Category Archives: Prison Industrial Complex

2/3/17 Social Energies and ROOTS San Quentin Podcast

Chinese Zodiac Trading Cards

Horoscopophilia by Christine Wong Yap


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This week we talk with Needa Bee, founder of Feed the People and member of Asians for Black Lives. She is part of housed Oakland residents who supported The Village. She provides an update for this powerful form of reclaiming public land and build dignified housing and services for our houseless community members living in the streets

We talk with artist Christine Wong Yap. She’s one of eight Chinese American artists in the Social Energies exhibition that opens tomorrow in San Francisco’s Chinatown. Folks in the ROOTS program put on by Asian Prisoner Support Committee talk about the School-to-Prison Pipeline thanks to the. And we play music to lift your spirits selected by new APEXer Anica Wu.

Social Energies features works on paper and editions by Kayan Cheung-Miaw, Andrew Chuani Ho, Louise Leong, Cathy Lu, Leon Sun, Chelsea Wong, Leland Wong, and Christine Wong Yap. The artists are involved in community organizing, gardening, meditating, shopping, cooking for others and for strangers, and juggling day jobs, navigating their creative communities and the current political climate, all the while balancing the determination and focus needed to sustain creative output.

Asian Prisoner Support Committee is an Oakland-based organization providing support to Asian Pacific Islander prisoners. They also educate the community about the growing number of API’s in the United States being imprisoned, detained, and deported. APSC’s Restoring Our Original True Selves, or ROOTS program, seeks to increase knowledge about API culture, history, community issues, and healing practices among San Quentin inmates. Their program provides weekly classes involving guest speakers, group discussions, and leadership/empowerment activities. They serve over 30 AAPI prisoners by building support networks and opportunities for transformation and reentry.

In this segment, we’ll share voices from three prisoners. They talk about the vulnerabilities they faced as targets of racism and bullying through the “school-to-prison pipeline.” The “School-to-Prison Pipeline” refers to the trend where minorities with histories of poverty, abuse, or neglect are disciplined more harshly for minor offenses. They’re often forced out of schools and into prisons.

This podcast was recorded, edited, and produced entirely by a team of currently incarcerated people in the San Quentin Prison Report and the San Quentin ROOTS program.

Community Calendar

This Saturday in Watsonville, there’s an action supporting the boycott of Driscoll Berries. Farm workers in San Quintin, Mexico demand that they be treated with dignity and respect. They demand that Driscoll sit down to negotiate union contracts with the field workers. This event is on Saturday from 1-3 in Watsonville Plaza. https://www.facebook.com/events/1338481426182606/

On Monday at 7 p.m., Kearny Street Workshop starts a four-session workshop on writing narrative prose. This is a FREE, all-levels course that will help strengthen your understanding of narrative writing and help you put those stories that you’ve been wanting to tell onto the page.  https://www.facebook.com/events/812772052193812/

And on Wednesday, Migrante SoMa/Tenderloin holds an immigration clinic at Bayanihan from 6 to 8 p.m. Whether you’re a permanent resident looking to file for citizenship, petitioning a family member, or looking for a path towards legalization, it’s important to get informed and take action to defend our community. https://www.facebook.com/events/343882162677691/

1/12/17 Prepping for #J20 and #CareNotChaos



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Tonight on APEX Express we talk with two members of Asian Prisoner Support Committee about their focus for this year. We hear from healthcare workers at Kaiser and San Francisco General about Saturday’s national day of action that Bernie Sanders is calling “Our First Stand: Save Health Care.” And we talk with Kung Feng at Jobs With Justice about their Dump Trump protest at Justin Herman Plaza on Friday, January 20th at 8 a.m.

The Asian Prisoner Support Committee works with Asian and Pacific Islander prisoners to educate the broader community about the growing number of Asian and Pacific Islanders in the United States being imprisoned, detained, and deported. Joining us tonight are Ke Lam and Harrison Seuga. Harrison is the re-entry director at APSC and Ke is the re-entry coordinator.

dumptrumpAlso joining us are Gina Macalino, a member of National Nurses United, and Arnel Roca, a member of SEIU 1021, who are gearing up for January 15 when nurses and community members rally at SF City Hall to send the message that everyone deserves healthcare.

Lastly, we hear from Kung Feng, lead organizer at Jobs with Justice about their victories in 2016 and their rally on January 20th to Dump Trump!

8/11/16 Yuri Kochiyama Fellows and Letters About Black Lives



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Tonight on APEX Express, we have two guests hosts: Melissa Hung and Vida Huang. We’ll learn about Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus’s new Yuri Kochiyama Fellowship for formerly incarcerated Asian Pacific Islanders. We talk with young, radical, community members who have spoken about anti-black racism with their families and tried to move them towards solidarity with the Movement for Black Lives. And we hear from Justin Lin, director of Star Trek Beyond, from back when he was just starting out and taking his film Better Luck Tomorrow on the festival circuit.

Community Calendar

On Saturday in San Bruno, Halau o Keikiali’i perform their Songs of Hilo and Tribute to Hawaii’s songbird, Lena Machado. This takes place at Capuchino High School. Doors open at 4 p.m. with Hawaiian arts, crafts, and food for sale. Performance is at 6 p.m. 

Also on Saturday night is the Gay Asian Pacific Alliance Foundation’s Runway with 11 contestants vying for the title of Mister and Miss GAPA. The contest starts at 7 p.m. at the renovated Herbst Theater. Tickets for the pageant are available at cityboxoffice.com and our own Nonogirl will be one of the guest judges.

Next week on August 16, you can hear a conversation with movement leader Pam Tau Lee and Steven Bingham, moderated by Steve Williams. Pam founded the Asian Pacific Environmental Network and Chinese Progressive Association, and is a member of Asians 4 Black Lives, so she’ll have lots of knowledge to drop. This celebration of Movement Warriors organized by Hospitality House takes place at the Kelly Cullen Community in San Francisco.

And the Anti Police-Terror Project General Meeting is next Wednesday, August 17 at Eastside Arts Alliance. The Anti Police-Terror Project is a project of the ONYX ORGANIZING COMMITTEE that in coalition with other organizations working to develop a replicable and sustainable model to end police terrorism in this country

6/9/2016 California History Textbook Campaign Update; Purvi Patel and the Criminilization of Abortion

Tune in tonight for our monthly South Asian edition of APEX Express. First we bring you a critical discussion with Dalit artivist Thenmozhi Soundararajan from the South Asian Histories for All coalition, on the ongoing California Textbook Campaign; on the struggle to keep ancient Indian history curricula in middle school history textbooks, as- it-happened, and not how a well-funded group of Hindu fundamentalists would like it to be. Then we discuss with Lisa Sangoi, a lawyer with National Advocates for Pregnant Women,  Purvi Patel’s case, where we find out the status quo of a young Indian American woman who was unjustly thrown in jail for 20 years, for having a late term abortion. Produced by: Preeti Mangala Shekar and Justine Lee

Breathin’ the Eddy Zheng Story


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Eddy Zheng and Filmmaker Ben Wang at the World Premiere of Breathin' at San Quentin

Eddy Zheng and Filmmaker Ben Wang at the World Premiere of Breathin’ at San Quentin

Guest host Renee Geesler speaks with activist, immigrant, and former prisoner Eddy Zheng about Breathin’ the Eddy Zheng Story, the newly released documentary film by Ben Wang. Breathin’ documents Eddy’s 21-year journey through the California Prison system and his  eventual release.

The segment ends with a song by hip-hop artist Bambu about Eddy Zheng.

3/10/2016 – Eddy Zheng, Chinese Couplets and Dreams Deported

Tonight on Apex Express hosted by Salima Hamarai:
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Justine Lee talks to award-winning filmmaker and Bay-Area native Felicia Lowe about her documentary Chinese Couplets. The film is an intimate family story that explores the impact of the Chinese Exclusion Act on one family, over two centuries, in three countries, on four generations of women.

For the entire month of March, the film will be broadcast through Xfinity and on PBS in select markets. For more details, check out ChineseCouplets.com

 Eddy film

Guest host Renee Geesler speaks with activist, immigrant, and former prisoner Eddy Zheng about Breathin’ the Eddy Zheng Story, the newly released documentary film by Ben Wang. Breathin’ documents Eddy’s 21-year journey through the California Prison system and his  eventual release.

And Alec MacDonald takes us to a gathering of immigration activists to talk about the recently released UCLA student publication “Dreams Deported: Immigrant Youth and Families Resist Deportation.” In addition to describing how this book came into being, speakers Kent Wong, Amy Lin, Steve Li, and Mario de Leon Estrada discussed current challenges facing undocumented immigrants and the urgent need for policy reform in this area. Mario de Leon Estrada

Community Calendar

In the Crosshairs

On Fridays at 8pm March 11, 18 and 25. At the stage werx theater in SF. Join us for the stage show “in the crosshairs” – solo performance powerhouses Martha Rynberg and Thao P. Nguyen join forces to give you “In the Crosshairs,” a two-person sketch comedy show about hair. Yes, hair! http://crosshair.bpt.me/

When She Rises

Saturday, March 12, 2016, 8pm-11pm – In partnership with the Trust Your Struggle Collective and Galería De La Raza, Studio Grand is pleased to present When She Rises, an exhibit dedicated to the resilience of women. The artists will be examining the experience of women in their countries of origin – the Philippines, India, and Japan. That’s at Studio Grand in Oakland from 8pm to 11 pm.

Growing Our Souls, Building Our Soil

This is a little ways off, but we’re trying to create some buzz. On Saturday, March 19 at 10 AM – 3 PM join us for Growing Our Souls, Building Our Soil :: A Day of Vision In Action.A part of the Bay Area Grace Lee Boggs Memorial Celebration Week at  Urban Tilth’s Edible Food Forest @ 16th Street & Ohio Ave, The Richmond Greenway, Richmond, CA

Celebrating Grace Lee Boggs: A Century In Love & Struggle

Sun. 3/20 – 12-3 pm, Oakland Asian Cultural Center, 388 9th St, Oakland. In celebration of Grace, we will bring together activists and organizers to share their reflections on Grace’s work, ideas, and current movements/struggles in the Bay Area. We will also be joined by guests from Detroit and the Boggs Center.

1/29/2015 Surveillance, Women and Queerness in the Movement; Fund Drive.


Today is fund drive. But we’ll spend most of our show thinking about the Black Lives Movement, through two different lenses:

First, we talk to Hamid Khan from the Stop LAPD Spying Coalition about surveillance, policing, and their impacts on current activists. How is the LAPD spying on activists? What have we learned about the history of surveillance and who it normally targets? And, what can we do to fight back?

Then, we feature a panel discussion with Wazi Davis and Brianna Gibson from Black Brunch and Ellen Choy from Asians for Black Lives about the effect of women, queers and trans people on organizing culture, specifically as it affects Black Lives Matter. They joined Marie and Salima and Marie’s one year old baby to discuss how their identities have affected their meetings, their actions, their outreach and their views on the legacy left by the Black Civil Rights Movement.

Hosted by Salima Hamirani, Marie Choi and Alec MacDonald

Community Calendar

On Saturday 31st from 7 to 10 pm at the Soma Arts Cultural Center join us for “Celebrate Your Body,” a body-positive fashion show put on by Kearny Street Workshop. The event features Asian American designers including a line by Project Runway finalist Kini Zamora!

Next Saturday on February 7th at Frank Ogawa Plaza in Oakland at 11:30 am hundreds are converging for The March for Real Climate Leadership: Our Water, Our Health, Our California. Come out to talk about Climate change and water

And for our Native brothers and sisters there is a separate contingent of Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders at the Climate Leadership march. You can find a link for the facebook event on our webpage.