Asian Voices Radio
Leader in Advocacy and Change for Los Angeles, Councilwoman Nithya Raman

Leader in Advocacy and Change for Los Angeles, Councilwoman Nithya Raman

September 21, 2021

Councilwoman Nithya Raman has advocated for a variety of changes within Los Angeles. In the past, she has initiated the SELAH Neighborhood Homeless Coalition as well as served as the first executive director of Time’s Up Entertainment. Her work is deeply inspired by the need for justice and equity within her community. In this episode of Asian Voices Radio, Councilwoman Raman shares her personal thoughts on her work and what continues to motivate her as an urban planner and activist.

Today, Councilwoman Nithya serves as the Los Angeles City Councilmember for the 4th District since 2020. Both of her experiences at SELAH and Time's Up have provided her the experience and insight needed to present opportunities of growth to the community.

With SELAH, Councilwoman Nithya helped organize weekly outreach programs, and providing access centers serving hot meals, case management, showers, clothes, and other services to a region of the city severely lacking in resources for people who are homeless. Time's Up was focused on equity and safety for women in the entertainment industry. Under her leadership, the team launched a mentorship program for the executive and producer pipeline, published comprehensive Know your Rights resources related to sexual misconduct in the workplace, built a critics database, and created regular opportunities to build community among women in Hollywood.

Do you enjoy learning more about community activists? Listen to Episode 7 with Connie Chung, CEO of Advancing Justice Los Angeles.

Uplifting Asian Youth in Los Angeles

Uplifting Asian Youth in Los Angeles

September 7, 2021

Sabrina Chu is the Development/Grants Manager at Asian Youth Center Los Angeles (AYCLA) in San Gabriel, CA. She is a recent graduate from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona with a Bachelor’s in Psychology and has since gained extensive experience in working with non-profit organizations, especially in youth intervention and education.

Over the past few years, AYC has been able to provide various resources for Asian community topics. From food products, personal protective equipment (PPE), infant necessities, and educational support, AYC continuously listens to the community needs and responds by providing what they can.

Asian Youth Center (AYC) is a community-based 501(c)3 non-profit organization established in 1989, whose mission is to empower low-income, immigrant, and at-risk youth, of all communities, to overcome barriers to success through the provision of culturally and linguistically competent education, employment, and social services. Today, AYC provides culturally appropriate services in Cantonese, Mandarin, Vietnamese, Spanish, and English. Currently, AYC has offices in San Gabriel, Huntington Park, Hawthorne, Pomona and Lancaster. Our combined facilities in San Gabriel have recreation areas, an indoor basketball court, a computer lab, classrooms, and office space.

 

Taboo Topics and Pop Culture Through Comics and Art

Taboo Topics and Pop Culture Through Comics and Art

August 31, 2021

Period problems, Keanu Reeves as Disney Princesses, and blunt humor, Crystal Ro commands comedy through her comic art. As a Snr. Buzzfeed Editor, her art has met the screens of thousands across the world, but what's her story?

In this episode, she shares more about her childhood and journey to becoming a longstanding artist and creator-by herself and with Buzzfeed. Her upbringing made it possible for her to embrace her artistic talents, leading to taking art classes and further cultivate her creativity. 

Jimmy Thai DTM - From Nightmare to American Dream

Jimmy Thai DTM - From Nightmare to American Dream

August 24, 2021

Jimmy Thai escaped Vietnam and went on to become a leading speaker and builder of schools in underprivileged areas. In this episode, Jimmy shares more about his escape and his journey to becoming an outstanding individual.

Jimmy Thai (MSEE, MBA, PMP, DTM) fled Vietnam 15 times, was imprisoned twice, and witnessed police kill his brother. Through determination, he eventually arrived in America as a “Boat People” refugee. With no English, money, or education, he started as a janitor at Miramar community college. 5 years later, he graduated from UCSD with a BSEE degree. He went on to earn MSEE and MBA degrees, then attended Executive Leadership training at Harvard University and Federal Executive Institute. In 2011, he's cracked the “Bamboo Ceiling” as a Vice President for Technology with SAIC – a Fortune500 company with $11 Billion in revenue and 47K employees. His journey illustrates the American Dream, and his story is featured on ABC, San Diego Union Tribune, Time Warner TV, etc.

A frequent speaker on TED Talks, PMI, CIO Vision, ISC conferences in Las Vegas, New York, Washington DC, and international stages, Jimmy’s speaking, coaching, and training provoke your mind, heart, and humor! His 501.c.3 www.BuildaSchoolFoundation.org (BaSF) has built 81 schools and bridges in Vietnam, Philippines, Cambodia, and Kenya in 6 years.

A Lifelong Community Builder

A Lifelong Community Builder

August 17, 2021

In this episode, we hear from a dedicated community builder-his work, his inspiration, and motivation. Jack Toan is committed to the community and currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Union of Pan Asian Communities, Team Kids, Inc., Illumination Foundation, UC Irvine Vietnamese American Community Ambassadors and the community partners advisory board for the OC Human Relations Council.

He is a dedicated leader who is committed to responsible philanthropic and reputation management practices.  Having worked in the field for over 10 years, he has a demonstrated history in community development and corporate philanthropy.  

He is a member of the Orange County Funders Roundtable, San Diego Grantmakers, and also is the founder and program consultant for a children’s self-defense and safety awareness program in partnership with the Saint Anselm’s Cross-Cultural Community Center. Jack has most recently become part of the Illumination Foundation as the Chief Operating Officer. 

Reconnecting Adoptees and Families From the War in Vietnam

Reconnecting Adoptees and Families From the War in Vietnam

August 10, 2021

Based on their past, Kirk Kellerhals and Cahn Oxelson are working to build bridges and reconnect families through their organization, Sea2C, or SEA (South East Asian) Coast2Coast Foundation.

Kirk Kellerhals is the Co-founder and President of Sea2C, or the SEA (South East Asian) Coast2Coast Foundation. Kirk spent the first 48 years of his life believing that his birth parents were killed in the Vietnam War. In 2017, on a whim, Kirk submitted to a DNA test simply to learn more about his true ethnicity which led him to the discovery of his birth mother and father, whom were both alive and well and living in the US, and birth siblings he didn’t know existed. 

 

Canh Oxelson is a Board Member at Sea2C. Canh has been involved in the Vietnamese adoptee community for almost 20 years. Periodically, he is asked to speak at events and share his adoption story and his search for identity. In 2020, a DNA test revealed that his biological mother is alive in Vietnam and still lives only 10 minutes from the Sacred Heart Orphanage.

 

An Activist & Audio Storyteller

An Activist & Audio Storyteller

August 3, 2021

Nidhi Shastri is an activist and audio storyteller from Chicago, IL. After graduating from the University of Illinois in 2019, she’s worked as a campaign organizer, fighting for healthcare justice and equity during the COVID-19 pandemic. Her podcast, Model Minority: Uniquely American, has won two awards and been featured in places like Inside National Geographic, the University of Illinois and at the University of California - Berkeley. She is working to uplift Asian, African and Middle Eastern stories through her work, while also using podcasting as a medium for educating and inspiring social change.

Support the Model Minority: Uniquely American podcast by following Nidhi Shastri on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Find the show on your favorite podcast platform through Anchor, or visit them directly on Spotify and Stitcher.

COVID-19: Vaccines & Variants

COVID-19: Vaccines & Variants

July 27, 2021

In this episode, Dr. Paul Y Song shares his insight on the latest COVID-19 news and facts. Debunk myths and discover more truth on vaccines and variants on this week's interview.

Paul Y. Song, MD is Co-Founder and CEO of Fuse Biotherapeutics. He is the former Chief Operating Officer and Chief Medical Officer of NKGen. He is a senior medical advisor at Hawkeye Bio and Supportive Therapeutics.  Dr. Song was most recently on the faculty of the Samuel Oschin Cancer Center at Cedars Sinai Medical Center.

Dr. Song served as the very first visiting fellow on healthcare policy in the California Department of Insurance in 2013. He is President of Physicians for a National Health Program California and is currently a board member of Physicians for a National Health Program, The Center for Health and Democracy, and Progressive Democrats of America.

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