Tag Archives: Asian American

NEWS GLEAMS: Report Anti-Asian Violence Online, Rethinking Waste, & More

curated by Emerald Staff

A round-up of news and announcements we don’t want to get lost in the fast-churning news cycle!

AAPI Against Hate March and Rally (Photo: Maile Anderson)

NAPCA Launches Anonymous Online Reporting of Anti-Asian Violence Against AAPI Community

On Saturday, Sept. 4, the National Asian Pacific Center of Aging (NAPCA), a national nonprofit that “preserves and promotes the dignity, well-being, and quality of life of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) and diverse older adults,” launched an online anonymous form to help report incidents of violence against older members of the AAPI community. Their “in-language online report form” will be available in 29 AAPI languages, and the data collected will be used, they say, to gauge incidents of anti-Asian violence nationwide to help inform policy makers and community leaders.

From NAPCA: “According to a nationwide survey of AAPI adults conducted by NAPCA and its community partners (COMPASS Study, March 2021), 3 in 5 surveyed had experienced discrimination during the height of the pandemic. Yet due to factors such as language barriers and a cultural reluctance to report crimes, data on the scope and reach of violence have been inconsistent and imprecise.

“NAPCA has independently tracked 94 reported incidents of violence against AAPI adults ages 50 and older since February 2020, with 16 deaths and three people critically injured. The number of attacks against Asians is widely believed to be underreported due to cultural reluctance with many older adults being limited English proficient and anxious about involving law enforcement.

“With this anonymous in-language form, we are urging community members to come forward and report the violence they have been either victim or witness to, detailing their accounts in order to better grasp what has been unfolding.” Joon Bang, president and CEO of NAPCA

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George and Gerard Tsutakawa’s Artistic Legacy Honored in New Wing Luke Museum Exhibit

by Kamna Shastri

The life-size metal sculptures of George and Gerard Tsutakawa — father and son — are solid mainstays gracing public parks and fountains across Seattle today. The sculptures are almost always curved, edges rounded. Rarely will you see sharp, angled corners or ridges in these designs. Continuity runs through each individual sculpture — and between the sculptors themselves. A new exhibit at the Wing Luke Museum, titled “Gerard Tsutakawa: Stories Shaped in Bronze” dives into the public art, inspiration, and processes of both father and son.

Born in 1910, George was Nisei, second generation Japanese American. He was never very interested in his studies, “preferring to practice his drawing and calligraphy,” writes his daughter Mayumi Tsutakawa. George received his B.A. from University of Washington (UW) in 1937 and volunteered for the United States Army during WWII, mostly teaching Japanese at a military intelligence school in Minneapolis. During WWII he also visited his relatives interned at the Lake Tahoe internment camps, where he met his future wife Ayame Kyotani.

Both husband and wife were artists in their own right: Kyotani a gifted practitioner of traditional Japanese dance and flower arrangement and George an architect, designer, and sculptor, among other things. After he completed his M.F.A., also at the UW, George took on faculty positions at the School of Architecture and later the School of Art. He would go on to teach for 37 years, make a home with his wife in Mount Baker, and raise four children surrounded by the rhythms and inspirations of his in-home studio. His artistic career would span 60 years, leaving footprints in Japan, Canada, and across the United States, making him a pillar of Seattle’s Asian American heritage.

Continue reading George and Gerard Tsutakawa’s Artistic Legacy Honored in New Wing Luke Museum Exhibit

King Donuts Takes a Much-Needed Break and Unveils Plans for the Future

by Mark Van Streefkerk

When it comes to Rainier Beach landmarks, King Donuts is one of the most easily identifiable. Located in a bright blue-and-pink shop at the southwest corner of the Safeway parking lot on Rainier Avenue South, King Donuts houses a laundromat, a teriyaki kitchen, and a donut shop. 

It’s a unique and ambitious business model for a relatively small space. Almost as if to reassure passersby, the sprinkled, crowned King Donut mascot painted on the side of the building exclaims, “It’s a Real Place!” from his perch atop a washing machine, a bowl in one hand and chopsticks in the other. 

Owned and operated by the Chhuor family, King Donuts will continue to be a special place in the community far into the foreseeable future, but after weathering a pandemic and assessing what they can realistically sustain long-term, the family had to make some hard decisions. 

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OPINION: Searching for Kinship in Psychotherapy

by Angelina Li 李羽茜

I first entered psychotherapy as an undergraduate business student. I didn’t know what was wrong, just that I felt terrible, lonely, lost. I deeply craved connection with other people, yet, despite my ongoing efforts, felt so alienated and like I didn’t fit in. I tried psychotherapy on a whim by enrolling in a research study through my school’s psychology department. 

The study aimed to teach the participants acceptance/mindfulness-based techniques to manage anxiety symptoms. It seemed like a good place to start for me, someone who was a beginner to therapy and had limited financial resources. It was the first time I had experienced being with someone whose primary role was to listen, and it taught me techniques I still use today. Once that study concluded, I was referred to my current therapist who I’ve been seeing for five years. She has become a very important person in my life. 

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‘Minor Feelings’ Reckons With Asian American Consciousness in a Major Way

by May Huang

(This article was previously published by Real Change and has been reprinted with permission.)

On the cover of Cathy Park Hong’s Minor Feelings, aptly subtitled “An Asian American Reckoning,” flames dance around the uppercase title of the book. An arresting design, the cover art suggests danger, drama, and daring — three elements that are unapologetically present in this essential interrogation on race and writing.

Minor Feelings is a collection of seven essays that explore a question of rising importance: What place do Asian Americans occupy in America? On the one hand, Asians are often called the model minority, considered “next in line to be white.” Asians as a whole are more economically privileged than other minority groups in the U.S. and are often high-achieving students and employees. But events in recent history, from the 1992 LA riots that took place in K-town to the 2017 incident where the Vietnamese doctor David Dao was forcibly dragged off a United Airlines flight, suggest that Asians are more likely in line to “disappear” — to assimilate to or be swallowed up by the very system of capitalism that exploits them. Asian Americans, who have even been told that they don’t “count” as minorities anymore, are still often made to feel inadequate — if not by others, then by themselves.

“Not enough has been said about the self-hating Asian,” writes Hong. This self-hatred, which foments when Asians see themselves through the lens of white people, is among the “minor feelings” discussed in the book, along with emotions such as ingratitude, hostility, and jealousy. The term describes the “cognitive dissonance” that Asian Americans feel when they are gaslighted by American optimism, as well as the negative emotions they are “accused of having” when they confront their racialized reality. Reading the book, I felt seen; I wouldn’t be surprised if many AAPI readers realized that “minor feelings” is a term we have been hoping to come across for a long time.

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‘Our Stories Are Your Stories’ Video Collection Celebrates AAPI Heritage

by Mark Van Streefkerk

A video storytelling campaign was launched at the beginning of this month to celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) heritage. “Our Stories Are Your Stories” (OSAYS) is a growing video collection of short oral histories from AAPI people of all walks of life in the greater Seattle area. Coinciding with AAPI Heritage Month, another goal of OSAYS is to help dispel harmful misconceptions about these diverse communities and create empathy as a response to the disturbing trend of anti-Asian violence and xenophobia. 

Notable Seattle athletes, artists, actors, and community leaders like Doug Baldwin, Dr. Vin Gupta, Hollis Wong-Wear, Gary Locke, Lana Condor, Yuji Okumoto, Lauren Tran, and more have kicked off the campaign by contributing their stories — and OSAYS expects more to come. The oral histories don’t have strict guidelines but primarily explore the questions, “What does it mean to be Asian American or Pacific Islander?” and “How does identity inform your life?” Anyone from the AAPI community is encouraged to contribute. The OSAYS videos will become part of the Wing Luke Museum’s oral history archives. 

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Intentionalist: Celebrate ASIAN AMERICAN-Owned Businesses

by Kristina Rivera

Intentionalist is built on one simple idea: where we spend our money matters. We make it easy to find, learn about, and support small businesses and the diverse people behind them through everyday decisions about where we eat, drink, and shop. #SpendLikeItMatters

May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, and it’s time to celebrate.

During the pandemic, we’ve seen local businesses scramble and adapt to the ever-changing conditions around them, with recent research showing Asian-owned small businesses have been disproportionately affected. But, despite this, we’ve also seen countless local businesses step up in so many ways to help the communities around them.

And we at Intentionalist think that’s a cause for celebration.

We believe AAPI Heritage Month isn’t just about supporting the AAPI-owned businesses in our neighborhoods — it’s about celebrating them and all the character, culture, and vitality they bring to our communities.

To kick off AAPI Heritage Month, here are three businesses you can support:

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