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tv   Asian Pacific America with Robert Handa  NBC  September 11, 2016 5:30am-6:01am PDT

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the biggest sale of the year. all beds on sale with the queen c2 mattress only $599.99. final days! ends sunday. know better sleep. only at a sleep number store. hello and welcome to asian pacific america. i'm robert handa our host for your show. we start our program with a topic that generates a lot of emotions these days, ethnic studies. what's the value, the importance and its future? we narrow that focus to talk about pacific islander studies, separate from asian american or ethnic studies. then an example how it can help pave the way for change and developing leaders by re-visiting the name change of alvarado middle school in union city, those who fought for the change and why. then we continue our tradition of showcasing cultural and artistic performances with an
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original performance from one of our favorite singers, thena love. i was fortunate to be part of a school system at sunniville high school when ethnic studies was becoming part of the curriculum. now with more awareness and more cultural diversity, what is the challenge and future of ethnic studies now? joining us is lou kalahara. and also with us is mandy boos, a student who has immersed herself in ethnic studies at uc berkeley. welcome. >> thank you very much. >> let's get us started with telling us about, is ethnic studies as valued as it should be in college right now? >> it should be really valuable. it's still relevant. even though you may not think so. because with all the diversity
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in -- but with all the diversity also we are having problems. you being in the news business you know about all the problems with diversity, racism part to it. black lives matter movement. >> now there is more awareness. but now it's grown to these other social issues. >> that's correct. it's still that element of history and of culture and tradition. but now other parts now are enter into it. just discipline and study of it is getting a little bit more precise. a little more pinpointed. >> as a student, how about yourself, how did you immerse yourself into it? what made you decide to make it a part of what you are doing? >> definitely. i think ethnic studies, i first
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took an ethnic studies class my first term of college. i think that was the first and one of the only times where my experience as a person of color was validated by education. it was a way where i was able to finally kind of engage on a deeper level and on a more personal level with the material that we were learning. for me, i mean, that is what really drew me into the subject. and has propelled me to do social justice work with a new understanding and economy hcomp of the what we face. >> is the curriculum broadening, growing, keeping up with what you want to get out of it? >> i believe it is in certain cases. i think a lot of the times the research being produced now is kind of reflecting on the past maybe ten, 15, 20 years prior to our current moment. as time progresses and as things like the black lives matter movement, all these other movements are taking place, a lot of what will be reflected
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will be a little bit postponed. i feel it's expanding but there is a delay in the academic and scholarly work we're seeing. >> what do you think would be the consequences if it wasn't there for students like yourself? >> definitely. i think -- i think there would just be a continuation of this process of invisibleness our community. >> is ethnic studies reaching more than just maybe students who are interested in their own kind of personal lives, their own culture? is it broadening? is is is it spreading awareness to mainstream white students and other people outside of those students? >> yes. because now with the understanding that everybody just doesn't live in small little vacuum areas. especially in the bay area where our population is so diverse. even though we still have these ethnic enclaves and pockets of
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ethnic communities. but then it's not only people of color. i mean, they get into gender. then you get into other things that are happening here. it's social, economical. >> where do you want to see ethnic studies go? what direction should it go in? how should it change in the future? >> and mandy was mentioning about the social justice part to it. i think for an ethics studies major, that would be something we would want to push for, just for the equality of people, of all of us. >> a way to apply? >> right. >> into different professions. how do you, mandy, plan to apply it? >> i see myself bringing a more critical fame work, one that recognizes these underlying power dynamics that are usually somewhat subverted and applying that not only to kind of reffal
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reality but also to gaining law degree and working with communities of cloth where these institutional reasons for disenfranchisement can be illuminate and challenged. >> do you feel like you are the exception or rule? are you students like yourself? >> i see a lot of students who are utilizing this educational framework into their social justice work, into their family lives, into raising future generation that is able to kind of comprehend our history in a more fuller way. >> is ethnic studies going to keep on evolving? are you optimistic? >> i hope so. just like anything, it should evolve, it should change, it should find another place to go. wherever that is. >> as we were talking about education and application. >> right. >> both of you, thank you very much for being here. >> thank you. >> thank you so much. so how do pacific islanders fit into all of this?
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have they been a part of it enough? should they be in it more? that's all coming up next. ♪ what if we made a paint that was so special that was such a jewel among paints that you had to seek it out. nope, even easier than that. more like taking a left on that street
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where you usually take a right that wasn't so hard. and if finding that paint made you and your walls beam with pride, is it still paint? benjamin moore. paint like no other. find one of our 5,000 authorized retailers near you.
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since the early days when ethnic studies started, the scope has broadened so much we wondered if all ethnic groups still benefit from the evolution and specifically pacific islanders. with me to discuss that right now is dr. david naapu. david, welcome. >> thank you for having me. >> tell me about the programs that you teach, especially ones that focus on pacific islanders. >> thank you so much for this opportunity. the college -- the city college of san francisco and the college of san mateo, what we have done there was, again, with student input and again, what's driving the formation of pacific studies
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in these two colleges are student demand in more courses that study and focus on the pacific. but my coming there, and being employed there as a professor, and as a scholar, was not only about just to develop curriculum and have a course in pave paci studies, part of the design of the two certificate programs twowas to treat a program in which students cannot only take courses to study their culture, feel happy about who they are and help them think about how they process their identity but develop a program that allows students to take courses to fulfill ge areas. that would help students to help them transfer to the csu or the uc system, fulfill ge areas and also make sure that we can increase retention rates of pacific islander students and also decrease the dropout rate.
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you probably are very aware and familiar with this. but pacific islanders are indigenous communities, pacific and native americans have the highest dropout rates and lowest retention rates across community colleges in the state of california. >> and making the ge class helps broaden it to keep -- so that our people can take advantage. >> of course. these perhaps are not just for pacific eeislander students. the focus -- the curriculum is geared towards the cultures and studies of pacific people and ways of life. but really, it's also an opportunity for even non-pacific ee islander students and students who are taking courses in other majors to participate and also come into the courses and learn more about this very, very under studied reason. >> from my experience, those students who come in, they want to hear it from that point of
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view. they're not coming in to hear some objective history class. they want to hear about that point of view of the culture, that perspective from the culture. for the students who are demanding it, what were they looking for? what did they feel was lacking that they wanted to be fulfilled by these kind of classes? >> two things i think students were very much demanding in these colleges. number one, a community. for pacific islander cultures, the family -- the concept of the family or the concept is something that's very connective to the communities. part of the challenge is how do you change the infrastructure of academia in a way to be able to incorporate or at least allow the system or the academic institution to embrace a kind of community that would support these students. but it doesn't end there. students don't only want to come to the institutions so that they have a place to hang out and study. they also were demanding courses that study their cultures.
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a lot of the students that were demanding this are students that are state side born here in the united states. students that rarely have gone home or have not been born in the homeland in places like samoa or hawaii or guam or in fiji or in hawaii. so these students were interested in looking to create courses that make sure that they could help them create a community in the community college that they are attending. i have to say, robert, that city college of san francisco and college of san mateo are the only two community colleges in the state of california and outside of the state of hawaii that has official pacific studies programs. we're kind of the -- the bay area is leading the way in this development in the field. >> my wife is from guam. she very much wants to see this kind of thing happen. a friend of mine who became an
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assemblyman, we were students together and we started an asian student club there. we needed to call it the asian american student club in order to make people feel inclusive. but do you -- are you uncomfortable -- you mentioned maybe uncomfortable in having pacific islanders lumped in with those categories. >> i think for maybe at your time, that time, that might have been useful. i think one thing to remember is that communities evolve. cultures change. then you have newer generations of students. what's happening is that the asian american label or the asian american asia pacific american label can no longer address the issues that pacific islander students who identify themselves as indigenous communities, that label can no longer address those things. what ends up happening over time is that the label ends up making invisible. making it invisible the students -- the students feel that they're not included.
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but this is also apparent in my own studies in asian american studies in which it's a great field. but very little of it focuses on the pacific. you have community leaders that have been arguing for almost maybe -- welcome to this nbc news special report. remembering september 11. 15 years ago today, a dark day in american history. two planes slamming into the twin towers in new york. another into the pentagon. a fourth into a field in shanksville, pennsylvania. today the country pauses to remember the nearly 3,000 people who died on 9/11. are a h that moment of silence about to begin. >> reporter: it is. following that as the ceremony is under way, there will be a tradition of the names of the
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nearly 3,000 people who died on this dark day 15 years ago. as you point out, that moment of silence will commemorate when the plane struck here at ground zero, the pentagon and in shanksville, pennsylvania. >> thank you very much. let's pause for a moment of silence.
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good morning. my dad vincent >> good morning. my dad worked in the north tower. remembering back to the horrible day 15 years ago that changed my life. years old. my brothers was 8, 7 and 5. today i'm proud to be here to m mennize my father. this gaves me the chance to think about beautiful memories like christmas eve when dad took my brothers and i to work to give mom a break.
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on 9/11 the nation came together. people really tried to help us. i spent endless summers at a camp for kids that lost family members on 9/11. the counselors helped us to laugh and have fun, to let us know we were not alone. this summer i had the privilege of working with kids that had their own horrific loss, kids from sandy hook and i got to be the one to care for them when they needed it. these kids lifted me up and made me know i wanted to get back as much as i can. sometimes the bad things that happen in our lives put us on a path to where we should be going, to help others as many have helped me. ps, i love you dad. [ applause ] >> jerry deamado talking act his father that died. 8:46 marking the moment the first plane hit the north tower, 17 minutes later american
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airlines flight 175 hit the south tower. this has been a special report on the 15th anniversary of the terror attacks of september 11th. i'm willie geist in new york. "sunday today" will continue in a moment. for from parents to students to staff to board members. >> a significant factor was the number of young people who got involved in the cause and one student designed a new logo with crucial symbolism. >> the scale is symbolizes equality they fought for. the field in the back symbolizes how they were farm workers and they fought for the labor movement. >> the movement then started to incorporate the history of the filipino farm workers and the farm labor movement, a story that up until then was dominated by the long shadow of cesar chavez. >> we were able to be able to celebrate the movement the
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united farm workers and the movement but also really acknowledge the part that the filipino laborers had to do with that movement. >> that led to the eventual naming of the school after two filipino american farm workers larry itliong and phillip vera cruz. and itliong-vera cruz school seemed to rejuvenate spirit. >> it makes me proud. >> we represent that humility, that even though they didn't get a lot of recognition, they still were humble enough. we get to carry that legacy as well. we keep fighting ande will struggle, but it has to be together. >> you have anged well since then. give me an idea. how did that experience change your perspective? >> it was crazy. i think that the idea of renaming the school after filipino americans was a big deal.
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it definitely was. but i think learning more about the history of how these men werealized in u.s. history, that had a bigger feeling towards me to honor these -- >> influence? >> yeah. >> it didn't come to this that we would change history -- we would make history. but after looking at the significance of this movement that has been going on, i feel that -- >> did it change your attitude toward ethnic studies? >> definitely. i think it gave me a sense of empowerment to know that there are folks out there that came before me that sort of laid the groundwork for me and my experiences here. >> it wasn't something that you learned about in school very often? >> no, no, no. this was something that came about in my filipino heritage studies class in high school. the experiences i learned in
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that class transferred all the way to san francisco state. >> tell me about what's happening at san francisco state. we have been reading about it. brief overview in terms of what's happening there now and how it's impacting you as a student. >> well, right now there has been a lot of facing of budget cuts that have been going along in terms of the college of ethnic studies. they are trying to te out two lecturers. >> for you, how has it affected you as a student or has it? >> it affects me, because when i wanted to fs state, it was the mecca of edthnic studies. the longest student strike in u.s. history was at san francisco state. that led to the creation of the college of edge nthnic studies. in my opinion, it's not a smart move to take away something that the students and all the folks that are involved, who fought so hard to get ethnic studies, it's kind of -- how do i put this?
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>> short changing people? >> i feel like it's disrespecting them and their history. >> it's great to see somebody who has taken that and gone further, to become a leader. appreciate you being here. >> thank you. >> congratulations on your achievements today. >> thank you so much. when we return, an original performance from an original artist.
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♪ sleep number beds adjust on both sides for your best sleep ever. don't miss the biggest sale of the year. all beds on sale with the queen c2 mattress only $599.99. final days! ends sunday. know better sleep. only at a sleep number store. what if we made a paint that was so special that was such a jewel among paints
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that you had to seek it out. nope, even easier than that. more like taking a left on that street where you usually take a right that wasn't so hard. and if finding that paint made you and your walls beam with pride, is it still paint? benjamin moore. paint like no other. find one of our 5,000 authorized retailers near you. welcome back. now our artistic culture am performance. from fina love. ♪ hey ♪ every time i think of you ♪ it's like another pagan
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♪ and every time you get close to me baby ♪ ♪ my voice keeps going higher and higher ♪ ♪ i don't know what it is ♪ you do to me ♪ all i know is ♪ you're like the harmony that suits my every need ♪ ♪ when we're together you make me want to sing ♪ ♪ baby, you are the music to my beat ♪ ♪ you are like a melody embedded in my head ♪ ♪ you make me want to sing ♪ baby, i'll be singing like oh ♪ ♪ you make me feel like ah, ah,
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ah ah ♪ ♪ la da da da ♪ who, who, who, who ♪ you're the music to my beat ♪ you're like the harmony that suits my every need ♪ ♪ when we're together you make me want to sing ♪ ♪ baby, you're the music to my beat ♪ ♪ you're like a melody embedded in my head ♪ ♪ when we're together you make me want to sing ♪ ♪ baby, you're the music to my beat ♪ ♪ my beat ♪ my, my, my beat ♪ you're the music to my beat
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♪ oh >> that's it for our show. join us again next week and every week here on asian pacific america. now we go out with a little bit more from fina love. thanks for watching. ♪ ♪ oh, oh, oh ♪ it's clear to the world that you're my one and only ♪ ♪ and i am a girl
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