Before Ray's language prowess landed in the U.S. State Department, he felt God had called him to be a liturgist and musician in the Catholic Church that he so loved. But when he came out of the closet, he no longer believed that the Church would love him as much as he loved the Church. He reflects on the changes in the State Department, especially as it begins to admit its long history of homophobia and discriminatory practices against POC.
While Dan is the first to say that he's clearly a work in progress, he's managed to craft a mindset and a work ethic that keeps him positive and his creative juices flowing. You'll hear a sample of his latest songs at the end of the episode.
Hedy Wong began writing a story that she knew: hers. But it took years of refining and determination to bring it to screens in 2020 as "Take Out Girl." She is beautiful, smart, street-savvy, and oozing with talent, bringing all of that to bear as the lead in this feature film.
In this latest special episode, these two long-time friends, former pastors, and fellow podcasters critique the "reparative therapy" movement while reviewing the Netflix documentary "Pray Away." But they wrestle with why anybody--gay or straight--would willingly be part of groups the require them to repress essential aspects of who they know themselves to be.
Director/Writer Bao Tran has given us a rarity--a martial arts film where the fighters get older and have complicated lives! Ultimately, it's the timeless tale of aging warriors needing to rethink what they once believed and practiced in the face of today's challenges.
Lee is a wife, a mom, a PTA leader, hosts several podcasts, and is the co-founder of the Asian American Podcasters Association (AAP), arguably the very first group to gather AAPI podcasters and those exploring possibilities. The lessons she imparts can be applied to so many aspects of our lives.
Suni Lee's Olympic triumphs have not only elevated her profile, but the heretofore invisible profile of her fellow Hmong Americans. Yet some are criticizing her for not displaying enough nationalism. Yang has been reporting on Lee and the Hmong American communities, and knows Suni well.
Award-winning novelist and creative writer Darien Hsu Gee recently published her memoirs in the form of micro essays. We talk about the artform and required discipline, she recites several of them, and then we explore what these say about her relationship to her parents and only brother.
Ever since getting a 'wake up call' about her mental health at age 14, Chang has personally prioritized it, leaving a hard-earned position as a broadcast journalist and eventually going back to grad school to become a therapist. She is using her skills as a courageous communicator, entrepreneur, and clinician today to reduce the stigma of mental illness in AAPI communities, and to promote the pursuit of mental health.
Persons--especially coming from Evangelical backgrounds--who've been 'de-constructing', often end up with radically different positions and in vastly unfamiliar places. But for those who are married (and/or who have adult children), there's an oft-unspoken impact on family members who might be content with the status quo. The Two Kens talk frankly about how their respective journeys have impacted their spouses, then shift gears to discuss the current attacks on Critical Race Theory.
Kimo Cornwell loves and plays all kinds of music, but he's been the keyboardist for legendary jazz-fusion group Hiroshima for the past 30 years. This is his story.
Matthew Oh grew up in a tiny Texas town as a Korean American whose athleticism and need for father figures led him to an unusual career in football at many different levels. But he has also been a stunt man, a model, and an actor. On top of all that, he developed a passion for bettering the lives of everyone, not just himself. So he launched Optimizing Healthy Meals in order to help reduce plastic waste and to provide clean drinking water where it's needed most.
By day, she's Jackie Faye the data engineer. But when the sun sets and the neon signs light up, she's rapper Drippy J. Hailing from Dallas, she drove alone to the City of Angels amidst the pandemic to pursue her dreams as an emerging artist.
Thirty-nine years after 27-year-old Vincent Chin was murdered on the eve of his wedding, his case has proven to be a durable symbol during this current time of anti-Asian racism and violence in America. For the first time, filmmakers Anthony Ma and Alle Hsu publicly reveal overlooked or ignored aspects of this case that they've uncovered during their years of interviews and research.
If the definition of "serendipity" is when preparation meets opportunity, then YeSeul Kim is living a seriously serendipitous life! She is a social entrepreneur who merges the science of analyzing big data, the art of qualitative research, and the application of a growth mindset to fuel her passion for solving complex social problems. She is also a published photojournalist, noted conference speaker, emerging author, and stellar podcaster.
Liat Shapiro is one of five Koreans who were adopted by a white American Christian family. She shares openly about how this has impacted her and her siblings differently, and that she is working with a non-profit in South Korea to create a culture where orphaned Koreans are readily adopted and accepted there.
Japanese Canadian playwright and actor Tetsuro Shigematsu takes us on a journey through the 20th Century via the life of his boss' Japanese Canadian father. We vicariously experience not only his hardships, heartaches, and social injustices, but also his teenage crush and multiple rebootings of his life.
Long a distinguished professor in the Anderson School of Management at UCLA, Dr. Tang wrote an Op Ed in the LA Times recently where he pointed out that Asian Americans are rarely seen as being management or executive material. We not only explore what stereotypes are behind keeping most of them below the 'glass ceiling,' but also some concrete things that many of us can do to break through that barrier.
A Harvard Law School professor has published an article claiming that the hundreds of thousands of Asian women whom the Japanese Imperial Army forced into being sex slaves were actually paid prostitutes willingly who signed up to be dehumanized, tortured, and even killed. Boston attorney Linda Champion, who is Korean and Black, is one of the many who are speaking out against this ridiculous assertion.
In this episode of The Two Kens we talk about how nature photography is such a humbling hobby while claiming to have "Biblical Authority" often fosters pride. This subject has implications and applications far beyond Christian circles.
Gloria Fanchiang is a soft-spoken Asian American Christian singer and songwriter, and too humble to appreciate fully that she has composed a rarity: a worship song that authentically expresses the injustices suffered by Asian Americans.
Hosting S1 of "A Little Late with Lilly Singh" was already a ceiling-shattering event for Lilly Singh. But her second season is a major paradigm-shift for late night television. And while Sabeeh Jameel looked like he was heading for a job in a big consulting firm or a UN gig, he landed in Singh's writers' room to help enable this transformation.
Born and raised in San Francisco, Elise graduated from the incomparable Berklee School of Music, where she learned how to infuse her infectious songs with jazz idioms. After moving to LA, she's performed in local venues, while writing and recording songs that are often dance-inducing, while deeply personal.
We kick off our 7th season and AAPI Heritage Month with my conversation with Suman Mallick, who recently published his first novel about a young Pakistani woman who must learn to surmount the myriad obstacles presented by living in a world bound by patriarchy and a love-less marriage.
The 60s and 70s in Southern California (and to a lesser extent in Northern California) were marked by the flourishing of talented Asian American dance-party-bands. Harry was a central figure in that captivating scene, as a musician and later as the co-owner of one of the hot venues. As such, he has captured this era in exciting and exacting detail.