Building the Asian American Movement: Then and Now

Join us for the event Building the Asian American Movement: Then and Now on Friday, July 12, 2019 from 7:30pm - 9:30pm at the Tateuchi Democracy Forum.


Take a cross-generational look at the challenges and opportunities Asian American communities face as they continue to grow and engage in political action. Hear from a panel of Asian American activists who span the 1970s to the present. Learn about what motivated them to become politically charged and find what out what they believe it means to be an activist in today’s world and what issues continue to spur activism. The panelists have deep experience in student organizing, anti-gentrification campaigns, immigrant worker organizing, and other political campaigns.

Speakers: Tiffany Do, education and housing advocate; Frances Hyunh, tenant organizer with Chinatown Community for Equitable Development; Florante Ibanez, veteran organizer in the Filipino American community and lecturer in Asian American Studies at Pasadena City College; Miya Iwataki, veteran organizer in the Japanese American community around health care and redress/reparations and women’s issues; Sandy Maeshiro, veteran organizer with The Storefront in Seinan/Crenshaw and educational advocate; Jonathan Paik, Executive Director of the Korean Resource Center in Orange County and political empowerment organizer.

Moderator: Eddie Wong is a co-founder of Visual Communications and co-curator of “At First Light: The Dawning of Asian Pacific America,” an exhibition of documentary photography, film and video at the Japanese American National Museum, now through Oct. 20, 2019. He was also the former executive director of NAATA/Center for Asian American Media and the Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation.

This program is presented in conjunction with At First Light: The Dawning of Asian Pacific America. It is free, but RSVPs are recommended. Click here to RSVP.

A co-production of Visual Communications and the Japanese American National Museum, At First Light: The Dawning of Asian Pacific America is a multi-media exhibition that explores and celebrates the emergence of a politically defined Asian Pacific American consciousness and identity. At First Light chronicles the transformation of the un-American categorization of "Oriental" to the political identity of "Asian Pacific American" that rejected racist stereotypes, stood up for human rights, recovered lost histories, and created new cultural expressions.

The exhibition draws from the collections of VC, the first Asian Pacific American media organization in the country, which formed in Los Angeles in 1970 to capture and cultivate the newfound unity that was Asian Pacific America. The resiliency and resistance embodied in At First Light serves as a reminder—as well as a call to action—of what can be accomplished when people unite as a community with commitment. The exhibit is now open at JANM from May 25, 2019 to October 20, 2019. Click here to learn more.