Thank you to everyone that came to our Lunar New Year celebration. To everyone celebrating, we hope you had a relaxing and fun start to the new year.
Our primary message this year is to remind you to request your ballot for this year’s elections at votefromabroad.org. The primaries have already started in Texas, where the tough new voter laws have resulted in 40% of in-state mail-in ballots being returned on Day 1 of early voting. Please make sure to get in your request today.
Help us spread the word and get out the vote by creating videos in different languages! We want to tell Americans the world over to request their ballots in all the languages that we speak. If you would like to help us by making a video, please email us at [email protected]. To get an idea of what the final product will look like, check out our 2020 videos.
We are organizing events for the coming months and can’t wait to share them with you. For now, make sure to RSVP for our event with the DA Germany Saxony Chapter on Saturday, February 26th to hear from author Willy Wilkinson to discuss his book Born on the Edge of Race and Gender: A Voice for Cultural Competency. Then, in March, join us for our event with the Environmental Climate Crisis Council as we hear from renowned author and activist Dr. Craig Santos Perez on March 16th about the intersection of climate change, eco-politics, and poetry.
If you are interested in volunteering with the AAPI Caucus to help us get out the vote in 2022, you can find various opportunities on our website. You can also make a donation to Democrats Abroad on behalf of the AAPI Caucus here. Your financial support to our all-volunteer organization will help pay for voter outreach, improvements to our website, and more.
Chair, AAPI Caucus
Book Club and Author Talk with Willy Wilkinson: Born on the Edge of Race and Gender: A Voice for Cultural Competency
Sat. Feb 26, 2022, 2pm EST / 8pm CET
Weds. March 16, 2022, 1pm Singapore / 4pm Sydney
On February 15, 2022 the Senate unanimously passed legislation authorizing the Amache National Historic Site in Colorado to become part of the National Park System "to preserve, protect, and interpret for the benefit of present and future generations resources associated with the incarceration of civilians of Japanese ancestry during World War II at Amache, also known as the Granada Relocation Center, and the military service of incarcerees from the Amache Center." The passage of this legislation comes just ahead of the 80th anniversary of the enactment of Executive Order 9066 on February 19,1942 which led to the forced incarceration of 120,000 Japanese Americans.
Book Review: Cold Enough for Snow - Jessica Au
This small novel, less than 100 pages, was the 2021 inaugural winner of The Novel Prize, a new biennial award established by Giramondo, Fitzcarraldo and New Directions publishers. The prize is for novels which “explore and expand the possibilities of the form, and are innovative and imaginative in style.”
It is the story of a mother and daughter who meet for a holiday in Japan after not having seen each other for some time. Arranged by the daughter as a way to connect again, the story, narrated from the daughter’s perspective, goes between the present and the past, including aspects of the mother’s early life growing up in Hong Kong. Viewing art in the galleries and museums and walking in the autumn beauty of Japan serves as a metaphor for understanding their relationship, memories and identities, and as the journey progresses, the daughter notes, “I had one vague, exhausted thought that perhaps it was all right not to understand all things, but simply to see and hold them.”
With the impending ruling by the Supreme Court on affirmative action at Harvard, Jay Caspian Kang, opinion writer for The New York Times, considers both the particular case at Harvard, and also how social equity could be better realized in higher education. Notwithstanding the decidedly strange affirmative action practices at Harvard, there is concern that the expected ruling against Harvard will affect students who have been the direct beneficiaries of affirmative action practices. He also discusses how affirmative action at elite universities is different in practice to other higher education institutions such as state colleges to the benefit of targeted groups such as first-in-family to attend university, first or second generation immigrants, and people from less privileged communities across race and ethnicity. Read more in the 2 New York Times Opinion pieces listed here.
Film review - Drive My Car
Winner of the Golden Globes 2022 Best Foreign Film and Best Screenplay at the 2021 Cannes Film Festival, Drive My Car is based on the 2014 short story of the same name by Haruki Murakami in his short story collection, Men Without Women. Co-written and directed by Ryusuke Hamaguchi, it is the story of an aging actor who is still coming to grips with the death of his screenwriter wife. He is about to take on the role of directing a multilingual adaptation of Checkov’s Uncle Vanya, and as he has to travel some distance for the production, the theater company insists that he employ a driver for their insurance purposes. He reluctantly employs a young woman driver. The film revolves around the relationship between the actor and the driver, intersecting with his memories of his wife and the production of the play. Despite it’s long runtime this beautiful film is indeed a masterpiece.