The locations of the workshops will be available on the day of the conference. Workshop titles and descriptions will continue to be updated.

WORKSHOP 1 (10AM – 11AM)

  • Our Time to Shine (Dr. Wenli Jen; Pacific Clinics-Asian Pacific Family Center) – Learn how to effectively evaluate social messages of API portrayal and combat negative messages through understanding the model minority myth, current research and issues in practice. Reframe API identity as an individual and group to ignite social change, community activism and effective partnerships/collaboration with knowledge about strategic planning.
  • SEA Change: Igniting Action In The Southeast Asian American Community (Julie Vue, Andy Nguyen Le; Southeast Asian Student Association at UC Irvine) – “Know hystory, know self.” It is important to learn about one’s hystory in order to understand one’s role in society and/or their community. This workshop is designed to look at the important hystorical context of Southeast Asians in the U.S. in order to understand their role within U.S. hystory. The workshop will engage participants through creating a timeline that will analyze immigration and refugee experiences, social and political issues/events, and education statistics.
  • Check Your Privilege: Basic Foundations for Engaging in Cross-Cultural and Intra-Cultural Organizing (Patrick Chen, Lisa Lei; UC Irvine Cross-Cultural Center Reaffirming Ethnic Awareness and Community Harmony) – Why can’t I used the n-word? Learn a bit of history and take part in a discussion to explore what it means to “Check your Privilege”. Understanding differences in privilege is a vital foundation for inclusive and effective social justice advocacy, not only between the API community/identity and other communities, but also within the API community/identity itself.
  • (Queer) Pornotopias: Envisioning the Possibilities of Asian American Sexuality in Film (Ray San Diego; Ph.D. Candidate in Culture and Theory, UCI) – How can contested Asian American sexualities (the slut, the queer, the asexual) be utilized as potential sites of politicization? This workshop will challenge conventional ways of interpreting sexually explicit materials so that we can begin a movement of pleasure to foster individual empowerment and social equity in our personal relationships and communities. (Please be 18 or over and bring a healthy curiosity for watching and discussing diverse hard core pornographic sexual representations!)
  • Cambodia Town – A Case History (Mariko Kahn; Pacific Asian Counseling Services, Asian Pacific Policy and Planning Council (A3PCON), Cambodia Town, Inc. in Long Beach) – Conventional wisdom in urban planning focused on the need for ethnic communities to assimilate into the mainstream culture for the improvement of their population. In Long Beach, Cambodia Town’s emergence as a designated cultural district is a fascinating case study of what was needed to navigate the local political and community structures to obtain their goals. It is an example of how one group used their cultural and traditional customs and traditions to build community pride and work for socio-economic improvement of a formerly blighted area. The workshop will focus on the key elements that were needed at the local political level to affect this change. There will be time for the audience to discuss how these elements can be applied in their communities.
  • Environmental Racism: Poverty, Power, Pollution (Kristian Castro, Maya Visvanathan; UCSD Student Sustainability Collective) – Environmental racism is everywhere and affects us all, albeit in different ways: air pollution, toxic waste dumps, pesticides, diabetes. Join us as we explore how and why race, class, gender, and citizenship intersect in a “post-racial” America to produce and maintain social and environmental inequalities. We will highlight how APIs and other communities of color are directly impacted by and implicit in environmental racism and what we can do to fight back.

WORKSHOP 2 (11AM – 12PM)

  • Art as a Political Weapon (Cheryl Zarate, Manila Ryce, Janice Sapiago & Eddy M. Gana Jr.; Kabataang maka-Bayan, Pro-People Youth) – Art is an abstract human concept which is mostly affected by other existing abstractions of humanity. Art is expressed, analyzed, and utilized to educate, inspire, and invigorate. Art is not just for art’s sake. We aim to share how to use various mediums of art expression to relay political messages to our peers and the community.
  • Activist Essentials: Becoming a Proactive Ally (Diana Price, Daisy Kim; Leadership Development in Interethnic Relations (LDIR), Asian Pacific American Legal Center) – What does it take to be a truly collaborative leader? Whether or not we’re aware of it, we often come to collaboration and movement building with our own biases, stereotypes, and oppressive ways of thinking. This interactive workshop challenges participants to locate themselves and interrupt the urge to be passive about privilege and oppression, so that we can begin to figure out how to actively and meaningfully organize in solidarity with one another.
  • Hip Hop and Filipino American Racial Belonging (Mark Villegas, Guest Performers – Joseph Alvaro, Francis Calles, Branlee Querubin; Ph.D. Candidate in Culture and Theory at UCI) – This workshop will question Filipino Americans’ racial membership using the lens of hip hop culture as a performed expression. How can hip hop help “remember” Filipino history? How do Filipino Americans express their feelings of racial belonging through hip hop? How can our racial consciousness help us move forward and gain knowledge of self? We will feature guest performers.
  • The Personal is Political: A Writing Workshop (Cara Van Le; common ground Open Mic Series in Santa Ana) – How much do we implement self-care in our community and social justice work? The idea of this writing workshop is to explore the ways in which writing can be a healing space through which we can make our organizing work all the more powerful. Together, we’ll discuss, interact, and write in order to create safe space. This is a workshop open to writers and those who just wish to write!
  • Yoga: Re-imagining Critical Healing in Organizing Spaces (Hardeep Jandu; Coalition of South Asian Peoples at UCSD) – “Yoga: Re-imagining Critical Healing in Organizing Spaces” will be an hour to explore yoga and its philosophies, connect it to a decolonizing political consciousness, and be in community with one another. What are the possibilites that can come out of (critical, mindful) healing practices? This workshop will bring up questions around exotification, spiritual appropriation, trauma within organization spaces, access to healthcare and mental health services, and of course, the practice of yoga.
  • Pacific Islanders and Health (Alisi Tulua, Chris Vaimili; Empowering Pacific Islander Communities) – The Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander (NHPI) community in the U.S. is often aggregated into the “Asian Pacific Islander” category, which has been historically associated with healthy profiles, obscuring NHPI health issues and making them invisible in reported data. The diverse political relationships between various island nations and groups also create barriers to healthcare since access to many public health programs depend on immigration status. Among the highest priority health issues that disproportionately affect the NHPI community are obesity, cancer, and diabetes. This workshop will provide an overview on who NHPIs are, what some of the root causes are of NHPI health issues, and what our community is doing to reclaim the healthy lives that our ancestors were accustomed to.


  • What Next?  How Social Justice Advocacy and Campus Organizing Skills Help in the Real World (A Nissan Career and Leadership Seminar presented by LEAP) – So, you are involved in community organizations and campus activities during college. How will that help you in the real world? Which skills can help you after graduation and how do you continue to stay involved with issues that are important to you? Come and hear about the experiences of three panelists who continue to advocate for the community within their various careers. Click here for details biographies on the panelists, LEAP, and the career panel sponsors.
  • Like Chocolate for Empire: Starving, Surviving, and Striving in the Asia/Pacific (Anthony Kim; Ph.D. Candidate in Literature at UCSD) – Cans of spam, bars of chocolate, and bubbling pots of military stew. A motley mix of sucrose, sodium, and spices; often overprocessed, constantly repackaged, and daily consumed. In this writing workshop, we will start with some commonplace foods to trace and chart some reverse pathways from our stomachs toward an ocean that bridges America, the Pacific Islands, and Asia. We will consider the ways in which the foods we make contact with and put into our bodies connect back to our lives, families, and communities – and produce some poetry along the way. No previous writing experience is necessary. All that is expected is a creative and collaborative spirit.
  • Adopting an Autopoetics: A Poetry Reading and How-to-Haiku in the Age of Twitter (Professor Nicky Schildkraut of University of La Verne, Professor Khanh Ho of Grinnell College) – In this workshop, Professor Nicky Schildkraut will read selections from her first poetry collection, Magnetic Refrain, and guide participants in writing the new modern 21st century poem: a Twitter haiku. Professor Khanh Ho will also guide participants through a creative writing exercise.
  • Re-Mapping the Asian Diaspora (Joanna Huang, Thieny Nguyen; SPACES at UCSD Practicum Coordinators) – The concept “Asian diaspora” refers to explosion of migration and immigration from Asia to North America in the second half of the twentieth century, in relation to captivity, war, colonialism, or persecution. In this workshop, we will seek to explore how we map ourselves and ourstories in relation to the displacements and connections of the Asian diaspora. Collectively, we will use creative and engaging mediums to further examine how we can channel these stories into constructive courses of action and rebuild community.


  • Activist Essentials: Becoming a Proactive Ally (Diana Price, Daisy Kim; Leadership Development in Interethnic Relations (LDIR), Asian Pacific American Legal Center) – What does it take to be a truly collaborative leader? Whether or not we’re aware of it, we often come to collaboration and movement building with our own biases, stereotypes, and oppressive ways of thinking. This interactive workshop challenges participants to locate themselves and interrupt the urge to be passive about privilege and oppression, so that we can begin to figure out how to actively and meaningfully organize in solidarity with one another.
  • West Coast Asian Pacific Student Union Work Group: Coalition Building for the New Century (Elaine Won; West Coast Asian Pacific Student Union, Asian Pacific Student Association at UC Irvine) – The needs of the Asian Pacific-Islander/American community have changed drastically from the 60s, but the same challenges of working under an API coalitional identity and cross-racially/ethnically remain. What are the next steps for APIA student leaders to make progress in our organizing spaces? This workshop will be a work group for those who are interested in and are delegates for the West Coast Asian Pacific Student Union, a coalition of progressive APIA student organizations. We will be solidifying WCAPSU’s structure as well as the West Coast APIA Conference in May. Please join us if your campus is not already a part of this!
  • Pacific Islanders in Higher Education (Faaputu Vaafuti, Dannyboy Naha-Ve’evalu; PELE at CSULB) – We will cover higher education from the Pacific Islander perspective and how we fit in today’s society. Our goal is to promote higher education with our fellow peers, speak about the relevance of the Poly Movement, and about how the leaders of today are making a difference. We will bridge the gap within the AAPI community in filling in the missing pieces of what our Pacific Islander community brings to the table, whether its higher education, our culture, and leadership.
  • Student-Run Groups: Talking the Talk & Walking the Walk (Tony Le; bridges Multicultural Resource Center (Current Programs Director); REACH! Asian Pacific Islander Recruitment and Retention Center (Former Retention Coordinator) – How effective are student-initiated and student-run programming compared to events put on by the University? This workshop will discuss and analyze the factors that differentiate student-run groups from those with professional staff. It will touch upon grassroots organizing and its significance to have at a university. Examples will be drawn from UC Berkeley’s student-initiated organizations.




  • Shadeism and Challenging Hegemonic Ideas of Beauty – Cherie Kwok and Kelli Shiroma (Asian Pacific Student Association at UCI)
  • Then and Now: Asian Americans and Immigration – Connie Choi (Asian Pacific American Legal Center)
  • The Disabilities Civil Rights Movement: Perspectives from the Asian American and Pacific Islander Community – Rosie McDonnell-Horita (MiraCosta College), Herbie Ku’ukei North (Long Beach City College), and Louis Do (Westminster High School) (Asians and Pacific Islanders with Disabilities of California)
  • Bridging Communities: Passing Down the Legacy – Marissa Kitazawa, Kathy Masaoka, Craig Ishii, and Atiff Butt (JACL-PSW)
  • Reporting Social Justice – The Citizen Journalist – Brian Dinh (Asian Pacific Student Association at UCI)
  • Korean Americans, Christianity, and Challenging the Apolitical Model Minority Myth – Susie Kim (Women’s Center at UCSD)
  • Building a Progressive Viet Movement – Vy Nguyen, thuan nguyen, Cara Van Le
  • Fighting Spirit: Yellow Brotherhood, the Vietnam War, and Prison Activism Today – Christina Heatherton with Art Ishii, Sandy Maeshiro, Victor Shibata, Nick Nagatani, Mike Nakayama, and Eddie Kochiyama (Yellow Brotherhood, Kai-shin Justice Committee, Asian American Vietnam Veterans Organization, Ronnie Nakashima Support Committee)
  • Decolonizing Our Media: The Making of an Asian Lesbian Web Series (and beyond) – Narinda Heng, Allison Santos, Vicky Luu, N. Ki (Pearl Girls Productions)
  • Gangs and Solutions – Steve Kim and Kevin Brown (Lives Worth Saving Gang Intervention)
  • art + community in activism: a creative writing workshop – traci kato-kiriyama (Tuesday Night Project, Generations of War, J-LGBTQ-A Network, Through the Fire)
  • Origins of the Gay Asian Movement – Dan Tsang (UC Irvine Library)
  • Quotas, Myths, and Proposition 209: Asian Pacific Americans and Affirmative Action – Denny Chan, Jennifer Chin, and James Yoon (Asian Pacific American Law Student Association at UC Irvine)


  • Stirrin Waters, Buildin Bridges — Building Cross-Community Coalitions – Matt Vu (Coalition of Critical Asian American Studies at UCSD) and Trung Nguyen (Asian Pacific Coalition at UCLA)
  • Breaking Barriers: The Art of Cross-Cultural Community Building – Sumi Pendakur, Ed.D (Director of Asian Pacific American Student Services at USC)

    The 28th Annual Asian Pacific American Awareness Conference will be held on January 26, 2013 at the University of California, Irvine (Crystal Cove Auditorium, Student Center).

    Please register online and pay onsite ($5)

  • Contact Us

    If you have any questions, concerns, or suggestions, please send an e-mail to

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