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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
May 20, 2024

In this latest episode of the collaborative series between longtime friends, former pastors, and fellow podcasters Ken Fong and Ken Kemp, they talk about whether the recent decision by the United Methodist denomination to remove all barriers that had prevented LGBTQ+ persons from experiencing full inclusion is a lens through which to view and understand what's happening in America.

May 12, 2024

In writing My Father, The Panda Killer Vietnamese American Jamie Jo Hoang humanizes the costs and consequences of the Vietnam War through the experiences of three generations of a traumatized fictional family from South Vietnam. 

May 5, 2024

Author and business journalist Thomas Lee has given us a refreshingly new and relevant way to appreciate the life and legacy of the late pop icon Bruce Lee. In writing The Bruce Lee Code: How the Dragon Mastered Business, Confidence, and Success, and in serving as the lead curator and editorial director of the We Are Bruce Lee exhibit in the Chinese Historical Society's museum in San Francisco, Lee has been able to humanize Bruce Lee by looking at him through four new lenses that prove that he is incredibly relevant today. 

Apr 28, 2024

Alexandra Chan had excelled in life as a left-brain, logical and educated person. But the recent loss of her amazing father Robert Earl Chan showed her the inherent limitations of just using reason to deal with life's greatest challenges. In her new book, In the Garden Behind the Moon: A Memoir of Loss, Myth, and Magic she takes us all on this journey inward, while telling us about this actual 'most interesting man in the world.'

Apr 21, 2024

Newton Cheng is the Director of Health + Performance at Google. He's a husband, a dad, and a champion powerlifter. From all appearances, he was doing great. Even better than great! But he was privately struggling with depression and burnout. It took his decision one day to take off his mask and openly talk about his struggles to set him on a course of getting better, but also pave the way for many other Googlers to step out of the shadows in search of solace and help.

Apr 14, 2024

In this latest episode of The Two Ken's podcast series, Ken Kemp's regular guest Betsey Newenhuyse from Chicago joins us to talk about the ongoing need for regular groups of reliable, religious people, despite the burgeoning exodus from all forms of religion in America. Although unprecedented numbers of us no longer belong to a religious group or have zero-interest in every joining one, most of us haven't found viable alternatives to them. Without anywhere to go regularly, and without a caring community around to help each other navigate life's twists and turns, what might happen to our country?

Apr 7, 2024

Wing Ho is the founder of Xcela Coaching, where he offers  Leadership Coaching and Team Culture Coaching. His relational-driven approach is something that leaders today in all kinds of settings need to understand and incorporate.

Mar 31, 2024

Writer and director Lisa Sanaye Dring's new play Kairos opens East West Players new season on April 4th. Because her play explores what can happen to a couple when there's a possibility of them living forever, we delve headlong into a captivating discussion of the significance of time, special moments, mortality, immortality, and even success and failure! To see the schedule and buy tickets to performances, go to www.eastwestplayers.org.

Mar 24, 2024

Back when Joseph Tseng graduated from college, he focused on making a living as a singer/songwriter/storyteller. But he soon discovered that that dream wasn't ready to become a reality. He put his music behind him and worked conventionally for years. But questions began to float to the surface of his awareness. About his identity as an Asian American. About the importance of being part of a close-knit community. About whether there was still a way for him to see himself as a Christian. Nineteen years into his adult-journey, Tseng has discovered how these various streams of consciousness intersect poetically and musically for him. He wrote and recorded the EP "Pearls of Home" (https://josephtseng.bandcamp.com/album/pearls-of-home) and you'll now have the opportunity to appreciate his thoughtful artistry by listening to this episode.

Mar 10, 2024

Danna Okuyama left her career in high finance to become the founder and CEO of Urban Sandbox, a new modern-day pen pal app and safe space for students to connect, share, and grow with other like-minded peers from around the world, while learning from qualified educators. Students have a place to engage like other platforms, without the concerns of unregulated content, as parents have access to easily supervise activity and ensure safety. www.urban-sandbox.com

Mar 3, 2024

In this latest installment of The Two Kens series, podcasters Fong and Kemp see the decision by Alabama's Supreme Court to outlaw invitro fertizilation (IVF) as the latest and most blatant example of Christian Nationalists and members of the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) to colonize America. They adhere to the historical falsehood that God created this country to be a Christian theocracy, where conservative white Christians use their biased interpretations of the Bible to dictate how everyone must live here. Former POTUS Donald Trump has convinced them that he alone can lead them to victory in this perceived spiritual battle between the forces of good (them) and evil (everyone else).

Feb 25, 2024

This is probably stating the obvious, but there is more than one type of personality. Eric Gee has spent countless hours and many years perfecting a system of personality typing that is less rigid than the Meyers-Briggs system (MBTI) and also much easier to remember and grasp. Defining sixteen different 'animal' types and arranging them into four logical 'packs,' Eric consistently captures people's imaginations as he takes them deeper into this world. You can take his test by going to www.youtopiaproject.com, and you can pick up his book "The Power of Personality," when it hits the stores this April. You can also pre-order it now.

Feb 18, 2024

Ever since she learned to drink alcohol in college, Brynn Evans had been embarassed by how red her face would turn, "a consequence of being half Chinese," she'd lament. Taking an antacid when she drank seemed to do the trick, but that eventually made her really sick. Thus began her decade-long journey to come up with a safe and healthy dietary supplement that would reduce or eliminate this alcohol-induced flush, and even mitigate serious hangovers. She recently launched JOYN (www.joynthefun.com) and is excited to tell the 600 million others who also suffer from this malady that relief is now possible!

Feb 11, 2024

In this latest installment of The Two Kens series, friends and podcasters Ken Fong and Ken Kemp roll up their sleeves to have difficult conversations about three issues that involve borders or boundaries, i.e., immigration at the U.S. southern border, the war in the Gaza Strip that to a growing number of people--especially Millennials--is looking like the genocide of the Palestinian people, and whether heaven and hell are real, and if so, who decides who's going to which place?

Feb 4, 2024

With more than 10,000 Americans turning 65 every day, 45% of Americans reporting no savings at all, and of the 55% who have retirement saving, over half report that they have less than $250,000. Given the a person making $40K/year will need to have saved $1M to have a dignified and comfortable retirement, it's clear that America is heading for a retirement crisis.

Ali Khawar is the U.S. Department of Labor's Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA), which is responsible for overseeing retirement benefits programs for millions of working Americans. He talks about the disparities in retirement savings among different groupings of Americans, and some of the contributing factors. Most significantly, he lays out what the federal government is currently doing to help greater numbers of Americans save more for their retirement years.

Jan 28, 2024

Music Will runs the largest nonprofit music program in the U.S. public school system. For more than 20 years they have provided teacher training, curriculum, resources, musical instruments, and equipment to restore and expand music education to more than 1.6 million students (K-12) and in over 6,000 public schools. Janice Polizzotto is Music Will's Chief Relationship Officer, bringing more than 25 years of experience working in both the private and public sectors with an emphasis on social impact, nonprofit management, fundraising, event planning, and strategic partnerships. You'll soon learn that she has a burning passion to further than impact and mission of Music Will. www.musicwill.org

Jan 21, 2024

Headwriter Eric Vue and Director Shinshin Yuder Tsai co-founded the Orange County (CA)-based Asian American sketch comedy troupe No MSG Added. In this hilarious episode, Ken prods them to explain the differences between improv and sketch comedy, and the challenges of recruiting a representative group of AANHPI comedians and writers to entertain and educate rooms full of diverse people about life as Asian Americans. www.nomsgadded.com

Jan 14, 2024

Growing up in a family of matchmakers, you could say that Cassindy Chao was destined to become one, too! She eventually left the sterile confines of finance to pursue her passion: helping Asian Americans find that perfect match and true love! You'll be enthralled with the energetic back-and-forth between Cassindy and Ken as they compare notes gleaned from their many years spent guiding individuals through the maze of issues that arise when trying to find a compatible soulmate.

Dec 31, 2023

Psychologist Dr. Gordon Nagayama Hall retired from academia a few years ago, but he's continuing to work to increase the percentage of AANHPIs who will seek help from mental health professionals. To this end, he is part of a team that has developed the Mind Boba problem-solving intervention app that is culturally adapted and created for Asian Americans! (Check out trifoia.com/mindboba on the Web, mind.boba on Instagram, and the Mind Boba FB page). Here's your chance to learn about this easily accessible new mental health tool before it launches.

Dec 22, 2023

In this year's last installment of the collaborative The Two Kens podcast series, Fong first updates Kemp on how his relationship is going with Doreen, his high school girlfriend from half a century ago, then coaxes Kemp to read his latest Substack essay entitled The Baby and the Bathwater: What Is the Baby?. The focus of Kemp's mental exercise is what's left after growing numbers of conservative Christians "deconstruct" their beliefs. Are there still solid reasons to believe in and worship God? This leads to Fong and Kemp wondering aloud about the power and importance of Jungian archetypes and mythic figures and stories, and whether this lens can or should be applied to the Christmas Nativity.

Dec 17, 2023

In 2022 Korean American Christian actor, writer, producer, and director Kenneth Chang teamed up with David Chan Lee to create the short horror film Refuse, in which a down and out Korean American Christian young man is fighting the demon of meth addiction, while his mother's KA church views him as a demon. You'll learn about how great horror films are able to depict not just the battle between good and evil, but spiritual battles between God and the devil.

Dec 10, 2023

My guest this episode is a proven leader who's a great example of the power of unconventional thinking. Jim Fong was an executive vice president and chief commercial officer for CTI Biopharma. This summer a Swedish pharmaceutical giant plunked down nearly $2 billion US dollars to acquire this startup, but as you're about to learn, almost no one in the industry predicted that this would happen. Jim and his team were given the near-impossible task of recruiting a salesforce of 100 to sell their blood-cancer treatment before it had received FDA approval while 80% of the market was already controlled by a huge pharmaceutical company. Jim and his team decided that they needed to look for people with the right attitude, not the right aptitude. He's the youngest of my two brothers, and I'm extremely proud of him and what he accomplished in the face of insurmountable odds.

Dec 3, 2023

UC Santa Barbara English Professor Dr. Yunte Huang recently published the final book in his "Rendezvous With American History" trilogy. Following the ones about the real and fictional detective Charlie Chan and the unbelievable one about the Siamese twins Chang and Eng Bunker, Huang has now researched and written a thoroughgoing book about Hollywood's first Asian American movie star Anna May Wong. How did the daughter of a laundryman in LA's Chinatown get bit by the acting bug? Have the rumors about her sexuality been confirmed? Why did she suddenly depart for Germany after starring in her most successful film? When she returned to America, had the racist attitudes and restrictions in Hollywood improved at all? Had all that time in front of cameras stolen her soul, as her parents first warned her?

Nov 26, 2023

In 2018 entrepreneurial chef Jing Gao harnessed everything she'd learned from master chefs in China, and also the deep insights she'd arrived at in her journey to understand her identity to create a unique line of seasonings that's already in 5,000 stores in America. Carrying her label "Fly By Jing," each carefully crafted jar uses quality ingredients from her hometown of Chengdu, China. Hers is a fascinating journey that took her from the tech world to culinary school in China and being a restauranteur to where she is today: a highly successful flavor innovator and entrepreneur.

Nov 19, 2023

In generating the script for the 2022 indy film My Apocalyptic Thanksgiving, Filipino American writer Richard Soriano took his experiences as the director of a group home for adults with special needs and provided a compelling vehicle that helps audiences begin to see these folks as fellow human beings. While our conversation revolved around why and how he made this film, we spend a good deal of time talking about the world of adults with developmental disabilities, their families, and those often charged with caring for them after the turn 18.

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