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Letters for Black Lives

Letters for Black Lives

Mom, Dad, Uncle, Auntie, Grandfather, Grandmother:
We need to talk.

You may not have grown up around people who are Black, but I have. Black people are a fundamental part of my life: they are my friends, my classmates and teammates, my roommates, my family. Today, I’m scared for them.

This year, the American police have already killed more than 500 people. Of those, 25% have been Black, even though Black people make up only 13% of the population. Earlier this week in Louisiana, two White police officers killed a Black man named Alton Sterling while he sold CDs on the street. The very next day in Minnesota, a police officer shot and killed a Black man named Philando Castile in his car during a traffic stop while his girlfriend and her four-year-old daughter looked on. Overwhelmingly, the police do not face any consequences for ending these lives.

This is a terrifying reality that some of my closest friends live with every day.
Even as we hear about the dangers Black Americans face, our instinct is sometimes to point at all the ways we are different from them. To shield ourselves from their reality instead of empathizing. When a policeman shoots a Black person, you might think it’s the victim’s fault because you see so many images of them in the media as thugs and criminals. After all, you might say, we managed to come to America with nothing and build good lives for ourselves despite discrimination, so why can’t they?

I want to share with you how I see things.
It’s true that we face discrimination for being Asian in this country. Sometimes people are rude to us about our accents, or withhold promotions because they don’t think of us as “leadership material.” Some of us are told we’re terrorists. But for the most part, nobody thinks “dangerous criminal” when we are walking down the street. The police do not gun down our children and parents for simply existing.

This is not the case for our Black friends. Many Black people were brought to America as slaves against their will. For centuries, their communities, families, and bodies were ripped apart for profit. Even after slavery, they had to build back their lives by themselves, with no institutional support — not allowed to vote or own homes, and constantly under threat of violence that continues to this day.

In fighting for their own rights, Black activists have led the movement for opportunities not just for themselves, but for us as well. Black people have been beaten, jailed, even killed fighting for many of the rights that Asian Americans enjoy today. We owe them so much in return. We are all fighting against the same unfair system that prefers we compete against each other.
When someone is walking home and gets shot by a sworn protector of the peace — even if that officer’s last name is Liang — that is an assault on all of us, and on all of our hopes for equality and fairness under the law.

For all of these reasons, I support the Black Lives Matter movement. Part of that support means speaking up when I see people in my community — or even my own family — say or do things that diminish the humanity of Black Americans in this country. I am telling you this out of love, because I don’t want this issue to divide us. I’m asking that you try to empathize with the anger and grief of the fathers, mothers, and children who have lost their loved ones to police violence. To empathize with my anger and grief, and support me if I choose to be vocal, to protest. To share this letter with your friends, and encourage them to be empathetic, too.

As your child, I am proud and eternally grateful that you made the long, hard journey to this country, that you’ve lived decades in a place that has not always been kind to you. You’ve never wished your struggles upon me. Instead, you’ve suffered through a prejudiced America, to bring me closer to the American Dream.

But I hope you can consider this: the American Dream cannot exist for only your children. We are all in this together, and we cannot feel safe until ALL our friends, loved ones, and neighbors are safe. The American Dream that we seek is a place where all Americans can live without fear of police violence. This is the future that I want — and one that I hope you want, too.

With love and hope,
Your children

Letters for Black Lives

About this Letter
This is the first letter in the Letters for Black Lives project, a set of crowdsourced, multilingual, and culturally-aware resources aimed at creating a space for open and honest conversations about racial justice, police violence, and anti-Blackness in our families and communities.

Since its conception on July 7th, 2016, this open letter has been drafted collaboratively by dozens of contributors on a public Google Document — and translated by hundreds more into 20+ languages. The original intent of this letter was to serve as a multilingual resource for Asian Americans who wanted to talk to their immigrant parents about anti-Blackness and police violence, but the project has since expanded to include messaging for Latinx and African immigrants as well as people living in Canada and Europe.

All contributors to this project are united around one common goal: speaking empathetically, kindly, and earnestly to our elders about why Black lives matter to us. As many of us are first- and second-generation immigrants ourselves, we know first-hand that it can be difficult to find the words to talk about this complex issue, especially in the languages that resonate most with our elders. Our hope with this letter and its translations is to make it easier for people to craft their own starting points, and serve as a first step towards more difficult intergenerational conversations about race and police violence.

We are not looking to center ourselves in the conversation about anti-Blackness, but rather to serve as responsible allies — to educate, organize, and spread awareness in our own communities without further burdening Black activists, who are already doing so much. Please visit the #BlackLivesMatter site for more information on the core movement.

We wanted to write a letter — not a think piece or an explainer or a history lesson — because changing hearts and minds in our community requires time and trust, and is best shaped with dialogue. We know that this letter is far from perfect: it’s a bit homogenized, not comprehensive, and even excludes perspectives. Most of the important work of the letter is not being done in the English version, which was meant to be a basic template for translators, but in the translations themselves. Because we view translation as a cultural and not just linguistic process, many of the translations have changed portions of the letter to better address particular experiences, whether it’s the role of imperialism in their immigration or specific incidents in their community.
Even beyond that, we encourage each individual to adapt this letter to their own needs to best reach their families. Every family has a different experience, and this is merely a resource for you to use. That’s why this letter, and its translations, are published with a CC0 Public Domain waiver — anyone can use any part of it, though we’d appreciate a linkback.

Our hope with this letter is to make it easier for people to start difficult conversations, build empathy and understanding, and move us forward to real change.

Letters for Black Lives is a a set of crowdsourced, multilingual, and culturally-aware resources aimed at creating a space for open and honest conversations about racial justice, police violence, and anti-Blackness in our families and communities. Learn more about the project and get involved.


Asian American Women and Breast Cancer: PLEASE Help Spread the Word About Importance of Screening!

I met Chien-Chi Huang through social media and she reached out to me about Asian women and the Breast Cancer Project. My mother is a breast cancer survivor, so I wanted to post her story in the hope that it raises awareness and helps to prevent it through screening.


My name is Chien-Chi Huang and I was diagnosed with breast cancer just few months after I turned 40. I was shocked when given the bad news because I thought only white women or old women could get breast cancer. I was even more surprised to learn that many Asian American women I knew had breast cancer, but nobody talked about it.

In fact, breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among Asian American women and the leading cancer cause among Chinese, Filipino, Japanese and Korean women. Yet when compared to other racial groups, Asian American women have the lowest screening service utilization rate. Language and cultural barriers often prevent people from seeking proper, timely treatment and support, which have a great impact on the survival outcomes.

Many still suffer in silent, feeling isolated and stigmatized.

Cancer is a subject no one wants to talk about, and it is especially hard for Asian Americans to come forward and speak about it. Therefore, it is even more important for people to see others who beat the disease and hear about the resources available in the community.

I am very grateful as I have the second chance to live a productive life. I believe we could save lives by recruiting and retaining Asian American women for early detection services. As a prevention health worker, I understand that personal stories can be a powerful tool to change people’s perception, attitude and behaviors. My ultimate goal is to empower others to dispel myth, reduce disparities and bring hope to fellow Asian American women by sharing their cancer experience and breast health related information.* With the support from the

Massachusetts Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure ® and the Saffron Circle, I will work with health facilities and community based organizations to conduct culturally appropriate educational workshops in the Asian American communities. The project is also funded in part by a matching grant from Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy.

To realize this vision, I need your help to recruit and encourage Asian American women to get involved in the Asian Breast Cancer project’s free workshops.

For the sake of our mothers, daughters and dear friends: please forward this to whoever might be interested in taking part of this effort to raise breast health awareness in the Asian American communities!

I hope you will consider donating your time, talents and resources by contacting me at: or (617) 870-4056. Thanks for your attention and I look forward to hearing from you.

* This goal is inspired by the Asian & Pacific Islander National Cancer Survivors Network’s mission to minimize the burden of cancer and improve the quality of life of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders by dispelling myths, reducing disparities and providing hope.


Dear Friends and Families,

Six years ago this time, I just finished my chemo and about to have a mastectomy. My life turned upside down and yet I learned so much about myself and the people around me: I learned that one cannot go on without the
support of her family and friends no matter how strong she thinks she is!

I wish to thank you all for helping me during my road to recovery and I hope I can be helpful to the others just like you did for me.

This year I am organizing a team to participate at the Komen Race on Sunday, 10/30 and I hope to raise additional $1,000 in the next 3 days – would you please make a contribution and help promote our cause via your network (please see attached for some info regarding the Asian Breast Cancer Project and a factsheet)?

Here’s the link to my teampage:


Facts Asian & Pacific Islander American Women Need to Know About Their Risk

  • Cancer is the leading cause of death of Asian & Pacific Islander (A&PI) women in the United States, with breast cancer as the most common.
  • Cancer deaths are increasing faster among A&PI Americans than any other U.S. ethnic or racial group.
  • U.S. A&PI rates of invasive breast cancer have increased approximately 1.2 % every year between 1988 and 2005, and have yet to decline.
  • Although breast mortality rates have declined among every other U.S. racial groups, they have increased among A&PI women.
  • Among A&PI women, compared to others, breast cancer has been found to show a relatively younger median age at diagnosis and early tumor onset.
  • Breast cancer rates among U.S. A&PI women are 60% higher than those found in the same women’s A&PI home countries.
  • Immigrant A&PI women who have been living in the United States for 10 years have an 80% higher risk of developing breast cancer than their newly-arrived A&PI immigrant counterparts.
  • Despite the misconception that A&PI women don’t get breast cancer, the incidence rate of breast cancer among South Asian women living in the United States—along with 3rd and 4th generation Japanese and Chinese American women—reaches that of U.S. white women.
  • A&PI American women have very low rates of breast cancer screening, which increases their chances of later stage disease presentation. Multiple studies consistently show that A&PI women over 40 obtain regular mammograms at the lowest rate of any U.S. racial/ethnic group—rates are even lower for low income and recent immigrant women.

Chung To: From Investment Banker to AIDS Activist in China

Chi Heng Foundation China's Blood Orphans Chung To founder JadeLuckClub Jade Luck ClubMy husband pointed this article out in my alumni magazine. Ex-investment banker Chung To quietly goes about his work in China helping “blood orphans,” thousands of children born of Chinese farmers infected with by HIV-tainted blood products spread largely through roving blood dealers.  He started and runs Chi Heng, the longest running private program for  educating AIDs orphans in China. I wanted to highlight him as a really great role model; someone who is truly making a difference.

Chung To JadeLuckClub Chi Heng Foundation China's Blood Orphans HIV Aids victims

The full article is here.  One Less Investment Banker: Chung To Quit Wal Street to Sponsor Schooling for China’s Blood Orphans

To learn more about the Chi Heng Foundation, please go here.

Chung To Chi Heng Foundation JadeLuckClub Jade Luck ClubTo help, please buy an Eco Bag. It makes a great holiday gift!

This beautiful bag – made from 100% cotton – was manufactured by women impacted by HIV in rural China . By purchasing this bag, you are giving these women an income, supporting the education of their children, and empowering communities stricken by HIV/AIDS and poverty.

The drawing, done by three children during Chi Heng Foundation’s Art Therapy Program, illustrated their aspirations —-“I will grow up happily and filled with life, just like this tree.”

Order Information

  1. Bag Size : about 40 Height, 35 Width, 10 Depth cm Unit Charity
    • Sale Price : Retail : HK$150/pc
    • Bulk Order ( customized with your own company logo) : please contact us for more details.
  2. Free Delivery ONLY for bulk order to major commercial district in Hong Kong,
  3. Personal pick up at our at office in Hong Kong.
  4. Other delivery arrangement on request at quoted cost.
For enquiry, please contact us by phone (+852) 2517 0564, fax (+852) 2517 0594, or email



Top 25: Universities That Contribute to General Good of Society

UCSB Top 25 Universities that contribute to general good of society JadeLuckClubMy sister and brother-in-law both sent me this article. They both attended U.C. Santa Barbara but my brother-in-law transferred to U.C.L.A. My husband also went to U.C.L.A. (also as a transfer student), I went there for business school and my father went there for his Ph.D. And that, folks, is why there is a dig at arch-rival U.S.C. which ranked 50!

Washington Monthly  rates schools based on their contribution to the public good in three broad categories: Social Mobility (recruiting and graduating low-income students), Research (producing cutting-edge scholarship and PhDs), and Service (encouraging students to give something back to their country). Higher education, after all, isn’t just important for undergraduates. We all benefit when colleges produce groundbreaking research that drives economic growth, when they offer students from low-income families the path to a better life, and when they shape the character of future leaders.

And we all pay for it, through hundreds of billions of dollars in public subsidies. Everyone has a stake in how that money is spent. That’s why one-third of each college’s score on our rankings is based on social mobility: How committed are they to enrolling low-income students and helping them earn degrees?

Our second category looks at research production and success at sending undergraduates on to PhDs.

Finally, we give great weight to service. It’s not enough to help students look out for themselves. The best colleges encourage students to give something back.

Here’s a list of the top 25.

1 University of California–San Diego 100
2 University of California–Los Angeles 99
3 University of California–Berkeley 98
4 Stanford University 93
5 University of California–Riverside 85
6 Harvard University 83
7 Case Western Reserve University 83
8 University of California–Davis 81
9 Jackson State University (MS) 78
10 University of Michigan–Ann Arbor 77
11 Massachusetts Institute of Technology 76
12 University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill 76
13 University of California–Santa Barbara 76
14 Syracuse University 74
15 Texas A&M University–College Station 74
16 University of Notre Dame 74
17 Cornell University 74
18 South Carolina State University 68
19 University of Texas–Austin 68
20 Johns Hopkins University 67
21 University of Pennsylvania 66
22 Rice University (TX) 66
23 University of Washington 66
24 College of William and Mary (VA)* 65
25 University of Chicago 65



Did You Make a Difference? $1.5 million worth of clothing to the children of Japan…

OshKosh B'Gosh Cranes for Clothes JadeLuckClub Jade Luck ClubMany thanks to those of you who folded Cranes for Clothes for the Children of Japan. You really did make a difference! I received this email from OshKosh B’gosh:

“I know you covered the Cranes for Kids program when it first launched last month and we’re excited to let you know that OshKosh B’gosh and its parent company, Carter’s Inc., announced that it has received more than 2 million origami cranes in response to the program. They will be donating $1.5 million worth of clothing to the children of Japan.”

Osh Kosh b'gosh cranes for clothes for children of japan jadeluckclub jade luck club

OshKosh B'Gosh Cranes for Clothes JadeLuckClub Jade Luck Club




Deborah Jiang Stein: A Life Turned Around From Fractured Beginnings and The Un-Prison Project.

Deborah Jiang Stein The UnPrison Project JadeLuckClub Celebrating the road less traveled by Asian Americans Creativity Notable Asian Americans with drug addiction problemsDeborah Jiang Stein is not an example that your parents ever gave when they went on and on when you were growing up. Oh sure, you’ve heard stories of every child known to your parents who got into Harvard, went to Johns Hopkins Medical School, and/or won the Academic Decathlon. True, your parents might not have known Deborah, but even if they did, they would have talked in hushed tones about her and said things about her like:

“No good.”

“Stay away.”

“Her mother was in jail! She was born in a jail!


But now they would be proud to claim her as their own. They would say:

“Why can’t you be more like Deborah? She climbed out from under and look, she’s making a difference.”


But that doesn’t even begin to describe her. There needs to be a category created for “Prominent Asian Americans Born In Jail.” It is a short list. I know, I googled this and nothing came up.

“From a gene pool that’s done a lot of crime, time, and drugs, with an upbringing in the fine arts. I live between both worlds.”


She wants you to send her to jail where she’s started The Un-Prison Project, a  project which focuses on the 1.7 million children who have a parent in jail. Please watch her video, and if moved, please donate here.

p.s. She’s also a writer.  I can’t wait to read her books when they come out!


Quakebook Blog: A Twitter-sourced charity book about how the Japanese Earthquake affected us all.

QuakeBook cover raising money for Japan tsunami and earthquake victims JadeLuckClub Celebrating Asian American Creativity Posts by Japanese Quake Victims How to help Japan victims

Quakebook Blog is a Twitter-sourced charity book about how the Japanese Earthquake at 2:46 on March 11, 2011 affected us all with all proceeds benefiting the Japan Red Cross. You can sign up to be notified when the book is released here. The #quakebook (2:46: Aftershocks: Stories from the Japan Earthquake) will be available very soon (within a few days) as an electronic download, and later, in a print edition.

Here are a few excerpts:

Daniel Freytag


I have been around Tokyo for 15 years and I feel I am needed here now more than ever. The decision whether to stay is the most complex one I have ever had to make in my life. Japan is my adopted home. I would not leave a burning house alone if my family were still inside.

Our house is not as of yet on fire but I need to be available in the event it does go up in flames. We as a community don’t owe it to Japan. But when I think of the Fukushima 50 risking life and limb, when I think of the children now without parents in the Tohoku region, when I think about the untold damage to the region far beyond the scale of the New Orleans flooding, this is simply where I need to be.

It’s where I want to be.



I don’t know where to start to write . . . Ten days has passed since the earthquake. My parents’ house is within 40 km of the Fukushima nuclear plant. They’ve been told they must stay indoors. Although the house wasn’t greatly damaged by the earthquake or tsunami, as the house is built on solid ground, they have to contend with the problem of radiation.

Although this is far from the worst case of losing a family member or home, they have scarcely any information regarding radiation. All they can do is watch news on TV. They don’t know really if they are in danger or if they are safe, and fight against an invisible enemy inside the house. Even if they decide to evacuate, there have no gasoline, so they don’t know how far they would get. The trains aren’t running, either.

Linda Yuki Nakanishi

My 70-year-old mother refuses to go to a shelter and insists on staying at home. She says she’s not bothered by magnitude 3 earthquakes. Even though the government seems to have forgotten her, she is perfectly calm. What is the government doing? Don’t they care about the people in Fukushima? When people living towards the coast were confronted with the threat of radiation, the whole town decided to evacuate without waiting for government instructions. Nobody in my hometown will evacuate. Why? What’s more, they took in people evacuating from the town next-door, so now they feel they can’t evacuate themselves and leave those people behind.

People of the Tohoku region are stoic, compassionate, calm and humble. They have always just dealt with the situation without complaining. Of course they have questions and fears, but they hesitate to show them as they know other people are experiencing far worse

They don’t expect the government will help them, but they’ve made up their minds to stay here and fight. Rumors about radiation pollution continue to grow. What have we done to deserve this? We are suffering like others in disaster affected areas. The difference is we have an unnatural and unseen danger to deal with. Please don’t abandon Fukushima. Please see the reality. Please give us accurate and timely information. Please get this nightmare power station under control as soon as possible. And please know that Fukushima is doing its best

Tokyo (hometown Tamura, Fukushima)


Cranes for Clothes to the Children of Japan: Get Your Children Involved! From Osh Kosh B’Gosh

Cranes for Clothes from Osh Kosh for Children of Japanese Quake JadeLuckClub ways to help victims of Japanese earthquake tsunami

Sometimes it helps children to understand tragedy such as the recent devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan by letting them help. Carter’s has set up a charity called Cranes for Kids: Giving Hope to the Children of Japan. It works like this: Through April 25, OshKosh will  be collecting the paper cranes that you and your children create and sending them to our OshKosh stores in Japan to show them the support and caring of their friends in the United States. OshKosh will donate up to 50,000 articles of clothing.


Show your creativity and compassion!

Pick up a free Cranes for Kids action pack at your local OshKosh store, which includes origami paper and instructions or download our Origami Crane or Easy Origami Crane instructions here and make your own at home.

Here’s link for how to fold the easy origami crane. Here’s a link for the traditional origami crane. And you can use any paper; it doesn’t have to be origami paper if you are unable to drive to the OshKosh store. Just use any paper and cut into a perfect square. It’s easiest if you fold the paper into a triangle shape and trim off the rectangle edge. I wouldn’t recommend newsprint as the ink will get smeary on your hands but newsprint paper would work fine!

We’ve set up three easy ways for you to deliver your finished crane(s):

1. Bring it to any OshKosh Store through April 25, 2011 and as a thank you, you’ll receive 10% off your purchase that day.
2. Take a photo of your crane and upload it to


3. Mail it to us:

Cranes for Kids

OshKosh B’Gosh

One Waterview Drive

Shelton, CT 06484