Listen to the Silence 2015


January 17th, 2015
Stanford's Annual Asian American Issues Conference
Towards Healing: Letting Go, Lifting Up

Tweet about LTS with #LTS2015

Registration Closed

20

Days

16

Hours

10

Minutes

10

Seconds

Listen to the Silence 2015

Stanford, California
January, 17th, 2015



LTS'S MISSION STATEMENT

Many Asian Americans locally and across the country are breaking the silence on a number of injustices that affect our communities. Immigration reform, faculty diversity, leadership representation, and acts of hate in our universities and workplaces are only the tip of the iceberg. As our awareness of the suffering in the world increases, we often grow angry and restless, spurring us to action. We have seen anger incite many powerful Asian American movements like the fight for reparations to Japanese Americans interned in World War II or the enormous protest that followed the murder of Vincent Chin in 1982. However, left unchecked, anger can also overpower us and block progress. Vietnamese Zen Buddhist Thich Nhat Hanh says this about anger: “Just like our organs, our anger is part of us. When we are angry, we have to go back to ourselves and take good care of our anger. We cannot say, ‘Go away, anger, I don’t want you.’ When you have a stomachache, you don’t say, ‘I don’t want you stomach, go away.’ No, you take care of it. In the same way, we have to embrace and take good care of our anger.”

This year’s conference embraces anger as a part of Asian American history and activism, but also embraces anger as a process of healing. Towards Healing: Letting Go and Lifting Up seeks to acknowledge the wounds inflicted on each of us, individually and collectively. In order to move forward we want to let go of our emotions that deter our progress towards healing and also lift up our communities. Through this theme, we hope to explore Asian Pacific Islander issues of historical and personal trauma, conflict and its resolutions, as well as all aspects of physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing. By the end of Listen to the Silence 2015, we hope every attendee will walk away with a wider range of tools and techniques to care for their communities-- and themselves.

SCHEDULE

January 17th, 2015

Start End Event
9:30 10:00 Check-in
10:00 10:15 Welcome
10:30 11:45 First Round of Workshops
11:45 12:45 Lunch/Activities Fair
12:45 1:45 Keynote Address: Lee Mun Wah
1:55 3:10 Second Round of Workshops
3:25 4:40 Third Round of Workshops
4:45 5:30 Breaking the Silence
5:30 6:30 Dinner
6:30 7:15 Closing Remarks: Pireeni Sundaralingam
7:30 9:00 Concert


WORKSHOP

Without the work of some 12,000 Chinese laborers, the Central Pacific Railroad would not have been completed on schedule. Their work was the source of the fortune that allowed Leland Stanford to found Stanford University. But how do we reconstruct the lived experience individuals who left no written records themselves? This workshop will explore the multifaceted approaches being explored by the Chinese Railroad Workers in North America Project (CRWP) at Stanford -- an ambitious, transnational enterprise involving scholars from many disciplines in the US, China and Taiwan. I will discuss the kinds of fragmentary knowledge we have about workers about whom we do know something, and the challenge of finding those fragments. I will also note some ways in which contemporary artists and writers have made Chinese railroad workers' dreams, nightmares, lived experience, and erasure from the historical record central to intriguing works of 20th-century and 21st-century literature and art.

One of the great challenges we confront is how to connect our self transformation with social transformation. In this experiential workshop we will explore the healing power of mindfulness, vulnerability, and authenticity in sharing stories. Our self-reflective process uses narrative as a means of becoming whole and healing personal, historical, and collective wounds for individuals and communities. The workshop is modeled on the new LifeWorks program at Stanford of "sharing stories and crossing borders with mindfulness."

An exploration of how trauma operates at a narrative level in the postcolonial context and within the loosely defined Asian American or transnational/diaspora narrative. Includes a seminar-modeled discussion of how these contexts are defined, and how a traumatic moment operates in a narrative. It will also touch on how the narrative stands relevant and important to the Asian American identity or experience. This workshop will also include an individual writing session at the end.

"Every day, around 4800 Filipinos leave the Philippines everyday. With increased state repression, foreign aggression, and corruption, Filipinos are forced to migrate from their homes in order to secure a better life for their loved ones.

Im/migration is now no longer a choice for many of the world's peoples. It is a tool of survival.

The Pilipino American Student Union (PASU) will be hosting an educational workshop on (im)migration in the Filipino and Filipino American perspective. We will be sharing stories from Filipino migrant workers and immigrants across the world, while discussing how our personal experiences relate to the global picture. We hope to not only educate ourselves, but to take action with migrants and immigrants against local and international injustices.

Join us to learn more about the issue of human trafficking in Vietnam and what you can do to stop this preventable issue. Pacific Links Foundation will share stories from the field and our approach to prevent trafficking and assist survivors. The workshop includes a short video, speakers, discussions, and activities. Be a part of this growing movement to give youth the future they deserve.

We are undocumented and API-- just two of our many axes of identity. Our workshop is designed to foster better understanding of the struggles various Asian and Pacific Islander (API) community members experience. We would like to offer a communal space for sharing experiences to uncover the connections across our struggles in light of the toxic narratives we all face as APIs. We will then be discussing what it means to break down the borders of our differences to effectively struggle, resist, and heal together. Join us for this community discussion and activities of self-expression to explore intersectionality and the rippling and healing effects of raising our voices during a time when others expect us to be silent.

The year 2015 marks the 40th anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War. It also marks the 40th year since the Hmong have immigrated to the United States as refugees—an engagement that occurred in compensation for the Hmong’s aid in the highly concealed Secret War, a byproduct of the Vietnam War. Through the eyes of an ethnic minority group and their mass exodus across four countries, this workshop will bring a different perspective to the war that rocked Southeast Asia. We will focus on the post-war era and the creation of the Hmong story cloths, embroidered with hidden healing powers for both men and women, veterans and survivors alike.This interactive workshop will also have authentic and varied types of story cloths on display.

If the histories of LGBTQ API folks from the 60s, 70s, 80s, and 90s are not recorded, they will be forgotten. API Equality - Northern California works to uplift LGBTQ API community histories to break through the silence caused by systematic and institutionalized oppression. Through presentation and dialogue, this workshop will look at oral history and storytelling as a tool of community empowerment and healing. Participants will have the opportunity to share in discussion with activists from past generations to now, bringing intergenerational dialogue and storytelling to life.

Trayvon Martin. Ferguson. Asians in the Library. Racial issues plague our society but many continue to pretend that they don’t exist. For people of color, we’re often subject to microaggressions – everyday indignities or slights, whether intentional or unintentional, that communicates hostile, derogatory, or negative racial slights and insults. Even ignoring race is an insult. Often, the conversation is shut down before it even begins because people feel uncomfortable having candid discussions of race and identity. But it is time to step up and bring these conversations forward, to give racism a chance to exist so that we can spend more time talking about how to fix it rather than debating its existence. In this workshop, you'll learn how to use data and storytelling to overcome challenges - whether it is stereotypes about APA's, talking about controversial topics in the news, or handling crude comments from friends.

" This workshop is catered to those who are interested in the art of Indian Mehendi, or Henna. Mehendi constitutes a large part of South Asian culture, particularly for women. At certain festivities, women in South Asian culture are adorned with mehendi on their hands and feet as a way to celebrate events such as Eid or Diwali. A bride’s mehendi is imperative in some South Asian communities; it is often believed that the richness of color of a bride’s henna is directly proportional to the happiness of her marriage. The communal and ritualistic application of mehendi is also a way for people to spend time with friends and family.

Join us in attempting to create our own henna designs using South Asian templates. Sanskriti members are willing to help those of you who are inexperienced in the art of Mehendi!"

"Whenever I think of what is unfinished between us, I know that we are only a question away from being connected; from learning about one another’s journey. We connect only when we are willing to be open to hearing another truth outside our own.

We need to be truly awake to what is happening around us. The clues are everywhere- in the words that are spoken, in the silences that deafen a room and even in a simple downward glance in the midst of a conversation when someone feels unheard and unacknowledged, dismissed and trivialized. We have only to notice, to listen and to respond with curiosity and compassion. For it is from this connection and relationship that the seeds of friendship are planted and endure.

n this workshop we will explore what lies between us, what is unfinished and needing to be healed and embraced. We will learn how to create a sense of community through personal stories and ‘mindfully listening’.

We hope to promote collective healing from trauma through validating our experiences and to shed a colonial mentality through collective education. Following one of our current campaigns, Project FLAME (Filipinos Leading A Movement for Empowerment), we seek to encourage youth to share their stories regarding their struggles with education system and galvanize them into action with this shared reflection. Our struggles with the education system, however, are not limited to budget cuts and tuition hikes, but also to how miseducation has been used as a means of colonization. Therefore, we seek to have youth decolonize their consciousness through not only taking ownership of their personal stories, but those of their ancestors and their greater histories overall.

The Asian American Pacific Islander Health Research Group (AAPIHRG) will be presenting three community based research projects that demonstrate how student lead health research can be utilized as advocacy for underserved communities. This organization mentors many AAPI students who are passionate in health to develop unique and valuable projects that can benefit their own community while addressing the severe lack of AAPI focused disaggregated health research. This year, some student presentations will include screening for nasopharyngeal cancer in the Chinese American community and evaluations by healthcare enrollment counselors serving Korean Americans. We aim to encourage students who have an interest in health to channel their passion towards insightful research projects. We also want to engage the public about topics rarely seen in mainstream medical conversation, yet are still critically impacting the AAPI community. Check us out to learn more about AAPI community based research and health advocacy!

Are you confused or pained about how the system is treating black people in America, but unsure of where you are placed in the scheme of things as a self-identified Asian Pacific Islander? What does solidarity mean or look like between the API and black communities? Please join us in this community discussion and teach-in to both listen and share your knowledge in light of recent events, and with a willingness to learn the deep history surrounding those events. Please come with humility and respect for all perspectives to be shared.

Why was the umbrella chosen as the protest symbol? Whose side are the police really on? Will democracy ever be achieved? Our goal for this workshop is to allow participants to understand the complexity of the 2014 protests in Hong Kong. In September 2014, tens of thousands of protesters blockaded Hong Kong’s streets to fight for democracy. Dubbed the “Umbrella Revolution,” these protests presented unusual challenges for a world city of growing inequalities between the rich and the poor. From student protesters to shopkeepers to government officials, we aim to discuss the Umbrella Revolution from a variety of perspectives and hope to reconcile such differences in order to transition towards the social, cultural, and economic recovery of Hong Kong.

The workshop will facilitate a dynamic discussion between the presenters and participants to explore the various issues that are at stake and how different groups of individuals in Hong Kong are coping with these issues. Through the discussion, we hope that the participants can gain an appreciation for how people in Hong Kong are healing from the impact of the protests, and how they can relate those healing strategies to their personal experiences.

"If we take high school textbooks to be any indication, American history seems to be all but black and white. In reality, the Chinese-American experience is a constitutive element of the American story—an element often unrecognized and unknown, even to members of the API community. In this workshop, we hope to explore Chinese-American history from both the personal and the collective, focusing on the potential for trauma when such history is left unexplored and the possibility of healing through knowledge and engagement.

To lead us through this dialogue is Mae Lee, Professor of Asian American and Intercultural Studies at De Anza College. Mae will guide group discussions and activities, so come ready to share!"

As American theatre becomes increasingly diverse, a variety of questions arise: how should directors cast shows that call for ethnically specific characters? Is there actually such thing as being “race-blind?” How does this relate to the broader Asian-American experience? Join us for a staged reading of a play by premier Asian-American playwright David Henry Hwang, which we'll use as a frame for learning and discussion.

Suffering occurs when the knower of thought resists and identifies with the thought of the mind. Letting go of negative thoughts and feelings frees up the consciousness from being glued to endless repetitive thoughts which appear on the screen of the mind, and you experience the peace, joy, the non-changing presence that you are, that is the background upon which thoughts are appearing.

In this workshop we shall ponder on how to Let go and achieve real freedom and perform a 10 minute meditative awareness exercise to help Let go process.

This workshop will help people find positivity in their life and help them move forward from devastating events. A presentation on the 2011 Tohoku tsunami will be given as well as how it affected those living in the area. Stories heard from survivors will be shared narrating some of the hardships during these times. Following the stories, there will be a zen garden making session! Through this project, we hope to show people how hope, relaxation and happiness can be found every day in even the smallest of things. Not only do these gardens contain a connection to Japanese culture, they look great sitting on any desk and can provide simple and easy meditation. These disasters affected millions of lives throughout Asia and abroad, but by sharing the history of zen gardens and giving people a mini sanctuary of their own, we hope to inspire positivity and healthy healing for all.

Writing serves as a way of 'living the world twice': reconciling tension in past experiences and finding events or emotions that resonate with one another. In this workshop, we'll use poetry and performance to understand microaggessions and moments crucial to the formation of an ethnic identity. Over the course of the workshop, attendees will read and watch poets who have written from this space as well as write and perform their own poetry written in response to a series of prompts. People of all ethnicities and all levels of experience are welcome!

The Stanford Activist Tour aims to demonstrate the complicated history of Stanford students' struggle for social justice on- and off-campus, including year-long campaigns for community centers, services and resources for minority groups, An alternative to the official campus tour, the Activist Tour will provide a space to learn from the struggles of previous and current generations of activists, and to confront the injustices, controversies and community victories in Stanford's past and present. Furthermore, it will provide a channel to take action and identify key resources and actors that allow students to hold the university accountable for its mission for social good.

What makes a work or a body of fiction “Asian American”? What does it mean when Asian American authors write works centred on characters of other or unspecified races and ethnicities? Using Stephen Hong Sohn’s acclaimed first book Racial Asymmetries: Asian American Fictional Worlds as a guide, this workshop explores how this can allow Asian American literature to address historical and community traumas from new perspectives.

From losing its nationhood to Hawaiian no longer being known as the official language, the Hawaiian culture has unwillingly continued towards steps of nonexistence.​ We, as representatives of Ohana, will discuss the reasons and impact as to Hawaii's hardship to maintain its cultural roots and also ways to preserve it. Please join us as we spread the ALOHA spirit in aims to keep the Hawaiian culture alive through both traditional and modern music and dance.

Many API youth struggle with array of traumas leading to mental health problems due to their exposure to family/community/school violence, family historical trauma, intergenerational struggles or institutionalized trauma and systemic oppression. Many youth struggle in silence and are afraid to seek mental health and wellness support due to shame, stigma, or other family pressures and expectations. In this workshop, you will learn various forms of trauma and impact of trauma. We will look at holistic wellness interventions and youth organizing approaches to empower youth to have a voice through community healing practices to promote wellness.

Gambling may just be a game for some, but for others it can become a devastating addiction, one that often goes unrecognized. When does gambling go from fun to problematic? Why does it seem that Asians gamble more than others? Is there hope for someone addicted to gambling? This workshop will address all those questions and more. Participants will hear personal testimonials, participate in games, and learn about problem gambling prevention. We will also share free resources that are available for problem gamblers and their loved ones.

In spring 2014, Taiwanese students and civic groups occupied government offices to protest a Taiwan-China trade agreement they believe was passed undemocratically. In cities all around the world, demonstrators held rallies to show their support for the Sunflower Movement. In this workshop, we will primarily explore the role of students in leading this democratic movement and what Asian American students can learn from the movement. We will also discuss the general effect of the Sunflower Movement and similar protests to overseas Taiwanese and Asian Americans. The workshop will feature guests who will share their experiences helping coordinate Sunflower Movement rallies.

If the histories of LGBTQ API folks from the 60s, 70s, 80s, and 90s are not recorded, they will be forgotten. API Equality - Northern California works to uplift LGBTQ API community histories to break through the silence caused by systematic and institutionalized oppression. Through presentation and dialogue, this workshop will look at oral history and storytelling as a tool of community empowerment and healing. Participants will have the opportunity to share in discussion with activists from past generations to now, bringing intergenerational dialogue and storytelling to life.

Human trafficking involving Vietnamese communities domestically and worldwide is an issue that is undoubtedly present, but often overlooked in discussions of problems linked to ethnic identity. SVSA's Community Advocacy seeks to inform you about the causes and propagation of trafficking through the frame of Vietnamese conceptions of gender and education. Subsequently, you will take part in a debate that will explore the perceived effects of traditional standards do or do not facilitate trafficking. The workshop will conclude with an effort to heal, but also to combat the relentless grip of human exploitation. You will learn ways to recognize trafficking victims, prevent exploitation, and also create care baskets for trafficking victims.

"Students and members of Stanford community do not have an easy access to the information about North Korea. The media rarely talks about the people, solely concentrating on North Korea’s nuclear weapons, army and aggressive leadership.

There are thousands of refugees from North Korea currently living in the US. Many of them still have their families back in North Korea, suffering from lack of human rights and ruthless regime. Our workshop gives a different perspective on North Korea. What is the current human rights crisis in North Korea?

What could we do as students of Stanford to support the North Korean people? With the collaboration and help from Liberty in North Korea, our workshop will discuss those questions, concentrating on the people of North Korea and refugees."

API college students report higher levels of depressive symptoms than do students of other races. Guest speaker Christine Chang, a pre-doctoral intern in Counseling Psychological Services (CAPS), will present information on and causes of API mental health issues in undergraduates, invite attendees to share “stressors,” and create an open discussion on methods of combating these issues. Chang will also give an overview of health resources available at Stanford and other universities.

Writing serves as a way of 'living the world twice': reconciling tension in past experiences and finding events or emotions that resonate with one another. In this workshop, we'll use poetry and performance to understand microaggessions and moments crucial to the formation of an ethnic identity. Over the course of the workshop, attendees will read and watch poets who have written from this space as well as write and perform their own poetry written in response to a series of prompts. People of all ethnicities and all levels of experience are welcome!

The Stanford Activist Tour aims to demonstrate the complicated history of Stanford students' struggle for social justice on- and off-campus, including year-long campaigns for community centers, services and resources for minority groups, An alternative to the official campus tour, the Activist Tour will provide a space to learn from the struggles of previous and current generations of activists, and to confront the injustices, controversies and community victories in Stanford's past and present. Furthermore, it will provide a channel to take action and identify key resources and actors that allow students to hold the university accountable for its mission for social good.

Wushu is a performance-based Chinese martial art. In this workshop, the current members of Stanford Wushu will first hold a small demonstration. Then, we will invite the workshop participants to an open practice, where they will learn some basic movements and training drills. This will be an active learning session, so please bring or wear athletic attire.

Partners

A special thank you to our partners for their support.


MEET YOUR LTS STAFF

The LTS 2015 Co-Chairs
Annie Phan, anphan@stanford.edu
Gaozong Vang, gaozong@stanford.edu
Logistics Committee Workshops Committee Hospitality Committee Publicity Committee Concert Committee
Margaret Shen* Mark Flores* Jonathan Mao* Wendy Li* Takero Sone*
Danny Do* Kelly Nguyen* Johnny Xu* Karen Wang* Stephany Liu*
Roxanne Capanzana Ray Chen Jade Verdeflor Xuyi Guo Joujou Nguyen
Da Eun Kim Stephanie Tran Linda Xiong Ashley Ngu Helen Xiong
Vicki Lau Ethan Li Co Tran Maia Paroginog Alan Zhao
Yifan Huang Russell Wong James Yang Rebekah Garcia Minkee Sohn
Olivia Wu Emily Taing Bradley Wo Paul Lai Jason Li
Newton Cheng Lilian Kong Leela Srinivasan Aoxue Tang Grace Wu
Albert Feng Grace Choi Sandy Lee
Jackie Low
Jaimie Xie
* denotes Committee Co-Chair

SPEAKERS

Lee Mun Wah is an internationally renowned Chinese American documentary filmmaker, author, educator, community therapist, and master diversity trainer. He is the Executive Director of StirFry Seminars & Consulting, a diversity training company that provides educational tools and workshops on cross-cultural communication and awareness, mindful facilitation, and conflict mediation techniques.

In 1995, Oprah Winfrey did a one-hour special on Lee Mun Wah’s life and his most famous documentary about racism, The Color of Fear. In 2014, he released his latest film,If These Halls Could Talk, which focuses on college students speaking their truth about diversity issues within higher education.

Born in Sri Lanka and raised both there and in England, Pireeni Sundaralingam is co-editor of Indivisible: An Anthology of Contemporary South Asian American Poetry (U. Arkansas Press, 2010), which won both the 2011 N.California Book Award as well as the 2011 Josephine Miles national book award from PEN Oakland. Her own poetry has been published in journals such as Ploughshares, Prairie Schooner, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Crab Orchard Review,The Progressive, Cyphers (Ireland), Karavan (Sweden), The North (UK), and Magma (UK) among others, as well as in anthologies by W.W.Norton, Prentice Hall, and Macmillan, and has been translated into several languages, including Gaelic, Swedish, Vietnamese and Tamil.

Educated at the University of Oxford, Sundaralingam has held research posts as a cognitive scientist at MIT and UCLA, and national fellowships in both poetry and cognitive, as well as, most recently, a fellowship in interdisciplinary thinking at the Institute for Spatial Experiments, in Berlin. She is currently writing a book on Creativity, Poetry, and The Brain.

Concert

Stanford Taiko


Stanford Talisman


Mua Lac Hong


Stanford Chinese Dance


Stanford Bhangra


Sam Tsui


Project M




Video

Listen to the Silence 2015 Promo video


Healing can mean many different things for many different people. We all have wounds and trauma inflicted on us in the past. We hope that our symbol for this year's conference, the phoenix, can inspire all of us to move forwards towards healing and growth in our lives.

Music: Piano Moment - Composed and performed by Bensound (http://www.bensound.com/).
Photos: Harrison Truong, LTS 2014 conference


DIRECTIONS

Location

Stanford University, California

Get Directions

Enter your starting address: