Advance Notice: Briefs

Michigan Asian-American community celebrated in metro Detroit events next week

By: - September 17, 2021 11:30 am

Award-winning video and film producer Eden Sabolboro | Photo by Jarod Lew for Rising Voices

Metro Detroit next week will hold events showcasing artistic and cultural work that uplifts and celebrates the Michigan Asian-American community. 

It’s being put on by Rising Voices, a progressive nonprofit that promotes the civic participation of Asian-American women and families in the electoral and public policy process.

“Asian Americans are one of the fastest growing populations in Michigan and the United States,” said Jasmine Rivera, Rising Voices communications director. “In the wake of more than a year of pandemic hardship and rising anti-Asian violence across the country, we are honored to work with extraordinary artists who not only uplift representation of Asian Americans persons here in Michigan, but also highlight how women and families are building collective power and working to create a better state for all.”

For more information about the events, see the Rising Voices website.

Asian Americans compose about 3.3% of Michigan’s population. 

On Tuesday, a virtual panel discussion called ,“How do we remember: Collective approaches to healing from ancestral trauma” will be held. Branden Synder, co-executive director of Detroit Action, and Rebeca Maxon, a University of Michigan doctoral student, will join Laura Misumi, a fourth-generation Japanese American and Rising Voices executive director, to discuss the history of Japanese American internment during World War II, current day migrant detention, and mass incarnation of BIPOC communities. 

Macomb County Commissioner Mai Xiong |
Photo by Jarod Lew for Rising Voices

On Thursday, participants will preview “DIY: Power,” a new video series created in collaboration with the award-winning filmmakers of “Final Girls,” Detroit’s professional women filmmaker collective.The multilingual civic education series focuses specifically on Michigan’s Asian-American community and seeks to engage them in the political process. Diane Cheklich, Eden Sabolboro, Lara Sfire and Kristine Patnugot will participate in the in-person event that will be held at The Film Lab in Hamtramck. 

On Sept. 25 and Sept. 26, Rising Voices will participate in Dlectricity, an evening outdoor free festival in Detroit. The organization’s “Rising Voices Amplify” exhibition will be showcased. It includes a series of documentary photos profiling the Michigan Asian-American community by noted photographer Jarod Lew. The exhibition is located at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History. 

“We believe that all of this is of critical importance, especially at a time when redistricting is going on,” said Misumi referring to the statewide effort whereby congressional and legislative districts are being reapportioned. “We want to be sure that Asian Americans are active and engaged.”  

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Ken Coleman
Ken Coleman

Ken Coleman covers Southeast Michigan, economic justice and civil rights. He is a former Michigan Chronicle senior editor and served as the American Black Journal segment host on Detroit Public Television. He has written and published four books on black life in Detroit, including Soul on Air: Blacks Who Helped to Define Radio in Detroit and Forever Young: A Coleman Reader. His work has been cited by the Detroit News, Detroit Free Press, History Channel and CNN. Additionally, he was an essayist for the award-winning book, Detroit 1967: Origins, Impacts, Legacies. Ken has served as a spokesperson for the Michigan Democratic Party, Detroit Public Schools, U.S. Sen. Gary Peters and U.S. Rep. Brenda Lawrence. Previously to joining the Advance, he worked for the Detroit Federation of Teachers as a communications specialist. He is a Historical Society of Michigan trustee and a Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metropolitan Detroit advisory board member.