Shining a Light on Anti-Asian Racism and Hate Crimes

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Shining a Light on Anti-Asian Racism and Hate Crimes: The Role of Media on Public Opinion, Corporate Action, and Community Activism

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In honor of AAPI (Asian American & Pacific Islander) Heritage Month, AIM (Asian Americans in Media) is proud to present “Shining a Light on Anti-Asian Racism and Hate Crimes: The Role of Media on Public Opinion, Corporate Action, and Community Activism," co-sponsored by NAMIC (National Association for Multi-ethnicity in Communications) NY and WICT (Women in Cable Telecommunications) NY.

The Panel will take place on Tuesday, May 25th, at 12 pm ET (9 am PT), featuring:

Nydia Han is an Emmy award winning television journalist, TEDx speaker, and creator of #ThisIsAmerica, a provocative three-part documentary series about racism and the diverse American experience. Nydia co-anchors 6abc Action News Sundays and is the station’s consumer investigative reporter. She gets real results for Action News viewers by troubleshooting issues and exposing scams as well as dangerous products. She is committed to using her platform to uplift, empower, and give voice to traditionally underrepresented, marginalized groups.

Nydia is the recipient of the Pearl S. Buck International Woman of Influence award, NAAAP Inspire Award, and Global Voice Award from the World Woman Summit. She was also named "Outstanding Ally" of Diversity and Inclusion by the Philadelphia Inquirer. She graduated from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University and her career has taken her to television stations in Idaho, Oklahoma City, and Texas. Nydia is on the community advisory board for the Asian American Women’s Coalition. She is passionate about raising awareness and desperately needed funds for lung cancer research in memory of her mother.

Bill Imada is Chairman and Chief Connectivity Officer of IW Group, a fully integrated marketing communications agency specializing in the multicultural markets. For more than three decades, Bill and his team have served some of the top global firms and governmental agencies, including the CDC, House of Suntory, Lexus, McDonald’s, NBCUniversal, Nielsen, Netflix, Northwestern Mutual, PayPal/Xoom, Walmart, Walt Disney, Warner Bros, Wells Fargo, and many others. Bill’s areas of expertise include marketing, public relations, advertising, trans-cultural communications, and crisis management.

Bill is a co-founding member of several national and regional organizations, including the APIA Scholars (formerly Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund), Asian/Pacific Islander American Chamber of Commerce & Entrepreneurship (National ACE), ACE NextGen, and the National Millennial and Gen Z Community, an organization that promotes civil discourse and civic engagement. Bill also serves on the boards of the Advertising Educational Foundation, Center for Asian American Media, Coalition for Asian Pacifics in Entertainment, LAGRANT Foundation, National ACE, and the PBS Foundation.

John C. Yang is the President and Executive Director of Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC. He leads the organization’s efforts to fight for civil rights and empower Asian Americans to create a more just America for all through public policy advocacy, education, and litigation. His extensive legal background enables Advancing Justice | AAJC to address systemic policies, programs, and legislative attempts to discriminate against and marginalize Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and other minority communities. Because of his expertise, John is regularly asked to speak to media on issues affecting the Asian Pacific American community.

Mr. Yang’s other leadership positions have included: Member, National Advisory Committee for Race, Ethnicity & Other Populations, U.S. Census Bureau (2017-2019); Co-Chair, National Council of Asian Pacific Americans (2019-present); Member, American Bar Association House of Delegates (2008-18; Minority Caucus Chair, 2014–16); General Counsel, D.C. Bar (2000-02); General Counsel, OCA National (2000-03). In 1998, Mr. Yang co-founded the Asian Pacific American Legal Resource Center, a nonprofit organization dedicated to addressing the direct service legal needs of Asian Pacific Americans in the D.C. metropolitan area.

Tamlyn Tomita made her screen debut in The Karate Kid, Part II and has since appeared in numerous feature films, television and theatre projects. She is known for her roles in The Joy Luck Club; Picture Bride; and Come See the Paradise. Her list of film credits include The Day After Tomorrow; Tekken; Robot Stories; Four Rooms, Living Out Loud; Only the Brave; and Gaijin 2 – Ama me Como Sou. On television, Tamlyn can currently be seen reprising her role as 'Kumiko' on Cobra Kai on Netflix 34 years after The Karate Kid, Part II. She also recently played ‘Commodore Oh’ on Star Trek: Picard on CBS All-Access; ‘Allegra Aoki’ on ABC’s The Good Doctor; and ‘Tamiko Watanabe’ in The Man in the High Castle for Amazon.

Keeping herself busy in an industry that has been slow to receive actors of an ethnic demographic, Tamlyn is selective in the roles she chooses, steering away from images that perpetuate stereotypes. She is always on the search for ways to create or balance images and stories about Asian American/Pacific Islanders and other under-represented communities and women, and seeks to explore with others in and outside the film and television industry, issues she is concerned about. A resident of Los Angeles, she lends her support to several community events and organizations, and keeps her life simple, focusing on love, work, and family and is a proud and loyal UCLA Bruin.

For many Asian-Americans, racism, unconscious bias, and stereotypes are an all too common reality at school, in the workplace, and on our streets. Yet Asian-Americans often suffer those countless slights and attacks silently, “earning” them the title as the “Model Minority” or “Invisible Minority.” Throughout the pandemic, incidents and reports of anti-Asian violence and hate crimes surged, generating increased media coverage and widespread public and political outrage.

We all have questions, we all need to know more, and we all want to do something. This panel will explore the long history of anti-Asian discrimination, challenges in prosecuting hate crimes, news coverage of anti-Asian violence and harassment, and perspectives on how Asians are portrayed in movies and on television.

AIM, NAMIC NY and WICT NY hope to bring this important conversation to all of our communities, to share our stories, to highlight our challenges, and most importantly, to support each other in seeking justice, visibility, and opportunity for all of us in the media industry.

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