oregon rises above hate
Growing up close to his paternal grandparents in southern Oregon, Toby Asai Loftus was always intrigued by the other half of his family, his mom’s big Japanese-American community where he loved visiting. Although he proudly called himself Japanese-American, he looked more like his dad’s northern European side of the family. Rejecting easy labels, he began a long search for his true identity. I Am An American Live is a production of the award-winning nonprofit The Immigrant Story. The stories were presented live at The Patricia Reser Center for the Arts, Beaverton, OR on Saturday, April 15, 2023. This series of events is part of the programming by the Oregon Rises Above Hate coalition, with the aim of drawing attention to the historic xenophobia experienced by the Asian American community in Oregon and across the U.S. This free event is made possible by a generous contribution by Anne Naito-Campbell. Additional funds for Programming has been provided by Ronald Naito Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, and by a grant from the Oregon Heritage Commission and Oregon Parks and Recreation.
I Am An American Live is a collection of pan-Asian music highlighting traditional Asian instruments backed by Western classical harmonies. Featuring intriguing combinations of musical sounds never heard before, it is performed by an eclectic group of musicians who came together just for the occasion of a single concert, “I Am An American Live”, in the Patricia Reser Center for the Arts in Beaverton, OR on May 6, 2022. This unique music, which represents the blending of some of the most ancient musical traditions and instruments of Asia to create something new, celebrates the rich cultures brought to the United States by multiple generations of Asian Americans. This playlist also features four storytellers with roots from across Asia presented their lived experiences exploring what it means to belong in America, even when being partially erased and, at times, excluded. These powerful stories informs us about an important aspect of our past as a state and as a nation and offer an opportunity for reflection on our collective history. These videos are a part of the programming by the Oregon Rises Above Hate coalition, with the aim of drawing attention to the historic xenophobia experienced by the Asian American community in Oregon and across the U.S. This history of systemic bias includes policies that have resulted in discrimination, incarceration, erasure and a recent increase in hate crimes. I Am An American Live is a production of The Immigrant Story, an award- winning storytelling organization in the Pacific Northwest. These performances combine nuanced storytelling with subtle performance art to present a professionally produced, high-quality program.
Listen to this amazing podcast episode featuring a panel of Asian American women who share their stories and insights on the challenges and opportunities they face in Oregon and beyond. They also discuss the recent surge of anti-Asian hate and violence and how they are working to empower diverse AAPI communities statewide. This episode was inspired by the I Am An American exhibition at the Oregon Historical Society, our partner and a great community anchor. This episode is part of the I Am an American series, and produced as part of the Oregon Rises Above Hate Coalition.
The exhibition’s title, “I Am An American,” intentionally brings attention to the 80 years since Japanese Americans were targeted by the government during World War II. The slogan became a rallying cry for all Asian Americans, who even today are still trying to combat xenophobia, hateful rhetoric and the resulting violence. Am An American: Stories of Exclusion and Belonging will run from August 26, through May 29th, 2023 at the Oregon Historical Society, 1200 SW Park Ave. Portland, OR 97205.
The Japanese phrase Ikoi No Kai translates in English to “the gathering place.” It could also mean a haven, a welcoming spot where people gather for fellowship.
Looking back on the many changes in her life, Sara Houranpay likes to quote her father’s advice: “When life throws you down, you get up,
What’s the ideal training for a conceptual artist? Roberta Wong credits the time she spent chopping vegetables, washing dishes, and making dim sum pastries.
The first time Liani Reeves realized that other people saw her as Asian was in the fifth grade.
“You are an Indonesian mama,” the local tour guide told Jane Mantiri as she wound up her recent visit to Indonesia. “At first I thought you were American, but now […]
When Priti Gandhi was six years old, her mother noticed that she liked to hum along with the radio. She also observed that her daughter...
Janice Okamoto was just a baby, only a few months old, when she was sent to Minidoka with her family.
Portland artist Roberta Wong is the daughter and granddaughter of Chinese immigrants. She grew up partly in Chinatown, itself a product of segregation.
Chanpone Sinlapasai was born in Laos during a bloody civil war, and narrowly escaped to the US with her family at just four years old.
Sara Houranpay describes herself as a child of the revolution. She grew up during the Iranian Revolution. Her family fled to the United States,
Originally from Taiwan, Janet Liu’s family spent years trying to build a home together in the United States despite restrictive immigration policies at that time.
Growing up in the bohemian beach town of Encinitas, near San Diego, California, Priti Gandhi showed early interest in music and performance.
Liani Reeves spent the first months of her life in an orphanage in Seoul, South Korea, before an American family adopted her.
Mitzi Asai Loftus and her son Toby talk frankly about her memories of growing up in Hood River, Oregon; her childhood incarceration.
Kambiz GhaneaBassiri is one of the nation’s leading scholars of Islam in the United States. In this conversation, he sat down with writer and educator Flamur Vehapi.
In the early 1900s, Rani Bagai’s grandparents arrived in California ready to start a new life. But citizenship requirements and prejudice against Indian-Americans made settling in more difficult.
Welcome to Many Roads In Conversation, where we look deeply at issues affecting communities within the United States.
Eliza Canty-Jones, editor of Oregon Historical Quarterly, interviews Jennifer Fang, director of education at the Japanese American Museum of Oregon, discussing issues raised by recent hate crimes against Asian Americans, including historical restrictions on Asian immigration and how modern liberation movements might address acts of hate.
Attorneys Peggy Nagae and Chris Ling discuss major cases in the Supreme Court and how legislation has affected Asian American civil rights, including Executive Order 9066, which incarcerated Japanese Americans during World War II.
Temple Romance goes to South Indian classical flute melodies blended with a strong string and chorale harmonies.
Magic Gem takes a classic Western melody and adapts it to an Eastern classical vibe using the Chinese erhu, played by Jerry Lin.
Hit the Strings is based on a Middle Eastern musical scale and features the Japanese koto played by Masumi Timson.
Harmony of Rhythms features young musicians from Portland Kalai Kuzhu playing parai drums, one of the oldest instruments in India but one that,