November 09, 2021

November News: Join the Steering Committee & Celebrating Victories


Looking at the results of the recent elections in Virginia and New Jersey, it’s clear that we have an uphill battle next year for the 2022 midterms. But we still want to take a moment to celebrate the victories of AAPIs last week and appreciate the growing representation of the community in U.S. politics. Read more below to learn about who won on Election Day.

The AAPI Caucus is also putting out a call for new members to join our Steering Committee. We are looking for volunteers to become part of the team and strengthen our caucus’ leadership. All are welcome to apply, and you do not have to identify as AAPI to join. If you are interested in joining the Steering Committee, please email [email protected] with information about yourself and why you want to be on the committee. More information about the role of Steering Committee members is below.

There’s still time to join our event with Christine Chen, co-founder and Executive Director of Asian Pacific Islander American Vote (APIAVote) on Friday, November 12/Saturday, November 13, 2021. She will speak about the APIAVote survey of Asian American voters and present the latest voting trends in our communities, both at home and overseas. You’re invited to join the open discussion at this event about how we can get out the vote among AAPI voters living overseas.

Finally, make sure you are following the AAPI Caucus on social media. During the week of November 15-21, we will be working with the Global Black Caucus to take over each other’s social media to raise awareness of shared issues. We’ll wrap up the week with a panel discussion on Sunday, November 21, 2021, at 11am Berlin / 7pm Seoul.

We hope to see you soon at one of our events, and we hope you had a great Diwali!

Best wishes,

Emily Lines
Chair, AAPI Caucus


Join the AAPI Caucus Steering Committee

The AAPI Caucus is looking to strengthen its global leadership team. As a member of the Steering Committee, you will help guide the caucus and set its agenda. Steering Committee members are asked to also volunteer with one of our working groups (events & speakers, communications & outreach, issues, or voter outreach). The Committee meets every two weeks online and members can expect a time commitment of approximately 5 hours a week.

If you are interested in joining our Steering Committee, email Emily Lines at [email protected]. In your email, please introduce yourself, why you would like to join the Steering Committee, and any specific areas of interest.
We look forward to expanding our leadership team and continuing to strengthen our caucus!

Celebrating AAPI Election Victories

Congratulations are in order for several members of the AAPI community who won elections this past week:

  • Michelle Wu has become the first woman and person of color to be elected Boston's mayor. She is a former city councilor and daughter of Taiwanese immigrants.
  • Aftab Pureval became the first Asian American mayor of Cincinnati. He is the son of Tibetan-Indian immigrants.
  • Bruce Harrell was elected as mayor of Seattle, making him their first Asian American mayor and second Black mayor.
  • Shama Haider is the first Muslim woman elected to the New Jersey Legislature, originally from Pakistan, and Ellen Park is the first Korean American woman elected to their legislature.
  • Linda Lee and Julie Won will be the first Korean Americans to serve in the New York City Council. Lee will represent Bayside District 23 and Won will represent Long Island City.
  • Also joining the New York City Council are Shekar Krishnan and Shahana Hanif, the first South Asians to be elected to the Council. Krishnan is the first Indian American and Hanif is the first Bangladeshi American, as well as first Muslim woman to be elected from the Brooklyn district.
  • Irene Shin is the first Korean American to be elected to the Virginia House of Delegates.

Upcoming Events

Understanding the AAPI Vote: Exploring Voter Data with Christine Chen from APIAVote

Fri. Nov 12, 2021, 11pm DC time
Sat. Nov 13, 2021, 1pm Seoul, KR time

Caucus Crossover Panel Discussion - Global AAPI + Black Caucuses

Sun. Nov 21, 2021, 11am CET (Berlin/Paris) / 7pm Seoul

Immigrant Detention Issues in the U.S. - Conversation with Eunice Cho, Civil Rights Attorney

Thu. Dec 2, 2021, 9am DC / 3pm CET (Berlin/Paris) / 11pm Seoul

A Question of Loyalty: Discussion of PBS Documentary “Asian Americans”

Wed. Dec 8, 2021, 4pm Vancouver / 7pm DC
Thu. Dec 9, 2021 11am 


This is the monthly recommendations of books, podcasts, movies, tv shows, and other AAPI-related media we like.

Television: Kim’s Convenience

I’ve been watching this Canadian sitcom about a Korean-Canadian family in Toronto, as a way to have something while doing chores or lounging around. “Unfortunately,” I get so caught up in the characters and their stories that it’s impossible to have it on in the background, casually. I've been able to stream it on Netflix in Germany, check it out if you can! -- Powen S.

Mono No Aware by Ken Liu

The Japanese concept of mono no aware can be (crudely) translated to meaning “the beauty of impermanence.”

Speculative fiction writer Ken Liu’s short story “Mono No Aware” explores the global community's response to a planetary threat, seen through the eyes of its protagonist Hiroto. The 2012 story’s lyrical themes of community, identity, and sacrifice prove ever more relevant today.

In addition to the full text linked above (reprinted by Lightspeed Magazine), you may listen to the audio version via Escape Pod.
“Mono No Aware” was originally published in the collection The Future is Japanese (2012).

Podcast (Fiction): Passenger List by Radiotopia (PRX)

Kaitlin Le investigates the disappearance of Atlantic Flight 702 in the mystery thriller podcast, Passenger List. College student Le (voiced by Kelly Marie Tran) soon finds herself enmeshed in the conspiracy surrounding the doomed flight, whose 256 passengers include her twin brother.

This gripping audio tale is further elevated by its nuanced portrayal of intercultural tension: Le and her parents’ relational conflict - and baggage - is richly painted by even the silences that punctuate their bilingual (Vietnamese/English) dialogue.

Passenger List’s second season was released Summer 2021.

Children's Book: I Dream of Popo by Livia Blackburne (author) & Julia Kuo (illustrator)

I Dream of Popo follows a young girl’s relationship with her grandmother, and how it evolves following a trans-Atlantic family move. The story both relishes in the magic and charm of growing up with a grandparent, and also beautifully mourns the great emotional and cultural distance between family members living an ocean apart.

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