Karthick Ramakrishnan Joins Board of The California Endowment

The California Endowment has appointed S. Karthick Ramakrishnan, PhD, to its board of directors. Ramakrishnan is a professor and associate dean of the School of Public Policy at the University of California, Riverside. His appointment was effective August 15, 2016.

“I am thrilled to welcome Karthick to the Board,” said Board Chair Jane Garcia. “His expertise and guidance will be critically important to The Endowment and its partners seeking policy change that results in better health and well-being for California’s poor and marginalized communities, as well as for all Californians regardless of immigration status.”

Ramakrishnan, who has been at UC Riverside since 2005, previously served as a Research Fellow at the Public Policy Institute of California in San Francisco from 2002-2005. In addition, he is also an organizer for the Politics of Race, Immigration, and Ethnicity Colloquium (PRIEC), a national conference series for scholars working on issues of race, immigration, and ethnicity (2005-present).

As a published author, Ramakrishnan is the founding editor (July 2014-present) of theJournal of Race, Ethnicity, and Politics, an official section journal of the American Political Science Association. He also has authored and co-authored a number of books, book chapters, monographs, policy reports and journal articles on various topics including politics, immigrants, immigration, and race and ethnicity, among others.

A resident of Riverside, California, Ramakrishnan, is a member of the Western Political Science Association’s Committee on the Status of Asian Pacific Americans in the Profession (2011-present). His also a member of National Park Service’s Asian American/Pacific Islander Theme Study Advisory Board (January 2013-present). He is the recipient of numerous fellowships and awards including Global Fellow, Woodrow Wilson Center (2015-present).

Ramakrishnan earned his bachelor’s in International Relations and Political Science, magna cum laude, from Brown University, and his PhD in Politics from Princeton University.

The California Endowment, a private, statewide health foundation, was established in 1996 to expand access to affordable, quality health care for under-served individuals and communities, and to promote fundamental improvements in the health status of all Californians. The Endowment challenges the conventional wisdom that medical settings and individual choices are solely responsible for people’s health. The Endowment believes that health happens in neighborhoods, schools, and with prevention. For more information, visit The Endowment’s Web site at http://www.calendow.org.

Source: The California Endowment press release

Hillary and SF Mayor Ed Lee Hang Out

Hillary Clinton met with San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee yesterday  for a wide-ranging discussion that included some of the most challenging issues facing urban cities and how best to address them.

During their nearly hour long tea at Red Blossom Tea Company in San Francisco Chinatown, Clinton asked questions and shared ideas about the housing challenges in the city and how to help boost the local economy.

Clinton has made clear that “one of the four big fights” of her campaign is building the economy of tomorrow, not yesterday.

“Whether it was housing, the economy, homelessness, or tech innovation, Hillary Clinton was excited to hear directly from Mayor Lee about how best to tackle the challenges facing San Francisco and similar urban centers across America, “ said Hillary for America National Press Secretary Brian Fallon.

“Throughout this campaign, Hillary Clinton will continue to sit down for conversations about the issues impacting communities and daily lives of everyday Americans.”

Among the many concerns Mayor Lee outlined, two were of critical importance to his city – chronic homelessness and high rents. Lee cited the bundling of federal and city funds for a long term program designed to house homeless veterans.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, “the city has already used combined funding to renovate buildings like the Stanford Hotel, and found housing for more than 500 such veterans since 2013.”

Clinton has been a champion of urban revival throughout her career; as Senator, she introduced legislation to promote neighborhood revitalization and keep families in their homes, fought for more funding for communities, and helped spur economic growth in cities in upstate New York through projects like Artspace in Buffalo.

Source: Hillary for America media release

Aarti Kohli is the new deputy director at Asian Law Caucus

Advancing Justice-Asian Law Caucus has a new Deputy Director. Aarti Kohli will fill the position that Chris Punongbayan vacated when he became co-director and then executive director of ALC, the nation’s first legal and civil rights organization serving low-income AAPI communities. Aarti joins the Caucus just in time to attend the 6th Annual Advancing Justice Conference in her new leadership role with one of the Advancing Justice affiliates. The conference, AAPIs Standing Together for Racial Justice, is from Sept. 25-26 in Washington, DC.

Below is text the email scheduled for release on Sept. 3.

Dear Friends,

Kohli_AartiOn behalf of our staff and board, I am delighted to announce that Aarti Kohli has joined Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus as our new Deputy Director. Aarti Kohli is an experienced nonprofit lawyer, manager and philanthropic adviser with more than fifteen years of experience in issues impacting low-income and undocumented immigrants.

In her most recent role as Principal of Kohli Strategic Consulting, Aarti managed a project on the politics of demographic change and immigration reform at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. In 2013, she analyzed and conducted advocacy on pending immigration reform legislation in Congress with various national organizations, including the National Immigration Law Center and the Emerson Collective.

Prior to starting her own consulting practice, Aarti was the Director of Immigration Policy at the Warren Institute at UC Berkeley School of Law where she led the institute’s immigration initiative on issues of equity for immigrant families, particularly access to education, employment and legal protections in the deportation process. Formerly, she worked on a range of issues, from bankruptcy to voting rights, as Judiciary Committee counsel to Representative Howard Berman (D-CA). Before working for Congress she served as Assistant Legislative Director at UNITE union in Washington, DC where she lobbied on behalf of low-income garment workers.

I am very excited about the energy, ideas, and skills that Aarti brings to Advancing Justice – ALC. Her commitment to underserved communities on the local and national level allows us to continue and expand our more than four decades of social justice advocacy. Please join me in welcoming Aarti by sending us a tweet or posting your message on our Facebook page!

In Solidarity,

Chris Punongbayan
Executive Director

APIAVote Seeking Storytellers

Christine Chen, APIAVote, on C-SPAN

The fantastic nonprofit APIAVote is looking for storytellers to help write and produce stories about Asian American and Pacific Islander voters and the impact of election laws on AAPI communities.

APIAVote is a nonpartisan national nonprofit that mobilizes AAPIs in electoral and civic participation. The organization is building a national communications team led by a professional working journalist who will also serve as the team’s editor and mentor. The team will craft and distribute pieces to various ethnic and mainstream media.

Ideal candidates are journalism students or individuals who have experience in writing for any form of media (print/audio/video/online/photography). Individuals can work remotely. The team will develop stories across the country.

Interested individuals should submit a resume and work samples to jobs@apiavote.org by August 31, 2014.

25th Anniversary of UCLA Granting Tenure to Don Nakanishi

Photo of Don NakanishiTwenty-five years ago today (May 25, 1989), a widely watched three-year multi-racial struggle involving thousands of supporters came to a successful end with the granting of tenure to Don Nakanishi at UCLA. Prominent civil rights attorney Dale Minami led the legal fight, Dale Shimasaki coordinated the legislative advocacy, and Glenn Omatsu and many others organized student and grassroots support.

The fight for Nakanishi’s tenure is widely regarded as a “landmark movement in academia,” and has been taught nationally as an important case study for student-community mobilization. A year after gaining tenure, Nakanishi was appointed Director of the UCLA Asian American Studies Center and helped to develop it as the largest and most prominent program of its kind.

Nakanishi retired in 2009 after 20 years as the Center Director and 35 years as a professor at UCLA.

In the video below, he speaks on May 20, 2010, about his writings and Asian American politics at a gathering celebrating the UCLA Asian American Studies Center 40th anniversary.

Be the First Statewide AAPI Outreach Coordinator for the Texas Democrats

The Texas Democratic Party is looking for a Statewide AAPI Outreach Coordinator. This is the first time that the state party is devoting a staff position for this role, says Ramey Ko, AAPIs constantly critique our political parties about the need to invest more in our communities. Well, the Texas Democrats are doing just that. 

dem_party_logo_150pxThe Statewide AAPI (Asian American Pacific Islander) Outreach Coordinator will be primarily responsible for supporting the parties organizing efforts within the AAPI community. The Outreach Coordinator will oversee the creation, implementation and execution of the elements of the political outreach campaign plan. The Outreach Coordinator will be responsible for executing a program that builds relationships, tracks progress to goals and develops and executes metrics while ensuring reporting and accountability to senior staff.

In addition to the above responsibilities, the Outreach Coordinator will build relationships with community leaders, faith leaders, labor leaders, small business owners, civic organizations, seek endorsements and leverage support to ensure program success and work with partners to ensure high turnout during GOTV.

Daily travel is expected and required to maximize the support for our campaign.

The Outreach Coordinator must have strong communication skills including an ability to talk to large groups of people, be excited to work as part of an accountable team and have a passion for electing Democrats. A bachelor’s degree and a minimum of one electoral cycles of work experience required. Applicants without these minimum requirements will not be considered.

To apply, please send a PDF resume to teddy@txdemocrats.org. List salary requirements in your email. Please no phone calls. Applicants accepted on a rolling basis but no later than May 15, 2014. This position can be located in Dallas, Houston or Austin.

The Texas Democratic Party is an equal opportunity employer and it is our policy to recruit, hire, train, promote and administer any and all personnel actions without regard to sex, race, age, color, creed, national origin, religion, economic status, sexual orientation, veteran status, gender identity or expression, ethnic identity or physical disability, or any other legally protected basis.

Women and members of historically underrepresented groups are especially encouraged to apply.

Launch of the Wayne Maeda Asian American Studies Archives at CSUS

The following is text from an email sent by Kenji Taguma, President of the Nichi Bei Foundation, and Editor-in-Chief of the Nichi Bei Weekly.

I hope you are well. I’m writing to let you know about two events related to the launch of the Wayne Maeda Asian American Studies Archives at California State University, Sacramento, put together by Prof. Greg Mark and others. Although I’m not directly involved with these events, I’m happy to help Greg spread the word of anything related to my mentor, longtime Nichi Bei Times/Weekly contributing writer, and founding Nichi Bei Foundation board member.

The first is a panel today (Friday, April 18) at the Association for Asian American Studies conference at the Grand Hyatt in San Francisco, 1-2:30 p.m., in the Larkspur room: “Preserving Our History: The Wayne Maeda Asian American Studies Archive.” This features Dr. Gregory Mark, Dr. James Sobredo, Chao Vang, Marietess Masulit, Caitlyn Imura and John De Guzman. (Sorry for the short notice).

The next event is the official launch of the Wayne Maeda Asian American Studies Archives at CSUS: Friday, May 2, 2014, 3-5 p.m., 
Forest Suite, University Union, 6000 J St., CSU Sacramento. With four decades of college instruction, Professor Wayne Maeda was one of California’s foremost scholars on Japanese American history and was a founding member of the Ethnic Studies Center and Asian American Studies. As part of his legacy, the Wayne Maeda Asian American Studies Archive was established for future generations of scholars and researchers, in an effort to serve higher education and preserve the history of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.

Flyers for the two previously mentioned events are attached.

On the one-year anniversary of Wayne’s passing, I posted my eulogy of him here:

Remembering Wayne Maeda…

A video tribute I produced for Wayne’s Memorial Service last March, which I modified for the Florin JACL event that honored him, could be found here:

Also of note, in honor of Wayne, the Nichi Bei Foundation has started a Wayne Maeda Educational Fund, essentially a vehicle to fund our educational programming such as our ever-expanding annual Films of Remembrance event, which had close to 500 attendees this year.

Hope to see you at any of these events.



Kenji G. Taguma
President / Nichi Bei Foundation / http://www.nichibeifoundation.org
Editor-in-Chief / Nichi Bei Weekly / http://www.nichibei.org
Co-Chair / Northern California Soy and Tofu Festival / http://www.soyandtofufest.org


Dr. Wayne Maeda’s flyer.pdf

Cesar Chavez Film Leaves Out Filipino American Leadership Role in Farmworkers Struggle

March led by Larry Itliong (left) and Cesar Chavez (right), via FANHS. Photographer unknown.

Note: The Filipino American National Historical Society (FANHS) today issued a media release critiquing the new film, Cesar Chavez, saying that the film leaves out Filipino American contributions and misses an opportunity to provide an accurate account of the farmworker struggle. I have not yet seen the film, but am sharing this because the Filipino American farmworker story deserves attention. My posting this is in no way intended to diminish the labor and civil rights legacy of Cesar Chavez or others who led or were involved in that movement. I am thrilled that this movie was made, even while lamenting that the story omits the roles that Larry Itliong and other Filipino Americans served in advancing the cause of labor. I will see this movie and encourage others to see it as well. Thank you to Ron Muriera for sharing this. – Keith

The National Board of the Filipino American National Historical Society (FANHS) celebrates the appearance of United Farm Workers (UFW) co-founder Larry Itliong in the Hollywood biopic Cesar Chavez. However, FANHS argues that the film misses an opportunity to offer a nuanced and accurate history of the farmworkers movement that was born of the Filipinos’ 1965 Grape Strike because it does not emphasize the importance of the historic multi-ethnic alliance between Mexicans and Filipinos in the UFW.

FANHS hopes that moviegoers inspired by the film continue to learn about the movement and are spurred towards dialogue and action towards today’s movements for worker justice and such issues as immigration reform.

Continue reading “Cesar Chavez Film Leaves Out Filipino American Leadership Role in Farmworkers Struggle”