AAMPLIFIED Roundup: Travel ban, flag protest, women of color in the arts, LGBTQ visibility
Source: Kathy Willens/Associated Press
Every week, AAMPLIFY brings you the week in Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander news.
Supreme Court reinstates partial travel ban
In a decision made Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court lifted certain injunctions against President Trump’s travel ban. Verbatim, the ruling granted bans “with respect to foreign nationals who lack any bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States.” Refugee arrivals, which had been suspended for 120 days, will continue under the same rules.
Muslim-American leaders and allies, including the Muslim Public Affairs Council, South Asian Americans Leading Together, Asian Americans Advancing Justice, and the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, spoke out against the ruling, calling it a major setback but a partial victory as much of the travel ban was rendered unconstitutional. John Yang, president and executive director of the AAAJ, said the order echoed the unlawful detention of Japanese Americans during World War II.
“We understand what this means, and we understand the false premise that this provides,” said Yang. “And we cannot go back to that.”
Maryland city faces protest against North Vietnamese flag
Rockville’s Vietnamese community is protesting against Rockville, Maryland’s decision to fly the flag of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, the communist regime that defeated South Vietnam in 1975. Rockville, which flies each flag of the U.N.’s member nations downtown, initially removed the flag, but replaced it after confirming that the Socialist Republic of Vietnam was a member nation of the U.N.
But Vietnamese Rockville residents have reason to fight the flag. “For [Vietnamese immigrants], seeing the flag incites a lot of anger and sadness, and brings back horrible, terrible memories,” said Diane Vu, Montgomery’s liaison for Asian communities.
Currently, Rockville is reevaluating whether to fly both flags, or one particular one. Other cities, such as San Jose, CA, recognize only the South Vietnamese flag.
Women of color honored at Los Angeles collective
The Kilroys, an independent collective based in Los Angeles, has been bolstering representation for female playwrights by publishing an annual list of new plays to consider. This year, The Kilroys are focusing on female and transgender writers of color, highlighting playwrights such as Lauren Yee (Ching Chong Chinaman, The Great Leap) and Leah Nanako Winkler (Kentucky, Two Mile Hollow).
This year’s focus was inspired by a study which showed that 22 percent of plays produced in regional theaters over the past three years have been written by women, whereas only 3.4 percent were written by women of color. Meanwhile, the New York Times also reported that most theater jobs skew White and male.
Since The Kilroys began, over 100 plays listed have been produced or announced. Find a full list of past and present honorees at thekilroys.org.
LGBTQ Visibility Project highlights LGBTQ AAPI
In 2007, photographer Mia Nakano connected with the Blue Diamond Society, a LGBTQ rights organization, to take portraits of LGBTQ-identifying people. And in 2009, Nakano launched the Visibility Project, a photography and documentation project that took her through 26 cities in 20 states as she interviewed, recorded and photographed participants about their identities and lives.
“I wanted to … explore the idea of gender, sexuality, and really talk to people about that from a very personal level,” says Nakano. “And I felt like if I was in the Bay Area and I was kind of struggling and I didn’t feel like I had a solid community and felt alone there, I wanted to understand what was happening in the rest of the community.”
On June 6, Nakano released Visible Resilience, a book that contained 80 portraits from her work. On the same evening, Nakano also launched the Resilience Archives, a “community-based digital history tour map that highlights the contributions, memories and historical moments of the LGBTQ Asian American and Pacific Islander community in the San Francisco Bay Area.” You can find it at resiliencearchives.org.
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