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See. Do. Become. Providing inspiration to AAPIs while empowering them to find their voice and to stand with vigor in everything they do.

Meet Ada Wong, “The Biggest Loser” season 10 finalist

Posted on | January 13, 2011 | 3 Comments

Ada Wong before and afterWe’re honored to be able to host our next guest on visualizAsian.com: Ada Wong, who made it to the finals of “The Biggest Loser,” and along the way lost 99 pounds and regained her relationship with her immigrant parents. She’s an incredible inspiration for Asian Americans.

Join us for a one-hour live conversation with Ada on Tuesday, Feb. 1 at 7 pm PT (10 pm ET) — just Sorry, you’ve missed the live show on Feb. 1, but for 30 days you can still of the conversation.register and listen to the archived MP3 recording of our conversation (it was great!). and you’ll receive the call-in information for our conference line, and the URL for the Webcast. As always, you can submit questions for Ada before and during the show via our Webcast page.

If you’ve tuned in to a visualizAsian show before, you don’t need to register — you’ll receive the login info in an email reminder. If you’re new to visualizAsian, welcome to our 2011 season! We interview Asian American Pacific Islander leaders and newsmakers on a telephone conference call (long distance charges may apply) and Webcast (always free). Our goal is to inspire all AAPIs to find your voice and follow in or guests’ footsteps.

Ada Wong was truly an inspiration during last fall’s 10th season of the reality TV show, “The Biggest Loser.” Alone among the contestants, she didn’t have the support of her family. Several episodes of the series focused on her relationship with her immigrant parents, who were very critical of her growing up, and unlike every other contestant, refused to send in a video greeting urging her on. They criticized her weight and even blamed her for her brother’s drowning death when she was just a child.

Despite of these challenges, Ada excelled in the show, and worked hard to lose weight. She also showed a selfless generosity, even allowing another contestant to win a car in one challenge even though she was comfortably in the lead, because he needed the car more than her. She also won a marathon race handily during the semi-final episode, and now is planning to run the Boston Marathon.

In the end, two men won ahead of her because they came in with much more weight, and the winner’s chosen by percentage of body weight lost during the season. But she won back the love and respect of her parents following a powerful on-camera confrontation, and now she’s an inspiring role model for Asian Americans everywhere.

Here’s NBC’s official bio for Ada going into the season:

Ada has struggled with her weight her entire life, and was shy growing up in Gilroy, Calif., with her younger brother and parents, who emigrated from China. Ridiculed about her weight and with no encouraging and supportive people around her, she turned to food for comfort. As she went through her school years, her personality blossomed and she excelled as a student. Her hard work continued at the University of San Francisco, where Ada earned a Bachelor’s degree in business administration with a focus on international business. Now 27 years old and 258 pounds, Ada hopes losing weight will allow her to feel more confident, feel good about her life and finally be happy. She looks forward to shopping for clothes when she loses weight, as well as snow boarding, rock climbing and even running a marathon.

We’re looking forward to having a terrific conversation with Ada, and hope you’ll join us! Register for the next 30 days to listen to the archived MP3 of our interview with Ada Wong!

Meet Lisa Lee & Harry Mok, publisher & editor of Hyphen magazine

Posted on | November 18, 2010 | 1 Comment

Hyphen magazine: Asian America UnabridgedWe’ve scheduled one more visualizAsian call before the end of the year, with publisher Lisa Lee and editor-in-chief Harry Mok of Hyphen magazine!

If you’re not familiar with Hyphen, it’s the 7-and-a-half-year-old magazine that offers, as it says on the cover, “Asian America Unabridged.” It’s not only a fine, high-quality publication featuring strong writing and editing and graphics, it’s one of the few national print media outlets that covers Asian American issues and pop culture, and it follows in the footsteps of many now-gone magazines, starting with the late, great A magazine and including such titles as TransPacific and East-West. Other mags currently being produced include KoreAm and Giant Robot, whose editor, Eric Nakamura, we spoke to earlier this year.

Our conversation with Lisa and Harry about Hyphen was held will be at 7 pm PT (10 pm ET) on Wednesday, December 8. Register here if you’re new to visualizAsianYou can still register though, to hear the archived MP3 for 30 days.

Like many magazines for Asian Americans, Hyphen is struggling financially, but the quality of its stories is never in question.

We’ll speak with Lee and Mok about the successes and challenges of creating Hyphen. They both have a lot to say about why they’re committed to Hyphen.

Here are their bios:

Hyphen publisher Lisa Lee
For a day job, publisher Lisa Lee works in User Operations for Facebook, and has more than five years of nonprofit experience in marketing and communications for multicultural arts and cultural organizations.

Lisa joined Hyphen in 2007 and since she became the publisher in 2008, the organization’s annual budget has doubled to $55,000 through development and fundraising efforts that she has implemented and supervised. Under Lisa’s leadership, Hyphen has also embarked on marketing efforts that have increased Hyphen’s readership by more than 100%.

Lisa is also a frequent speaker on panels and at workshops on media-related issues for Asian American college students, young professionals and nonprofit managers. A graduate of U.C. Berkeley in Mass Communications and Theatre & Performance Studies, Lisa is committed to using her communications and social media background to help Hyphen reach a broad constituency and to create a more complex representation of Asian America.

Hyphen editor in chief Harry MokEditor-in-Chief Harry Mok is a veteran journalist who wrote about growing up on a Chinese vegetable farm for the second issue of Hyphen and has been a volunteer editor since 2004.

As a board member of the San Francisco and New York chapters of the Asian American Journalists Association, Harry has recruited and organized events for student members. He holds a master’s degree in journalism from the University of California, Berkeley, where he was also a graduate student instructor in the Asian American Studies Department.

Harry currently works as an editor and writer in the communications department of the University of California Office of the President. He’s spent most of his career as an editor and writer for media outlets such as the San Francisco Chronicle, New York Newsday and the Associated Press.

Meet Jeff Yang, editor of “Secret Identities: The Asian American Superhero Anthology” & Bernard Chang, “Superman” artist

Posted on | November 7, 2010 | No Comments

Jeff Yang visualizAsian is back for November with a killer fun live conversation, an hour with Jeff Yang and Bernard Chang on the role of superheroes and comics, and why there aren’t many Asian American superheroes.

The chat will be Tuesday, Nov. 16 at 7 pm PT, 10 pm ET, and if you haven’t registered for a visualizAsian call before, you can sign up in a jiffy.

You missed our live call, but you can still register and listen to the archived MP3 file for up to 30 days.

These two guys are eminently qualified to speak about Asian Americans as well as comic books and superheroes.

Jeff Yang is the Asian Pop columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle, and one of the leading lights of Asian American pop culturedom. We’ve run into him at AAJA conventions, where he’s moderated panels galore over the years. He’s been on the forefront of Asian American pop for years. We first knew his name as the editor of the gone-but-not-forgotten pioneering AsianAm publication, A magazine. He’s also written pop culture compendiums that are musts in every AsianAm library (Eastern Standard Time is one). His latest project, as editor-in-chief of “Secret Identities: The Asian American Superhero Anthology” is so cool he and his crew of co-editors, writers and artists are getting to do a second volume.

Jeff ChangBernard Chang is one of a handful of notable Asian American artists working in comic books. He’s worked on both Marvel and DC superheroes, and he’s currently one of the artists drawing the most venerable superhero of them all, Superman.

Here’s Jeff’s online bio from the Secret Identities website:

A self-acknowledged geek of all trades, Jeff Yang began reading comics with the venerable “G.I. Joe” series created by Larry Hama, and quickly moved on to the stories of men (and women) in tights made available by the twin titans, DC and Marvel. He became a “double-buy” guy in high school, purchasing two copies of particularly collectible issues—one for reading, one for storing away mint. Although the discovery of girls led to a brief comics-free interlude his senior year, he reconnected with comics during college, and has never been unfaithful again.

Yang founded and was editor and publisher of the pioneering Asian American periodical aMagazine for over a dozen years. He has written for a wide range of publications, from Spin to Vibe to Mademoiselle, and has been a columnist and featured contributor for the Village Voice, the anime/manga magazine Animerica, and the comics and gaming magazine Flux, as well as SFGate, the website of the San Francisco Chronicle, where he currently writes the biweekly column “Asian Pop.”

He has also written three books—”Eastern Standard Time” (Houghton Mifflin); “I Am Jackie Chan: My Life in Action” (Ballantine, the action icon’s official autobiography); and “Once Upon a Time in China” (Atria/Pocket Books)—and can be seen on VH1 and heard as a special correspondent on New York’s flagship NPR station, WNYC.

Somewhere along the line, he managed to convince the former Ms. Heather Ying to marry him. She does not hyphenate her name. Heather and Jeff have two sons: five-year-old Hudson and one-year-old Skyler.

Here’s Bernard’s bio, from Wikipedia and his website:

Bernard Chang is an artist working in comics and in entertainment design. He attended the Pratt Institute in New York to study architecture and began drawing professionally in 1992. He drew titles like ‘The Second Life of Dr. Mirage’ and ‘Archer & Armstrong’ for Valiant Comics, before moving over to Marvel and DC. His credits include ‘X-Men’, ‘New Mutants’, ‘Cable’, ‘Deadpool’ and ‘Superman Plus’.

Chang is also known for his illustrations outside of the comic-book world. He was a concept designer for Walt Disney Imagineering between 1997 and 2001 and additionally worked for several museums and redevelopment projects. In 2005 he worked with author Dawn Barnes on the children’s graphic novel ‘The Black Belt Club’ for Scholastic Press. He also illustrated Neil Strauss’s “Emergency,” a book about how to survive the apocalypse, and another Strauss book, “The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists.” He also worked on porn star Jenna Jameson’s autobiography.

He was also the captain of Pratt Institute’s men’s basketball team, and was projected to be a late third round pick in the 1995 NBA draft, except his art career took off.

This is going to be a fun conversation, so don’t miss it!

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