Tag Archives: AYPAL

11/10/11 Oakland General Strike and More!

Colorful Mamas (and their kids) of the 99%. Photo uploaded to the Facebook page by Colorful Mamas of the 99%

[audio http://archives.kpfa.org/data/20111110-Thu1900.mp3]

Tonight on Apex Express we bring you an Asian Pacific take on last week’s General Strike in Oakland including:

9/1/11 AYPAL Youth Leaders Speak On OUSD Ethnic Studies Campaign

On APEX Express tonight:

It’s back-to-school season for most Bay Area students – so tonight we hear about a fierce campaign to transform the Oakland school district!  We have a full-length interview with the incredible voices of AYPAL youth leaders!  9 API youth organizers, making up the AYPAL Campaign Organizing Team, joined us in the studio to talk about their current campaign to fight to include Ethnic Studies in the Oakland Unified School District.  They speak on their work, how they got involved, and how they’re already winning successes on a completely youth-led campaign.  Also, their AYPAL adult coordinator – Armael Malinis – joins us live to give us the latest updates and tell us how to get involved.  Plus, some exciting musical selections.

Hosted by Ellen Choy.

4/7/11 Police Brutality in Oakland; Hopie Spitshard

This week we bring you another packed show featuring powerful community voices:
Police Brutality in Oakland: While we continue to heal from the murder of Oscar Grant, Oakland youth of color continue to be targeted by racial profiling and police brutality. This week we bring you a dynamic interview with Sarn Saechao, a Mien youth and high school student and member of AYPAL, to speak on his experience with racial profiling, his thoughts on the Oakland gang injunctions and what him and other Oakland API youth are doing to combat injustices in their hood. Also, we bring you sounds from February’s “People’s Hearing on Racism and Police Violence,” featuring community leaders Eddy Zheng and Rachel Jackson.

Hopie Spitshard: We sat down for a special interview with Hopie Spitshard, a young hip hop artist originally from the Philippines and San Francisco-raised. As the inaugural segment of a series we’ll be collecting of interviews with API womyn in hip hop, this week we bring you an intimate look at who Hopie Spitshard is, and what has inspired her to blaze through hip hop’s boundaries and stay grounded by family, culture and what’s real.

Community Calendar:

From Thursday, April 7 to Saturday, April 9, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts presents Samoan choreographer Lemi Ponfasio’s Tempest Without a Body. www.ybca.org

On Friday, April 8 and Saturday, April 9, Karl Evangelista and the Grex Quintet perform their special blend of jazz at the Bayanihan Community Center in San Francisco. http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=172259806154392

On Saturday, April 9, author Cecilia Gaerlan reads from her debut novel, In Her Mother’s Image.  Her book chronicles the story of a family’s ordeal during World War II in the Philippines and the fall of Bataan.  www.asiabookcenter.com

Sunday, April 10, join the Bay Area Committee to Stop FBI Repression’s contingent at the anti-war rally in Dolores Park, and call-in on April 12 to support activists like Anh Pham in resisting the FBI’s harassment of activists.  www.stopfbi.net

Next Thursday, April 14, four Asian American rock bands perform at the Submission Gallery in San Francisco for Ring the Alarm, a benefit for communities in the Philippines. Entry is $5-8.

Women for Genuine Security screen Living Along the Fenceline, a film featuring the stories of 7 women who live alongside US military bases, on Thursday, April 14. http://www.genuinesecurity.org/actions/livingalongfenceline.html

On Saturday, April 16, API musicians, dancers, and performers come together for Japan Restart, a benefit concert for the Northern Japan Earthquake Relief Fund.  japanrestart.eventbrite.com

Poetry in the Kitchen and Heritage Month

By Gina Hotta

Stories were cooked up and poetry was shared in OACC’s kitchen. Youths and young adults put their pens to paper on the large steel prep table. Garlic and soy, the sharp smell of vinegar and fish sauce, lemon grass and the smoothing blanket of coconut milk, the tastes and smells of Iu Mien, Chinese, Vietnamese, Filipino, Korean and Samoan lives co-mingled together. It was May 2000 and people were prepping for the Heritage Month Showcase at OACC. And swirling around it all, you’d see poet-trickster Al Robles leading “Poetry In the Kitchen” giving gentle guidance by Talking Story where cooking and sharing meals loosened tongues and the unlocked the creative mind. Co-teacher Penina Taesali would cajole semi-precious pieces of word-art from youths like Richard who would conjure up images of Cambodia on tree-staved streets of East Oakland. The Hipster, Fil-Am Wordster, Poetry-in-the-Kitchen teacher Al Robles has passed on. But his spirit is still alive in May where poets, cooks, drummers and dancers again put their food, words and stories on-stage for Asian Pacific Heritage Month at the Oakland Asian Cultural Center.

Talk Story–the idea of sharing story and food–is the Hawaiian Way, was Al Robles’ way, is something that tries to find its home at OACC. Out of the always morphing “South Asian-Asian-Filipino-Pacific Islanders”, out of competing identities, communities and classes, some time is given over for youths, artists, their families and friends to sit together, eat together and shine on-stage in the auditorium. And this happens in some way each May, during Asian Pacific Heritage Month at the Center.

In May 2000, it was the metal and brass percussion rhythms and the dance of princesses and warriors of the Southern Philippines performed by students of Danny Kalanduyan’s kulintang class. A 70 foot dragon wearing tennis shoes looped and swirled across the auditorium floor carried by students of Corey Chan. Students of Asian Pacific Islander Youth Promoting Advocacy and Leadership (AYPAL) gave a reading of their written works that came out of Poetry in the Kitchen. In 2009, AYPAL once again performs for May’s Heritage Month. Also on-stage is the Korean dance-drumming of Kyoungil Ong, the Sahiyar Dance Company, DowneFx and performances by Jay Loyola. There’s a women writers showcase night, Mosque in Morgantown is on-screen, arts and crafts-making and more.

Back in 2000, with coconut in one hand and cleaver in the other, Al Robles would whack the nut just so, opening it with a crack. Around him in the kitchen, students wrote stories of mothers and fathers at work all day (and night), where language and food is a tie to an old home left behind. Taro was baked in OACC’s ovens while mango, papaya and pineapple were carved and plated for the audience of families and friends. In May 2000, students and artists shared and served food for OACC’s Heritage Month Showcase. And each May, in different ways, they’ll do so again.

(Apex Express is a media sponsor of OACC’s Heritage Month.)