Category Archives: Economics

1/5/17 Micro Finance in India, and Hooligan Sparrow Documentary

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On our new year spotlight, we look internationally at India and China exploring human rights issues and the complexity of micro finance.

Preeti Shekar talks with feminist author and academic Kalpana Karunakaran about her book: Women, Microfinance and the State in Neoliberal India. We examine how the politics of neoliberal economics impact women’s rights and organizing in India. They discuss how the Indian state, under the guise of fighting poverty and promoting women’s rights, manipulatively promotes micro finance among rural and poor women. We find that the reality on the ground is much more complex.

Chinese human rights activist Ye Haiyan, known as Hooligan Sparrow

Chinese human rights activist Ye Haiyan, known as Hooligan Sparrow

Melissa Hung talks with filmmaker Nanfu Wong about Hooligan Sparrow, one of 15 films on the 2017 Oscar shortlist for best documentary. Wong follows Chinese human rights activist Ye Haiyan, known as Hooligan Sparrow, as she seeks justice for six girls who were raped. She organizes a protest but is arrested the next day. Upon release, Ye is harassed and tracked by the government. Wong herself becomes a target of intimidation tactics. She smuggled footage out of China in order to make this film. The film opens January 6 at the 4 Star Theater in San Francisco and screens January 9 at 7 p.m. at the the Roxie Theater.

6/19/14 The Rise of Entrepreneurship: Trends, Tips, and Real Talk

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Screen Shot 2014-06-17 at 11.21.40 AMAccording to the U.S. Census Bureau 22.5 million people in this country are self employed, and the percentage of adults starting a new business venture hit an all time high in 2012. A closer look at the statistics shows that women of color and immigrants are a big catalyst behind this growth. Tonight we’ll look at these trends, as well as provide practical tips for You, our APEX listeners. In studio we’ll have an exciting lineup of experts and entrepreneurs including Bay Area authors Meg Mateo Ilasco and Cat Seto, authors of “Mom, Inc” to share their tips for the DIY economy, and how to make your creative passion your livelihood. The second half of the show we’ll be talking with a panel of local Asian American business owners who have toiled behind the scenes to launch three successful enterprises that also position community building and social consciousness as core to their business models. Cafe Gabriela: Penny Baldado Back to the Roots: Siddharth Sanghvi 25th St. Collective: Hiroko Kurihawa We’ll be taking calls from YOU, our listeners, to get advice from our experts. The number to call in is 510-848-4425! And we’ll also be looking at why NOW and why the Bay Area. How can local business drive a healthy economy, create jobs, and hold social justice at its core?

5/28/14 Will the real Modi please stand up? Making Sense of the Indian Elections

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The recent elections in India are touted to be a political and historical watershed moment. The landslide victory of the BJP, the right wing Hindu fundamentalist party caught everyone by surprise, including the BJP themselves. How do we make sense of these election results? What does it mean for a “new India”? What are the bloody histories and sordid realities underlying this victory that the Indian media and some sections of the Indian public would like us to forget, move on and start over, lured by promises of development and jobs in a post-globalized India?

Tune in at 7 pm PT to KPFA 94.1 FM  for a discussion on APEX Express, with journalist and author Dionne Bunsha, activist Biju Mathew and sociologist Shiv Visvanathan share their reflections on the Indian elections.



8/29/13: Bumabalik: Reporting from the Philippines


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(Bumabalik translates into “returning.”)

On this installment of APEX Express:

APEX contributor R.J. Lozada is back from the Philippines!

Contributor R.J. Lozada amidst a crowd of protestors at the SONA ng Bayan (People's SONA, or State of the Nation Address). Photo Courtesy of A. Beltran

Contributor R.J. Lozada amidst a crowd at the SONA ng Bayan (People’s SONA, or State of the Nation Address). Photo Courtesy of A. Beltran

 Aerial shot of the crowd that joined the ‘Million People March.’ Photo courtesy of Architect Paulo Alcazaren.

Aerial shot of the crowd that joined the ‘Million People March.’ Photo courtesy of Architect Paulo Alcazaren.

Monday, August 26 drew nearly 100,000 Filipinos in peaceful protest against political corruption and pork barrel politics. R.J. brings us an interview with author Laurel Fantauzzo who participated in the peaceful rally.

Famers and organizers from Hacienda Luisita protest the distribution of lands in front the House of Representatives in Manila. Photo courtesy of R. Lozada

Farmers and organizers from Hacienda Luisita protest the distribution of lands in front the House of Representatives in Manila. Photo courtesy of R.J. Lozada

Land is life. When Spain forcefully took and claimed land from the Philippines in 1521 they created a sociopolitical climate that would birth long-standing systems of oppression, manifesting in everything from political infrastructure to psychology to cuisine. Among the remnants and ghosts of colonization is Hacienda Luisita. The farmlands that belong to natives long before the Spanish were taken, and ended up in the hands of the family of the current President Benigno Aquino III, since the late 1950s. R.J. spent some time with farmers of Hacienda Luisita to learn what agrarian reform can really look like.

Flordia Sibayan, or "Pong," is the chair of AMBALA, the farmworkers union at Hacienda Luisita. She and about 50 farmers and organizers camped out in front of the offices Department of Agricultural Reform. They're protesting the lottery system, and other divide and conquer tactics to disrupt the movement for genuine agrarian reform. Photo courtesy of R. Lozada.

Flordia Sibayan, or “Pong,” is the chair of AMBALA, the farmworkers union at Hacienda Luisita. She and about 50 farmers and organizers camped out in front of the offices Department of Agricultural Reform. They’re protesting the lottery system, and other divide and conquer tactics to disrupt the movement for genuine agrarian reform. Photo courtesy of R.J. Lozada.


  • On Saturday, August 31st at 7:30PM at the Solespace in Oakland, RAMA presents this months installment of Go! Ohana, featuring musicians Ben Ahn, Cynthia Lin, hosted by Tim Huey, and Leila Ramanculova.

  • On Thursday, September 5th at 6:00PM, Undocu-Health: Healthcare and the Undocumented — this event at the Asian Resource Lobby in Oakland will feature a talk regarding the Affordable Care Act otherwise known as Obamacare, and the undocumented community.

  • On Friday, September 6 at 7:00PM, the “Ordinary Guy,” Afro-Filipino Joe Bataan, will be at the I-Hotel in San Francisco for a meet and greet!

1/31/13 The Do-It-Youself Show

We Make from Tinkering Monkey on Vimeo.

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As technology develops and brings us virtual worlds, Instagram photography, and mass production, what has happened to the makers of our world? The crafts people who use their hands to make unique and personalized items? Tonight we bring you three pieces featuring Asian Americans who are part of a growing DIY, or do-it-yourself, culture.

  • First, an interview with Paula Chang and Mike Cheung, the couple behind Tinkering Monkey, a practical woodworking shop in Oakland.
  • Then, we visit a winter craft make-a-thon organized by Liberating Ourselves 
    , a people of color – led makerspace in Oakland.
  • Jean Chen joins us in studio to talk about BubbleFarm Soap Company, a small business she runs with her husband Chris.
  • And if you’d like to become a radio maker, check out the KPFA Apprenticeship program.

Community Calendar

Bubble Farm Soap Co. will be at Oaklandish’s downtown store on Saturday from 12-3 p.m.

This Saturday is the KaHulaHou 2013, at the scenic Craneway Pavilion on the waterfront at Point Richmond. If you weren’t lucky enough to win tickets, General admission tickets are $25, with ringside seating available for $65. Doors open at 3pm for shopping, food, music and jamming, and the main show starts at 7pm.

Also at 924 Gilman, the punk club opens itself up to an evening of conscious hip-hop featuring Srilankan American performer Ras Ceylon! We’ve had him on our show before. Pretty sure this is an all-ages show. It starts at 7 p.m.

And on Monday, our friends at Chinese for Affirmative Action open up their membership meeting to address just immigration. A panel of experts discuss the common sense approaches that can uphold our nation’s values and move us forward together. Panelists include Henry Der Senior Program Officer at Four Freedoms Fund; Bill Ong Hing Professor of Law, University of San Francisco; Francisco Ugarte, Senior Immigration Attorney, Dolores Street Community Services; and Cecillia Wang, Director of Immigrants’ Rights Project, American Civil Liberties Union. It’s Free for members; $25 suggested donation for non-members. A reception starts at 5:30 with the panel at 6:30 at City College Chinatown/North Beach Campus 808 Kearny Street, 4th Floor, San Francisco

12/27/12 Year in Review

APEX logo

Happy Holidays from the APEX Express Collective.

Contributor R.J. Lozada compiles different stories from the bay, the country, and around the globe. Every month, a moment, a story-either read on your facebook feed, heard in your conversations, or viewed on broadcast. You’re invited to tune in, and a take an hour to reflect on 2012.

7/5/12 Fighting Back the Big Box, Politicizing Desi Youth, and Art of Hustle

Chinese Progressive Association protesting WalMart in L.A.’s Chinatown. Photo by Jennifer Phung.

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This week on APEX Express, we talk about politicizing Desi youth, fighting back against WalMart in L.A.’s Chinatown, and learning from The Art of Hustle. Tune in!

  • We talk with Nevin Gandhi-Rao with Bay Area Solidarity Summer or BASS. They are gearing up for this year’s youth camp that teaches South Asian youth leadership skills and social justice issues affecting the Desi community.
  • RJ Lozada reports from Los Angeles where thousands of community members are mounting a campaign against WalMart, which plans to open a store in the city’s historic Chinatown.
  • We hear the first in a series of podcasts we’ll be sharing from Anthem Salgado called, The Art of Hustle, where art meets entrepreneurship.

Community Calendar

This Friday, Asian Pacific Islander Cultural Center and Asian Improv present PULL. Performing artist/actor/writer Traci Kato-Kiriyama and actor/aerial artist Kennedy Kabasares use monologues, recorded interviews, and static trapeze as elements to tell the story of a young woman’s relationship with her mother, and how they deal with the death of her father. The show starts at 8 p.m. at COUNTERpulse in San Francisco.

On Saturday, IcTus Gallery in San Francisco presents a photo installation by Bay Area photographer Pak Han. The opening reception is from 6 -10 p.m. and features a live performance by percussionist Dohee Lee.

Later on Saturday, Pinoispop and Bindlestiff Studio present Seemingly Random Bleeps, a music showcase featuring Secret Sidewalk, Apple Orchard, The Dualies, The Skyflakes, and Shadow is My Friend. Tickets are $10 and the show starts at 8 p.m. at Bindlestiff Studio.

4/19/12 Battle of the Bay: Is Oakland Cooler Than SF?


This week’s episode is a Battle of the Bay. You may have seen the Bay Guardian’s cover story last week which asked, “Is Oakland cooler than SF?!” and said, “San Francisco is losing much of its diversity, cultural edge, and working class to the East Bay — can anything be done?”

To continue this dialogue, we talk with Michelle Reed who opened a small plant store called Roots in San Francisco’s Mission District.

We also bring into the studio, Saqib Keval with People’s Grocery, an organization whose mission is to  improve the health and economy of West Oakland through the local food system.

We talk with Kearny Street Workshop, a multi-disciplinary arts organization in San Francisco thatis holding a fundraiser called Dumpling Wars at the Oakland Asian Cultural Center.

And we close out with a teaser for the documentary about the lead singer of San Francisco band, Journey. Mr. Arnel Pineda, from the Philippines!


  • Haven’t seen a good play lately? Tonight, immediately after our show, head straight to Bindlestiff Studio in SF. This show promises to astound. “Thunder above, deeps below” is an imaginative take on Shakespeare’s Pericles featuring three homeless young adults. It’s all about redemption, identity, gender and sexuality and the search for a better life. Tickets are $25 at the door. 185 Sixth @Howard in San Francisco’s South of Market District. The play runs through May 5.
  • Friday, April 20 in Oakland, suit up in your favorite digs and head to the Paramount Theater of the Arts for Notes from the Philippines featuring jazz and classical musicians Victor Noriega, Arthur Khu and David Riquero. Promises to be a really beautiful night of music with the best bay area jazz talent. 8pm on Friday, 2025 Broadway in Downtown Oakland.
  • And if you haven’t had your fill of music, this Saturday, April 21,  join us at East Side Arts Alliance to celebrate the arrival of the warm weather with a whole lot of music at “spring forward”. Spend the evening listening to experimental jazz ensemble Mutual Aid Project, hip hop/funk/rock collective Bandung 55, and Rachel Lastimosa of the soul/jazz/indie group Dirty Boots. That’s at 8pm this Saturday at East Side Arts Alliance.
  • Earlier in the show you got a sneak preview of the kind of excitement waiting for you at Kearny Street Workshop’s first ever Dumpling Wars. Seven teams of amateur chefs compete to create the best hand made dumplings which that’s right, you the audience, then get to eat. Food, competition and music? What better way to spend a Thursday night. The Dumpling Wars take place at the Oakland Asian Cultural Center on April 26th from 6 – 9 pm. Entry $25.
  • Finally, May 3 at the Castro Theater is the Closing Night of “Don’t Stop Believing: Everyman’s Journey” about Arnel Pineda’s rise to fame as the newest singer of Journey. 7pm at the Castro Theater. Get your tickets online through the San Francisco International Film Festival.

1/5/12 Reflecting Back on 2011

BAYAN USA marching to the Oakland Port during the General Strike

Tonight, we bring you a special 2011 year-in-review show featuring:

  • Eddy Zheng and youth from Community Youth Center
  • Reflection on the Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami with updates on the floods in Thailand and the typhoon in the Philippines
  • Ellen Choy talking about the Occupy Movement, with a focus on the Bay Area
  • Alex Tom of the Chinese Progressive Association, taking about Occupy, what Ed Lee’s mayoral win means to the Chinese community, and the unrest seen in Wukan, China
  • Continued discrimination against the Muslim American community in New York and on the media
  • An update with Anh Pham, her grand jury trial, and her response to the NDAA of 2012
  • Lisa Chen of Asian Law Caucus talking about the California Dream Act and what campaigns they’ll work on in 2012
  • Bernadette Ellorin of BAYAN USA looks at the issuance of the arrest warrant for former General Jovito Palparan and the calling of former president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo to trial for human rights abuses
  • Matthew Ledesma‘s commentary which challenges Manny Pacquiao‘s masculinity
  • National Film Society, a new media studio co-founded by filmmakers Patrick Epino and Stephen Dypiangco in Los Angeles
  • And Irene Kao, executive director of Hyphen, talks about  independent media and its important role in challenging what the mainstream has put forth including Tiger Mom and Wesley Yang’s interpretation of Asian male-ness

Whew! Tune in!

11/17/11 Occupy Wall Street coverage

Screenshot of video of Ellen's acceptance speech at the Mario Savio Young Activist Awards

On this two month anniversary of Occupy Wall Street, Marie Choi produces another amazing piece on Occupy Movements with coverage from Monday’s raid in Oakland; the movement to halt the deportation of Pancho (with tape direct from the press conference after his release); and the Mario Savio Young Activist Awards at OccupyCal, which went to Christsna Sot, Josh Healey, and Apex’s own Ellen Choy!