Archive for the ‘Hello, Outside World!’ Category

Wiring the Web for Global Good

August 17, 2009


I’m not computer-savvy enough to embed this–but check this out!


Power of Youth

August 11, 2009

~By Vi Nguyen, DC ’11

You’ve been to Leadership Conferences before, I’m sure. But there is something thrilling about the Union of North American Vietnamese Student Associations (uNAVSA) (you-nav-sa) Conference.

Because at the end of the Conference, there is something tangible to hold on to, a campaign, a connection:

Thousands of youths gather together, thousands of fundraisers, hundreds of campaigns, empowered in strength. And AASA Yalies were involved, too!! Below is Zach Liao, BR ’11!

And in Atlanta, Georgia, just a few days ago, when I went as representative for VietHope– this is the result of all their amazing and inspiring work:

Hong Vo, Huy Tran, Nick Ngo, Brian Vo, Alan Tu, My-Anh Ha, Vi Nguyen, Uyen-Khanh Dang

(uNAVSA) Hong Vo, Huy Tran, Nick Ngo, Brian Vo, (VietHope) Alan Tu, My-Anh Ha, Vi Nguyen, Uyen-Khanh Dang

So thanks, uNAVSA for flexing your youth-muscle!

uNAVSA 6, 2009: Follow your passion, Define Your Path!

uNAVSA 6, 2009: Follow your passion, Define Your Path!

Find out more about CPP’s 08-09 campaign beneficiary:

Find out more about uNAVSA’s 08-09 campaign:

For more info, find out what the next campaign is all about:

Power of Politics!

August 11, 2009

When Hilary & Bill Clinton team up—great things seem to happen! This time, it was in North Korea! Laura Ling & Euna Lee were released!!

Zhang Binyang/Xinhua, via Reuters  Former President Bill Clinton greeted American journalists Laura Ling, middle, and Euna Lee as they board a plane at an airport in Pyongyang on Tuesday.

Zhang Binyang/Xinhua, via Reuters Former President Bill Clinton greeted American journalists Laura Ling, middle, and Euna Lee as they board a plane at an airport in Pyongyang on Tuesday.

For more info, check out the NY Times article that cheered us up so much:

First Asian American to lead an Ivy School

March 3, 2009

“quoted from the New York Times”

March 3, 2009
Dartmouth Selects Its New President From Harvard

Dr. Jim Yong Kim, a Harvard Medical School official who has fought diseases that affect the poor around the world, has been named the next president of Dartmouth College.

Dr. Kim, 49, trained as both a physician and an anthropologist, receiving his M.D. and Ph.D. from Harvard University.

He is an unusual choice for a university president. He is known less for his academic achievements than for his groundbreaking work as co-founder of Partners in Health, and then at the World Health Organization, bringing effective medical treatment for H.I.V. and AIDS and for drug-resistant tuberculosis to the poor.

Dr. Kim, who will be the first Asian-American to head an Ivy League institution, will take up the post in July, succeeding James Wright, 69, who has been president of Dartmouth for 11 years.

In an interview on Monday, Dr. Kim said he was excited about taking on a broad leadership role in education.

“At some point, you have to decide whether you’re going to keep throwing your body at a problem, which is what I’ve always done,” he said. “You realize that one person can’t do that much. So what I want to do is train an army of leaders to engage with the problems of the world, who will believe the possibilities are limitless, that there’s nothing they can’t do. Being the president of an Ivy League university is an amazing opportunity.”

Dr. Kim, who was born in Seoul, South Korea, immigrated with his family to the United States at age 5. He grew up in Muscatine, Iowa, where his was one of only two Asian families. He attended Muscatine High School, where he was valedictorian, president of his class and quarterback of the football team. He then went to Brown University, where he graduated magna cum laude in 1981.

Since the 1980s, Dr. Kim’s career has been entwined with that of Paul Farmer, his medical school friend and the subject of Tracy Kidder’s popular book “Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, a Man Who Would Cure the World.”

Together, they started Partners in Health, a nonprofit organization that focused on drug-resistant tuberculosis, first in Haiti and then in other countries, and helped drive down the cost of medication so that treatment could be widely available.

Dr. Kim received a MacArthur Foundation “genius” grant in 2003. He is married to Dr. Younsook Lim, a pediatrician at Children’s Hospital Boston. They have two sons, one an 8-year-old and the other born on Friday.

Dr. Kim is chairman of the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School. He continues to teach undergraduate classes, and plans to teach undergraduates at Dartmouth.

So Now What?…o_0”

February 17, 2009

My days of preschool and kindergarten were but blurs of chunky peanut butter, banana sandwiches and glorious mounds of cherry-colored playdo. Those were the good days…Now let’s fast-forward two-three grades later and instead of rampaging through the long corridors toward the kickball fields for recess, I stayed behind with smelly ol’ Mrs. Schumann for speech classes every Wednesday morning. Apparently at the time, I had difficulty enunciating my r’s from my l’s. -_-”

True…those Wednesday, ten-thirty mornings did pale dismally in comparison to your usual second-grade dodge-ball tournaments and dizzying tire swings. Mrs. Schumann never stopped smelling like musty cats and I never failed to woefully hang my head as I walked past the shiny monkey bars. But hey, those speech classes worked didn’t they?

Unfortunately, not everyone can reap the wondrous resources provided by their local, active elementary PTAs. Smelly cats or not, unlike some urban epicenters that can afford to provide various supplemental programs such as ESL speech classes for their diverse student demographics, many cities fail to meet such standards. In that many Asian American students who identify themselves as English Learning Learners (ELLs) are not adequately provided with sufficient resources and tools to succeed, and instead are often left behind unnoticed, due to their low-profile visibility underneath the veneer of high performance.

Surprisingly, considering that Vietnamese is the second most common native language of ELLs in California, and yet a ratio of 1 bilingual teacher for every 662 Vietnamese speaking students, only provides a short glimpse of the insufficient allocation of resources available for the Asian-American community.

It is public civil issues such as these that AALDEF: Asian-American Legal Defense and Education Fund organization strives to confront. Originally established as a non-governmental organization, which promotes Asian-American civil rights through the forum of legal services, AALDEF touches base on various topics such as civil participation in voting rights, employment/economic representation, affirmative action, and human trafficking. However, by not receiving any government sourced funds, the organization, itself, is managed through a seventeen person staff, nine of whom are lawyers, as well as the manpower of over 300 volunteers. Now with the support of Yale AASA, our purpose is to not only become a supporting affiliate student group, but also an active advocating body shedding light upon case studies such as those mentioned above.

In regards to the previously mentioned case, the education issue was actually raised in one of the organization’s featured press releases, “Left in the Margins: Asian-American Students & the No Child Left Behind Act”. According to Margaret Fung, the executive director of AALDEF, “Since the No Child Left Behind law was enacted, we have not seen significant improvements in the quality of public education. Instead, Asian Americans-especially immigrant, poor and non-English speaking students—have been left behind to fend for themselves in securing basic educational services.”

AALDEF proceeded to provide an extensive report delineating various reforms that could be addressed in response, including the proposal of funneling of more direct funds toward the hiring of ESL specialists in traditionally underrepresented areas.

Do any of y’all have direct experiences with these issues or provide any insight in light of such problems within your high school experiences? As a blog contributer and supporter of AALDEF I can only do so much as to provide exposure upon this organization and the cases it takes up. How do you feel AALDEF-AASA could actively approach these issues?

For more related info, please visit their website & be part of the support for change!!!:

A “Goofy Face”

February 17, 2009
Mileys Goofy Face

What happens when you make a goofy face? You look stupid, right? Well, congratulations, Ms. Miley Cyrus—you’ve made a successful “goofy face.”

People may defend you. You’re just a kid. A kid with a playful, light-hearted personality. A kid who doesn’t mean anything by slanting her eyelids in a photo that you know will inevitably go around the Internet because you’re a famous 16-year old superstar. You’re “just being Miley.”
I do not condemn you for being a naïve teenager. I condemn you because you are a role model to millions of little girls around the country, my nine year-old sister included. I condemn you because all those little girls who buy every item you peddle to be just like you will think that it is okay, or even funny, to mock another race. I condemn you because of those little girls who are of Asian descent who are hurt and confused by their idol making fun of how they look.
We spoke up. The OCA , national organization dedicated to advancing the social, political and economic well-being of Asian Pacific Americans in the United States (, called you out on it. “Not only has Miley Cyrus and the other individuals in the photograph encouraged and legitimized the taunting and mocking of people of Asian descent, she has also insulted her many Asian Pacific American fans,” said George Wu, executive director of OCA. “The inclusion of an Asian Pacific American individual in the photo does not make it acceptable…OCA hopes that Miley Cyrus will apologize to her fans and the APA community for this lapse in judgment and takes the opportunity to better understand why the gesture is offensive.”
And only then did you apologize. Sort of. You wrote on your official site, “I’ve also been told there are some people upset about some pictures taken of me with friends making goofy faces! Well, I’m sorry if those people looked at those pics and took them wrong and out of context! In NO way was I making fun of any ethnicity! I was simply making a goofy face.”

Nice try, Miley. Pinning the blame on the touchiness and uptightness of the Asian American community rather than on yourself. It is exactly this attitude that perpetuates racist behavior. My dear, that simply is not a goofy face.
I have to admit, your second try at an apology was a lot better: “I want to thank all of my fans for their support not only this week, but always! I really wanted to stress how sorry I am if the photo of me with my friends offended anyone. I have learned a valuable lesson from this and know that sometime my actions can be unintentionally hurtful.”
I do hope you learned a valuable lesson. You’re a girl growing up in the public spotlight and still have much to learn in keeping your private life private, so I’ll forgive you this once just to show you that we’re not that uptight and can be understanding of juvenile behavior. And by letting you off the hook just this once does not mean that I condone your behavior. When and if you do make the same mistake—slighting ANY race in any manner whatsoever, I can’t wait to see you again.
P.S.: I just heard someone in LA is suing you for $4 billion on behalf of the APA community. I admit this is a bit outrageous, but I also cannot believe someone is spending so much time and effort on you. I do not wish to spend more time writing about you, but at the very least, I must thank you for bringing up racial sensitivity in the media so that others will learn from this too.

Our Economy is bad…but why should we care?

February 10, 2009

So I know. Our economy is bad…but it doesn’t really pertain to Asian Americans specifically. Or so we thought…

Our generation is really great, great at living off what our parents have built. But perhaps sooner than later, we’ll also be great at protecting what our parents have worked so hard for. Let me tell you what I mean.

After years of effort, the Asian Pacific American Activists in Connecticut had succeeded in getting the General Assembly to pass a bill establishing an Asian Pacific American Affairs Commission, on the model of the African American and Puerto Rican/Latino commissions.  Governor Rell signed the bill, with a modest amount of funding that was to begin in the new biennium.  But in lieu of the economic downturn, Governor Rell released her budget proposal a few days ago, and it elimnates, among other things, all of the state commissions for women, children, the elderly, and all ethnic groups.

So what does it mean if we were to protect the work that past generations have done for us? To start off, it would mean writing to the state representatives and senators asking that the Asian Pacific American Affairs Commission be restored and funded in the new biennium.  It will be very helpful if lots of people sent e-mails to Don Williams, Presdent Pro Tem of the State Senate, Chris Donovan, Speaker of the House, Senator Toni Harp (a Yale Alumna and New Haven resident) and Rep. Denise Merrill, co-chairs of the Appropriations Committee.  All of these e-mail addresses are available via, and following the links for the Legislature.  A list of some legislator’s e-mail addresses is also availble on the Asian Pacific American Association’s (APAC) website at
But will we do it…?

Probably not. But why not?