt University, USA)
  • Amparo González-Ferrer (Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, Spain)
  • Georges Groenewold (Nidi, the Netherlands)
  • Douglas Massey (Princeton University, USA)
  • Valentina Mazzucato (Maastricht University, The Netherlands)
  • Emilio Parrado (University of Pennsylvania, USA)
  • Bruno Schoumaker (Université Catholique de Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium)
  • Hania Zlotnik (Population Division-DESA, United Nations)

September 10, 2011

Written by C.N.

Links, Jobs, & Announcements #50

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.

Youth Advisory Council: Immigration & Entrepreneurship Conference

The Asian American Justice Center is searching for up and coming youth advocates to represent the 2011-2012 Youth Advisory Council class. Flex your social entrepreneurship to address issues of racial equity pertinent to the Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) community. Due Sept 15. Apply online now or contact ochow@advancingequality for more info.

Call for Proposals: Immigration & Entrepreneurship Conference

Immigration & Entrepreneurship: An Interdisciplinary Conference, co-sponsored by:
The Center for the History of the New America (University of Maryland)
Maryland Technology Enterprise Institute (University of Maryland)
The German Historical Institute (Washington, D.C.)

Conveners: Prof. David B. Sicilia and Prof. David F. Barbe, University of Maryland, College Park; Prof. Dr. Hartmut Berghoff, German Historical Institute and University of Göttingen

The United States has long been an immigrant society as well as an entrepreneurial society. This is no coincidence: immigrants launch new enterprises and invent new technologies at rates much higher than native-born Americans. As the volume of in-migration again approaches that of the “new immigration” at the turn of the twentieth century, it is time to measure how immigrants have shaped the American economy in the past and how immigration policy reform in 1965 has fostered the transformation of business and economic life in the United States.

How have newcomers shaped and in turn been shaped by American economic life?

There are striking parallels between nineteenth-century immigration and contemporary immigrant entrepreneurship. Then, as now, immigrants brought considerable education, ambition, and capital, yet often were marginalized or excluded from mainstream opportunities by law, custom, and prejudice. Particular immigrant groups ultimately dominated particular industries and services. Immigrant entrepreneurs built and circulated through trans-Atlantic, trans-Pacific, and at times global networks of people, capital, and know-how.

However, the two eras of heavy migration also differ in significant ways. Newcomers from East and South Asia and Latin America have supplanted Eastern and Southern European immigrants who dominated in the late nineteenth century, and German and Irish immigrants who arrived in the early nineteenth century. And whereas many recent immigrants, like their predecessors a century ago, have worked in low-skilled occupations, in construction, or have created small businesses, a significant portion of recent immigrants have arrived with advanced degrees and have launched businesses in the most advanced sectors of the economy, from Silicon Valley to Rte. 128, from biotech to the digital economy.

The Center for the History of the New America, the Maryland Technology Enterprise Institute, and the German Historical Institute invite proposals from scholars working in a variety of disciplines – including but not limited to history, sociology, economics, business administration, entrepreneurial studies, anthropology, and cultural studies – to submit research paper proposals. Comparative studies across time and place are especially welcomed.

The conference will engage these and related research topics:

  • immigrant group styles and patterns of entrepreneurship
  • immigrant entrepreneurship and U.S. economic development
  • geography of ethnic entrepreneurship
  • journeys of successful high-tech entrepreneurs
  • immigrant entrepreneurs as small proprietors
  • succeed and failure narratives and other discourse surrounding
  • ethnic immigrant entrepreneurship
  • barriers to immigrant entrepreneurial success
  • policy implications of historical and contemporary research on immigrant entrepreneurship

For full consideration, please submit a 200-word abstract and a short c.v. to immigrant-ent@umd.edu by September 15, 2011. The conference will take place in College Park, MD, and Washington, D.C. in mid-September 2012. Presenters will be given accommodations and a travel stipend. Selected conference presenters will be invited to publish their work in an edited scholarly volume of essays that will grow out of the conference.

‘Be The Change’ Day of Service

WHAT: Be the Change (BTC) is a national day of service organized by South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT) to commemorate the spirit of leadership through service. With this, we hope to inspire South Asian communities and their allies to strengthen their commitment to public service! Last year nearly 4,000 people volunteered from across the country!

WHERE: In nearly 80 locations across the country! View a complete list of cities and campuses holding Be the Change. Don’t see your city? Contact us to make it happen!

WHEN: On October 1st (unless otherwise noted).

HOW CAN I HELP?: You can participate in whatever volunteer activity you like – anything from youth empowerment to environmental justice! Register for BTC and local coordinators will contact you with the activities they have planned.

WHO MAKES IT HAPPEN: Many volunteers just like you including South Asian community members, activists, professionals, students, and allies!

HOW YOU CAN REGISTER: Please register to volunteer in your local city or campus.

WHO SHOULD I CONTACT FOR MORE INFO?: Please contact the National BTC Coordinator at btc@saalt.org or call SAALT at (301) 270-1855.

CAN I STILL ORGANIZE THIS FOR MY LOCAL COMMUNITY?: Yes! Please contact the National BTC Coordinator at btc@saalt.org . SAALT will provide you many resources to implement a meaningful service project for you and your community!

Grad Student Paper Contest: Amerasia Journal

Amerasia Journal invites faculty to nominate exceptional graduate student essays (masters and doctoral level) in the interdisciplinary field of Asian American and Pacific Islander Studies for the Lucie Cheng Prize. The winning article will be published in Amerasia Journal, and $1000 will be awarded.

The Lucie Cheng Prize honors the late Professor Lucie Cheng (1939-2010), a longtime faculty member of UCLA and the first permanent director of the UCLA Asian American Studies Center (1972-1987). Professor Cheng was a pioneering scholar who brought an early and enduring transnational focus to the study of Asian Americans and issues such as labor and immigration. Submission: Nomination must be submitted via email by the graduate advisor no later than October 1, 2011 and include:

  1. Graduate Advisor Name, Title, Institution, and Contact Information
  2. Graduate Advisor Recommendation (500 word limit)
  3. Graduate Student Brief CV (2 page)
  4. Essay (5000-7000 words) in Word file according to the Amerasia Journal Style Sheet

Submit Materials and Queries to: ajprize@aasc.ucla.edu

Dissertation Fellowships: Education Research

National Academy of Education/Spencer Dissertation Fellowship Program seeks to encourage a new generation of scholars from a wide range of disciplines and professional fields to undertake research relevant to the improvement of education. These $25,000 fellowships support individuals whose dissertations show potential for bringing fresh and constructive perspectives to the history, theory, or practice of formal or informal education anywhere in the world. Fellows will also attend professional development retreats and receive mentorship from NAEd members and other senior scholars in their field.

This highly competitive program aims to identify the most talented emerging researchers conducting dissertation research related to education. The Dissertation Fellowship program receives many more applications than it can fund. This year, up to 600 applications are anticipated and about 20 fellowships will be awarded. Additional guidelines and the fellowship application form are available from our website. Deadline: October 3, 2011.

Call for Proposals: Immigration Research, Univ. of Arizona

Summer 2012 BORDERS Awards in Immigration Research

The National Center for Border Security and Immigration (BORDERS) led by The University of Arizona is pleased to invite faculty and young researchers to submit proposals for its summer research funding competition in Immigration Research. Applicants will submit proposals utilizing data from the New Immigrant Survey (NIS) to examine immigrants’ integration and participation in American civic culture.

Awards will be given based on the innovativeness and quality of the proposed research for faculty ($30,000/project) and young researchers – postdoctoral fellows or doctoral students ($12,000/project). Teams are encouraged to apply. Project findings will be presented to academics and government policymakers at the conclusion of the award. This peer‐reviewed competition is open to U.S. citizens researching in any social science‐related field.

Application deadline: October 28, 2011. For more information, contact Riley McIsaac rmcisaac@borders.arizona.edu

The National Center for Border Security and Immigration (BORDERS) is a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Center of Excellence (COE) led by The University of Arizona. As a consortium of 15 premier institutions, BORDERS is dedicated to the development of innovative technologies, proficient processes, and effective policies that will help protect our Nation’s borders, foster international trade, and enhance long‐term understanding of immigration dynamics.

Call for Submissions: ‘What’s Your Story?’

There is nothing more powerful than the stories of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. Our stories define who we are, and they reflect our impact on the community around us. At the White House Initiative on AAPIs, we seek to amplify these voices nationally. We are pleased to announce the first ever White House Initiative Video Challenge, called What’s Your Story?”

We’re calling on you to produce a video, up to three minutes long, telling us who you are and how you have impacted those around you. In your video, answer the questions: How have your unique experiences shaped who you are today? And in what ways are you making a difference in your community? Everyone is welcomed to participate.

We will review the submissions and post a select number of entries on the White House website. In addition, we’ll invite a group of exceptional AAPI leaders to share their stories in person at the White House this fall as special guests in a White House Initiative on AAPIs event. To learn more about the challenge, watch our call-out video below:

To submit your video and learn more about the challenge, go to www.whitehouse.gov/whatsyourstory. The deadline for video submissions is midnight on November 1, 2011. Thank you and we look forward to hearing your stories.

Sincerely,
The White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders

Join us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/WhiteHouseAAPI
Follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/WhiteHouseAAPI
If you have any questions, email us at WhiteHouseAAPI@ed.gov

Postdoc: Education Research

The National Academy of Education /Spencer Postdoctoral Fellowship Program
supports early-career scholars working in critical areas of educational scholarship. Fellows will receive $55,000 for one academic year of research, or $27,500 for each of two contiguous years, working half time. Fellows will also attend professional development retreats and receive mentorship from NAEd members and other senior scholars in their field.

Applicants must have had their PhD, EdD, or equivalent research degree conferred between January 1, 2006, and December 31, 2011. This fellowship is non-residential, and applications from all disciplines are encouraged. Up to twenty NAEd/Spencer Fellowships will be awarded. Additional guidelines and the fellowship application are available from our website. Deadline: November 4, 2011.

Student Internships: Natl. Coalition for APA Community Development

National CAPACD is seeking undergraduate or graduate students to work with a dynamic, progressive nonprofit organization committed to advancing the well-being of Asian American and Pacific Islander communities through advocacy, organizing and leadership development.

Interns will have the opportunity to meet community and congressional leaders, engage in substantive research and writing, organize and/or attend local and national events, participate in AAPI social justice networks and learn about AAPIs in nonprofits and community development. Interns will support National CAPACD’s work, which may entail but is not limited to opportunities to engaging and building the capacity of community organizations across the country and planning outreach events.

Policy and Communications
National CAPACD is utilizing its website and portfolio of new media tools to strengthen its advocacy work with member organizations across the country. The intern will work with the Policy team to ensure messaging for campaigns and policy working groups are enhanced by the new media tools and technology.

Planning for the National Convenings
Intern will play a role in supporting the Policy and Program team to prepare for the Annual National Convention and Community in the Capital.

Development/Fundraising and Nonprofit Management
Intern will support the development/fundraising/nonprofit management arm of the organization’s operations to ensure database for the organization is comprehensive and accurate to reflect the organization’s 110 member organizations.

Qualifications
Candidates must be committed to serving low-income AAPI communities and enrolled in an academic program at a college or university. Excellent verbal and written communication skills, strong analytical ability, and research experience are desired.

To apply, visit our website to download the application form. Deadline: Rolling basis, until positions are filled.


February 14, 2011

Written by C.N.

Best Immigration Documentaries: Part 3, Assimilation & Integration

This is the third of my three-part list of the best documentaries that focus on immigration and are great choices for showing in high school and college immigration classes. This third and final part will focus specifically on issues related to socioeconomic attainment, mobility, and assimilation — the individual-, community-, and institutional-level processes involved as immigrants (regardless of their legal status) become integrated into the rest of U.S. society.

Part 1 focused on the historical and global context of immigration and Part 2 looked at unauthorized immigration. The following list is organized by topic and corresponds to the chronological order in which I discuss each topic in my “Sociology of Immigration” course. For each topic, I highlight the documentary that I tend to show the most often, followed by other videos that are good choices for that topic as well.

Assimilation © Corbis

Socioeconomic Mobility and Settlement Patterns

What are the historical and contemporary patterns of educational, occupational, and income attainment on the part of immigrants and how do such patterns compare across waves of immigration, nationality/ethnic group, and in relation to U.S.-born racial/ethnic groups? Also, what are some recent developments regarding where immigrants settle, how they create their own communities and enclaves, and role of these ethnic communities in their overall assimilation process?

Assimilation and Ethnic Identity

In this section, I focus on the assimilation and integration process on the individual level. Specifically, I look at the different forms of forms of assimilation that immigrants undergo, the factors that affect their own personal racial/ethnic/cultural identity, and how community- and institutional factors influence whether immigrants experience upward or downward assimilation through time.

Language, Religious, and Political Incorporation

This section explores assimilation and integration specifically related to native language retention vs. English acquisition among immigrants, their religious patterns and the roles that religious organizations play in their lives, and their patterns of participating in the political process at various levels and in particular, the prospects of immigrants leveraging their growing population size into greater political power.

Emerging Issues and a Changing National Identity

In this final section of my “Sociology of Immigration” course, I reflect back on where immigrants to the U.S. have been — politically, economically, and culturally — and just as important, take a look at where immigration and immigration policy are headed as we move forward into the 21st century and in particular, as we become more culturally diverse, globalized, and transnational.


January 31, 2011

Written by C.N.

Best Immigration Documentaries: Part 2, Unauthorized Immigration

This is the second of my three-part list of the best documentaries that focus on immigration and are great choices for showing in high school and college immigration classes. This second part will focus specifically on the issue of unauthorized immigration. We all know that unauthorized immigration has become one of the most controversial, hotly-debated, and emotionally-charged issues in American society today. In that context, these documentaries highlight various sides of the debate and taken together, will hopefully provide a more comprehensive picture of this complicate and often contradictory issue.

Part 1 focused on the historical and global context of immigration and Part 3 will look at socioeconomic attainment, mobility, and assimilation. The following list is organized by topic and corresponds to the chronological order in which I discuss each topic in my “Sociology of Immigration” course. For each topic, I highlight the documentary that I tend to show the most often, followed by other videos that are good choices for that topic as well.

The Land of Opportunity © Dave Cutler, Images.com/Corbis

Unauthorized Immigration: The Basics

As the name implies, this section lays out the basic historical, political, and economic foundation and concepts that frame the contemporary nature of unauthorized immigration. I focus much of the discussion on such immigration from Mexico but also stress that much of the unauthorized immigrant population are people who had official permission to enter the U.S., and with that in mind, why we as a society focus such a disproportionate amount of attention on those from Mexico.

Nativism and Xenophobia

In this section, I describe historical and contemporary examples of how immigrants from various backgrounds and countries have encountered nativism, xenophobia, and racism upon their arrival. At the same time, I also focus on how such hostility and tensions have been magnified in recent years against unauthorized immigrants and the racial/ethnic connotations behind them.

Immigration Reform

This section explores the various proposals, programs, and laws that attempt to address the unauthorized immigration issue. I cover the pros and cons of both the “enforcement only” and “comprehensive reform” approaches, as well as examining the variety of costs and benefits that unauthorized immigration have on American society and its economy.

Women, Gender, & Family

This section highlights the immigration process and experiences of women, children, and families specifically. I examine the multi-level issues involved in transnational families where parents are separated from their children and the effects that workplace raids by Immigration Control and Enforcement agents have on unauthorized immigrant families.


January 26, 2011

Written by C.N.

Best Immigration Documentaries: Part 1, History and Global Context

This spring semester, I am again teaching my “The Sociology of Immigration” course, whose description reads, “This course examines who, why, and how different groups immigrate to the U.S. and what happens once they arrive — how they are received by mainstream society and how they adjust to their new country. Specific issues include settlement, education, identity, assimilation, discrimination, employment, language, marriage, legal status, and political participation.”

With that in mind, I would like to share my list of films, videos, and documentaries that I think are good choices for showing in introductory classes focused on immigration (the videos are most suited for college and advanced high school courses). As we all know, the political, economic, and cultural issues related to immigration are some of the most emotional, controversial, and hotly-debated topics in American society today. While the documentaries listed here tend to emphasize a comprehensive approach to immigration reform, they all do an excellent job in portraying and highlighting just how complex and even contradictory this issue is.

Statue of Liberty © Vance Vasu, Images.com/Corbis

The following list is organized by topic and corresponds to the chronological order in which I discuss each topic in my “Sociology of Immigration” course. For each topic, I highlight the documentary that I tend to show the most often, followed by other videos that I consider to be good choices for that topic as well. This post focuses the the first few topics of my immigration course — the history and global context of immigration. Part 2 will focus on issues specific to unauthorized immigration and Part 3 will emphasize socioeconomic attainment, mobility, and assimilation.

Basic Concepts: The Racialized Landscape

In this first section of the course, I lay out the sociological framework and institutional nature of the U.S.’s racial/ethnic landscape, within which the issues of immigration are framed and structured. I focus on how, contrary to historical and contemporary ideals of being “colorblind,” American society has been and continues to be highly racialized and these mechanisms of racialization impact immigration.

  • Race: Power of an Illusion (Episode 2): This excellent PBS series explores the social and political construction of race and perceived racial differences. As it relates to immigration, this episode takes an in-depth look at how the identity of “American” has been closely linked with Whiteness and the inherent barriers that people of color and immigrants have to overcome in order to formally and informally be considered “real” Americans.
  • The Color of Fear
  • Race, the World’s Most Dangerous Myth
  • Understanding Race

Historical Patterns of Entry and Restriction

In this section, I summarize the major waves of immigration into the U.S. through the years, along with the evolution of immigration laws and regulation in U.S. history.

Motivations & Incorporation: Past & Present

This section explores the multidimensional and multi-level process of how immigrants have been received by mainstream American society and how they have adapted to the challenges and opportunities in the first generation of life in the U.S. I also discuss the major theories of why and how immigration happens, particularly as they relate to global political, economic, and cultural forces.

The Global Context

Drawing on the global issues inherent in the immigration process, this section explores some examples of the variety of experiences and issues of immigration in other countries around the world. Students in my class find it useful to compare and contrast the experiences of immigrants in other countries to those of immigrants to the U.S.


October 29, 2010

Written by C.N.

The Real Life of a College Professor

A colleague sent around a link to the video below. It doesn’t focus specifically on Asian Americans or racial minorities, but certainly captures the sentiments that many college professors have. Plus, as my students would write, it had me ROTF and LMAO.


September 13, 2010

Written by C.N.

Best Asian American Documentaries (Part 2)

This is the second part of my list of best films, videos, and documentaries that focus on Asian Americans and are great choices for showing in introductory Asian American Studies classes (read Part 1 here). The following list is organized by topic and corresponds to the chronological order in which I discuss each topic in my “Asian American Experience” course. For each topic, I highlight the documentary that I tend to show the most often, followed by other videos that I’ve shown and consider to be good choices for that topic as well.

Discrimination, Inequality, & Racism

As the name implies, this section focuses on the historical/contemporary examples and individual/institutional ways in which Asian Americans have been targets of racial discrimination, ranging from the Foreign Miner’s Tax, to the Chinese Exclusion Tax, the Japanese American imprisonment, and Vincent Chin’s murder, to name just a few.

  • A Dream in Doubt: This video chronicles the murder of Balbir Singh Sodhi, an Indian American Sikh gas station owner in Phoenix who was shot to death by Frank Roque in the first hate crime murder committed after the 9/11 attacks. It’s a moving look at both the individual costs of hatred, along with how the criminal justice system responds to such a crime in an emotional time for the nation.
  • Lest We Forget: Another excellent video that connects the imprisonment of Japanese Americans after the Pearl Harbor attack with the incarceration and racial profiling of Arab and Muslim Americans after 9/11.
  • Who Killed Vincent Chin
  • Vincent Who?
  • Children of the Camps
  • American Sons
  • Sa-I-Gu
  • Wet Sand

Interracial Relationships and Dynamics

In this section, I focus on the issue of interracial dating and marriage, a hot-button topic for many Asian Americans. I explore the individual, family, community, and institutional factors that influence the choice of who a person dates or marries, with a particular focus on the issue from the point of view of Asian American males.

Faith, Spirituality, and Religion

This section explores roles that faith, spirituality, and religion can play in the lives of Asian Americans, ranging from providing emotional stability, practical information and resource, and providing a bridge to the rest of American society.

  • “Muslim” episode of the reality TV show 30 Days (Season 1): Created by Morgan Spulock (the guy who made Supersize Me in which he only ate McDonalds fast food for 30 days), this particular episode involves a practicing Christian living with a Muslim American family for 30 days as he tries to find his own truth about what Islam is all about.
  • American Made: Not a documentary but rather, a short drama about a Indian American family and how temporarily getting stranded in the dessert leads to an intergenerational understanding of what it means to be a Sikh in American society.
  • The Split Horn
  • Blue Collar and Buddha
  • Muslims in America

Sexuality and Creative Expression

This section highlights two sets of issues that have been marginalized or taboo in the Asian American community for too long — sexuality/sexual orientation and creative/artistic expression. I try to emphasize that in addition to achieving “material” goals related to education, jobs, and income, Asian Americans also need to recognize the value of other forms of living and personal expression that connect the individual with the community.

Social & Political Activism

While it’s important to recognize how Asian Americans have been targeted for discrimination, it’s just as important to understand that through the years, Asian Americans have not just been passive victims. Instead, in this section, I describe how there is a long and proud history of activism and collective action within the Asian American community and how we have fought back to assert our rights as true Americans.

New Paradigms and Emerging Issues

In this final section of my “Asian American Experience” course, I reflect back on where Asian Americans have been and just as important, take a look at where Asian Americans, American society, and the world in general is going as we move forward into the 21st century and in particular, as we become more culturally diverse, globalized, and transnational.


August 31, 2010

Written by C.N.

Best Asian American Documentaries (Part 1)

As the new academic year starts for many colleges around the country, like many professors, I am busy preparing to teach my courses. In my case, I usually teach two courses in the fall semester: “The Asian American Experience” (a ‘conventional’ classroom course with 40 students) and “Bridging Asia and Asian America” (a once-a-week, two-hour colloquium with 30 students, taught in the lounge of one of the residence halls). While these two courses are distinct, obviously there is a lot of overlap in terms of examining the histories and experiences of Asian Americans and their connections back to Asia.

With that in mind, I would like to share my list of films, videos, and documentaries that I think are good choices for showing in introductory Asian American Studies classes (the videos are most suited for college and advanced high school courses). As the study of Asian Americans continues to grow, hopefully instructors of these kind of courses and others interested in Asian Americans in general will find this list useful.

The following list is organized by topic and corresponds to the chronological order in which I discuss each topic in my “Asian American Experience” course. For each topic, I highlight the documentary that I tend to show the most often, followed by other videos that I’ve shown and consider to be good choices for that topic as well.

Basic Concepts: The Racialized Landscape

In this first section of the course, I lay out the sociological framework and institutional nature of the U.S.’s racial/ethnic landscape into which Asian Americans fit. I focus on how, contrary to historical and contemporary ideals of being “colorblind,” American society has been and continues to be highly racialized and how social institutions reinforce and perpetuate racial distinctions.

  • The Color of Fear: Made in 1992, this video is “just” a group of men from various racial backgrounds sitting around talking about race, but their words sharply illustrate many of the basic and also subtle ways in which racialization gets played out on the individual level and ultimately highlights the failures of trying to be colorblind.
  • Race: Power of an Illusion
  • Race, the World’s Most Dangerous Myth
  • Understanding Race

Immigration and Settlement

In this section, I describe the history of Asian immigration to the U.S., how the 1965 Immigration Act has impacted the current demographics of the Asian American population, and the dynamics of Asian American ethnic communities, from the first urban Chinatowns to emerging suburban enclaves like Little Saigon.

Assimilation and Ethnic Identity

This section explores the multidimensional and multi-level process of assimilation and ethnic identity formation. I discuss how these ideas involve more than just acculturation, how ideas of what it means to be an American have evolved through the years, and how these dynamics play out among adopted and mixed-race Asian Americans.

Women, Gender, and Family

Emphasizing the histories, experiences, challenges, and contributions of Asian American women, I highlight their paths of immigration into American society and the contemporary and often contradictory pressures they face, from familial expectations, to academic success, to dealing with exoticization and “yellow fever.”

  • Never Perfect: This video portrait follows a young Vietnamese American woman and her decision to have eyelid surgery. In between, it highlights the historical and contemporary pressures on how Asian American women are expected to look and behave.
  • Slaying the Dragon
  • Quiet Passages
  • Good for Her
  • Miss India Georgia
  • Knowing Her Place
  • A Life Without Fear

The Model Minority Image

This section examines the origins of Asian Americans portrayed as the “model minority” and in what ways a seemingly “positive” stereotype is true and beneficial to Asian Americans, and how it also distorts the reality of life for many of us as it overgeneralizes and carelessly lumps all Asian Americans together.

Work and Employment

How do Asian Americans differ in terms in terms of their occupational and employment success? I analyze two different aspects of that question in this section — glass ceiling barriers that many Asian Americans still confront in the workplace and secondly, how many choose to bypass those hurdles altogether by owning their own small business.

Part 2 of my list of best documentaries about Asian Americans will focus on videos relating to discrimination & racism, interracial relationships, faith, spirituality, & religion, sexuality & creative expression, social movements & collective action, and emerging issues in the 21st century.


April 5, 2010

Written by C.N.

Links & Announcements #24

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.

A.J. Muste Social Justice Fund

The Social Justice Fund currently makes 8 to 10 grants annually of up to $2,000 for grassroots activist projects in the US and around the world, giving priority to those with small budgets and little access to more mainstream funding sources. Please read these guidelines carefully and review our rosters of past grants on our website before applying to the Muste Institute for funding.

Next deadline: April 19, 2010 (for grants decided in mid-June). Subsequent deadlines to be posted after May 1, 2010. The Muste Institute’s Social Justice Fund considers proposals:

  • For new projects or campaigns, or efforts to expand existing work
  • For projects with expense budgets under $50,000
  • For projects which are local, regional, national or global in scope
  • From groups located anywhere in the world
  • From grassroots organizations with annual expenses of less than $500,000
  • From groups with limited or no access to more mainstream funding sources
  • From groups that may be unincorporated or incorporated*
  • From groups with or without 501(c)3 status or a fiscal sponsor*
  • From groups which have not received Social Justice Grants from us in at least two years

The Social Justice Fund’s priority is to support:

  • Direct grassroots activism and organizing
  • Groups with diverse, representative and democratic internal leadership structures
  • Groups which have or can obtain sufficient economic and in-kind support from a diversity of sources to carry out their regular work, but need additional support for a particular project

You can visit the A.J. Muste Institute website for more information on eligibility and how to apply.

Vietnamese Oral History Project

I’m emailing today because we all have one common interest — preserving Vietnamese history and culture. My friend Linh Tran and I are starting a new project and hope that with your help, we can turn our ambitions into a reality.

Our mission is to record, document and preserve the stories of every single Vietnamese refugee who fled the country after the Fall of Saigon. We as Vietnamese people have a very unique, important story and unless we make efforts to preserve those histories in some way, it’ll be lost in text books, in our children and our children’s children. Although there have been some attempts to document our story, not one project has done it on the global scale that we want to reach.

This is why Linh and I want to start to collect individual stories of this journey — modeled after the nationally recognized StoryCorps and Steven Spielberg’s Jewish Film Archive. We are compiling a video documentary, archive and multimedia-driven project that will serve the Vietnamese people, let them tell their stories and also be a platform to educate others from different origins and backgrounds about our story. It’ll temporarily be called “From Vietnam to Freedom” and will be housed online.

We’re emailing you because we’d like for you to either contribute your story, someone else’s story or help us connect more with the Vietnamese community to spread the word. We know with your help, we can truly make a difference in our global community. We hope that you’ll contribute in some way.

Thanks very much.

Best,
Kim Thai, kthai6@gmail.com
Linh Tran, tranl847@gmail.com

Asian Pacific Islander TV Pilot Shootout

Mavericks of Asian Pacific Islander Descent announces the 1st Asian Pacific Islander TV Pilot Shootout sponsored by Fox Diversity. The winner will receive the opportunity to pitch a TV executive at Fox.

Writers will submit a synopsis, logline, and sample pages from a completed original television pilot script as well as submit a video of a two minute television pilot pitch. The top five pitch ideas chosen by judges will be matched with directors who will also be selected by submission process. The directors will be given seed money partially derived from the entry fees and work with the writer to develop a 1 minute teaser of the pilot. Actors and production crew are also encouraged to apply to be considered for the chosen projects. Submission deadline for writers is June 9.

The five completed teasers will premiere at the Japanese American National Museum’s ID Film Fest October 10, 2010. The ID Film Fest will include screenings and workshops. The co-presenters of the ID Film Fest will include JANM, director Justin Lin and You Offend Me, You Offend My Family, director Quentin Lee, producer and writer Koji Steven Sakai, director Jessica Sanders, and Phil Yu of AngryAsianMan.com.

MAPID’s focus is to assist, develop, and promote Asian Pacific Islanders in entertainment. Producer of Breaking the Bow which involved over 70 API artists, MAPID conducts an API writing group, presents Battle of the Pitches, and co-presents the successful short screenplay competition with the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival. Complete instructions can be found at mapid.us/tvpilotshootout. For more information, contact Ken Choy at ken@mapid.us.

Census 2010: Fill In Our Future

The 2010 Census deadline is approaching, and as you know, it is critical to have the entire Asian American community participate. An accurate count can help us receive our share of over $400 billion in annual federal funds for services our community needs. Unfortunately, past decades have shown that Asian Americans are among the groups most likely to discard their Census forms.

Fill In Our Future is a campaign created by AAPI Action to promote and encourage the participation of the Asian American community in the 2010 Census. Our website, fillinourfuture.org, features frequently asked Census questions, in-language resources (in over 24 Asian languages), informational brochures, sample Census forms, in-language assistance guides, celebrity and community leader PSA’s (Public Service Announcements) and monthly contests and giveaways. The larger campaign also includes media and community outreach, workshops, a speaker’s bureau and training seminars.

As the Asian American and Pacific Islander population continues to grow and change, the data from the Census will help leaders obtain the best services, resources, and programs to meet our community needs. Please utilize and share the following resource links with your readers: Website, Facebook Fan Page, and Twitter.

Sincerely,
Courtney Lee