Asian Voices Radio
Ashlyn So: A Prodigy’s Passions for Fashion and Activism

Ashlyn So: A Prodigy’s Passions for Fashion and Activism

November 1, 2022

Teen fashion designer, Ashlyn So, and her architect momager, Angela Wu, talk about the journey of discovering and cultivating talent, the importance of inspiration and representation, and more!

It all started the day Ashlyn came back from her sewing camp at 6 years old. She was obsessed! She loves designing then draping, pinning and sewing. She has always wanted to dress like her mom and be with her mom every minute of the day. So she started sewing her way to every girl's fantasy while her mom sets out to learn a whole new industry.

Ashlyn also loves to help others. She can’t help but empathize those less fortunate around her. She wants to use her gift of design to benefit those in need. At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Ashlyn started making masks for frontline workers. She couldn’t believe hearing about the PPE shortages and she wants to protect the heroes who are keeping us safe and healthy. She was then named People’s Hero by E! People’s Choice award at the end of 2020. She had since made 1000 masks.

At the beginning of 2021 still in the midst of the pandemic, she saw news of Asian elders being bullied, hurt and murdered. She collected all her strength and energy to start not one but 2 rallies to #standforasians and Stop AAPI Hate. Noticing the factions between the black and asian communities, she set up another rally to #uniteinlove and create solidarity amongst the groups. She had since spoken at numerous rallies, conferences, news, as well as TV specials to raise awareness and created a petition to include AAPI history into the school curriculum.

Ashlyn has been named 21 under 21 by PopSugar Unstoppable Young Women Manifesting a Brighter Future, Voice of Change from Seventeen, and another article on Teen Vogue.

Ashlyn has shown her collections at 3 fashion shows and the upcoming fourth one during New York Fashion week in September 2021 where she will be combing Fashion with Activism.

Ashlyn is currently fighting for the Asian American Pacific Islander community against racism. All proceeds will go towards helping other AAPI small businesses and for Ashlyn’s cause, which includes furthering education in different cultures and including AAPI history in the school system. 

 
Pushing Away from the Periphery in Film with Dan Chen

Pushing Away from the Periphery in Film with Dan Chen

October 21, 2022

Film is a scary venture, but Dan Chen embraces the challenge of centering AAPI stories rather than keeping them in the periphery. Filmmakers like him and companies like Jubilee Media are changing the direction of film as AAPI representation has increased on screen and behind the scenes.

Dan Chen developed his love of film as a Chinese American teenager growing up in small town Kansas. He picked up the camera to connect with others, partnering with friends to make elaborate coming of age movies, and documenting the moments they'd later be nostalgic for. He studied fine art film photography in college, and graduated from the USC School of Cinematic Arts focusing on cinematography and directing.

His work at Jubilee Media has garnered over 100+ million views, and his films have been featured on Vimeo Staff Picks, Short of the Week, Slamdance Film Festival and most recently the 2021 Tribeca Festival, where he premiered his documentary feature debut Accepted to critical acclaim. Accepted follows four high school seniors at the controversial TM Landry school as they grapple with college admissions, national scandal, and the pains of growing up.

Dan has decades of directing experience in narrative and documentary, and he trained his eye as a cinematographer and analog film photographer. He sees filmmaking as a way to create life-changing memories for audiences and collaborators alike, and he tells character-driven stories about outsiders, human flaws, and coming of age.

Chris Chan Lee: A Pioneer of Asian American Cinema

Chris Chan Lee: A Pioneer of Asian American Cinema

October 18, 2022

Much has changed from the 1990s to now in the film industry for the AANHPI community. Chris Chan Lee is a key proponent that has inspired many Asian Americans to pursue filmmaking since his groundbreaking feature, "Yellow." On this episode, Chris and Rasha talk about his journey, how the film landscape has changed, and how it can still be improved.

 

Chris is a Korean-American filmmaker based in Los Angeles, C He graduated from the USC School of Cinematic Arts and has spent his career of over 25 years developing and producing Asian-American content. His debut feature film as writer/director was "Yellow" (1997), a coming of age movie about a group of teens in Los Angeles. The film features the first performances of John Cho and Jason Tobin, and re-envisioned the American teen comedy with an ensemble of Asian-Americans in the lead roles. "Yellow" world premiered at the 1997 CAAMFest Film Festival (then called NAATA) with three sold-out screenings, and was selected for more than a dozen film festivals including Raindance U.K., Slamdance, Singapore International, Hawaii International, and the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival. The film won the Gold Carp 1st Place Audience Award for Best Feature Film and the Golden Reel Award for Best Independent Feature Film. "Yellow" had a successful limited national theatrical release including a 5-week run in Southern California across 9 screens. He served twice as a judge for the Filmmakers Media Fund Initiative at CAAMFest, and was an independent filmmaker panelist at events hosted by KASCON (Korean American Students Conference), WGA (Writers Guild of America), LA Asian Pacific Film Festival, and a number of other professional and community organizations. The film is considered a milestone in Asian American filmmaking.

Breaking Barriers for AAPI in the Air

Breaking Barriers for AAPI in the Air

October 12, 2022

San-Diego born and raised, Navy veteran Harley Pasiderio is a Southwest Airlines First Officer and Gold Seal Flight Instructor. He is also President and Founding Member of a nonprofit called Professional Asian Pilots Association. Also known as PAPA, it isdedicated to inspiring individuals to look past the barriers and encourage the pursuit of a career they wouldn’t otherwise consider. As a kid with dreams to work as an airline pilot, Harley didn’t realize how company culture or work environment would matter so much and PAPA is helping to improve that culture.

Harley remembers taking his first flight in the third grade. He traveled to the Philippines, which is where his parents are from. The short haul flight from San Diego to Los Angeles, where his family made the international connection, solidified his dream. Growing up, Harley was fortunate enough to attend Morse High School, which had an aeronautics program that offered flight lessons and ground school. Harley had his first flying lesson at just 14 years old!

As a pastime, Harley was also Principle Clarinetist for the San Diego Young Artist Symphony Orchestra and a Clarinetist for the San Diego Youth Symphony’s Wind Ensemble. After Harley graduated high school, he served his Country by joining the Navy where he would eventually become a Nuclear Reactor Operator and then Nuclear Power Instructor for the Navy.

Empowerment through Humor with Jiaoying Summers

Empowerment through Humor with Jiaoying Summers

October 4, 2022

From a dumpster baby in China to TikTok comedy queen in Hollywood, Jiaoying Summers is one of the hottest rising comedians today. She is also one of the most popular comedians on TikTok with more than 1.2 million followers, 23.2 million likes and over 400 million views. She is a regular headliner at The Laugh Factory and also performs at The Comedy Store and The Hollywood Improv, where she has her own monthly show. She recently headlined at Carolines NYC and starred in Netflix is a Joke Festival's Women in Comedy Show. Her 30-minute comedy special is streaming on Peacock TV and Prime Video.

In this episode, Melissa and Jiaoying talk about empowerment through humor and overcoming obstacles like beauty standards as an Asian Woman.

Jiaoying is an activist and philanthropist empowering women and children and helping causes that touch Asian American communities. She was recently featured on FOX News 5, NBC4, NBC Bay Area, KRON4, The LA Times, LA Confidential, San Francisco Chronicle, and Vogue. She is the owner of The Hollywood Comedy in Los Angeles, and focuses on producing shows that promote representation in comedy. Jiaoying is a headliner at New York Comedy Festival 2022 and will be inducted into The Asian Hall of Fame in November.

 

Sharing Perspectives through Film with Sami Khan

Sharing Perspectives through Film with Sami Khan

September 27, 2022

Sami Khan is an Oscar-nominated independent filmmaker whose work has been supported by the Sundance and Tribeca Film Institutes, the Impact Partners’ Producer’s Fellowship, Rooftop Films, IFP, the Muslim Public Affairs Council, and the NBC/Universal’s Directors Fellowship. His films have screened at leading festivals including Tribeca, Toronto, Hot Docs, and Mumbai.

In this episode, Sami and Rasha talk about being a creative of color working in film, the concepts of home and identity, and what keeps him making films. 

Sami’s first feature documentary THE LAST OUT won a Jury Prize at the 2020 Tribeca Film Festival and his 2019 short documentary ST. LOUIS SUPERMAN was nominated for an Academy Award. 

ST. LOUIS SUPERMAN is available on Amazon Prime and Paramount Plus! 

Coming Full Circle to Serve our Country

Coming Full Circle to Serve our Country

September 21, 2022

Brittanie is a bilingual PMP and Six Sigma Green Belt-certified I.T. project manager with the United States Air Force and a Cybersecurity Specialist with the California State Guard Army Component Command.

Born in Vietnam, she escaped before the fall of Saigon. Her history and upbringing inspired her to pursue the American Dream, which eventually led to a career with the Department of Defense. It also fostered her passion for honoring Vietnam veterans and the legacy of warfighters that made her life and freedoms possible.

In this episode, Brittanie and Melissa talk about her experiences as a refugee from Vietnam having to assimilate in America. She also highlights the significance of being a minority in the workplace and overcoming stereotypes.

A #VeryAsian Conversation with Michelle Li

A #VeryAsian Conversation with Michelle Li

September 13, 2022

Michelle Li is a news anchor and reporter at KSDK, the NBC affiliate. In January 2022, she went viral after posting a racist voicemail that launched a series of really exciting things, like going on The Ellen Show and launching The Very Asian Foundation with fellow journalist Gia Vang

On this episode, Michelle and Sheena talk about Asian and Asian-American existence. They also delve into Michelle's experiences as a Korean adoptee and her experiences working in journalism and media.

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