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Midwest USA CCC | Serica | SupChina
“Is This Patriot Enough?” A Conversation on Asian Identity and Anti-AAPI Hate with George Takei & Lee Wong
Join pioneering actor and social justice activist George Takei, and Army veteran and elected official Lee Wong for a conversation on Asian identity and anti-AAPI hate.
Asian-Americans have long been lumped as the eternal foreigner, as never being “American” enough. These notions have come to the fore in the recent waves of anti-AAPI hate. In March, U.S. Army veteran and elected official Lee Wong threw this into dramatic relief when he removed his shirt at a routine town hall meeting in Ohio, revealing the scars he still bears from his time in the Army. Lee’s question — “Is this patriot enough?” — reverberated across national news.
Join pioneering actor and social justice activist George Takei, and Army veteran and elected official Lee Wong for a conversation on Asian identity and anti-AAPI hate this Friday, April 9th, from 5-6pm ET. The two speakers will share their personal stories as Asian-Americans — from George growing up with his family in Japanese-American internment camps during World War II, to Lee’s service in the U.S. Army. We will also examine what it will take for Asian-Americans to finally be considered “American” and “patriotic” enough; the relationship between U.S. foreign policy and recent backlash against the AAPI community; Asian-American contributions to American society; and how we can work together to create lasting social change going forward.
This event is co-sponsored by the Serica Initiative, SupChina, and the Midwest USA Chinese Chamber of Commerce.
This event is proudly supported by the following organizations
George Takei is a social justice activist, social media superstar, Grammy-nominated recording artist, New York Times bestselling author, and pioneering actor whose career has spanned six decades. He has appeared in more than 40 feature films and hundreds of television roles, most famously as Hikaru Sulu in Star Trek, and he has used his success as a platform to fight for social justice, LGBTQ+ rights, and marriage equality. His advocacy is personal: during World War II, Takei spent his childhood unjustly imprisoned in United States internment camps along with 120,000 other Japanese Americans. He now serves as Chairman Emeritus and a member of the Japanese American National Museum’s Board of Trustees. Takei served on the board of the Japan-United States Friendship Commission under President Bill Clinton, and, in 2004, was conferred with the Gold Rays with Rosette of the Order of the Rising Sun by the Emperor of Japan for his contribution to US-Japan relations.
In 2005, Lee was elected as the Trustee of West Chester (largest Township in the State), Ohio (re-elected to three 4-year terms). He served over 20 years in the U.S. Army (retired from active duty) as Special Agent for the Criminal Investigation Command (CID), an elite and world-renowned investigative agency. Lee conducted serious and sensitive felony investigations, both military and civilian, all over the world. He has directed Protective Service for the U.S. Secretary of Defense, Chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff, General Officers, and other foreign dignitaries in Europe, India, and all of the Pacific rim countries. Lee is a decorated U.S. Army veteran. Lee has vast senior-level executive experience in positions ranging from civilian Police Officer to Plant Protection Supervisor for Joseph E. Seagram Inc., to Facility Account Manager, to Director of Worldwide Security for Johnson & Johnson; Safety & Security Manager for Cincinnati Job Corps.
Josephine Lau is Executive Director of the Serica Initiative, the non-profit organization operated by SupChina. Josephine has experience working in U.S.-China global health philanthropy, and previously practiced law at Davis Polk & Wardwell and Goldman Sachs. She has also worked as a financial journalist at the Bloomberg News Beijing Bureau, reporting on China’s institutional investors and outbound investments. Born in London and raised in Asia, Josephine earned her J.D. degree from Yale Law School, and her M.A. and B.A. degrees from Stanford University. She is fluent in Mandarin and Cantonese.
Justin Lock is the Special Assistant for AAPI Issues with the US Department of Justice Community Relations Service (CRS) in the San Francisco Field Office. Justin previously served in the CRS Midwest Regional Office. He currently chairs the DOJ CRS API CRIB Working Group (Asian Pacific Islander Covid19 Related Incidents of Bias). He is an alumni of Brown University and Chicago-Kent College of Law.
Kaiser Kuo is co-founder of the Sinica Podcast, the most popular English-language podcast on current affairs in China, which he hosts with Jeremy Goldkorn. The show has run since April 2010, and has published nearly 400 episodes. Until April 2016, Kaiser served as director of international communications for Baidu, China’s leading search engine. In 2016, Kaiser returned to the U.S. after a 20-year stint in Beijing, where his career spanned the gamut from music to journalism to technology. Kaiser also spent a year in Beijing from 1988 to 1989, when he co-founded the seminal Chinese heavy metal band Tang Dynasty as lead guitarist.