An energetic and engaging speaker, Frances Kai-Hwa Wang can address a number of different diversity, race, social justice activism, media, Asian Pacific American history and identity, multicultural parenting, and Chinese culture topics. She uses a variety of sources, from historical events to pop culture, with multimedia technology and cute toys to keep things lively and fun. The focus often comes back to practical strategies and calls to action.

The pace is fast and the challenges put to the audience are high, but these seminars, workshops, talks, and readings can be tailored to meet the needs and interests of your group (i.e. Asian Pacific American associations, adoptive families, teachers, college students, teenagers, children, language schools, business professionals, activists).

Talks are given in English, but may be given in Mandarin Chinese upon special request and ample warning. Special discounts if you are in a cool city! Contact fkwang888 AT gmail DOT com

Disparities Facing Asian-Americans in the Healthcare System: Frances Kai-Hwa Wang Keynote Talk at the 2016 Asian Pacific American Medical Students Association (APAMSA) Region V Midwest Conference held at the University of Michigan, January 2016

Asian American and Pacific Islander topics: 

Asian American History and Resilience in a time of COVID-inspired anti-Asian American violence
The history of Asian America is a history of resistance. During this time of COVID-19, there has been an escalation of anti-Asian American violence nationally, most recently against vulnerable Asian American elders, sparking both concern and creative community responses. We will look at moments in history and see how this racist violence is not new and how Asian Americans have resisted and created art, from the time of the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 to the Vincent Chin case in 1982. We will look at how Asian Americans are using art and community building strategies today to both share their talents and to clap back at COVID-inspired-anti-Asian American violence.

Asian American Resistance & Creative Clapbacks
OR Asian American Media: Stereotypes and Resistance (NEW!)
Using Asian American stereotypes in the media as an easy and visual entry point into Asian American history, we will examine connections between Asian American media stereotypes, historical anxieties, and what contemporary Asian American creatives are doing to clap back. This history of resistance is more relevant than ever today in this time of Islamophobia, anti-immigrant sentiment, Black Lives Matter, and “fake news.” The challenge is to become critical readers, savvy media consumers, and activist content creators.  

Asian American identity and writing
Who are the must-read Asian American writers, bloggers, poets, comedians, thought leaders, and public intellectuals? How to become critical readers, savvy consumers of media, and activist content creators? Who is going to tell your story beyond quaint childhood and cute grandma? (Lecture and/or writing workshop)

Asian Pacific American History and Heroes--Stories of Resistance and Courage:
A survey of the history and heroes of Asian Pacific America that is not usually taught in schools, with a celebration of the many contributions Asian Pacific Americans have made and continue to make to this country.
Video: http://www.aadl.org/video/view/152 (in the second half of this too-long video)

Becoming an Asian American Badass
Tired of the BS and ready for the Badass? Subject to all sorts of competing—and often conflicting—expectations and pressures about who we are, who we ought to be, and what we could be, it can be hard to figure out how to be Asian, American, Asian American,…oneself? It is not enough to talk about race, it is not enough to talk about gender, it is not enough to talk about the scars of our high expectations tiger parents. Yet we have so many badass role models and superheroes in our community, showing us how to be true to ourselves and a fierce advocate for our communities. How do we cultivate an Asian American identity that works for us as we move through our many different communities and how do we carry our art and activism forward into life after school?

Vincent Chin and Asian Pacific American Civil Rights:
Learn about this landmark case, the beginnings of the Asian Pacific American community, civil rights implications for Asian Americans, the triumph of multiracial and multiethnic coalitions, protecting ourselves against hate crimes, the continuing challenges for all of us to be alert and involved. (At the 1:10 mark):

Families, Children, and Parenting Topics: 

Multicultural Toolbox--Strategies for Raising our Children with Culture(s) and Pride
Parenting Beyond Amy Chua Tiger Mother (Hint: It's more than violin lessons and no sleepovers)
How do we make cultural education a part of our everyday lives and our decision-making. How do we teach our children about their cultural heritage? What are some tools, strategies, and resources we can use to build positive self-esteem and ethnic identity? How do we make teaching about their/our/other culture(s) and values a normal part of everyday life in America? How important is language? How do we prepare our children for racism? How do we extend our lessons about being bicultural to multicultural? This program will introduce practical tools and strategies for incorporating culture(s) into a multicultural lifestyle. Can be tailored for adoptive parents, educators, grandparents, Asian and Asian American audience, general multicultural audience, etc.

Strategies for Raising Bilingual and Multilingual Children
Practical, hands-on strategies and tools based in cultural pride for teaching your child a second (or third) language, whether you speak it fluently or not! Can be tailored for adoptive parents, grandparents, Asian and Asian American audience, general multicultural audience, etc.

Preparing our Children for Racism
Laying the Groundwork, From Understanding to Action, Resources for Teaching Tolerance

Teaching Our Kids to Critically Read and Deflate Media Stereotypes
Finding the Missing Asian is only step one. Talk back to your tv! Keep it real! Strategies to take control of the stereotypes before they take control of you.

APA Girl Power!
APA girls face unique and sometimes conflicting challenges to growing up proud and strong in both Asian and American societies. Some thoughts and strategies to help them develop their strength and pride and voice.

Chinese Cultural Presentations for all ages

Chinese Lunar New Year Festival--Stories, Traditions, and Song
(with interactive Nian, dumpling, or zodiac play). See link for more details.

Mid-Autumn Moon Festival--Stories and Traditions
(with interactive Moon Lady play and the connection to fortune cookies)

Chinese Valentine's Day--Stories and Traditions
(with interactive Cowherd and Weaving Maiden play)

Asian Pacific American Storytime--Reading stories about Asian Pacific American children set in America like Sam and the Lucky Money, Dumpling Soup, Halmoni and the Picnic, Bee Bim Bop, Lights for Gita.

"Lions, Dragons, and Painted Faces--The Masked Traditions of China" in collaboration with Carol Stepanchuk of University of Michigan Center for Chinese Studies.

Chinese food customs and culture
Explore the customs, traditions, and stories surrounding Chinese food and festivals. What do Chinese people eat at Chinese New Year and why? How do you put together a Chinese meal and what counts as good Chinese table manners? What role did Chinese restaurants play in American immigration history? Where were fortune cookies invented? And who is General Tso and why are we eating his chicken?

Hands-on Cooking Class and Dumpling-making party!
Guided dumpling making parties and make-your-own-sushi parties: Your house, your friends, your kitchen, and I'll teach you and your friends how to make and cook Chinese dumplings or simple sushi, with stories, history, culture, and recipes.

Creative Writing Workshops

Writing: Finding your Voice
If you have been scribbling poetry in secret journals for years or if you now want to begin a memoir for your loved ones, it can take some time to find your voice or to have enough trust to show your writing to the world. Rather than waiting until all is perfect, begin in this course, one word at a time. With many tips, tricks, exercises and more, overcome those barriers to writing.

Writing: Jumpstart your Memoir
If you have a memoir you have been meaning to write, either for publication or just for your grandchildren, but are having difficulty getting going, why not just start here, one chapter at time? Short writing exercises, tips and tricks, including creating a space for writing, writing every day, reading aloud, training your mind to see detail, taking chances with emotion, having fun with humor and flourishes, writing from the heart, cultivating consistency, overcoming barriers to writing. Leave with beginning drafts of several chapters.

Writing: Dare to Dream (The midlife crisis writing workshop)
Facing a big change or opportunity in your life? Terrified or thrilled out of your wits? Not sure if you trust that you know what you know? Learn simple but powerful methods to get the ideas out of your head and onto the page in order to write your way through challenge. Part journaling, part business plan, lots of short writing exercises, this course aspires to create the space in your head and the courage in your heart to take those first dizzying steps as you dare to dream.

Writing: Writing from the Heart
The most powerful writing comes from the heart. What do you care about? What inspires you? What is special in your life? Write about the people and things that matter to you. Write to touch, inspire, move, persuade, and provoke readers. Write with emotion, write with spirit. Write from your own truest self to help others find theirs. This course explores the kind of writing that changes people, oneself included. And it begins honestly, one word, one day at a time.

Writing: Writing to Change the World
What do you care about? What do you really care about? Learn simple but powerful methods to get the ideas out of your head and onto the page in order to persuade, convince and move people to your point of view. Part journaling, part activism, this class aspires to clarify the change you want to see and to create that change in the world with the written word.

Writing: Ethical Wills--a love letter to your familyTraditional wills distill our lives to a balance sheet of assets and liabilities but they do not fully capture the legacy of our values and experiences, our hopes and dreams that are the stuff we really want to pass down to our loved ones. Learn about ethical wills or Legacy Wills and begin writing a love letter to your family that can be shared now and treasured forever. As important for families with young children as for those with grown children or grandchildren.

Writing: Writing about Families and Culture (and Food!)
Write about the things that matter most to us, without apologies for the uniquely delicious smells or Grandma's untranslatable endearments. Write about the foods of cultural holidays and discuss trends in writing about families and cultures without translation. Show how "Did you eat?" means "I love you."

Writing: Women and Women of Color Writing for our Lives (in development)
We are not only writing for fame and fortune (lol), we are writing for our lives! We will write to find our voices, to discover our meaning, and to fight for our message. With short timed writing exercises, we will write and share our stories, discuss ways in which our stories and struggles may have been discounted, and find that women's stories and strength speak to us more powerfully than many of those dead white males we had to read in school.

Writing: Writing on the Water (in development)
Want to go on a week-long or weekend writing retreat along the water? Let me know!
What could you create in a peaceful and beautiful setting, free from the distractions of work and family? Let's gather along the water and write together about our lives and our loves, inspired by the flowing water, the water lilies, the water birds, the fish, and the beautiful colors flowing over us.

Prose Poetry Reading:
At the "Navigating the underCurrents" poetry reading curated by author May-lee Chai as part of the Asian American Women’s Artists Association (AAWAA) "underCurrents & the Quest for Space" art show at SOMArts Gallery in San Francisco, 2013. Excerpt at http://vimeo.com/midolee/aawaaundercurrents2013 at the 2:04 mark:

Additional Notes
Performance Add-On: If you are not too far away, Frances MAY be able to arrange to bring Lion Dancers, Chinese Yo Yo virtuosos, and/or Chinese dance performers from the Ann Arbor Chinese Center of Michigan or Ann Arbor Chinese Dancing School or others. However, please note that these performers are children aged 3-13 and so are not able to perform during school days, too late at night, or too far away from Ann Arbor. Red Envelopes with $1-$8+ are requested for each performer.

Technical requirements: A projector capable of interfacing with a PC and running Power Point, a screen, speakers, and podium are requested for a full multimedia presentation. A CD Player is needed for children's presentations and performances. A microphone is requested for large spaces with bad acoustics. Internet access is preferred. One long table is also nice for a traveling display of dolls, posters, and other fun APA toys. If we decide to do any book and toy sales, then some assistance with sales will be required.

Documentation: Please send copies of photos, videos, promotional materials, newsletters, and newspaper clippings of events to Ms. Wang for her mom's scrapbook.

Cancellation: Two weeks cancellation notice requested. If you cancel with less than two weeks notice, Ms. Wang respectfully requests 50% of the agreed upon speaker's fee to compensate for her preparation time.

Cool Cities: Special discounts for venues in cool cities where Frances has relatives and friends!

CONTACT NOW for your school or parents' group! Email fkwang888 AT gmail DOT com