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ASIAN AMERICA: THE KEN FONG PODCAST

Ken Fong gets to the heart of Asian American culture, history, and spirituality. Through interviews with culture-makers and -shapers in the Asian American community -- some you know, others you've never heard of before -- prepare to laugh, cry, and be amazed.
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ASIAN AMERICA: THE KEN FONG PODCAST
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Now displaying: Category: general
Jan 29, 2023

University of Colorado's (Boulder) Dr. Jennifer Ho is able to connect America's culture of gun violence, toxic masculinity, and history of White supremacy to the fact that last week, two older Asian American men became mass murderers. What can all of us do to reduce the occurrence of these senseless tragedies?

Jan 26, 2023

Actor and writer J. Elijah Cho is performing his award-winning solo show "Mr. Yunioshi" from January 27-Feb 5 as part of the Solo Shows Festival of 2023 at the charming Sierra Madre Playhouse (Sierra Madre, CA). Cho portrays the late actor Mickey Rooney after he is cast to play a Japanese photographer in yellow face in the classic film "Breakfast at Tiffany's" in 1961. It is both hilarious and thought-provoking to have an Asian American actor playing the White Rooney as he works out exactly how to portray this Japanese character. 

Jan 22, 2023

Recently rapper and filmmaker Kyle Jae Shin aka Son of Paper uncovered a painful experience of anti-Asian violence that he'd buried for years, unconsciously allowing this trauma to color his day to day outlook and attitude. One of the tracks on his just-released album "From a Rooftop in Chinatown" ties together how he's learned to process that attack with the epidemic of anti-Asian hatred and violence today. You'll have the opportunity to hear that track ("Overcame") in its entirety, as well as snippets of two other ones. You'll also come to appreciate why this young Asian American artist and his new music are so grounded in San Francisco's Chinatown.

Jan 15, 2023

California's 26th District Assemblymember Evan Low describes what it will take to see more AAPI politicians both in his state and across the nation. He also explains why the API Legislative Caucus (he is the new chair) prohibits Republican API members from joining. He also believes that a day is coming sooner than later when the majority of Americans will elect an openly LGBTQ+ POTUS.

Jan 8, 2023

After many years of asking, award-winning Alaska-based journalist Lisa Phu was finally able to coax her Cambodian Chinese mother Lan Phu to open up about her life "Before Me (Lisa)." Growing up in Cambodia, fleeing the onslaught of the Khmer Rouge with three daughters and pregnant, then making a new life in America. This new 5-part podcast series (www.beforemepodcast.com) is masterfully produced and wonderfully written and narrated by Lisa.

Dec 28, 2022

In this final episode of 2022, podcaster-friends Ken Fong and Ken Kemp recommend the new "The Charismatic Revival Fury" series by their mutual friend Dr. Brad Onishi over at the "Straight White American Jesus" podcat. What government officials and most mainstream media outlets apparently have overlooked is the part that many charismatic and Pentecostal Evangelicals played in not only the attempt to prevent the peaceful transfer of POTUS power on 1/6/20, but in creating a global network that continues to seek power and authority by almost any means necessary.

Dec 25, 2022

Anita had built a successful therapy practice over 20 years, but she'd also grown up with a deep appreciation for architecture and interior design. Realizing that she naturally understood how those intersect, she launched a blog in 2016 about the importance of creating living spaces that foster mental health. That led to her becoming a social media influencer, receiving accolades and assignments from the industry, and today, Anita has published her first book "Home Therapy," and she and her husband now work side-by-side in this unique approach to health and home.

Dec 18, 2022

Ranger Yenyen Chan has been on the permanent staff of this incredible national park for the past 20 years. Not only is she an expert on its history, geology, and biology, but she's also the one to consult to learn of the vital contributions of many Chinese Americans to this iconic park. 

Dec 11, 2022

Bernice Chao continues to be recognized by her industry as an outstanding and creative leader. Even so, what impresses me about her is that she has partnered with Jessalin Lam to enable and empower untold numbers of other AAPIs to break through 'bamboo ceilings' by learning how to make themselves not only more visible to the powers-that-be, but also to themselves. Together they co-founded the now-global "Asians in Advertising" non-profit, host a biweekly podcast, and in November 2022 co-authored "The Visibility Mindset: How Asian American Leaders Create Opportunities and Push Past Barriers."

Nov 25, 2022

What started as a film project to chronicle the campaign of California State Treasurer John Chiang as he ran for governor later expanded into a rivetting documentary about the reality of hate-speech and violence aimed at innocent AAPIs, both in the past history of America and in the present-day scapegoating of AAPIs due to the politicization of the COVID pandemic. Public affairs consultant and long-time civil rights advocate Ronald W. Wong, along with his Asian Pacific American Leadership Foundation, have produced "The Race Epidemic: Resurgence of the Yellow Peril," as a clarion call for more AAPIs to speak out and push back against racism and xenophobia aimed at our communities. 

Nov 20, 2022

First appearing on this pod on 22 October 2019 (#219), actor and now also writer Anu Bhatt recently returned to spotlight "Autocorrect," her debut short film that she conceived and created during the pandemic. Anu's character gradually finds the courage and determination to insist that her director (a white female) pronounce her South Asian name correctly. As you will soon learn, this was truly a case of art imitating life. On the surface, this is simply about asking people to stop mispronouncing non-Western names. But Anu reveals that this act of insistence is actually one example of when people decide that it's time to reclaim 'agency' over their lives for the sake of their own congruency and mental health.

Nov 11, 2022

The recent midterm elections officially ended on November 8th and we already know that there wasn't a resounding Red Wave of change as many had predicted. But we also may still not know the final outcomes of Senate races in Arizona and Nevada. The two Kens got back together the day after the midterms to understand why things didn't heavily tilt to the extreme right, as well as to puzzle over what this might mean going forward for Trumpism and the shape of the 2024 presidential contest.

Nov 7, 2022

Christopher Huang is a professional photographer who also blogs about how Hollywood handles race, especially as it pertains to Asian Americans. The recent casting of a young Black actor to star as "Ariel" in the upcoming "The Little Mermaid" live-action remake provoked quite a bit of disagreement. That's what led me to Huang's provocative blog on Medium (https://christopherhuang.medium.com/3-dimensional-portrayals-of-women-of-color-but-only-if-they-have-white-male-love-interests-9f06c78491a9?sk=cb91d715ac283b845549d4e149b23bed

I then invited him to give my listeners an abridged experience of how he sees this controversy and Hollywood's still-problematic history of telling white-male-hegemonic stories.

Nov 6, 2022

Untold numbers of Americans are celebrating the issuing of a new quarter dollar for the first time that features an American of Asian ancestry, the iconic actor Anna May Wong. Yet how many of us--even those who are Asian American--really know anything about Wong's storied career in Hollywood? Asians in Hollywood film savant Arthur Dong not only recounts the arc of this native Angeleno, but also tells us how we can view standout films from the 100 years of Chinese in Hollywood at the Academy Museum's theater (www.academymuseum.org) throughout the month of November.

To see one of today's AAPI actors exercise agency, check out Anu Bhatt's short film "Autocorrect" either at the Los Angeles Asian Film Awards on Saturday, 11/12 @ 6PM (https://filmfreeway.com/LAAsianFilmAwards/tickets) or the online screening from 11/12-15 (www.poweroffilm.xyz)

Oct 23, 2022

Sir Fazle Hasan Abed was a mild-mannered accountant from Bangladesh who may be the most influential person the majority of people in the world have never heard of. I only learned of him and his NGO's unparalleled innovations that are breaking the cycles of poverty because of American author Scott MacMillan's must-read book "Hope Over Fate: Fazle Hasan Abed and the Science of Ending Global Poverty." This is your opportunity to start learning Abed's story and to learn how the power of hope can actually be harnessed. 

Oct 16, 2022

This summer U.K.-based American author and activist Winnie M. Li circled back to my home studio, this time to talk about Complicit, her newest novel that takers readers behind the scenes and into the minds of those working in the film industry. From the rich and powerful men who hold all the cards, to the powerless young aspirants who far too often are their targets. As a survivor of sexual assault and also as one who worked in the movie business, Winnie has once again written a devastatingly relevant book.

Oct 9, 2022

One of America's funniest commentators on modern life, Sandra Tsing Loh, will be discussing her latest book The Madwoman and the Roomba: My Year of Domestic Mayhem, with Samantha Dunn, her co-host on Bookish and the senior editor of engagement at the Southern California News Group. Open to the public and free, it will be held at Beckman Auditorium @ CalTech in Pasadena, CA, on Thursday, Oct. 20th, at 6PM PT. To register, please go to www.events.caltech.edu and clink on link. By registering, you'll also be able to watch the livestream on YouTube.

Sandra and I never fail to make each other laugh, especially as we point out the quirkiness of being Asian Americans.

Oct 2, 2022

In this fascinating and informative episode, Yuri Sudhakar and Rick Abe joined me to share about their latest venture. Nudj Health is a tech-enabled health service that integrates evidence-based mental, behavioral, and social health aspects of patient care in collaboration with physician organizations nationwide. In short, Nudj Health has created a way for people's doctors to help them achieve their health goals like never before.

Sep 25, 2022

Long-time friend, former pastor, and fellow podcaster Ken Kemp ("The Beached White Male" podcast) and I finally resume our semi-regular collaborative conversation after being part for most of the summer. This time we reflect long and hard about why the powerful and privileged need to cry out in desparation to those who are marginalized or oppressed to come heal and save them. It's a fresh look at the parable of the Good Samaritan through the lens of the Samaritan.

Sep 23, 2022

The South Side of Chicago meets South Korea in "The Great Jheri Curl Debate," a heartfelt play where a business partnership between an African American employee and an immigrant Korean owner plus a touch of magical realism bring these two very unlikely friends closer to understanding themselves and each other. Ryun Yu, already a favorite of this podcast, stars as "Mr. Kim" and Julanne Chidi Hill stars as "Veralynn Jackson." The play runs from September 15-October 9 at the David Henry Hwang Theater in Little Tokyo, Los Angeles.

Sep 20, 2022

Filmmaker and broadcast journalist David Ono has created something that defies well-known descriptions. His "Defining Courage" is a tribute to the courage and patriotism of the Japanese American soldiers who fought and died during World War II, even as many of their family members were unjustly imprisoned in desolate prison camps. Combining his live narration with cinematic drone footage of five storied battlefields, accompanied by a choir and musicians, Ono humanizes the stories of those who served in the 100th Infantry Battalion, the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, and the Military Intelligence Service (MIS), while taking us all on an emotional journey to the places where so many lost their lives. 

Sep 18, 2022

Earlier this year, Dr. Thea Pham posted a TikTok video that has now been viewed over 100 million times on this and other platforms. And almost overnight she went from having just 20 TikTok followers to well over 400,000. Even if you already know what it was that she talked about, I promise that my recent conversation with her will be a deep dive into why she's connected with what so many people around the world are going through, too.

Sep 11, 2022

Why has a PE teacher in NY who hates to travel started a library, a gym, and a school in Kenya? According to Garrett, it was something he heard me say long ago at a Christian conference. Even if you're not a Christian, you'll find his efforts to live out The Hero's Journey quite fascinating. www.thegapmission.com

Sep 5, 2022

In response to an alarming number of Asian American deaths due to drug overdoses during the Summer of '72 in Los Angeles, local Asian American activists banded together and started the Asian American Drug Abuse Program. New CEO Dean Nakanishi and new trustee John Saito, Jr., not only reflect on the agency's history, but also talk about its impact and dreams for the future as AADAP marks its 50th anniversary this month.

Aug 28, 2022

Korean American Dave Young Kim today is an acclaimed and respected muralist, but he started out as an animal behavior major at UC Davis! His journey to covering gigantic exterior spaces with culturally-infused and contextually-informed art is mind-boggling. Dave is first and foremost a storyteller, and he will continue to search for creative ways to share his stories.

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