This week, I was honored to speak with friends and college students. I recorded 2 podcasts: with Plum Radio and Class Time with Kenzo Shibata, and also did a virtual keynote speech for NYCAASC, the NYC Asian American Students Conference (what an honor!), all of which you can access RIGHT NOW! More, including links, below:
Despite the stuff I’m doing above, I am not pushing productivity (I’ve had to unlearn ableism as a special education teacher, now in my 8th year teaching, wowza), especially as so many people, including my students, are going through losses and trauma right now during this coronavirus pandemic. I’ve also been trying to do at least the minimum to get through the drudgery of #remotelearning, exercising for the 1st time in weeks, making masks out of old tees and new recipes, working with teachers to #FundNYSchools, and trying to keep my spirits up during this time. Speaking to friends on their podcasts and to NYC Asian American students this week were helpful in that.
I, like most of my friends and students right now, have been at much less than capacity lately, but it’s my community of people and supports who have gotten me through. I am grateful to be employed right now and to be able to give to different causes and mutual aid. If y’all need help, reach out. Think through who your pod is right now and do some mapping- your people need you and you need them. And, it’s more important than ever to speak up for community and against the injustices happening now. I hope you all are finding ways to preserve your mental health and make your change right now.
Plum Radio Podcast: First up, I had SUCH a great time talking Sunday 4/19 with Dolly Li, fellow Brooklyn Technite and host of Plum Radio, talking about Chinatown, teaching, and how the case of Vincent Chin, my cousin, and the current coronavirus outbreak are just two waves of anti-Asian sentiment throughout American history. (Dolly helped me figure out how to use a Shaoxing cooking wine bottle + a stack of board games to make a video rig for the Instagram Live last Sunday while I recorded audio with my Zoom H5 recorder for the podcast!) You can listen to the Plum Radio Ep. 3 “Same Blood, Different Skin” now wherever you get your podcasts!
Class Time with Kenzo Shibata: Tuesday 4/21 was THE hopeful conversation I needed and I think we all needed! I spoke with my friend and fellow Asian American teacher organizer, Kenzo Shibata, alongside Jaya Sundaresh and Samuel Kao about THAT racist Joe Biden ad and the current state of Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) politics today. We dive into losing Bernie Sanders as a candidate, the terrible hellscape this coronavirus pandemic has created, and how we’re going to help each other get out of it with mutual aid, organizing, being with each other. You can find the Class Time with Kenzo Shibata episode “That Goddamn Racist Biden Ad with Annie Tan, Jaya Sundaresh, and Samuel Kao” wherever you get your podcasts!
NYCAASC (NYC Asian American Students Conference) Keynote! Saturday 4/25 I was so fortunate to join Asian American students as one of NYCAASC’s Keynote Speakers and be able to share my Crushing the Myth story of seeking out my family history on my own terms and, in the process, finding my Asian American groove, then getting to answer questions! It was such an honor, as I was, back in the day, once a college student attending NYCAASC! So proud to be in such good company as a keynote speaker for NYCAASC with Angel Pai, host/model/business owner and Calvin Sun, ER doc/world traveller, and to be speaking amongst the likes of Angel Yau, fellow storyteller, Jerry Won, podcast host of Dear Asian Americans, my district assemblyperson Yuh-Line Niou, who’s a badass, to name just a few! Thank you, NYCAASC, for having me!!! You can watch my NYCAASC keynote on Crushing the Myth’s Facebook Page, where it streamed live starting at around 15 minutes in (some of the workshops were running a bit late, so I’m basically ad-hoc hosting before everyone joins in, hah!).
Some of the comments on my NYCAASC Keynote & Q&A on the Zoom chat, which I’ll treasure, and as a reminder that I don’t have to suffer from my imposter syndrome:
- 🙌🙌🙌 Preach on the feeling of isolation but realizing we have each other and our world is so much bigger.
- Yay, Annie!!! Woo hoo!!
- W A O
- very powerful!
- It was very inspiring and motivating
- felt that abt how learning about histories gave us hope
- That was incredible!! Thank you for sharing your story with us!
- thank you for sharing this! sobering reminder that our families may never tell stories because they are too painful to relive
- Something that so many Asians deal with is vulnerability and affection, and it is due to being overworked and worrying about the future under fear and panic, patriarchy, silence of womxn and not being able to be themselves since there is so much oppression and tradition, so essentially breaking free from trauma, facing fears and healing is what will bring light to the community
I am so proud that I’m still standing, and we’re still standing, and we’re creating art and virtual gatherings and finding ways to be in community with one another through all this. The students and kids are all right, that we have to open ourselves up right now as the world is closing in and closing down. The kids are who are getting me and teachers through remote learning right now. We gotta do right by them, and continue speaking out for em. I hope you all have a wonderful week, and continue learning, being in community, and speaking out.