Race and the Virginia Tech Shootings
It has been over a week since the campus shootings at Virginia Tech. In the intervening days, press reports have focused in various ways on Seung-Hui Cho’s racial and ethnic background, as well as his immigration status. But how much was race an explanatory factor in the shootings? When is it relevant to mention race or ethnicity, and when is it simply a way to invoke cultural assumptions without naming them as such? We will be joined by frequent APF contributor Jeff Yang to analyze media coverage of the incident and explore issues of good journalism versus sensationalism.
JEFF YANG forecasts new Asian and Asian American consumer trends for a market-research company (Iconoculture ) and writes the Asian Pop Culture column for SFGate.com. He is the author of Once Upon a Time in China: A Guide to the Cinemas of Hong Kong, Taiwan and Mainland China (Atria Books) and co-author of I Am Jackie Chan: My Life in Action (Ballantine) and Eastern Standard Time (Mariner/Houghton Mifflin).
"Rain Rain Go Away" by Jin
New Workers, New Media: Labor’s Voices Conference at CUNY
On Friday and Saturday, activists and journalists representing organizations including the Coalition of Immokalee Workers, the New York Taxi Workers’ Alliance, Wake-Up Wal-Mart, the Village Voice, and WBAI will convene at the CUNY Graduate Center for a two-day conference on media and the labor movement. We’ll hear from conference organizer Heather Appel and from Adrian Avila, a youth organizer and media activist in San Jose, California, about how to develop strategies to support the global workers’ movement in the 21st century within a changing media environment.
HEATHER APPEL is the coordinator for Labor's Voices 3: Media for a New Workers' Movement and has been involved in the planning of the conference for over a year. Currently a student at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, where she studies interactive media and urban reporting, she was previously an organizer for Bronx/Manhattan ACORN, where she ran campaigns for immigrants' rights, better public schools, and affordable housing. More at laborsvoices.org .
ADRIAN AVILA was born in Mexico City and migrated to the U.S. in 1990 at the age of five. He is a member of Silicon Valley De-Bug, a collective of writers, artists, organizers, and workers based in San Jose, California, where they focus on unheard stories from the underbelly of Silicon Valley. He is also a writer for New America Media, a national ethnic news wire. Adrian’s writing and video work reveal the struggles that immigrant youth and workers face in their everyday lives in America, and uses his own experiences to illustrate how one can overcome many of the barriers that society places on immigrant youth. He holds an AA degree from San Jose City College.
Michael Kang’s New Film “West 32nd”
Director Michael Kang’s new feature film, “West 32nd,” stars John Cho as an ambitious young lawyer whose pro bono work on behalf of a young boy leads him to discover a world that he never knew existed. Filmed on West 32nd Street and in Flushing, Queens, it delves into the realm of organized crime in New York City’s Koreatown, and explores the relationship between the 1.5 and 2nd generations of Korean Americans. APF collective member Leyla Mei spoke with Kang yesterday about the project, the reception to his previous film, “The Motel,” and what gets lost in translation between English and Korean.
Korean American filmmaker MICHAEL KANG’s directorial debut, “The Motel,” premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and received the Humanitas Prize, as well three top jury prizes from the San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival. Michael has been a fellow at the Sundance Filmmakers Lab and a resident at the MacDowell Colony. Most recently, he was awarded a fellowship with the ABC/DGA New Talent Television Directing Program. His new film, “West 32nd,” will premiere this weekend at the Tribeca Film Festival.
To hear APF's 2006 interview with Michael Kang on "The Motel," click here.
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