We are thrilled to announce that NYCAASC 2020 is going virtual! The mission of our conference has always been to create a space for students to learn about and discuss issues of Asian American identity; we are confident that we can still build this space, even if it is on a virtual platform. This year’s theme, Amplify, takes both a retrospective and forward-looking view of the Asian American community. We celebrate the accomplishments of the creatives, elected officials, and activists whose work illuminates our stories across the country and beyond. However, we also highlight the discrepancy between the uniformity of narratives that has been promoted and the diversity of experiences that defines our community.
NYCAASC 2020 hopes to amplify the voice of every facet of Asian America. With the dozens of ethnic groups represented in our community, as well as the unique experiences that emerge at the intersections of Asian American identity and other identities, we strive to ensure that one narrative does not eclipse the others. We hope to build a chorus of unique melodies that sings in harmony — not only within our community, but also alongside other marginalized groups. As a virtual conference, we can reach a broader audience; we also hope to create a digital record of our conference that can serve as a resource for years to come. Through engaging workshops, open discussions, and community-building activities, the fourteenth annual New York City Asian American Student Conference encourages conference attendees to both make themselves heard and uplift the voices of others.
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Jerry Won is the host and producer of Dear Asian Americans, a podcast and video interview show whose mission is to celebrate, support, and inspire fellow Asian Americans through immigrant origin and identity journey storytelling. He is also the CEO of The Podcast Firm, a podcast production company, and Just Like Media, an Asian American storytelling company. Prior to media, Jerry was a strategy consultant at Accenture, an account director at WeWork, and led sales and marketing efforts at various companies. He holds a BS from the University of Southern California and an MBA from the University of Michigan Ross School of Business. He resides in Southern California with his wife, son, and daughter. Learn more about Jerry and connect with him here!
Angel Yau is a comedian, storyteller and filmmaker from Queens, New York. She is a 2018 NBC/UCBT Diversity Scholar finalist and has been featured on the Risk!, Mortified and StoryCollider storytelling podcasts. She has been featured on Joe Mande's Award-Winning Comedy Special- her first Netflix thing and the Funny or Die short film, Soojung Dreams of Fiji- her first Amazon thing! She is proudly part of the first ever all Asian- American, all female, musical sketch group," AzN PoP!" She founded and hosts Asian American Film Thing! She also has stop-motion animation series on youtube where she explores her childhood in solitude, rejection and alienation.
This workshop looks at mapping the trajectory of harmful immigration policies in the US that began in xenophobic laws against Chinese workers and brings us to today's deportation of Southeast Asian communities by ICE. It will also explore how communities have organized against institutions like ICE that have risen across this historical arc. Together, we will be highlighting how raising our voices as powerful collectives has always been how we resist institutions that seek to erase us.
The goal of the workshop is to encourage and facilitate self expression through personal narrative in zine and booklet formats, specifically narratives centered around identity, racism, sexuality, and other experiences that Asian Americans face. We will first be analyzing visual narrative works in print that explore these issues and the many different storytelling tools that they use. We will also be looking at different zine/booklet formats to encourage creative styles that are informed by the stories themselves.The rest of the workshop will be devoted to creation, in which the students will spend time creating the concepts for their stories, writing, sketching, and drawing the final if time allows.
From Japanese-internment camps to modern day panic-fueled hate crimes, we’ve seen how the the othering of AAPI communities leads to dangerous sociopolitical consequences. We've always needed strong AAPI leaders to speak out passionately during times of injustice and hate. In NYS, where Asian-Americans make up 10% of the population, we have less than 2% of the representation in our State government. This workshop will examine the role of Asian American legislators, government staffers, and political organizers in shaping AAPI representation and activism, and how youth organizing can change the world. What does it mean to be an Asian-American working in government and politics? How do we navigate the systems of power that have barred our community’s voices for so long? And how do we fight back and build movements that break barriers, redefine political power, and shape the future of activism and government?
Young people of the digital age are exceedingly exposed to images, ideas, and individuals around the world but often report feeling a conflicting sense of disconnect. Our contemporary world offers so many glimpses and soundbites of issues around the world, but decision-paralysis seems to be just as crippling in the world of justice as it is on Tinder and Netflix.
What should I do? Where do I begin? What is my calling? These are questions this workshop will not necessarily answer but demystify. This workshop will introduce participants to the concept of “contextualized entry” developed specifically to help them begin mapping their participation in the “movement” may be.
Beauty and success has often been defined through white supremacist terms, lands, and systems. This has made it disproportionately challenging or fully impossible for people of color to keep up under those constraints. Specifically among the Asian-American diaspora, the model minority myth moves us toward white-adjacency and away from progress. In this workshop, we will examine this type of oppression through a social-emotional lens. Attendees will be able to reflect on their own body image and the society that influences it.
Break Time - grab a snack and stretch!
Because many of the links for our breakout activities must be made on the day of the conference, we will be adding them to one central google document. Here is the link to the document: https://bit.ly/breakoutsessioninfo.
We hope to elicit deep conversations through an anonymous platform to discuss questions such as 1. What do you see are the gaps between our own perception of the status of Asian Americans versus the wider American public's perception? How should we bridge that gap and 2. What are some common harmful narratives that exists about how Asian Americans fit into the American socioeconomic landscape and what are some productive wayst to address them from both our end and the mainstream end?
Our very own workshops co-chair, Janine, will be baking her famous matcha cookies. The recipe is posted below, so conference attendees are also welcome to bake along with Janine during the session, all while engaging in casual conversation about baking and more! You won’t want to miss out on these delicious cookies! Here is a list of ingredients to have on hand if you’d like to bake during the session: http://bit.ly/nycaasccookieingredients.
Join us in pictionary — NYCAASC Edition! We will use words related to NYCAASC and APAHM. We will have a list of words day of for you to look at for guessing. Wait for your turn as one person will draw out the word and you must guess it!
Spot Dessert Bar provides their customers with warming dessert tapas with a variety of flavors from their Matcha Lava Cake to the Harvest. We have invited the founder and CEO of Spot Dessert Bar to talk about his journey of creating one of the must visit dessert spots in NYC and their expansion into retail with Scoop by Spot.
This workshop runs for 1.5 hours and will begin at 3PM instead of 3:30PM. More information for this workshop can be found in the details for this workshop under 'Workshops Session #2'.
This workshop brings in our collective histories and draws on legacies of care that can sustain us. We will historically situated the current crisis and identify how we can move to care for each other, and invest in our collective healing and liberation as our legacies to each other. The call will be recorded and archived to be further accessible to those who cannot attend.
**Note: this workshop runs for 1.5 hours and will begin at 3:00pm instead of 3:30pm!
During the time of COVID-19, many of us are in quarantine at home. For some, this may be a time for learning, self-care, and reflection. For others, this may be an anxiety-filled time as we embrace various forms of uncertainty. In this workshop, we will discuss what self-care may look like in quarantine, how to stay mentally well during this challenging time, and more. Video and microphone use are highly encouraged as we will utilize breakout rooms for small group discussions.
The Asian American experience is shaped by societal messaging that we do not neatly belong anywhere at all. How can Asian Americans find grounding and navigate the road to finding support, especially mentorship, amidst a cultural landscape molded by the model minority myth - that we are doing just fine and don’t need any extra support? This workshop will provide a brave space for participants to reflect on how mentorship is essential and accessible for us all. Attendees will participate in a culturally-sensitive guided visualization on connecting with one’s Inner Mentor, a tool that can help you tap into your authentic inner wisdom and find belonging within yourself.
The workshop's goal is to encourage attendees to open their minds to stories that are currently being told but aren’t necessarily part of the mainstream dialogue. Through our discussion, we will invite others to partake in a space of dialogue where often marginalized voices are not welcomed and celebrated with the intention of creating meaningful and sustainable social change.
Break Time - grab a snack and stretch!
Jason Y. Lee is the founder of Jubilee Media: a media company for positive, purpose-driven millennials. Jason describes Jubilee as Buzzfeed’s older brother and Vice’s kind best friend. Prior to Jubilee Media, Jason was a consultant at Bain, one of the top consulting firms in the country. He quit his job to start Jubilee Project, a non-profit media company with his older brother Eddie, and his best friend Eric. Jubilee Project partnered with organizations to help raise funds for important causes such as Hepatitis B awareness, the Haiti earthquake, refugees in North Korea, and human rights organizations.
Grace Lee Boggs is an activist and philosopher in Detroit who has dedicated her life to the next American Revolution and the possibility of a better, more just future for all of humanity. At age 97, she has been building movements and developing strategies for social change for most of her life -- reminding us that revolution is not only possible and necessary, but a process that must always be in motion.