KCC Center for Diversity to host “model minority” discussion May 23

Jorge Zeballos, executive director of the KCC Center for Diversity and Innovation, addresses an audience during an open house in the Kellogg Room.

Kellogg Community College’s Center for Diversity and Innovation will host a facilitated discussion in Battle Creek this month on the myth of Asian-Americans as the “model minority.”

The CDI will present “Igniting a Model Minority Mutiny: Disrupting the Life of Asian-American Exceptionalism” from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Monday, May 23, in the Kellogg Room on KCC’s campus at 450 North Ave., Battle Creek. The event is free and open to the public, and light refreshments will be served

A supervised playroom will be available for children ages 3 and up, but playroom reservations must be made in advance by contacting Timeaka Reese, executive assistant at the CDI, at reeset@kellogg.edu.

The session will explore the basic roots of the model minority myth and identify the contemporary outcroppings of this specific racial story. Facilitator PaKou Her, a civic engagement leader who directs 18MillionRising.org (18MR), will assess the prevailing false racial, colonial and orientalist assumptions and use them frameworks to critique and identify Asian-American entry points to organizing for racial justice.

Together, session attendees will discuss and identify concrete ways to challenge the model minority myth and begin to reshape Asian-American identity formation and build accountability across racial lines.

For more information about this event, contact Timeaka Reese, executive assistant at the CDI, at 269-565-7946 or visit www.kellogg.edu/kcccdi.

About PaKou Her

PaKou Her is executive director of 18MillionRising.org (18MR), an Asian-American Pacific Islander (AAPI) online-organizing and civic-engagement organization that leverages technology and social media to build political power, racial identity and community. PaKou joined 18MR in April 2013, bringing with her nearly 20 years of antiracism organizing experience and after two years with MoveOn.org.

She is also principal of Tseng Development Group, a consulting firm providing lectures, workshops, organizational development, transformative leadership coaching and grassroots strategy development rooted in People of Color histories and world views.

Born and raised in the Midwest, PaKou takes great pride representing AAPIs living in the nation’s midsection. Some of her favorite non-campaigning activities include entertaining two young daughters, squeezing in occasional adult-only evenings with her spouse, chasing culinary adventures and dreaming about reviving a long-lost singing career. Her I on Twitter at @pakouher.

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