Over the past few months, fears over coronavirus have drastically changed American society. While many Americans are facing economic and health concerns, a community particularly impacted by fears of COVID-19 is Asian-Americans. There has been a reported increase in anti-Chinese and Asian American rhetoric on social media platforms, as well as documentation of discrimination against Asian-Americans. In response to this sentiment, the website Stop AAPI Hate has been created to document incidents of discrimination with the goal of finding a productive solution for the AAPI community. Join CHSA for this conversation with SFSU’s Dr. Russell Jeung, co-director of CAA, Cynthia Choi, and ABC7 New’s Kristen Sze on how we can work as a community to stop AAPI hate.
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Dr. Russell Jeung received a BA in Human Biology and a MA in Education from Stanford University. After working in China and in the Mayor’s Office of San Francisco, he obtained his PhD in Sociology from the University of California, Berkeley in 2000. After teaching at Foothill College for two years, he came to San Francisco State University’s Asian American Studies Department in 2002. He is the author of several books, including his spiritual memoir, At Home in Exile, which details his family history, his Hakka Chinese American background, and his experiences in East Oakland for the last two decades. Additionally, he has co-produced with Valerie Soe the documentary, The Oak Park Story, about a landmark housing lawsuit involving his fellow Cambodian and Latino tenants.
Cynthia Choi the Co-Executive Director of Chinese for Affirmative Action, a 50 year old community based civil rights organizations based in San Francisco which aims to advance racial justice, economic justice, education equity and immigrant rights. Most recently she was the Vice President of Philanthropic Partnerships at Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy where she was responsible for leveraging strategic opportunities to advance AAPI social justice issues and philanthropic investments. Prior to joining AAPIP, Cynthia led local, state and national community based organizations working on a range of issues from reproductive justice, gender violence, immigrant/refugee rights and environmental justice issues.
Kristen Sze has been with ABC7 News since 1998. Voted ‘Best News Anchor’ in 2011 by San Francisco BayList, Sze also won Emmy Awards in 1999 and 2002. Sze graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of California at Berkeley. She is member of the Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society. A scholarship from the Asian American Journalists Association enabled Sze to study at Oxford University in England. Kristen Sze also volunteers with a number of community organizations as emcee, mentor or advisory board member. She works most closely with Kids and Art Foundation, Help a Mother Out, My New Red Shoes, Wender-Weis Foundation for Children and the Professional Businesswomen’s Conference.