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La Liga de Las Americas

Moving Beyond the Hate:
A Community Forum on Asian-Pacific-American Issues

According to organizers of a seminar to be held on October 28, recently, two University of Michigan students were charged for allegedly urinating on and yelling racial obscenities at an Asian couple passing beneath their balcony. The UM Asian/Pacific Islander American (A/PIA) Studies Faculty will discuss this issue, how it fits into the wider picture of Asian/Pacific Islander American history, and what UM alumni/faculty/staff and the Metro Ann Arbor community members will do about it. 

Frances Kai-Hwa Wang, acting editor of IMDiversity.com Asian American Village and co-organizer of the event said, “Unfortunately, this incident was not surprising. Asian American children can begin to experience racism as early as preschool.

“What is surprising is when the victim is taken seriously and something is actually done about it. Now we are closely watching and waiting for the University and the city to do the right thing and take these charges seriously, not blow them off like the suspects’ counter-story. This is our home. It could have been any of us walking down that street that night with our children.”

“We need to take this opportunity to learn about the racism that occurs in everyday American society,”  added Jen Hilzinger, Caucasian adoptive parent to two children born in Asia.  “We have a lot to learn.  And knowing the past is a great way to start.  This is not just an Asian-American issue.  This issue affects everyone.”  

This Community Forum was created in the wish of raising awareness of the frequency of racially intimidating and racially disparaging events on and off campus as well as educating the community on ways to stop it. 

The organizers of the event are hopeful for large attendance from a wide variety of ethnic groups.

In summary: October 28th, 2005, 7:15-8:45PM: Moving Beyond the Hate: A Community Forum on Asian Pacific American Issues, at Northside School, 912 Barton Dr, Ann Arbor (Parking available behind the school off Peach and Taylor Streets. Designed for adults and teens age 14+, no children please.) Learn about A/PIA history and literature and psychology and to see what it is like growing up Asian in America. Asian nationals, Asian/Pacific Islander Americans, and allies of all ethnic backgrounds are welcome! Panelists include: Dr. Phillip Akutsu, Dept. of Psychology, Dr. Gilbert Gee, School of Public Health, Dr. Susan Najita, Dept. of English, Dr. Sarita See, Dept. of English, and Dr. Amy K Stillman, Director, A/PIA Studies.  

Topics covered:

* Racial Stereotypes and Cultural Representation

* Psychological Perspectives on Prejudice and Discrimination

* Racism and Resistance in Asian American History

* Imperialism and Pacific Islanders

* Civil Rights and Asian American Community Health

Sponsoring Organizations: Ann Arbor Chinese Center of Michigan, Mam Non, Michigan Taiwanese American Association, IMDiversity.com Asian American Village, Chinese American Society of Ann Arbor, and the University of Michigan Asian/Pacific Islander American Studies. Questions? Email: [email protected]. More info: www.mamnon.org.





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