Category Archives: Press Release

Press Release: Special Focus on Youth Facing Risks

UCLA: New Issue of AAPI Nexus on “Beyond the ‘Whiz Kid’ Stereotype: New Research on Asian American and Pacific Islander Youth”

Melany Dela Cruz-Viesca,
For Immediate Use
(310) 206-7738
November 30, 2006

Beyond the ‘Whiz Kid’ Stereotype:
New Research on Asian American and Pacific Islander Youth

UCLA Asian American Studies Center – Asian American youth are often portrayed as obedient whiz kids who excel academically. This simplistic picture, however, ignores the increasing number of Asian American and Pacific Islander youth who are struggling with school and the juvenile justice system. The current issue of AAPI Nexus (4:2), entitled “Youth Facing Risks,” features new research on youth violence, delinquency and other risk factors facing Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) youth.

While much research has gone into youth violence in the United States, observes guest editor Karen Umemoto, Professor of Urban Planning at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, little is known about AAPI youth.
However, she says, “the available information shows that certain groups face serious problems.”

Samoan youth in Hawai`i, for example, report higher rates on indicators of high-risk behavior, including weapons possession, involvement in physical fights and substance abuse. In the article “You got to do so much to actually make it,” researchers David Tokiharu Mayeda, Lisa Pasko and Meda Chesney-Lind point to factors such as unequal gender roles, biases in schools and the lack of positive role models as critical issues for Samoan youth.

The article “Profiling Incarcerated Asian and Pacific Islander Youth” by Isami Arifuku, Delores D. Peacock and Caroline Glesmann further examines AAPI juvenile crime, with a focus on California. While AAPIs constitute only 5 percent of incarcerated youth in the state, the authors found that some ethnicities were overrepresented in the California juvenile justice system. These overrepresented ethnicities, note the authors, comprise groups that immigrated into the U.S. after the mid-1970s.

These demographic differences, writes Umemoto, illustrate the importance of “designing culturally appropriate prevention and intervention strategies.” Unfortunately, she continues, most of the policies that aim to curb violence and delinquency “lack grounded understandings of the problem.”

The article “Self-Reported Rates and Risk Factors of Cambodian, Chinese, Lao/Mien and Vietnamese Youth” by Thao N. Le and Judy L. Wallen contributes to this understanding by exploring the factors that place this population at risk for serious violence. Risk factors include difficulties in acculturation, second-generation status, and inconsistent parental supervision and discipline.

Ahn-Luu T. Huynh-Hohnbaum further emphasizes the importance of the home environment in “The Role of the Family in Asian American Delinquency.” She finds that family structure was a predictive factor for AAPI involvement in juvenile delinquency. Parental monitoring, in particular, served to protect youth from involvement in delinquent acts against persons and property.

To date, however, the few policies aimed at addressing issues of AAPI juvenile crime neglect these important cultural factors. Such misdirected policies are discussed in the article “Asian Americans on the Streets” by James Diego Vigil, Tomson H. Nguyen, and Jesse Cheng. Focusing on Vietnamese and Cambodian youth gangs in California, the authors propose prevention and intervention strategies that involve the community and schools.

“Policies (should) take into account the nuanced differences between Asian communities,” write the authors. These include, for example, culturally different parenting and communication styles and the availability of various social institutions within the ethnic communities.

Together, the articles in this special issue of AAPI Nexus belie the simplistic “whiz kid” stereotypes. “These articles,” says Umemoto, “contribute to the critical conversation on the risks, challenges, and opportunities facing AAPI youth.”

AAPI Nexus copies are $13.00 plus $4.00 for shipping and handling and 8.75% sales tax for California residents. Make checks payable to “Regents of U.C.” VISA, MASTERCARD, and DISCOVER are also accepted; include expiration date and phone number on correspondence. The mailing address is: UCLA Asian American Studies Center Press, 3230 Campbell Hall, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1546. Phone: 310-825-2968.

Annual subscriptions for APPI Nexus are $35.00 for individuals and $175.00 for libraries and other institutions. AAPI Nexus is published twice a year: Winter/Spring, and Summer/Fall.

Press Release: AAPI Nexus Journal’s Glass Ceiling Issue

New Issue of AAPI Nexus Examines Glass Ceilings and Health Disparities among Asian Americans

For Immediate Use
June 14, 2006
(310) 206-3986

Glass Ceiling Among Asian Americans, Health Disparities

Discussed in New AAPI Nexus

(Note to Editors: For media copies of the book, contact

The new AAPI Nexus: Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders Policy, Practice and Community by the UCLA Asian American Studies Center examines whether there is a “glass ceiling” affecting Asian American professionals. Health issues also are addressed.

“A major challenge facing Asian and Pacific Americans in the labor market is whether or not they can translate their educational gains into managerial positions, particularly positions at the very top of the public and private sector,” said journal senior editor Paul Ong, a professor of Asian American studies and director of UCLA’s Lewis Center for Regional Policy Studies. “The existing research, including the research published by AAPI Nexus, indicates that the glass ceiling’ is a complex phenomenon with subtle nuances. Some Asian/Pacific Islanders are affected, and others are not. The articles in this issue enrich the debate about the nature and extent of the glass ceiling and offer concrete policies and recommendations about what actions can be taken.”

Three of the journal’s chapters present disparate views on whether a glass ceiling exists for Asian Americans.

In the practitioner’s essay “Become Visible: Let Your Voice Be Heard,” Vu H. Pham, Lauren Emiko Hokoyama and J.D. Hokoyama argue that there is an absence of Asian Pacific American leaders in the private, public and nonprofit sectors, and that this underrepresentation is not due to a lack of skill or interest. Instead, Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) are invisible because they lack role models and mentors and because they are not perceived as “leadership material.” The authors bring a unique perspective to the journal through their work at Leadership Education for Asian Pacifics, the primary Asian/Pacific Islander leadership training organization in the United States.

In the research article “Are Native-Born Asian Americans Less Likely to Be Managers? Further Evidence on the Glass-Ceiling Hypothesis,” Arthur Sakamoto, Hyeyoung Woo and Keng-Loong Yap find that native-born Asian Americans are at least as likely as whites to be managers in the private sector. The authors also find some differences in outcome by ethnicity and gender. Conflicting findings on this research point to the need for future investigation.

In the chapter titled “Asian Pacific American Senior Executives in the Federal Government” by Jeremy Wu and Carson Eoyang, the authors present a pessimistic picture of how Asian Pacific Americans have fared with respect to the glass ceiling and focus on representation at the highest career levels in the federal government. The authors draw upon two major reports from the Government Accountability Office that show “pervasive and pernicious existence of glass ceilings for Asian Pacific Americans throughout the federal government.” They recommend the development of agency-specific plans and actions, and closer congressional and Office of Personnel Management oversight. One of the key points is the need for accurate and timely work force information to monitor progress and facilitate accountability.

The journal chapters focusing on health find that there also is a critical need for accurate and timely information in the health field.

In the practitioner’s essay. “Glancing Back, Looking Forward: Some Comments on Health Research in Asian American Communities,” David Takeuchi and Seunghye Hong argue for a policy focus to guide the type of data that should be collected, including information on historical and contextual factors affecting health issues. Along with improving data collection, the authors recommend a more creative and ambitious research agenda that goes beyond simple statistics to examining the underlying causes that produce poor health, including individual socioeconomic characteristics and broad societal factors.

“Given the enormous cultural and economic diversity within the AAPI population, it is critically important to have detailed and isaggregated health statistics that can better inform health policies and programs,” Ong said. “The articles in this issue document how current data collection and research approaches fall short of achieving this goal.”

In the research article, “Singhs, Watanabes, Parks and Nguyens: A Comparison of Surname-list Samples to Probability Samples Using the California Health Interview Survey, 2001,” Ninez Ponce and Melissa Gatchell describe one method of increasing the sample size used by the state survey. This large-scale effort is conducted in five Asian American languages and supplements its random-digit-dialing sample with an over sample based on Asian surnames listed in telephone directories. The authors find that using surname lists for a survey is appropriate for some purposes but not for others.

The resource paper, “Measuring State-Level Asian America and Pacific Islander Health Disparities: The Case of Illinois” by Lauren S. Tao, Jini Han and Ami Shah highlights the potentials and limitations of state-level government statistics. The findings for Illinois, which has the nation’s sixth-largest Asian American/Pacific Islander population, are applicable for those working on health issues in states outside of California and Hawaii. The available information shows that AAPIs in Illinois suffer higher incidence, morbidity and mortality rates from certain cancers and infectious and chronic diseases. Not surprisingly, state agencies largely fail to provide ethnic-specific information, thus seriously hampering the ability to address the significant needs of disadvantaged AAPI groups. The writers conclude with a call to improve data collection and fund research on AAPI ethnic groups, to address inequities in services and care, and to eliminate the undue burden of diseases borne by Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.

Annual subscriptions for AAPI Nexus are $35 for individual subscribers, and $175 for libraries and other institutions. AAPI Nexus is published two times a year.

Individual journals may be purchased by sending a check made payable to “UC Regents” for $13 per issue plus $4 shipping/handling and 8.75% tax for California residents to: UCLA Asian American Studies Center Press, 3230 Campbell Hall, Box 951546, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1546. Visa, MasterCard and Discover cards also are accepted; include account number, expiration date and a phone number. Orders and communications can be addressed to or (310) 825-2968.

Press Release: AAPI Nexus Journal’s Employment/Work Issue

“The UCLA Asian American Studies Center Publishes New Research on Employment/Work Issues of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders”

20 December 2005
PRESS CONTACT: Melany Dela Cruz, Managing Editor, AAPI NEXUS
PHONE: 310.825.2974
BOOK ORDERS: 310.825.2968

“The UCLA Asian American Studies Center Publishes New Research on Employment/Work Issues of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders”

LOS ANGELES-The UCLA Asian American Studies Center, Los Angeles, announces the publication of the new issue of AAPI Nexus: Asian Americans & Pacific Islanders, Policy, Practice and Community (3:2, 2005). Scholars, researchers, practitioners, and government officials within this volume examine racial discrimination in employment against Asian Americans, workers’ rights, and economic parity in the global labor market.

Guest Editor, Deborah Woo, and Senior Editor, Paul Ong, aim for this issue (the first of two) on AAPI work and employment to “produce the knowledge that will help generate new policies and practices to better serve the cause of greater workforce equity and social justice.”

Researchers PAULA CHAKRAVARTTY and SIRI THANASOMBAT and JOHN TRASVIÑA focus on the aftershocks of the terrorist attacks of 9/11 on Arab and South Asian Indian nationals and American citizens. In discussions of immigration quotas, U.S. sponsored-corporate work visas, the tech bust and 9/11. CHAKRAVARTTY, Assistant Professor in the Department of Communications and the Center for Public Policy at University of Massachusetts, Amherst, looks at the impact of highly skilled South Asian nationals who comprise the majority of foreign-born workers in the IT (information technology) industry and their impact on American workers. THANASOMBAT, the program manager at the Discrimination Research Center, a non-profit civil rights organization, launched in 1998 by the Impact Fund, and TRASVIÑA, the former director of the Discrimination Research Center and current Western Regional Director of the U.S. Civil Rights Commission, document the effects of the 2001 terrorist attacks on the temporary employment industry, which the authors predict to be the fifth fastest-growing industry through 2012.

KARIN MAK, a New Voices Fellow at Sweatshop Watch, and GRACE MENG, a former Liman Fellow at the Asian Law Caucus and current law practitioner focuses on immigration law in New York, in their practitioner’s essay, outline some ideas for improving programs that focus on workplace development. They propose renovations that are geared specifically toward immigrants. In particular, MAK AND MENG are concerned about Chinese garment workers in California who are displaced by the global policy of lifting quotas on garment imports.

Other articles deal directly with employment discrimination against Asian Americans and Asian immigrants and propose various ways to aid them. The second practitioner’s essay by STUART J. ISHIMARU, chair of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, searches for reasons why Asian Americans file comparatively fewer employment discrimination charges than do other minority groups and calls for more research that would explore the sociological factors in Asian Americans’ perceptions and experiences of discrimination.

DON MAR, Professor of Economics at San Francisco State University, questions whether AAPIs have achieved economic parity with non-Hispanic whites in the labor market, by analyzing information about labor market participation, employment in management positions, self-employment, earnings and gender differences.

JULIAN CHUN-CHUNG CHOW, Associate Professor in the School of Social Welfare at UC Berkeley, KATHY LEMON OSTERLING, MSW, a Ph.D. candidate in the School of Social Welfare at UC Berkeley, and QINGWEN XU, Assistant Professor at the Graduate School of Social Work at Boston College, argue that for Asian immigrants and refugees, there is a problematic mismatch, in terms of employment skills, between their country of origin and the U.S., in terms of welfare-to-work programs. The authors call for the renovation of such programs with special consideration of the API population’s needs.

Table of Contents for AAPI Nexus 3:2

Deborah Woo and Paul Ong, Message from the Editors, “AAPI Labor Market Status and Challenges”

Stuart J. Ishimaru, Practitioner’s Essay, “Employment Discrimination and Asian Americans”

Karin Mak and Grace Meng, Practitioner’s Essay, “Workforce Development: Its Potential and Limitations for Chinese Garment Workers”

Don Mar, “Asian Americans in the Labor Market: Public Policy Issues”

Paula Chakravartty, “Weak Winners of Globalization: Indian H-1B Workers in the American Information Economy”

Julian Chun-Chung Chow, Kathy Lemon Osterling and Qingwen Xu, “The Risk of Timing Out: Welfare-to-Work Services to Asian Immigrants and Refugees”

Siri Thanasombat and John Trasviña, AAPI Almanac, “Screening Names Instead of Qualifications: Testing with Emailed Resumes Reveals Racial Preferences”

Annual subscriptions for AAPI Nexus are $35 for individual subscribers, and $175 for libraries and other institutions. It is published two times a year. Individual journals may be purchased for $13 per issue plus $4 shipping/handling and 8.75 percent tax for California residents. Price subject to change without notice. Make check payable to “UC Regents” and send to: UCLA Asian American Studies Center Press, 3230 Campbell Hall, Box 951546, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1546. Visa, MasterCard and Discover cards also are accepted; include account number, expiration date and your telephone number. Orders and communications can be addressed to or (310) 825-2968.

Press Release: AAPI Nexus Journal’s Health Issue

UCLA Asian American Studies Center Journal Examines Health Problems of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders

Note to Editors: For media copies of the book, contact Melany Dela Cruz (

Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) health problems, as well as solutions to these problems, are discussed in a new journal published by the UCLA Asian American Studies Center.

Little is know about these health problems, which include high levels of cancer, cardiovascular disease and diabetes, and what is known is not widely disseminated, according to Marjorie Kagawa-Singer, a UCLA associate professor of public health and Asian American Studies, and Paul Ong, a UCLA professor of Asian American studies and the director of the Ralph and Goldy Lewis Center for Regional Policy Studies.

The journal is entitled AAPI NEXUS: Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, Policy, Practice and Community.

A common fallacy is that Asian Americans are a “model minority” and do not possess significant health problems due to their traditional diets and culture, wrote Kagawa-Singer and Ong in the journal’s introduction. However, some diseases, such as diabetes and breast, stomach and liver cancers, occur at an even higher rate than for non-Hispanic white Americans. Many other health problems also occur at significant rates among Asian American and Pacific Islander subgroups, but few in either the AAPI or health communities are aware of these problems.

As Asian American and Pacific Islanders Westernize their lifestyles, their disease profiles begin to mirror those of the dominant U.S. society, and the change becomes apparent within one generation. The patterns of change, however, vary among Asian American and Pacific Islander subgroups due to differences in traditional cultural practices, immigration histories, socioeconomic restraints and in the level of adoption of the dominant American lifestyle.

For example, some groups consume diets very high in sodium such as soy and fish sauces, and pickled, smoked and salted foods, which contain nitrates that increase the risk of stomach cancer (the highest rates in the world are in Asia.) Highly peppered foods also may contribute to higher stomach cancer rates, which could indicate why Korean American men have the highest rates of stomach cancer in the United States. South Asians, who often cook with ghee , a type of butter, and fry many foods, have some of the highest rates of diabetes and cardiovascular diseases among Asians and Pacific Islanders. More than 90 percent of Asians and Pacific Islanders are lactose intolerant, and calcium intake is lower than in U.S. diets. Many elderly Asian American women suffer from osteoporosis, which has a higher mortality rate than all female cancers combined.
Julia Liou and Sherry Hirota wrote about Oakland’s Chinatown, which holds the record for the highest number of pedestrian and vehicle accidents in the city of Oakland, and the Asian Health Services’ campaign to increase awareness among community members about the problem. The campaign has evolved into an environmental justice campaign, which demonstrates how a campaign can address effectively a chronic public health problem and how health centers can function as catalysts of community and economic development.

Hongtu Chen, Elizabeth J. Kramer, Teddy Chen, Jianping Chen and Henry Chung examine mental health services for Asian Americans, who have the lowest use of mental health services compared to all other racial and ethnic groups. The authors described The Bridge Program, an innovative program in New York that bridges the gap between primary care and mental health services.

Cecilia Chen, Doug Brugge, Alice Leung, Andrea Finkelman, Weibo Lu and Will Rand wrote about childhood asthma rates and its severity in the Asian American population in Boston’s Chinatown. The authors developed an exploratory study that helped develop methodology for researching asthma in Chinese immigrant populations and examined language issues.

Lisa Sun-Hee Park and David Naguib Pellow wrote about the role of working-class Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders in Silicon Valley’s high-technology revolution. The researchers considered the thousands of Asians/Pacific Islanders who make Silicon Valley possible by producing the hardware that runs the machinery upon which this modern-day empire was built, and addressed the health hazards experienced by those involved in home-based piecework.

Chi-kan Richard Hung analyzed the characteristics of Asian American nonprofit organizations in major U.S. metropolitan areas. Asian American nonprofits are less than 20 years old, on average. They remain a relatively small part of the nonprofit sector. According to the authors, religious organizations are generally the largest group among Asian American nonprofits, followed by cultural organizations, service agencies and public interest associations.

AAPI Nexus is pioneering the incorporation of health as an area of research and information dissemination for Asian American Studies. A second issue of AAPI Nexus focusing on Asian and Pacific Islander health statistics will be forthcoming in 2006.

Annual subscriptions for AAPI Nexus are $35 for individual subscribers, and $175 for libraries and other institutions. It is published two times a year. Prices subject to change without notice.

Individual journals may be purchased by sending a check made payable to “UC Regents” for $13 per issue plus $4 shipping/handling and 8.75 percent tax for California residents to: UCLA Asian American Studies Center Press, 3230 Campbell Hall, Box 951546, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1546. Visa, MasterCard and Discover cards also are accepted; include account number, expiration date and your telephone number. Orders and communications can be addressed to or (310) 825-2968.

Press Release: The Inaugural Issue of AAPI Nexus Journal

UCLA Asian American Studies Center Launches New Journal on Policies, Practices and Community Research for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders

((For a complimentary review copy of the first issue of AAPI Nexus, please see below.))

A new national journal by UCLA’s Asian American Studies Center focuses on policies, practices and community research to benefit the nation’s burgeoning Asian American and Pacific Islander communities. It is being launched as part of the Center’s year-long celebration of its 35th anniversary.

The new journal, AAPI Nexus: Asian American and Pacific Islander Policy, Practice, and Community, draws from professional schools and applied social science scholars as well as practitioners and public policy advocates with the explicit goal of reinvigorating Asian American Studies’ traditional mission of serving communities and generating practical research.

“I am hopeful that AAPI Nexus will contribute significantly to the development of applied social science and public policy research on Asian Americans and Pacific Islander Americans, much as our Center’s flagship publication, Amerasia Journal, has influenced historical, cultural and social science scholarship and creative expression for over three decades,” said Don Nakanishi, director of UCLA’s Asian American Studies Center, professor of education and Asian American Studies, and associate editor of the journal. “Scholars and students who are entering professional school disciplines such as law, public health, education, social welfare, urban planning and information studies, to name only a few, have much to contribute to understanding and helping our communities.”

“The journal seeks to strengthen the bridge between gown and town,” said Paul Ong, director of UCLA’s Ralph and Goldy Lewis Center for Regional Policy Studies, professor of urban planning, social welfare, and Asian American Studies, and senior editor of the journal. “University research has been a tremendous resource to practitioners, elected officials and community leaders, and those in the community can help inform the university of what the important societal issues for research are. The journal is, as the name implies, the nexus that facilitates communication.”

“AAPI Nexus seeks articles that enlighten us on the magnitude and nature of the problems, and on the possibilities for intervention,” wrote Ong and Nakanishi in their “Message From the Editors.” “The goal is to help those pursuing social change to become more effective through a greater understanding. The journal will publish empirically based applied research. This includes articles analyzing the structures and processes that produce and reproduce socioeconomic inequalities, identify factors that empower people to overcome barriers and adversities, assess policies and programs relevant to AAPIS and evaluate the effectiveness of organizations, strategies, and actions.”

“We also believe that it is important to have voices closer to the community. The editorial board includes not only faculty, but also practitioners and public policy advocates. Our review process for articles includes readers from both the academy and the professions. We also created a regular section called the ‘Practitioner’s Essay,’ written by community and professional leaders. . . Our past experience also tells us that community-based organizations and advocacy groups want and need basic and timely statistics and analytical tools; consequently, we will have a regular ‘AAPI Almanac’ section.”

The first issue of AAPI Nexus examines the topic of community development by policy advocates and applied social scientists from across the nation..

Kil Huh, a Ph.D. candidate at Columbia University, and Lisa Hasegawa, executive director of the Washington, D.C.-based National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development, wrote the Practitioners Essay entitled, “An Agenda for AAPI Community Development,” and advised community-development organizations about incorporating market-based principles, while maintaining local control over the process.

Dean S. Toji, assistant professor in the department of Asian American Studies at California State University, Long Beach, and Karen Umemoto, associate professor of urban and regional planning at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, examined central issues of community development in Little Tokyo, a neighborhood adjacent to downtown Los Angeles that was once a bustling center of civic, economic, political and cultural life for Japanese immigrants and their second-generation offspring from the early 1900s to World War II.

Melany Dela Cruz, ccoordinator and research analyst with the Asian Pacific American Community Development Data Center with UCLA’s Asian American Studies Center, and Loh-Sze Leung, a staff member with the City of Los Angeles’ Community Development Department in Boyle Heights, wrote about opportunities for community-university partnerships and encourage Asian American Studies programs to send students into the community to help bridge the “town and gown” divide.

Douglas Miller and Douglas Houston, both researchers with the Ralph and Goldy Lewis Center for Regional Policy Studies in the UCLA School of Public Policy and Social Research, contributed to the AAPI Alamanc action of the issue, and examined the demographic and socioeconomic characteristics of Asian Americans living in distressed areas. The article provides current information on the racial/ethnic diversity, educational attainment, and poverty and employment rates of 14 disadvantaged Asian-American neighborhoods.

Grace Yoo, assistant professor of Asian American Studies at San Francisco State University, wrote about the efforts to save welfare for low-income Asian-American seniors and the role of national organizations.

AAPI Nexus is the second national journal of the UCLA Asian American Studies Center. Amerasia Journal, which the center has published since 1971, is considered to be the leading multidisciplinary scholarly journal in the field of Asian American Studies and one of the world’s most influential publications focusing on topics of race and ethnic relations.
Future issues of AAPI Nexus will focus on civil rights, voting, work force development, health, youth at risk, arts and cultural institutions, and other topics. Each issue will also include refereed articles that do not deal with the common theme.

The inaugural “Message from the Editors: To Serve, Help Build, and Analyze,” by Professors Ong and Nakanishi, as well information on submission of articles to the journal and members of the founding editorial board, can be found here.

For subscription and order inquiries, please email ( or call (310.825.2968)