Tonight, we kick off the new year with voices from APEX contributors and our larger community. Charged with the request to share audio clips that inspired them through the last year, we hear from APEX contributors Lindsay Oda, Geraldine Ah-Sue, Nonogirl, and the Power Lee Women (Miko, Jalena, and Ayame). We also have a contribution from APEX’s co-founder Renee Geesler. And our community contributed including Oliver Saria from Bindlestiff Studio and Rachel Lastimosa with SOMA Pilipinas.
The audio contributions include music, poetry, inspirational speeches and interviews that cover labor, colonization, sovereignty and immigration. We hope this inspires you into the new year.
Tonight on APEX Express, join hosts Miko Lee and Jalena Keane-Lee as we talk with lawyers and activists in Trump’s America. First we talk to Kevin Lo from Asian Americans Advancing Justice about the ICE round up of Cambodian Americans. Then we hear from activists Sonya Shah, Professor at California Institute of Integral Studies and founder of the Ahimsa Collective and Ke Lam from the Asian Prisoner Support Committee about the prison industrial complex in the Trump Era.We also hear from Nonogirl reporting from the Ban Trump Rally from the Bay all the way to the Philippines.
“I learned to use chopsticks when I was seven,” says our guest Dolores Huerta about growing up in diverse Stockton, California. Join us on Apex Express to hear Host Miko Lee and guest contributor Jalena Keane-Lee interview the legendary activist Dolores Huerta and filmmaker Peter Bratt all about the new documentary “Dolores“.
Dolores shares her experiences with intersectionality and community development. She talks about the Dolores Huerta Foundation which trains community activists and her struggle with making the film that features much of her personal life including interviews with many of her 11 children.
Peter Bratt talks about adding the human side to Dolores Huerta’s remarkable life. The film, produced by musician Carlos Santana, has been having sold out screenings throughout the Bay Area.
Voices from the Emergency DACA Rally in San Francisco, organized by Bay Resistance on the day Trump ended the program. You’ll hear from a young woman with ASPIRE (Asian Students Promoting Immigrant Rights through Education), the first Pan-Asian, undocumented immigrant led organization in the country. You’ll also hear from Sharif from AROC, the Arab Resource and Organizing Center.
ASPIRE activist speaking at the Emergency DACA Rally at the SF Federal Building
Greetings, my name is Danny Thongsy I am a Yuri Kochiyama Fellow at Asian Americans Advancing Justice/Asian Law Caucus. I am deeply inspired by Ny Nourn. Her strength and resilience speaks to the spirit she carried which defied so many odds and obstacles. The trajectory of her life – migration-school-prison-detention/deportation pipeline – disclosed the results of our nation’s militarism/capitalism and its failure to help immigrants and disadvantaged members within our community. Her life has raised so much awareness regarding this and domestic violence issue.
Ny Nourn (center)
I can empathize with Ny, being a child refugee of parents who escaped war and the Khmer Rouge genocide only to resettled in an impoverished setting, and I only imagine how difficult it truly was for her and her family; in addition, to the trauma of war she and her family carried and the challenges of acculturation. Also, as a young lady she was shackled in an abusive relationship with a man who is older than she is and to escape seems detrimental. As a results of this toxic relationship she was later accused by our failing criminal justice system for a crime her abuser committed and then she was branded with a prison number and given a life sentence.
However, regardless of her circumstance, after a decade and numerous years of being warehoused and separated from her family and her community, she persevered and attained her freedom but only to face, once again, a threat of being separated from her family and her community through deportation. The question is: when is enough enough especially for a domestic violence survivor who served an unjust sentence for a crime her abuser committed and all she wants is to forgive him, bring healing to her community, and be reunited with her family.
Once again as she perseveres through this challenge, we at the Asian Law Caucus and other organizations and community groups are supporting her by advocating for her release.
By Danny Thongsy, Yuri Kochiyama Fellow #FREENYNOURN
Yuri Kochiyama Fellow Danny Thongsy with Ny’s Attorney, Anoop Prasad.
Tonight, on APEX Express, we talked with Asian American Artist Activist Change Makers. We spoke to San Francisco Mime Troupe veteran Keiko Shimosato Carreiro, data artist Brian Foo, singer Hollis Wong-Wear and filmmaker Jalena Keane-Lee. On behalf of my co-host Ayame Keane Lee and myself Miko Lee, we thank all of our Artist Activist Changemakers who joined us tonight. Keep creating, keep fighting, keep sharing your visions with the world.
Tonight on Apex Express Mother/Daughter hosts Miko Lee and Ayame Keane-Lee spoke to Yvette Felarca from By Any Means Necessary about taking direct action out into the streets and stopping the Trump ICE raids. More information about an upcoming immigration forum is listed in the calendar below.
We spoke to Michelle Lee, curator of Shifting Movements, Art inspired by Yuri Kochiyama, which opens with a big celebration tonight at SOMARTS Cultural Center and runs through May 25. Shifting Movements is part of the 20th Annual United States of Asian America Festival. Some of the art pieces are shown above, but go check it out in person to see how amazing the work is.
Mari Nakagawa interviewed punk band Aye Nako who hits the Bay Area tonight and tomorrow night.
Poet Yujane Chan came into the studio and performed her erasure poem derived from her formal immigration papers. Ayame, also a youth poet, chatted with Yujane about her inspiration and process. Yujane performed this as part of Youth Speaks Teen Poetry Slam in April.
Miko spoke with award winning filmmaker Felicia Lowe’s about her latest work Chinese Couplets which is her personal tale about the Chinese Exclusion Act. They also discussed the big Rally for Inclusion that is happening this Saturday in Portsmouth Square Chinatown to acknowledge the 135th anniversary of the Chinese Exclusion Act. Find out more about the Rally and how to take action page here.
Venue: SOMArts Cultural Center, Main Gallery, 934 Brannan Street, San Francisco. Exhibition Dates: Tuesday through Friday from 12-7pm, and Saturdays from 12-5pm. Closing Reception: Thursday, May 25, 2016. 6-9pm.