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Hate is a Virus: Combatting Prejudice against Asian Americans

Please join the USC U.S.-China Institute for a discussion of the biases and discrimination against Asians and Asian Americans, the resistance to it, the role America’s relationships with Asia play in shaping perceptions, and trends in Asian American political participation.

April 1, 2021 4:00pm to 5:15pm


As we noted in our March 11 newsletter, hate crimes against people of Asian descent were rising before the Covid-19 pandemic but have dramatically escalated over the last year. Join us Thursday, April 1 for a discussion of the biases and discrimination against Asians and Asian Americans, the resistance to it, the role America’s relationships with Asia play in shaping perceptions, and trends in Asian American political participation. How are Asian American experiences similar and different from those of other ethnic groups? Hate is a virus. What has been done to battle it? What should we do now?

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Ted Lieu, Member of Congress

Ted Lieu has represented California’s 33rd Congressional District since 2015. Prior to that Representative Lieu served for thirteen years as an elected representative in city and state government. He was born in Taiwan and as a child immigrated with his family to Ohio. He was educated at Stanford (computer science/political science) and Georgetown (law) and was on active duty in the U.S. Air Force from 1995 to 1999. He is now a colonel in the Air Force Reserve. Rep. Lieu is a member of the House Judiciary and Armed Forces committees and is the Whip of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus. He has been a leader in many areas, including battling climate change, ethnic profiling, and discrimination against the LGBT community.  

Jennifer Ho, University of Colorado

The daughter of a refugee father from China and an immigrant mother from Jamaica, Jennifer Ho is professor of Ethnic Studies and director of the Center for the Humanities and the Arts at the University of Colorado Boulder. She is the current president of the Association for Asian American Studies. Prof. Ho is the author of three books, Consumption and Identity in Asian American Coming-of-Age NovelsRacial Ambiguity in Asian American Culture and Understanding Gish Jen. She co-edited the essential collections Race, Ethnicity, and Narrative in the United States and Teaching Approaches to Asian American Literature. Prof. Ho previously taught at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. She is among those interviewed for First Vote, a documentary about Chinese American participation in the 2018 election.

Lon Kurashige, University of Southern California

Professor of history and spatial sciences Lon Kurashige has taught at USC since 1995. His work has long focused on racial ideologies, the politics of identity, issues of migration and cultural enactments. He’s the co-author of the textbook Global Americans: A History of the United States and the author of Two Faces of Exclusion: The Untold History of Anti-Asian Racism in the United States and Japanese American Celebration and Conflict A History of Ethnic Identity and Festival, 1934-1990 (Association for Asian American Studies award for top history book). His co-edited books include Major Problems in Asian American History and Pacific America: Empires, Migrations, and Exchanges.

Jane Junn, University of Southern California

Jane Junn holds the USC Associates Chair in social sciences. She’s professor of political science and gender studies. She’s co-authored five books on political participation and public opinion. The first of these, Education and Democratic Citizenship in America, received the top book award from the American Political Science Association. Her two most recent books are Asian American Political Participation: Emerging Constituents and their Political Identities and The Politics of Belonging: Race, Immigration, and Public Opinion. One of her earlier projects focused on the impact of civics courses on secondary school students’ knowledge. Prior to coming to USC, Prof. Junn taught at Rutgers and Columbia, where she earned an Outstanding Teacher Award.

Yawei Liu, Carter Center

Yawei Liu grew up in China and was ten years old when Mao Zedong issued his “People of the World Unite and Defeat American Imperialists and their Running Dogs.”  He subsequently came to the U.S., earned a doctorate and has worked at the Carter Center in Atlanta for many years. He was part of the center’s work on village, township and county elections in China and edited three books political developments in China. He also co-authored a Chinese bestseller about Barack Obama. Dr. Liu is an adjunct professor at Emory University and associate director of the China Research Center in Atlanta. He has long focused on U.S.-China perceptions and his most recent project is the report, Finding Firmer Ground: The Role of Civil Society and NGOs in U.S.-China Relations.

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