Thursday, August 28, 2014

Basketball Federation Refuses to Rule on Turban Ban - NBC

My article at Asian America on FIBA non-decision on religious headgear:
"It is a shame that FIBA has decided to let bureaucracy stand in the way of religious freedom,” said Sona Simran Kaur, Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund (SALDEF) Communications Director, after the International Basketball Federation declined to make a decision at its Central Board meeting about players wearing religious headgear, deciding instead to defer to further study.
Basketball Federation Refuses to Rule on Turban Ban - NBC

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Data Shows Duality of Asian America: High Income, High Poverty - NBC

Karthick Ramakrishnan breaks down the data in my article for NBCNews Asian America:
“On the one hand, you have high-skill immigrants and their children who are doing very well in terms of income. At the same time, we also have many others, particularly refugee populations and many Pacific Islander communities, that continue to struggle in terms of poverty.”
Data Shows Duality of Asian America: High Income, High Poverty - NBC

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Monday, August 25, 2014

Historic Sam Kee Laundry Building Damaged in Napa Earthquake - NBC

My article at NBCNews Asian America. Check out the photo on the landing page to see what the building looks like now, post earthquake.
“It's a memorable part of California history when Chinese immigrants faced virulent discrimination and were denied a livelihood,” said Margaret Fung, Executive Director of the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF), “Kee stood up for his rights and successfully challenged the town's discriminatory ordinance creating a ‘laundry-free’ zone in 1887."
Historic Sam Kee Laundry Building Damaged in Napa Earthquake - NBC

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Asian Pacific American Chamber of Commerce Women's Leadership Conference Women Who Lead: Emerging Cultural Successes

Coming up in November with the Asian Pacific American Chamber of Commerce (APACC):

Women's Leadership Conference
Women Who Lead: Emerging Cultural Successes

Event Sponsors:
DTE Energry and General Motors Company, LLC

APACC's premier Women's Leadership Conference is a half day of inspiration and empowerment designed with ALL Women in Mind.

Thursday, November 13, 2014
1:00 PM - 6:00 PM
Networking, Break-Out Sessions, Panels, and a Keynote Address
Dr. Betty Chu
Cheif Medical Officer, Henry Ford Hospital

Inn at St. John's
4405 5 Mile Road
Plymouth Township, MI 48170

Member Rate/Strategic Partners* - $30.00
Future Member Rate - $40.00

Sponsorship and Underwriting Opportunites Availiable
For more information click here
*Strategic Partners call APACC for the discount code

Location: The Inn at St. John's 44045 5 Mile Road, Plymouth Township, MI 48170

For more information:
Contact: Sarah Lalone
Phone: 248-430-5855

Register for this event: APACC Women's Leadership Conference "Women Who Lead: Emerging Cultural Successes"

Asian Pacific American Chamber of Commerce - Event Details

Friday, August 22, 2014

Detroit Asian Youth Project Celebrates 10 years of Mentorship - NBC

Congratulations DAY (Detroit Asian Youth) Project on your 10 Year Anniversary Celebration today! 
“The program was started in response to questions being raised at the 20-year anniversary of the Vincent Chin incident,” said Detroit Asian Youth (DAY) Project co-founder and coordinator Soh Suzuki, referring to the beating death of a Chinese American man in a Detroit suburb in 1982. “Where has the Asian American community in Detroit gone? What does it mean to organize Asian Americans in Detroit today?”
Detroit Asian Youth Project Celebrates 10 years of Mentorship - NBC

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Reading Friday night at Brewed Awakenings

I'm reading some new material tomorrow, Friday 8/22/14, at 7 pm, at Brewed Awakenings Cafe in Saline if you are interested. I wrote an email last week but forgot to send it. 

7025 E Michigan Ave, Saline, MI 48176

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Seattle's Mikado Theater Outrage Turned Into Arts Opportunity - NBC

My article on the Race and the Arts forum post Seattle Mikado:
“You have artistic freedom, but the audience can also tell you what they think of it," said panelist Roger Tang of the Asian American Theater Review. "If you do a half-ass job directing, you will hear about it. And you should.”
Seattle's Mikado Theater Outrage Turned Into Arts Opportunity - NBC

Alice Wong Sets Out to Chronicle Disability History - NBC

My article in NBCNews Asian America
“The motto of the Disability Visibility Project is really simple,” says founder and Project Coordinator Alice Wong. “‘Recording disability history, one story at a time'”
Alice Wong Sets Out to Chronicle Disability History - NBC

Nina McConigley's Book 'Cowboys and East Indians' Wins PEN Award - NBC

My interview with hapa writer and author of "Cowboys and East Indians" Nina McConigley for NBCNews Asian America with shoutouts to Ravi Shankar May-lee Chai Bich Minh Nguyen We Need Diverse Books #weneeddiversebooks. Now raise your hand if you were in 4H too...
“Nina's short stories embody the complex, richly textured and unexpected stories of being an outsider in the wildness of the American west and her compelling collection ‘Cowboys and East Indians’ is impossible to put down,” said Asian-American poet and editor of Drunken Boat, Ravi Shankar.
Nina McConigley's Book 'Cowboys and East Indians' Wins PEN Award - NBC

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Detroit Vincent Chin mural caught in the crossfire of a turf war

The Detroit Vincent Chin mural is caught in the crossfire of a turf war.

Previous media articles:
Update: Chin Mural 'Defacing ... Saddens All Of Us,' Sponsoring Group Says –  Deadline Detroit

Statement from Grand River Creative Corridor:

Defacing of Vincent Chin Memorial mural in Detroit's Grand River Creative Corridor

Earlier this year we contacted international street artist Andrew Pisacane also known as "GAIA" about creating a mural in the Grand River Creative Corridor (GRCC) in Detroit, Michigan. We were attracted to GAIA's talent and his ability to create large scale murals that shed light on deep-rooted civil rights history. GAIA suggested doing memorial mural of Vincent Chin and provided an in depth history of his life and eventual death. Below outlines the series of events from the organization, creation, defacing, and removal of the Vincent Chin Memorial Mural:

May 2014- Details of the mural were organized and confirmed. GAIA requested that we make contact with Vincent Chin's family to approve and provide their blessing of the mural. We were led to the "American Citizens for Justice", "a nonprofit 501c3 organization serving the Asian Pacific American (APA) communities of Michigan and fighting for the civil rights of all Americans. It was founded in 1983 after the baseball beating death of Vincent Chin." Details and imagery were sorted out then mutually approved. Artist travel itinerary, accommodations, supplies, equipment and mural location were confirmed.
June 18, 2014- GAIA arrived to Detroit.
June 19, 2014- GAIA met building owner, created conversation, and building owner gave his blessing. The building owner respected the idea of a memorial mural and related to the challenges Vincent Chin faced. GAIA met Detroit graffiti artist SINTEX, who had previously had a mural on the wall. (All of the GRCC walls rotate artists every 1-3 years. Several other walls have been successfully rotate without any conflict.) GAIA explained his mural concept and SINTEX gave his blessing by saying "I've had my mural on the wall for a couple years now and now it's yours".
June 19- June 23, 2014- GAIA created the Vincent Chin Memorial Mural.
June 23, 2014- GAIA departed Detroit.
August 6, 2014- Over 100 Girl Scouts visited and toured the GRCC and were educated on the history of Vincent Chin. (see attached photo)
August 9, 2014 at 6:37am- Derek Weaver, founder and curator of the GRCC, received a text message from Detroit graffiti artist "SINTEX" that stated "The mural in the parking lot got hit..looks like justo...blk buff line all thru it..signature justo ..or justd". Derek living only 15 minutes, away drove to the mural to find that the black paint was still wet and dripping. Derek decided to try and save the mural and washed 90 percent of the black paint off with a water hose. From there, several Detroit artists offered to help fix the mural and plans were scheduled to do so.
August 11, 2014- SINTEX told Derek that the wall needed to be repainted. Derek then explained the plans to restore the mural. SINTEX expressed frustration and disapproval.
August 122014- Derek received a phone call in the late afternoon from SINTEX demanding he purchase a 5 gallon of black paint to cover the mural. SINTEX stated that he spoke with the building owner and received his permission to repaint the wall. Derek told SINTEX not to repaint the wall until Derek had an opportunity to speak with the owner directly and reminded him that the wall was scheduled to be fixed.
August 13, 2014 at 7:35am- Derek received a text message from another artist that said "Omg 1/4 of the gaia mural is buffed". Derek arrived shortly thereafter and discovered that SINTEX had “buffed” the mural overnight. SINTEX accepted responsibility via Facebook posts/messages.
August 14 to Present- Several claims and threats have been made by SINTEX via Facebook, Instagram, in-person, and Phone/Text. SINTEX removed and painted over the remaining wall and started painting his own mural. He made several mentions that it was his wall and Detroit is a “No Fly Zone” and GAIA never had the right to paint it.

The Grand River Creative Corridor and the 4731 Arts Incubator will no longer support SINTEX financially or personally, his art, housing, or work space.

SINTEX currently resides in the 4731 Art Incubator, located within the Grand River Creative Corridor. SINTEX was one of the lead artists in the early-age of the GRCC and painted 4 or 5 murals. SINTEX was provided a 6,000 square foot loft free of charged for 2 years. Recently, the City of Detroit inspected the loft and deemed it unsafe and uninhabitable for residential use. SINTEX was given notice in May of 2014 that his occupancy would be ending. SINTEX has made no indications of moving out of the loft.

GAIA is an international street artist based in Baltimore Maryland. He was invited to participate in the Grand River Creative Corridor and agreed to donate the mural to the community. GAIA visited Detroit at the end of 2013 to create a mural inside well-known Detroit business man Dan Gilbert’s parking garage. The mural was painted inside the “Z Garage” and organized by Matt Eaton of the Library Street Collective. GAIA has also participated in many other mural projects including Miami’s “Wynwood Walls”, Atlanta’s “Living Walls”, and GAIA also organizes a mural project in Baltimore called “Open Walls”. (GAIA’s full statement can be found at

“Public art is for anyone and everyone. It’s not restricted to the elite or confined inside the walls of an institution. It’s not about fighting over walls, murals, or creating conflict. It’s about creating a dialogue with the community…creating emotion, energy and positivity. The defacing of the recent Vincent Chin mural saddens all of us and is an indicator that the community in Detroit has some work to do. It shows that the “No Fly Zone” mentality still exists today and hinders the growth and the resurgence of the great city of Detroit. Our sincerest apologies to Vincent Chin, his family, the Asian American Center for Justice, and GAIA. We are happy we were able to provide the local community dialogue and enlightenment on the death of Vincent Chin during the short time the mural was up. We look forward to creating many more beautiful murals that help the community move forward.” -Derek Weaver


The Grand River Creative Corridor, also known as “GRCC", is an art corridor and neighborhood revitalization project concentrated on Grand River Avenue between on a half-mile stretch just outside downtown Detroit, Michigan. Founded on July 15, 2012 by Derek Weaver, the project features over 100 murals on 15 buildings; an outdoor fine-art gallery at a bus stop; free-standing art installations; a cleanup of overgrown vegetation, trash, and vandalism; and an economic stimulus project for local businesses. The project involves over 100 local and international volunteer-artists and is an ongoing effort to transform Detroit’s infamous Grand River Avenue into a creative hub that attracts: tourists, artists, small businesses, entrepreneurs, and investors alike.

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