Reconciling History & Social Locations

Wednesday, 5/5/21 5 – 7 PM
What is race? What is racism? How do we embody racism? How do we confront racism in ourselves, in our communities, and in society?

Speaker #1: Yaejoon Kwon, PhD (they/she) Assistant Professor of Sociology and Comparative Race and Ethnicity Studies, Reed College | APANO 501c3 board member

Yaejoon Kwon is an Assistant Professor of Sociology and Comparative Race and Ethnicity Studies at Reed College where they teach courses on militarism, race and racism, and Asian America. Previously they taught ethnic studies at Willamette University.  She holds a B.A. in sociology with a minor in Asian American studies from Northwestern University and a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

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Speaker #2: Michelle Lee, M.Ed. (she/her) Retention Coordinator for Asian, Pacific Islander & Desi Student Services& Multicultural Advisor

In her role as a Multicultural Advisor and a Coordinator of Asian, Pacific Islander, and Desi Student Services, Michelle (she/her) hopes to empower and lift minoritized student voices at PSU.

Born and raised in Oregon, as the eldest daughter of a Korean immigrant family, Michelle (she/her) is the firstborn child, a first generation US citizen, and a first generation college student. She attended Oregon State University for her undergraduate studies in Human Development and Family Studies and Seattle University for graduate studies in Student Development Administration. Throughout her educational experiences, Michelle’s identities as a first generation student of color from a low income household have shaped her interests in promoting social justice, access, and equity in higher education for historically minoritized students. Michelle is committed to mentoring and empowering BIPOC students to be authentic, courageous, and confident leaders for their communities on and off campus. In her free time, Michelle enjoys cooking, spending time with her family and friends, and making handmade cards.

Radical Self-Awareness

Wed, May 12, 2021 5PM – 7PM
What is the model minority myth? How has it been weaponized? How can we disrupt the weaponization and create a model minority mutiny?

Speaker #1: Marie Lo, PhD (she/her)
Marie Lo is a professor in English at Portland State University, where she teaches Asian American literature and culture and critical ethnic studies. She has also been involved in grassroots media. She was a co-founder and co-producer of APA Compass, an Asian Pacific American public affairs program, which aired on KBOO Community Radio from 2005-2015, and she also contributes to The Asian Reporter.

Speaker #2: Portland Japanese American Citizens League

The mission of the Portland Chapter of the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) is to celebrate our Japanese American culture and use lessons from our unique American experience to promote and protect human and civil rights for all. The JACL has been fighting against discrimination since its inception in 1929. Our Portland Chapter is committed to continuing this legacy through advocacy and civic engagement rooted in our histories and a vision for social justice. 

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Celebrating Asian & Pacific Islander Resilience and Solidarity

Fri, May 14, 2021 12PM – 1:30PM
May is recognized nationally as Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, and this year we invite you to learn about the rich history and resilience of Asian and Pacific Islanders (APIs) and what you can do now to support the API community.

The virtual program will include a panel of local API leaders, elected officials, and academics who will discuss how we can commit ourselves to building a just, safe, thriving state for all API and BIPOC communities.

Rep. Khanh Pham, House District 46 (she/her)
Manumalo Ala’ilima, board chair of UTOPIA PDX (they/them)
Cynthia Choi, co-executive director of Chinese for Affirmative Action and co-chair of Stop AAPI Hate (she/her)

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Unlearning Anti-Blackness in Non-Black Communities

Tues, May 18, 2021 5PM – 6:30PM

The racial landscape of the United States includes dynamic challenges, conflicts, and alliances, but the oppression of Black people is fundamental to how we understand all other races in America. In this session, we will challenge our personal practices, build skills for discussing anti-Blackness with our communities, and commit to de-centering ourselves in order to center Black livelihood.

Speaker: Kim Tran, PhD
Kim Tran works at the intersection of social protest, race and gender. She uses a grassroots organizing and transformative justice approach in her anti-oppression consulting with nonprofit, philanthropic and social impact spaces. Kim holds a PhD in Ethnic Studies from UC Berkeley. Her academic research centers Asian American solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement. Her work has been featured in Vice, Teen Vogue, and NPR. She is currently working on a book manuscript about contemporary social protest tentatively titled: The End of Allyship: A New Era of Solidarity.

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Relational Social Power

Wed, May 19, 2021 5PM – 7PM
How does anti-Blackness show-up in AAPI communities? How do we disrupt these systems of oppression?

Speaker: PDX Asians 4 Black Lives
A4BL PDX is a collective that educates and organizes Asian communities for justice + liberation of all Black/African people. We strive to develop comradeship with local Black-led orgs by building trust, organizing Asian and Asian-American communities against anti-black racism, and establishing a strong presence as an anti-colonial, anti-imperialist, and anti-capitalist collective. Our priority is to support and extend the multi-faceted work of local Black-led orgs through both action and education. We recognize + apply that some of this work must also include both educating and organizing not just Asian communities, that the liberation of Black/African people is inextricable from land back, and that none of these racial categories are mutually exclusive.

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The History of Asian & Pacific Islanders in Oregon

Fri, May 21, 2021 5PM – 7PM
What are the journeys and experiences of API communities in the past? How does this shape our livelihoods currently? What can we do to (re)align ourselves with the community and land?

Speakers: ALLY (Asian Leaders for the Liberation of Youth) aims to build the leadership skills of Asian high school youth through community organizing. Youth leaders undergo leadership development and political education to develop a community organizing campaign. YOINT (Youth Organizers In-Training) is a semester long program that is part of ALLY. This program aims to develop skills and confidence in leadership in a public setting, and ultimately win concrete changes for API communities.

Revolutions & Revelations

Wed, May 26, 2021 5PM – 7PM
What is racial healing? How can we engage in racial healing within ourselves, our communities, and in society?

Speaker #1: Maria Beebe, PhD (she/her) President, Kaisipan, Inc.

Maria A. Beebe has made it her personal goal to link higher education with global sustainable development; to balance social and environmental considerations with economic development; and to use information and communication technologies for global engagement. Maria has over 20 years of experience in international development experience, working with higher education on knowledge exchanges, learning partnerships, and capacity building in telecommunications. She led Knowledge Exchanges & Learning Partnerships (KELP) in South Africa, Nettel@Africa in Africa, and Afghan eQuality Alliances in Afghanistan as a faculty member at Washington State University, Center to Bridge the Digital Divide. Maria led workshops on teaching and learning with the Internet at higher education institutions in Afghanistan, the Philippines, South Africa, Tanzania, Kenya, Makerere, Malawi, and Nigeria. She co-edited AfricaDotEdu and edited three books about the leadership of global Filipina women: DISRUPT1.0. Filipina Women: Proud. Loud. Leading without a Doubt (2014); DISRUPT2.0. Filipina Women; Daring to Lead (2016), and DISRUPT 3.0. Filipina Women: Rising (2018). Maria has a current Department of Anthropology affiliate appointment at Portland State University. Maria sits on the board of Techwomen.Asia, Global Networks, and Kaisipan. Maria just received approval to sit on the Steering Committee of the ITU EQUALS Afghanistan.

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Speaker #2: Eddy Zheng (he/him)

Eddy Zheng is the Founder & President of New Breath Foundation, and works to mobilize resources to support Asian American and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) harmed by violence and the unjust immigration and criminal justice systems. A 2019-21 Rosenberg Foundation Leading Edge Fellow and a 2015-17 Open Society Foundation Soros Justice Fellow, he served as Co-Director of the Asian Prisoner Support Committee and co-founded the first ever ethnic studies program in San Quentin State Prison – ROOTS.

Fluent in three languages and skilled in motivational speaking, cross cultural healing, workshop facilitation and conflict mediation, Eddy is the co-editor of Other: An Asian and Pacific Islander Prisoners’ Anthology and serves on the board of Chinese for Affirmative Action. Eddy’s commitment to service has been frequently recognized, most recently with the 2019 Frederick Douglass 200 award, 2019 Ellison S. Onizuka Memorial award from the National Education Association, and 2017 Bridging the Gap award from the University of Pennsylvania, Eddy is the subject of the award winning documentary “Breathin’: The Eddy Zheng Story.” With much gratitude, he is eager to collaborate with new partners in empowering marginalized communities, building racial solidarity and abolishing the prison industrial complex. 

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The History of Orchards of 82nd

Thurs, May 27 3-4:30PM
What is the history of the building that is now called Orchards of 82? How does community based development happen? How does an organization identify community needs and then build something to address those needs?

Speaker #1: Todd Struble (he/him), APANO Community Development Director

Todd Struble was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, but always felt a strong affinity for Oregon while visiting.  This led him to Oregon State University, where he studied business and philosophy.  He graduated from Oregon State in 2004 with a degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in Management Information Systems and a minor in Philosophy.  After graduating, he moved to Taoyuan, Taiwan to teach English and explore the world. 

Before joining APANO, Todd ran a solo practice for three years serving small businesses and low-income clients.  He served as the Co-Chair of the Oregon Minority Lawyers Association from 2010 to 2013.  At APANO, Todd serves as the Community Development Director, overseeing APANO’s efforts to support equitable development in the Portland area.  These programs include the Jade District, a micro Tax Increment Finance (TIF) District,  business technical assistance to businesses in the Jade District and API-owned businesses, and beginning to develop connections in Washington and Clackamas County.

When not working or tending to the needs of an infant, Todd enjoys the outdoors, including snowboarding on Wy’east and trail running.

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Healing & Care for the AA & PI Community

Fri, May 28, 2021 3PM – 5PM
Why is mental health care important for Asian and Pacific Islander communities? How can we access mental health care services? How do we hold space for ourselves and each other to grieve and heal?

Speaker: Dr. Gordon C. Nagayama Hall (he/him) Emeritus University of Oregon Professor of Psychology

Dr. Hall recently retired from the University of Oregon, where he was a Professor of Psychology. He received a BS in Psychology from the University of Washington and an MA in Theology and a PhD in Clinical Psychology from Fuller Theological Seminary. He previously was a Professor of Psychology at Penn State University and Kent State University. Dr. Hall served as President of the American Psychological Association Society for the Psychological Study of Ethnic Minority Issues and as President of the Asian American Psychological Association. Dr. Hall’s honors include the Stanley Sue Award for Distinguished Contributions to Diversity from the American Psychological Association Division of Clinical Psychology and the Distinguished Career Contributions to Research Award from the American Psychological Association Society for the Psychological Study of Ethnic Minority Issues. His research interests are in culture and mental health with a particular focus on Asian Americans.

Touk Keo (they/them) Adaptive Integration Supervisor, Civic Life, 

Founder of Radical Meditation for BIPOC, 

Creative Director of Portland Plant Medicine Gathering 2018

My name is Touk Keo (they/them/theirs) I am a child of refugees, I am a Khmer queer prince, who loves clubbing… in nature and relationship with this land. I love exploring stories. I believe that as long as we take responsibility for ourselves and the world that we live in, we, as communities of color, can thrive and shift the dominant oppressive culture.

I am the founder of the Radical Meditation for BIPOC and I am the Adaptive Integration Supervisor for the Office of Community and  Civic Life. This has been the first time in my life that I could actually integrate all of myself sans the occasional code switching to my work. And also to participate in the change that I want to see by unapologetically being myself. 

While the reality is that the work will never end as we continue to live in a white, cis, heteropatriachal world, I know that doing my work, that is rooted in compassion and love will create the ripple effects needed to change my community and or pod.

Other Resources

Celebrate Asian & Pacific Islander Heritage Month

Policy Change Now! 



  • Disorient Film Festival
    DisOrient is the premiere Asian American independent film festival of Oregon, celebrating films with authentic Asian Pacific American voices, histories and stories.
  • AAPI Storytellers Festival
    Kinema is using its platform to amplify AAPI voices through powerful and entertaining films, and benefiting organizations that uplift, empower and protect the AAPI community.


  • Marie Lo – Ruth Ozeki’s Tale for the Time Being
    ABA award winning author and film maker Ruth Ozeki presents her latest novel, “A Tale for the Time Being”, which brings together themes and personalities from Tokyo and British Columbia.  Interviewed by Marie Lo; produced by Marie Lo and Kushlani de Soyza.

Speaker Publications 

  1. Yaejoon Kwon – Transcolonial Racial Formation: Constructing the “Irish of the Orient” in U.S.-Occupied Korea
  2. Eddy Zheng – The Prison-Industrial Complex and Asians – a Coversation with Eddy Zheng
  3. Kim Tran – Assorted Writings