differences to unite
Our vision is a world
where the differences
that make us unique
as individuals unite
as a people
us as a nation,
where our nation
a bridge to all.
Together we can
make a difference.
Online News & Events
SBU AA E-Zine
an approved IRS
contributions to (AA)2 are
tax exempt (deductible).
- Aug 2004
This is being written at the end of the 'official IRS approved (AA)2'
first six months of operation, with an end of the summer update. It is
descriptions of what was accomplished - some very successfully, some moderately so but with valuable lessons learned,
and some we were left questioning what had gone wrong. All in all, the
Board and interns ended feeling excited about what had been done and enthusiastic about
It would not have been possible without a grant from the LI Fund
for Women & Girls. Although other organizations later co-sponsored
all of the events, without LIFWG there would have been far fewer events to
cosponsor. However, because the grant was specifically for programs
for young Asian American women and girls, all new events centered around
We are applying for other grants and beginning fundraising so that in the
future, we can deal with all issues. While it is vital to teach young
women how to protect themselves in a partner violence situation, it is just
as important to teach young men to express their emotions in ways that are
not harmful to anyone.
The things that we have done in the past before our official IRS designation
with soon be included on this site as well. Below
are our accomplishments from Jan to June 2004. The index is in alpha order, the events below
them in date order. Most were planned for March, April, and May because they are Women's
History Month, Asian Awareness Month at SBU, and National Asian American Heritage
Month. Click on the title and it will take you to each broader
explanation, or just scroll down.
Held a very successful workshop among 50 young college aged women of all races
discussing how race affected them. Some issues that are racial are
also paternalistic, especially when the parents of many young Asian American
women are immigrants with different cultural values. The young women
did not want the conversation to end and after a few hours were stopped
because the building was closing. Thus that topic also became a part
of a later conference, and will be a focus of what will be done in the
coming year. Part of LIFWG grant.
Co-sponsored a Cabinet to Cabinet Social - a meeting for the Cabinet members
of Asian American student organizations at Stony Brook University to get to know one
another so that in the coming year they can work together.
There is the misperception by non-Asians that Asian groups are cohesive when
the opposite is often the case. Some groups are Asian American and
members are simply any American of Asian heritage. Some of those
members, being many generations American, know as little about Asia as any
typical American-schooled child. Other groups are composed of
international students who conduct their meetings in their native
languages. Still other groups are composed of students who are not of
any nationality but who want to know about a particular culture or like a
specific genre. This is very true of groups like the Japanese Cultural
Association and Animated Perspectives (aka Anime).
of the five panelists at a Daughters of the Motherland Conference session
were [AA]2 interns. The topic of the discussion was what they were
taught, as the children of immigrants, about sexuality. They were
unanimous in saying that although some of their mothers tried, sex is not a
topic that Asian mothers explain to their daughters. Affection is not
something that is generally expressed physically even from parent to
child. Part of LIFWG grant.
Parts of that discussion are being put together and will be available on
streaming video at the end of August. One of the best things to come
out of the internships was that the interns had the opportunity, in a few
cases for the first time, to speak before a public audience. Part of
what [AA]2 wants to accomplish is teaching leadership skills, and public
speaking is one aspect of that. One intern, whose voice in March has
to be amplified on the video, by May was up on stage without a second
thought and able to be heard without a microphone.
Co-sponsored a relatively unsuccessful film series that was meant to bring in older Asian
Americans women in Suffolk County as well as SBU students. For the students,
there were many competing events during those days, but why the programs did
not draw in the off-campus community, since they were heavily advertised in
the local papers, we still do not understand.
One night was an Anna May Wong classic
silent, newly restored, that has played to sold out audiences in NYC, LA,
and San Francisco. But
those who did attend, primarily young women from Kappa Phi Lambda Sorority, enjoyed the films and
took part in the discussions, especially with Bix Gabriel, a young Indian American
of LIFWG grant.
A full day of workshops attended by approximately 100 students, alumni, and
presenters, on everything from partner violence protection to
mentoring. Rather than describe it, the complete program is at www.aasquared.org/CFC.
Our determination on whether an event is good or not is to ask the interns,
who not only do all the work but are being judged by their peers, "Do
you want to do this again next year?" The answer to this day of
workshops was a resounding yes.
The student editor of the Asian American Journal said it was the most
important event for Asian American students that he had seen happen at Stony
Brook because for the first time, there was actually something that
addressed their needs. Part of LIFWG grant.
series at The New School, put on with the Dean's
Office Diversity Initiative. The panel was one of the best imaginable
and the discussion intense - a debate on whether the first Asian American
porn flick, made by a professor at Berkeley, accomplished what he thought it
would and if it was good for Asian America. It was so good we intend to show
some of the same films and speakers at other venues in the
future. That discussion will also be available on streaming video at
the end of August.
Unfortunately, since it was decided on
late in the semester, the choice of dates and times was limited and Saturday
mornings is not when most students watch films, and the traditional New
School advertising was not able to go out, so attendance was not high.
But even with a small audience it was so good there is no question that we
will work with the Dean's Office to have the second
annual film series there in 2005. Part
of LIFWG grant.
- May: Four
young women were given internships to put all of the above
together. For this initial year we chose one from each of the three Asian American
and the one multi-cultural sororities at Stony Brook University. The University mandates that sororities do
community service and having their involvement meant a wide audience of
young women for workshops and events which we felt was important until we
become a known commodity. Part
of LIFWG grant.
Due to misperceptions about sororities, we would like to add a brief note
here. While the general perception is 'airheads' and 'party girls' and
other negative stereotypes - they are not all valid. Yes, they do
enjoy themselves, just as most American college students do. Yes, some
are airheads - just as some non-sorority girls are - but one of our interns
had a 4.0 GPA with a double major!
One of our Board members, whose law firm did the pro bono filing for [AA]2
to become a 501(c)3, is the founder of the multicultural campus sorority,
Epsilon Sigma Phi. Its members are of African, Asian, and European
heritage. While restrictive in their membership and with some
questionable initiation practices which not everyone considers good, does
not also mean that sororities do not provide valid services.
A national study was done of college alumni involvement in community service
after graduation. The results showed that those who belonged to a
sorority or fraternity in college were more involved in community service
after college than students who were not. Because Greek organizations
have been required for many years to perform community service in order to
be allowed to exist - their members get involved in charitable events, find
that it gives them a sense of accomplishment, and therefore continue after
college. That aspect of sororities we wish was replicated in all
Attended the Gender Equity Conference sponsored by the Long Island Fund for
Women & Girls. www.lifwg.org
One of the interns was on a Bi-Cultural Identities panel.
Participated in the Asian American Heritage Festival in Union Square. www.capaonline.org
- August: A CELT summer volunteer intern learned multimedia and put together
streaming videos of the speakers from Jan - June, to be put online.