Deeper Insights: DRIVEN’s Resources for Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month
May is Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Month, and this year, DRIVEN’s exploration includes a cultural assortment of mostly current resources to immerse yourself in, covering non-AAPI folks’ perceptions of Asian Americans, Anti-Asian bias in business, AAPI struggles of the past, and a special timely focus on anti-Asian violence in the US. Take this journey with us by studying the books, articles, interviews, discussions, dedicated websites and more, for which we have provided safe links.
How To Observe: Not just for Asian Americans who are introducing themselves to the concept of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, but for everyone, here is a webpage that lays it out. Discover the holiday timeline, why the holiday is important, and how to observe to get the most out of this special time. Link to the page HERE.
The NPS Celebrates!: The National Park Service and their partners share AAPI histories and the continuing culture thriving in parks and communities today. Link to this rich resource HERE.
Understanding Our Perceptions of Asian Americans: From the Center For Global Education, this overview essay on Asian Americans includes identity issues (perceptions and misperceptions, use of terminology, understanding demographics, and the extreme diversity contained within the term.) Read the essay HERE.
Recognizing Patterns: Reflections on Anti-Asian Sentiments in Business, a RaceAhead article by Ellen McGirt and Daniel Bentley: Jessica Chao, an MBA student, CEO, and co-founder of LingoHealth, a start-up that connects non-fluent English patients and their families to an inclusive primary care experience, is in discussion here with Fortune.com. The self-described poster girl for the ‘model minority myth’ has some important insights into what would make the workplace more welcoming to Asian-American talent. Link to the article HERE. Subscription required.
The Motherload of PBS Articles Reporting on Anti-Asian Violence in the US: WNYC.org has compiled a page-full of links to the articles, all published in 2020 and 2021, which include various looks at the history of such violence, the recent pollical response, and tips on how you can contribute to change. Link to the page HERE.
Highly-Recommended Books by Asian-American & Pacific Islanders: Many resourceful websites have posted their lists of must-read books by AAPI authors. Some of the more comprehensive lists, which feature surprisingly contrasting selections, include those on MentalFloss.com, GoodHousekeeping.com, and PenguinPandomHouse.com.
Podcasts & Other Listening:
Learn the Deep History of Anti-Asian Violence in the US: New York Public Radio’s The Takeaway featured a compelling interview with author and Princeton University history professor Beth Lew-Williams about the recent attacks and violent racism against the AAPI population. Discover Lew Williams’ book on the topic The Chinese Must Go, and hear the interview HERE.
From Problem to Model Minority: Arun Venugopal, an Indian American and senior reporter with WNYC’s Race & Justice unit, gave us the article The Truth Behind Indian American Exceptionalism, published in December 2021 in The Atlantic. He was interviewed about it by Brian Lehrer, where he talks about his family’s story, which exemplifies how a generation of educated, well-off Indian immigrants were eased into American society after 1965, and how they fit into the fight for racial justice and immigration policy today. Hear the interview HERE.
One Korean American’s Reckoning: This episode of the NPR podcast Code Switch features a discussion with a young Korean American man on protesting against systemic racism for the first time, and features a supplemental article asking the most poignant questions about the Asian American experience during an era of protest. Hear the podcast HERE.
Self-Evident: Asian Americans’ Stories from Self Evident Media: This relatively new podcast is drawing necessary attention to the voices of the 22 million Asian Americans residing in the US by answering the vital questions of our time. A thoughtful reconstruction of the social and political narratives surrounding Asian Americans of the past, present, and predicted future, each episode targets specific communities within the Asian diaspora in America. Browse through the podcast episodes HERE.
Order 9066: FDR signed Executive Order 9066 just months after Japan bombed Pearl Harbor. Some 120,000 people of Japanese ancestry were then forced from their homes on the West Coast and sent to one of ten “relocation” camps, where they were imprisoned for the length of the war. Two-thirds of them were American citizens. American Public Media’s (APM’s) podcast series “Order 9066” chronicles the history of this incarceration through vivid, first-person accounts. It explores how this shocking violation of American democracy came to pass, and its legacy in the present, through the narration of two of the incarcerated. Find it all HERE.
The Alternative of Exile: The story of Japanese Americans enduring life in internment camps during WWII is well known, but a few thousand avoided the camps by self-exiling. Code Switch correspondent Karen Grigsby Bates talked with research historian Diana Tsuchida about the hidden history of Japanese Americans who survived by creating farming communities, like the one in Keetley, Utah. You’ll also hear directly from survivors about life as internally displaced American citizens. Listen to the podcast HERE.
Important Related Link:
Asian Bystander Trainings from Hollaback.org: In response to the rise in Anti-Asian American and xenophobic harassment, Hollaback has partnered with Asian Americans Advancing Justice (AAJC) to adapt their free bystander intervention training as well as offering a de-escalation training to meet this moment. Learn more and register on ihollaback.org.