8$ is a series which occasionally highlights interesting crowdfunding projects. Every day, the 8Asians team is inundated by many worthy pitches. We are unable to highlight every one that comes our way, or even the ones we might individually support. The projects selected for 8$ are not endorsements by 8Asians. (To be considered for 8$, we highly suggest you not harass the writers or the editors of 8Asians.)
WHO: Jane Kim is a soulful singer based in San Francisco by way of New York. She is pursuing her dream of recording her debut EP.
WHAT: Kickstarter project: Jane Kim’s Debut EP
Dreams – especially creative ones – are thrilling and inspiring. They test your belief in yourself and launch a roller coaster ride. Sounds crazy, right?! And yet, here I am… I’m going for it!
Recording and releasing this EP means so much to me for many reasons. It’s an opportunity for me to share some of the songs I’ve written in recent years, work with an amazing group of talented friends, head back into the recording studio after a long hiatus…the list goes on. But most importantly, it’s a chance for me to kick start this next phase of my life, one in which I finally get to pick up where I had to leave off.
Why now? A few years ago, I had to pause everything related to singing and my music. It was one of the most difficult and heartbreaking experiences, but it was necessary at the time. For a long while, our family had to overcome some major medical and financial hurdles, and we all had to make sacrifices in order to lend a hand. I put a lot of things on hold so that I could focus on and support my family, but that didn’t mean I stopped dreaming. Now that my family is thankfully in a much better place, God willing – and with the help of the Kickstarter community – I get to go after my dream!
WHEN: Deadline to contribute is Sunday, February 23, 2014 (3:00 PM PST).
About the Kickstarter, from Jane:
An incredibly gifted and passionate team of people have already partnered with me to help bring this EP to fruition. I am so grateful for them! The money that I’m trying to raise will go towards paying them and covering everything else involved with releasing an EP.
I’m aiming to raise $14,000 for this project. This amount will help cover the costs for the recording studio and recording equipment rental, the producer, and the musicians, as well as the costs to edit, mix, master, design, duplicate, print, and finally, ship the EP.
Whew, that was a mouthful! As you can see, so much is involved in a project such as this, and it requires so many people!
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By Sean Miura
In high school I had a crush on this girl.
She was funny and bubbly and outgoing. I was serious and self deprecating and reclusive. Perfect match.
15 year old Sean had no idea how the whole dating thing worked (likewise 25 year old Sean has no idea how the whole dating thing works) but he did know from Asian dramas that the best way to ask someone out is not to just, you know, ask them out, but instead to do something romantic that implies your affection so that without anyone saying anything you’ll both end up on the same page and in a long lasting relationship until Asian drama disease etc.
So Valentines Day came. And my school had a chocolate rose fundraiser. And chocolate roses are something romantic for sure.
So instead of buying an Uncrustable after algebra I put my $1.50 down and bought a chocolate rose, hiding it in my backpack until after school.
I’m not sure how but we ended up alone. The lights were down low as the school day had long ended. The sun filtered through classroom windows as the faint hum of our busted heating system lingered in the distance.
We walked down the hall in silence. I stopped periodically to adjust my cargo pants as my discman was weighing them down. My heart was beating out of my chest. What if she said no? What if the rose melted and she was like “Gross what is that”? What if she was lactose intolerant and couldn’t eat chocolate?
My ears grew hot. I had to just do it. No words. Just pass it to her. That’s all I had to do. She will know what it means. She will see it, and we will make eye contact, and we will smile at each other, and then we will walk down this hallway hand in hand. That’s how it works in Asian TV shows.
I had to do it now.
At the end of January, the Golden State Warriors had their annual Asian Heritage Night themed game. This was the first time in a while that I recall that did not feature Jeremy Lin playing (even though he has since moved on from the Warriors) to the Houston Rockets.
This year seemed a little bit more subdued. Fans who purchased an Asian Heritage Night event ticket received a limited-edition Asian Heritage Night t-shirt. The big “event” happened during half-time, with the GenRyu Arts music and dance group performing, which was entertaining to see, especially the cute kids performing. But personally, I think I enjoyed the taiko drumming a bit more.
The Warriors wound up losing to the Washington Wizards 88-to-85.
By Kiran Ahuja on WhiteHouse.gov
Please join the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (WHIAAPI), as well as government, civic and business leaders from across the country on Thursday, February 20, 2014 at 3 PM ET for our National AAPI Community Google+ Hangout!
Building on key topics highlighted in President Obama’s State of the Union address, we’ll discuss national priorities for AAPI communities and launch a drive to engage the AAPI community. We’ll also announce new efforts we’re working on with our partners around critical issues facing the AAPI community.
White House and Administration officials will talk about what we’ve learned and done nationally, and our next steps. Konrad Ng, Director of the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center, will announce this year’s AAPI Heritage Month theme. And, most importantly, we’ll have an opportunity to hear from people like you.
You can submit questions anytime on Twitter using #WHIAAPI, email them to [email protected], or submit them on Google+ before or during the Hangout, but the inaugural National AAPI Community Google+ Hangout depends on your thoughtful participation, so please sign-up and join the conversation.
NATIONAL AAPI COMMUNITY GOOGLE+ HANGOUT
Hosted by the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders
DATE: Thursday, February 20, 2014
TIME: 3 p.m. ET (12 noon PT)
Kiran Ahuja is Executive Director of the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.
To view and access the video index of the program, view the video directly online at YouTube here (in the About section).
Last month, I had the honor to attend the annual Korematsu Day Celebration organized by The Korematsu Institute held on the campus of San Jose State University in San Jose, California. I’ve tried to attend the past few years, having attended the inaugural event back in February 2011 with Jessie Jackson at Berkeley, and last year in San Francisco with Danny Glover.
As a reminder, Fred Korematsu Day of Civil Liberties and the Constitution is observed every January 30th in California (as well as in other states). Korematsu stood against the mass internment of Japanese Americans during World War II.
This year, the two standout speakers were Congressman Mike Honda, who represents parts of San Jose, as well as Pulitzer prize winning journalist and undocumented activist Jose Antonio Vargas.
Congressman Honda started off with the somewhat controversial sounding statement that “immigration is legalized discrimination.” Native Americans didn’t have an immigration system and let the Pilgrims into the United States without documents. The first immigration law was passed in 1790 and limited naturalization to immigrants who were “free white persons” of “good character. Of course, there has been historic discrimination against Asian Americans in American history, most notably, the Chinese Exclusions Act and the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II, which of course, is what Korematsu fought against all the way to the Supreme Court.
Jose Antonio Vargas first screened a trailer for his documentary “Documented,” which is about his experience as an immigrant, and founder of the nonprofit group Define American. Vargas is most known for outing himself as an undocumented immigrant, as he was surprised to learn himself while growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area (Mountain View, California), that he was not a U.S. citizen.
What is interesting about Vargas is that he is an undocumented Asian American who is a major voice for the undocumented, since the debate is usually around Latinos. Vargas is a Spanish last name, where Vargas is Filipino – so he said often there is a cognitive distance when people see and hear him speak. Vargas spent quite a bit of time to speak as well as a Q&A session to discuss the issues around being undocumented and how that is relevant to today’s fight for civil rights in the legacy of Fred Korematsu. Obviously, immigration reform is a major issue of our day that still needs to be addressed by our dysfunctional Congress. I hope you have a chance to watch the video, even if it is only parts of it.
I have no words. It took me a while to watch the promo because anything with babies makes me feel crazy raw and wrecks me for a few days. But this is strangely heartening.
In Seoul, South Korea, hundreds of unwanted babies are abandoned on the streets every year. That’s when this brave pastor and his wife decided to do something about it. Watch their extraordinary story of love here.
Lee Jong-rak is the creator of the Baby Box. His Baby Box is the first and only box in Korea that is for collecting abandoned babies who are physically or mentally handicapped or are just unwanted by their mothers.
To support the documentary and organization: Go to www.kindredimage.org.
Cute kid alert! Proud sister Nicole Byon posted this video of her adorable sibling, 15-month-old Kayden, discovering rain. The video is getting shared like crazy, or at least judging by the number of times this has appeared on my Facebook feed.
(Tip: I enjoyed the video more with the sounds turned off.)
Taken outside a window of The Cecil Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles, The Cecil is infamous for being a part-time home to serial killer “The Night Stalker,” as well as the murder victim “The Black Dahlia.”
But more recently, The Cecil is known as the location that Canadian tourist Elisa Lam died in a strange incident where her body was discovered in the hotel’s water tank.
According to ABC7:
Koston Alderete, a Riverside boy with a love of scary films and ghost stories, took the picture, which shows a ghostly figure outside a fourth floor window. He says it looks a little too real.
“When I looked at that window, it just looked kind of creepy to me, and then I showed my friend, and he kind of freaked out. It just creeps me out still,” said Alderete.
Alderete says his ghost photo has already cost him some sleep and caused him to have a nightmare.
Photo credit: Koston Alderete
I totally judge books by their covers. When I first saw the Harry Potter series, I was so repulsed by the cover art that I would hold up a hand to block my view of them as I walked into book stores. They were always prominently displayed, and in my opinion, a real eye sore. It was not until after it was shoved forcefully into my face by a passionate 5th grader who simply would not sleep at night until I had given the book a chance. I finally read the first chapter of “Sorcerer’s Stone” and was very disturbed by the child abuse. I told my energetic little 5th grade book dealer that I didn’t like it so far, but she coaxed me into reading more. With a sigh, I took her advice and did so, promptly finished, then borrowed the rest of the series from her (only went up to “Chamber of Secrets” then), and now I throw annual Harry Potter parties for my students because I’m just that much of a geek over Potter Land.
When I saw the article on Inside Higher Ed about Amy Chua’s new book with her husband, “Triple Package”, all I needed to see was Amy Chua’s name and the term “tiger mom” for me to have that gut aversion reaction to an ugly book cover. I consider myself to be reasonably reasonable, so I read the article, just to give Chua a somewhat fair shake, even if the fact that we have the same last name makes me queasy (Chua and Tsai are two romanized pronunciations of the same Chinese surname). As I read through the article and then later also listened to an interview of Chua and her husband on NPR’s Code Switch, I decided more and more that I definitely will not be reading this book.
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Asian Americans have made themselves known through YouTube videos, but can fame be achieved when those videos are only six seconds? Michael and Carissa Alvarado, a husband and wife team making up the group Us, have gained notoriety by using Vine to showcase their talent. For those of you who may not know, Vine is a social network where people exchange videos that are six seconds in length . The Alvarados have amassed more than 1.5 Million Vine followers, which has helped to drive their YouTube traffic and promote sales of their recently released album “No Matter Where You Are”.
After the big kerfluffle about Coca-Cola’s “It’s Beautiful” Super Bowl ad, I was excited to go online and see these behind the scenes videos published with the real faces of the young girls who were selected to sing “America the Beautiful” in various languages.
In Tagalog, by Leilani:
In Hindi, by Sushmitha:
In Mandarin, by Ming:
Northwest Asian Weekly recently published a list of Asian Americans in the Sochi 2014 Olympics. While figure skater Mirai Nagasu is not going and snowboarder Chloe Kim cannot go, ice dancers like Alex and Maia Shibutani, Madison Chock, and Felicia Zhang are. The article mentions that short track skater J.R. Celski is half Filipino. John has already mentioned that hockey player Julie Chu will be at Sochi.