Friday, May 28, 2010

Asian American Heritage Celebration: Guest Bloggers

Here at OMSA we appreciate our students and their dedication to sharing their stories with us. In celebration of Asian American Heritage Month, we have contacted two of our Graduate Students as Guest Bloggers to share their thoughts and experiences as students of color at University of Chicago.

OMSA welcomes further dialogue around some of the issues of inclusion and marginalization that the guest bloggers have written about. We welcome the opportunity to speak with students in a safe space regarding any innovative ideas around programming and events that could better represent our student population.

Emy Cardoza is a 3rd Year from Jacksonville, FL, student receiving her Masters of Divinity at the University Of Chicago, School Of Divinity. Emy has enjoyed her time working as the intern for the Chicago Multicultural Connection mentoring program at OMSA.

"As a woman of mixed heritage, with a Japanese mother and a Cape Verdean father, I have often struggled to find my cultural identity reflected in my studies. Growing up in the suburbs of northern Florida, I spent most of my childhood and teenage years in predominantly white communities trying to blend in. While I sincerely believe that each of these communities valued diversity, they lacked the ability to truly engage distinctive cultural perspectives. Intentional or not, our curriculum, course selection, and programs always seemed to focus on Western European history and texts from white authors.

During undergrad, my struggle to connect my cultural identity with my academic pursuits only increased. As a Religious Studies major focusing on Christian theology, I rarely had the opportunity to take courses that included works by non-European or non-American authors. Though I appreciated my time in college and feel that I learned a lot from my professors, I struggled with the notion that my identity as a person and work as a scholar were meant to remain separate.

To my surprise, the University of Chicago Divinity School has been a place where I have had the opportunity to engage questions of cultural identity in my studies. While shopping for course books at the Seminary Co-op Bookstore in the spring of my first year, I stumbled upon an interesting course being taught in the Div School. The course, which was entitled World Christianities: Asian Theologies, exposed me to the vast array of resources for examining the importance of cultural context in the academic discipline of theology. Theologians like C.S. Song, Kozuke Koyama, and Kwok Pui-Lan weave narrative with Asian imagery, folklore, and sometimes elements of the Buddhist and Hindu traditions, into their rich theological discourse. Whereas before I felt somewhat distant and disengaged with the experiences and examples of our readings, this class allowed me to make sense of how my identity as an Asian female influenced my approach to theology. Although I still value traditional Western approaches to the study of religion, reading texts from individuals who speak to a unique cultural experience has reignited my passion for the field and possibility for future studies."

Bruce Thao, who identifies as Hmong-American, is a second year Ph.D student at the School of Social Service Administration. He is concentrating his work and research with the United States refugee youth and international community development.

“So it’s May 2010. The one month of the year where Asian Americans are visible. University Asian student groups are putting on their culture shows. Public service announcements declare that it’s Asian American Heritage Month underneath a picture of the quintessential Asian American nuclear family. Large cities hold an array of events to commemorate the month. It comes and it goes. And then we can continue to ignore that the silent, model minority exists.

We can continue to act like there is not a glass ceiling for Asian American males in the television, film and music industries. That it is okay for M. Night Shyamalan to direct The Last Airbender, a film based on Asian and indigenous characters, Asian martial arts and Asian themes, but cast with all White leading roles (except for the villain).

Thursday, May 27, 2010

SPOTLIGHT ON: Korean Cinema on the Fast Track

Gene Siskel Film Center: Korean Cinema on the Fast Track
164 North State Street
Chicago, IL 60601-3505
(312) 846-2800

From April 30 through June 3, the Gene Siskel Film Center in partnership with the Consulate General of Korea in Chicago, and in cooperation with the Korean Film Council (KOFIC), presents the series Korean Cinema on the Fast Track. Ten recent films, ranging from sophisticated comedies to gangster dramas, showcase the South Korean film industry’s continuing creative explosion.

Weekly Schedule: May 28 - June 3

Friday, March 28th

China’s Legal Reform at Crossroads Conference
Presented By: Center for Eastern Asian Studies
Time: All Day
Location: International House, Assembly House, 1414 East 59th Street,

Cultural Show:” The Case of Walter Collins”
Presented by: Organization of Black Students
Time: 6:00 PM
Location: International House, Assembly House, 1414 East 59th Street,

Friday, May 21, 2010

Weekly Schedule: May 20-27

Saturday, May 22
Little OL Korea
Presented by: Rockefeller Chapel
Time: 4:00 PM – 9:30 PM
Location: Rockefeller Chapel, 1156 E. 59th Street

Noche de Galeria
Presented by: Puerto Rican Student Association
Time: 7:00 PM – 11:00 PM
Location: Hutchinson Commons in Reynolds’s Club, 5706 S. University Avenue

Sunday, May 23

Middle East Music Ensemble: Arabic music
Presented by: Music Department
Time: 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Location: International House, 1414 E. 59th Street

Festival of Nations
Presented by: the International House
Time: 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Location: International House, 1414 E. 59th Street
Cost: $5 admission before 2 PM. $10 afterwards. Free for I-House residents with proper identification.
Children under 12 get in FREE.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

SPOTLIGHT ON: The Art of Henna Painting Event

The Art of Henna Painting

Celebrating Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month

Date: Sat. May 22, 2010

Time: 1:00 pm

West Belmont
3104 N. Narragansett Avenue

About this event:

Presented by Bridget Punsalang.

This program teaches the uses and history of henna. The presenter also demonstrates how to safely mix and prepare henna. Lecture and demonstration only; no audience participation.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Asian American Heritage Celebration: Communities

Chicago is very lucky to be so diverse. In exploring the city, it is important that there is a guide letting you all the insider secrets of an area.
Every neighborhood in Chicago is different from the food they offer to the people walking down the streets. OMSA would like to take this opportunity to highlight some of these ethnic neighborhoods with an Asian American flair! ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Albany Park, Chicago, IL

Since 1980’s, this northern Chicago area has been coined "Koreatown". Korean shops and restaurants line the streets of Lawarence Avenue and run to Kedzie and Pulaski—known colloquially as Seoul Drive.

The neighborhood is known for its annual Korean Festival, held last year in August. This festival and other local events are broadcasted through Korean media outlets such as the local television station (WOCH-CA Ch. 41) and radio station (1330 AM), both of which call this neighborhood home as well. Along with Korean magazines, this area is dedicated to highlighting the life of many cultures and especially that of the Korean people.
Albany Park


Rogers Park, Chicago, IL
Far in the north of Chicago, lies a little neighborhood known for its diversity of ethnicity, race, and economic status of its community members. It is said that Rogers Park has is a neighborhood with percentages of white, Black, and Hispanic populations of somewhat equal value.

Defined by Devon Avenue, the main street in Rogers Park, this area is known as the premier South Asian center in Chicago. Indian, Pakistani, Russian, Middle Eastern, restaurants, banks, grocery stores, beauty salons, travel agencies, are among the businesses dedicated to the diversity of the neighborhood. Businesses line the streets of Devon Avenue between California and Ridge Avenues. This area is also home to many Indian and Pakistani import stores with access to many of the latest Bollywood films. Rogers Park ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Uptown, Chicago, IL
Uptown is one of Chicago's most ethnically diverse neighborhoods. And be sure to check out Little Saigon on Argyle Street, the center of Vietnamese culture in Uptown. For a bit of history, be sure to visit both the Vietnam War Museum and also Graceland Cemetery, which is the final resting place of many famous persons.

The borders of Uptown are Foster to the north, Montrose and Irving Park to the south, Lake Michigan to the east, and Ravenswood and Clark to the west.
The Vietnamese culture is known here by all the restaurants dedicated to Vietnamese cuisine. With Pho 888 and New Saigon, there are many restaurants that will satisfy all palettes. Uptown ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Armour Square, Chicago, IL
This South Side community is the home of the popularly known Chicago Chinatown. Located between Cermak and Wentworth Avenues, Chinatown has many restaurants and businesses dedicated to the culture and lifestyle of China and Chinese Americans. In the 1980s, 32-acres north of Archer were purchased by a group of Chinatown business leaders. It is in this space that a two-story mall, Chinatown Square was built. This large space brought a collection of restaurants, beauty salons and law offices into the area.

Local landmarks distinguish this cultural neighborhood including the Chinatown Mural, a mural showing the history of Chinese immigrants in the United States; Chinatown Square itself has sculptures of animals in the Chinese zodiac all around the area; the Chinatown Gate, is the first structure to welcome guests to the community; the Pui Tak Center; and the Chinese-American Museum of Chicago, exhibiting historical pictures and objects of Chicago Chinatown. Armour Square

For more information on any of these neighborhoods, please follow the links below each section. Go and explore Chicago’s many diverse neighborhoods!!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Weekly Schedule: May 14 - 20

Saturday, May 15th
Summer Breeze
Presented by: COUP
Time: 12:00PM – 5:00PM
Location: Main Quads

Museum of Contemporary Art: Chicago Humanities Festival: Visible Fictions
Presented By: Museum of Contemporary Art
Time: 7:00PM- 8:05PM
Location: 220 East Chicago Avenue
Sunday 3:00PM- 4:05PM
Presented By: Chicago Studies
Time: 9:00AM-12:05 PM
Location: Washington Park
Note: Please RSVP to
Presented By: Hyde Park Art Center
Time: 8:00PM-12:00AM
Location: 5020 South Cornell Avenue
Presented By: The University of Chicago Law School and Center for Gender Studies
Time: All Day both Friday and Saturday
Location: University of Chicago Law School, 1111 East 60th Street

Friday, May 7, 2010

Weekly Schedule: May 7-13

Presented By: The Goodman Theater
Time: 6:00 PM –7:00 PM
Location: Goodman Theatre, 170 N. Dearborn Street 

Presented By: Logan Art Center
Time: 7:30 PM -9:30 PM
Location: International House, 1414 E. 59th Street

The World Premiere Theatrical Production of SWEET TEA: Black Gay Men of the South by E. Patrick Johnson
Presented By: Ellen Stone Belic Institute for the Study of Women and Gender in the Arts and Media Columbia College in Chicago
Time: Press Shows (Friday, May 7th and Saturday, May 8th at 7:30 PM)
Regular Show Times: Wednesday- Saturday at 7:30 PM and Sunday 3:00 PM
Location: About Face Theatre, 311 N. Western Avenue

En Concierto
Presented by: OLAS, PRSA, MEChA and Phi Iota Alpha
Time: 7:00 PM
Location: Hutch Commons in Reynolds Club, 5706 S. University Avenue

Chicago Premiere: Word is Out: Stories of Some of Our Lives (Mariposa Film Group, 1977)
Presented By: Doc Films
Time: 11 PM
Location: Ida Noyes Hall, 1212 E. 59th Street

Asian American Heritage Month: Local Events

Chicago is a great city where celebrations are apart of the city culture! To celebrate Asian American Heritage many organizations work with the city of Chicago to get many events open to the public! See below for information on local events coming up.

Saturday, May 8
Community Field Trip to McCormick/Cantigny Museum
Organization: Chinese Mutual Aid Association (CMAA)
Location: 1016 W. Argyle Street
Time: 9:30am-3:30pm

Join CMAA's Family Literacy Club on this fun filled field trip to the Robert McCormick/Cantigny Museum. Cost includes lunch. Admission: $4 Child/$8 adult. RSVP to Contact: Connie Chang (773) 784 2900

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

SPOTLIGHT ON: Korean Music and Dance

Discover Korean Music and Dance

Location: Chicago Public Library-Budlong Woods Branch, 5630 N. Lincoln Ave
Date: May 17, 2010
Time: 2:00pm-3:00pm
Sponsors: Chicago Public Library Foundation and Keumsil Cultural Society


Asian American Heritage Celebration: Notable Person

Jerry Yang (simplified Chinese: 杨致远; traditional Chinese: 楊致遠; pinyin: Yáng Zhìyuǎn; born November 6, 1968) is a Chinese American entrepreneur and the co-founder, former CEO Yahoo! Inc.

Born in Taipei, Taiwan on November 6, 1968, Yang moved to San Jose, California at the age of eight, with his mother and brother. His father died when Yang was two. He claimed that despite his mother being an English teacher, he only knew one English word (shoe) on his arrival. Mastering the English language in three years, he was placed into an AP English class.

Yang graduated from Sierramont Middle School, and Piedmont Hills High School, then went on to receive his B.S. & M.S. degrees in electrical engineering from Stanford University, where he was a member of Phi Kappa Psi fraternity.

While he studied in Electrical Engineering at Stanford University, he co-created in April 1994 with David Filo an Internet website consisting of a directory of other websites called "Jerry and Dave's Guide to the World Wide Web". It was renamed "Yahoo!" Yahoo became so popular that Yang and Filo realized the business potential and co-founded Yahoo! Inc. in April 1995. They took a leave of absence and postponed their doctoral programs indefinitely.

Yahoo! started off as a web portal with a web directory providing an extensive range of products and services for online activities. It is now one of the leading internet brands and has the most trafficked network on the internet.

On November 17, 2008, The Wall Street Journal reported that Jerry Yang would step down as CEO as soon as the company found a replacement. He had been criticized by many investors for not increasing revenues and the Yahoo! stock price.

On January 13, 2009, Yahoo! named Silicon Valley veteran Carol Bartz as its new chief executive, effectively replacing Yang. Yang regained his former position as "Chief Yahoo" and remains on Yahoo's board of directors.

Yang is currently on the Board of Directors of Alibaba, the Asian Pacific Fund, Cisco and Yahoo! Japan, and is also on the Stanford University Board of Trustees.

In February 2007, Jerry Yang and his wife, Akiko Yamazaki, gave USD $75 million to Stanford University, their alma mater, the bulk of which went to building the "Jerry Yang and Akiko Yamazaki Environment and Energy Building.”