APA Spotlight

"APA Spotlight" is a regular interview series on 8asians.com by Koji Steven Sakai interviewing Asian American community leaders from around the country.
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Akira Uchimura of the Nikkei Youth Network

One of the people I met on my recent trip to Japan was Akira Uchimura, the Executive Director of the Nikkei Youth Network. He brought together a whole bunch of Nikkei (people of Japanese descent) from all over the world for a conference about Nikkei issues. Being one of the most interesting people I know, I sat down with Akira for a few minutes and got to know him better. These are the eight questions I decided to ask him:

Tell us where you are from and a little about yourself…

My name is Akira Uchimura, my father is Japanese ...

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Tom Ikeda, Densho: The Japanese American Legacy Project

Tom Ikeda is the founding Executive Director of Densho: The Japanese American Legacy Project. Using web technology, Densho provides access to over 400 video testimonies, 10,000 historical photos and documents, and in-depth teacher resources to explore principles of democracy by examining the World War II experiences of Japanese Americans.

Densho—a Japanese term meaning “to pass on to the next generation,” or to leave a legacy—seeks to educate young people and inspire them to act in defense of liberty and the highest values of our country.

In addition to leading the organization over the last 14 years, Tom ...

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Athena Mari Asklipiadis, Mixed Marrow

Athena Mari Asklipiadis, who is of Japanese, Greek, Armenian, Italian, and Egyptian descent, was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. She is a graduate of Pepperdine University with a bachelor’s degree in broadcasting. In 2002, Athena first stepped onto the multiracial/multiethnic scene by writing for Eurasian Nation and in 2004 she was an intern for the podcast and website, Addicted to Race. After college, Athena worked in radio production and promotions for CBS and Clear Channel in Los Angeles.

She simultaneously worked as a freelance voice-over actor and as a site leader for WeAreHapa.com where she ...

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Rick Shiomi, Co-Founder and Artistic Director of Mu Performing Arts

Rick Shiomi has been one of the leaders of the Asian American theater movement for over twenty-five years. He is a co-founder of Mu Performing Arts (based in Minneapolis, Minnesota) and has been the Artistic Director since 1993.

As a playwright, his plays include the award winning Yellow Fever which played Off Broadway, in Japan and around North America, and many others such as Play Ball, Rosie’s Cafe, Mask Dance and Journey of the Drum. As a director he has worked extensively with Mu, directing Yellow Face by David Hwang, Temple of Dreams by Marcus Quiniones and an Asian ...

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Ken Tanabe, Loving Day

Ken Tanabe is the founder and president of Loving Day. Loving Day is an educational community project that fights racial prejudice through education and builds multicultural community. Loving Day Celebrations commemorate the legalization of interracial couples in America. In 2009, there were Loving Day Celebrations in 31 cities in 3 countries. The celebrations and the LovingDay.org website have been featured in Time, the Washington Post, NPR, BBC World, and many other major national/international media outlets. Ken Tanabe has been an active member of the multiethnic community since the launch of Loving Day in 2004. He served on the ...

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