APA Women Who Have Made History, These Pages, and a Difference

Editor’s Note: Some of the articles usually available in this annual special archive section have become unavailable as we have been redesigning our site after a server and format change. We apologize if any of the links are broken. We are working to correct them or at least locate and disable them for the time being.


“APA Women’s Wall of Fame”
By Asian American Villagers

It’s back! Our annual WHM commemoration of the APA women who have made history, these pages and a difference.

Help us keep this annual, ever-growing, Villager-built tradition alive by adding your own “brick”.  Tell us:

Which APA women do you feel have made the most meaningful difference in shaping our lives, our community and nation — and why?

Select Features

Women’s History Month: March 2008
Census release paints a statistical portrait of women in the U.S. today at work, school, home, business and beyond

Opinion: Why Hillary Clinton Works for Asian American Women
By Erin May Ling Quill, Special Contributor
Reflections on Election 2008 at the conclusion of Women’s History Month

In Praise of Older (and Younger) Brothers
By Frances Kai-Hwa Wang, Contributing Editor
Women’s History Month causes Frances Wang to reflect anew on relations between the sexes in Asian America

Women’s History Month 2007
A Proclamation by the President of the United States of America

Waterloo to Washington: The Long Journey of Coral Wong Pietsch
By Lt. Col. Randy Pullen, Armed Forces Press Service
Archived story provides background of the first Asian Pacific American woman general in the U.S. Army’s history, and a new nominee to this year’s APA Women’s Wall of Fame.

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Asian-American Women’s History
By the AAV Staff
50+ links, flix, tunes, and reads by, for, and about APA women

Remarks on Women in History
By Prof. Elaine H. Kim, UC-Berkeley
Berkeley Prof. Elaine Kim’s remarks from the Commission on Women in U.S. History

My Asian-American Heroines
By Frances Kai-Hwa Wang, Contributing Editor
Women’s History Month reflections on those who open doors of possibility

WHM: Impressive Women
By Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston
Noted author of the classic Farewell to Manzanar and The Legend of Firehorse Woman, and a long-time Wall honoree discusses the APA women that have in turn impressed and inspired her in her work and life


Additional Women-Focused Readings

WHM Essay Series by Frances Kai-Hwa Wang

Popular longtime Village columnist Wang puts a different spin on WHM this year, with a new essay every week reflecting on her own feelings as a “historical woman” — at once a proud, accomplished Asian-American woman who, as a mother of four who just turned 40, someone who still struggles to be comfortable in her own skin.

The Most Beautiful Woman in the World (and me?) [Series Part 3]
The author tries to get her head and her heart together when adolescent insecurities and the shadow of Farrah Fawcett suddenly resurface

Facing Forty Out from Behind the Wizard’s Curtain [Series Part 2]
Author finds herself to be not immune to the ageism/lookism anxiety she once thought particular to white women

APA Grrrlfriends [Series Part 1]
Searching for love and women’s friendships in an APA Sex and the City


Select Readings from Previous Editions

Focus: “Comfort Women”

Supporters of Honda “Comfort Women” Resolution Gather in DC
Announcement by Coalition 121
National Coalition United to Support H. Res. 121 sponsors lobby day March 22.

Statement at the Hearing on Protecting the Human Rights of “Comfort Women”
By The Honorable Michael M. Honda, Member of Congress
Statement before the Subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific, and the Global Environment, Committee on Foreign Affairs, U.S. House of Representatives

Japan’s P.M. Vows No New Apology on WWII Sex Slaves
By Kurt Achin, Voice of America
Widespread anger over remarks, denials seen throughout Asia. (Audio.)

Secret Asian Man: Why Japan Needs Women’s History Month
By Tak Toyoshima, Village Artist-in-Residence
Our cartoon satirist gets a little serious for this WHM look at Japan’s propaganda about “voluntary comfort women” of WWII

Additional materials and videos posted at Asian American Village blog.

Naginata: An Appreciation for “Women’s Martial Arts”
By Susie Ling
A self-described “overworked middle-aged suburban mom” who was “the last to be picked” for a team in gym learns to love the exercise and discipline of a graceful Japanese fighting style

For Married Women, One Chinese New Year but Two Banquets
By Eugenia Chien, New America Media
Chinese New Year is a time for feasting and traditions. But one tradition has less to do with food and much more to do with married women getting to see their own parents.

PepsiCo Elects CEO Indra K. Nooyi as Chairman
Media release
Pepsico announces move effective May 2, 2007 upon Steven S Reinemund’s retirement

Profile: Professor Indira Junghare Teaches Diversity
By Faiza Elmasry, VoA News
In Minnesota, Professor Junghare envisions an Institute of Diversity, Ethics and Peace that fosters important dialogue between Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists, Christians

Profile: Boston Asian American Bank Founder Reflects on Past, Future
By Adam Smith, Sampan
These days, Vivian Wenhuey Chen Huang spends much of her time at her Andover home writing poetry and painting — hardly looking like the pioneering businesswoman she has been

Bilingual Non-Profits Help Women Immigrants in Business
By Peter Micek, New America Media
Group has helped create more than 130 new jobs since 1999; coached Asian, Hispanic entrepreneurs

Artist Maya Lin Honors Lewis and Clark Expedition
By Mike O’Sullivan, VoA News
The designer of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, DC is creating a new work of art in the northwestern U.S. that intends to honor 19th century explorers Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, the Native Americans they encountered and the lands they explored


The Death of “Tokyo Rose”
By Gil Asakawa, NikkeiView
More remember her legend than her vindication”

Dr. Mom Chung of the Fair-Haired Bastards:  The Life of a Wartime Celebrity
By Dr. Judy Tzu-Chun Wu, University of Ohio
New biography tells fascinating tale of Dr. Margaret Chung, the first known American-born woman of Chinese descent to become a physician, who hob-nobbed with some of the nation’s biggest celebs and powerbrokers during WWII

Introduction for 2006: “A Banner Year…or Bummer?
By Stewart David Ikeda, IMDiversity.com
Stewart Ikeda’s intro to this year’s Women’s History Month Edition finds some bright spots, but mostly “1 step forward, 2 steps back”

GRRRRRRRRRL Power in the Year of the Dog
By Erin May Ling Quill, Special to IMDiversity.com
WHM round-up highlighting several of cinema and theater’s Asian American women on the verge…of success, that is.

WHM 2006: APA Women of the Year
By Asian-American Village
Editors’ starter list for new additions to our annually updated, Villager-contributed APA Women’s Wall of Fame feature.  This year, we kick off with our appreciations for actress Sandra Oh, writer Lan Samantha Chang, and political candidate Tammy Duckworth — and need you to send in your own nominations!

JA Activist Yuri Kochiyama Nominated for Nobel Peace Prize
By AMY E. IKEDA, Special to the Pacific Citizen
Yuri Kochiyama, 84, may appear a typical friendly Japanese American grandmother, but she has lead anything but an average life.


Looking for “Nude”?
By Frances Kai-Hwa Wang
Search for foundation leads our editor to review of APA women’s magazines

What Is the Future for San Francisco’s Chinese Matriarchs?
By Pueng Vongs, Pacific News Service
In recent decades, women have led the nation’s most historic Chinese community. Now two influential female leaders are departing amid scandal.

Q&A: Rep. Mike Honda on Equal Pay and Social Security for APA Women & Families
Interview by Elena Ong, IMDiversity Special Contributor
How will proposed changes to Social Security affect us?

Vietnamese Convent in Houston Opened Its Doors to Hurricane Refugees
By a Staff Reporter, Nguoi Viet, Translated by Andrew Lam
The heroic tale of 50 nuns in Houston’s Da Minh Convent who received more than 100 refugees, victims of Katrina Hurricane

Q&A: Katie Leung – Harry Potter’s Cho Chang
By LYNDA LIN, Pacific Citizen
This Scot plays Potter’s girlfriend all while playing off the pressure of her new found fame

Mystery Author Naomi Hirahara Looks to Her Community for Inspiration
By CAROLINE AOYAGI, Executive Editor, Pacific Citizen
Summer of the Big Bachi author discusses her Japanese American mystery series

At Face Value: Q&A with Filmmaker Alice Wu
By LYNDA LIN, Assistant Editor, Pacific Citizen
Deep down, Alice Wu thinks everyone wants the same thing: love. Her film ‘Saving Face’ explores the reality of the quest, complications and all.


Dr. Mom Chung of the Fair-Haired Bastards:  The Life of a Wartime Celebrity
By Dr. Judy Wu
Bio of the first known American-born woman of Chinese descent to become a physician

Businesswoman Uses Experience to Help Those with Autistic Children
By CAROLINE AOYAGI, Executive Editor, Pacific Citizen

Asian American Bank Founder Reflects on Past, Future
By Adam Smith, Sampan
Vivian Wenhuey Chen Huang on the takeover of the Boston Chinatown bank she started to meet the needs of Chinese immigrants

Q&A with Eugenia Yuan: Not Your Typical Mail Order Bride
By LYNDA LIN, Pacific Citizen
Charlotte Sometimes actress on upcoming roles in Mail Order Wife and Memoirs of a Geisha

Q&A: Margaret Cho
Pacific Citizen
The lady is an assassin

Exploring the ‘Nitty Gritty’ Side of Paradise in Fishbowl
By LYNDA LIN, Pacific Citizen
Last film by late director Kayo Hatta brings Lois-Ann Yamanaka’s Wild Meat and Bully Burgers to life



Packaging “The Mystique of a Geisha”
By LYNDA LIN, Assistant Editor,Pacific Citizen
Memoirs of a Geisha-inspired beauty products and fashion reignite debate about cultural sensitivity


Leers and Loathing in Las Vegas
By Pueng Vongs, New America Media
It’s hard being an Asian woman in America these days — increasing trafficking of women from Asia for prostitution and narrow portrayals of Asian women on the big screen exacerbates notions of them as exotic, sexual creatures.

My American Size Doesn’t Fit My Asian Clothes
By Thuy Ngo, Pacific News Service
A young Vietnamese American woman is medium-sized by American standards. But when she walks through the doors of her local Vietnamese store, she balloons to an “extra-large” and feels less beautiful, and less Asian.

Measuring Up to Barbie
By Catherine Li, ASIA
From ugly duckling to Chinese princess to “aging unemployed” bread-winner: a fairy tale

APA Women: Why We Are Everywhere
By Helen Zia, AAV Columnist
Is there an Asian American women’s movement? Yes, says Zia, and we are everywhere—because we have to be.

GirlPower 2K+3
By Frances Kai-Hwa Wang, Contributing Editor
Raising confident daughters; mentoring teen girls for success


2004-2005 Features


In a Georgia State of Mind
By Lynda Lin, Pacific Citizen Assistant Editor
When her life seemed most perfect, Georgia Lee dropped out of Harvard, formed a production company with college friends and took on Hollywood with her bold film, Red Doors

From Georgia Lee’s Red Doors (from left, Kathy Shao-Lin Lee, Freda Foh Shen, Jacqueline Kim, and Elaine Kao)


Q&A: The Passion of Iowa State Rep. Swati Dandekar
By Stewart David Ikeda, IMDiversity.com
Facing a hard re-election race, Dandekar talks about her passion for education, for John Kerry, and for the state that made her the first Indian-born American to serve in a state legislature

Introduction: The Year of the APA Woman of Letters
By Stewart David Ikeda, IMDiversity.com
An explosion of long-awaited titles by the biggest names in APA literature, plus works by several promising newcomers, marks a renaissance — and diversification — in Asian American literature

Doris Matsui Handily Wins Special Election for Late Husband’s House Seat
By the Associated Press
Takes over 69% of overall vote to win in crowded field of 3 Dems, 5 GOP, 4 others

Sept. 11: Remembering an Angel Named Betty Ong
By Steven Knipp, Pacific News Service
Many people have heard of Sept. 11 victim Todd Beamer’s courage (“Let’s roll”), but relatively few know about Betty Ong’s

Mae Cheng Elected UNITY President
Organization release, UNITY: Journalists of Color, Inc.
Mae Cheng, an editor at Newsday and the outgoing president of the Asian American Journalists Association, takes organization reins

Top of Corporate Ladder Still Eludes Women of Color
By Ann Farmer, Women’s ENews
As the co-founder for an Internet content-management firm, Quinn H. Tran is joined the very few APA women to have reached their professional pinnacle. Sure, she’s smart, talented and hardworking — but she also wasn’t afraid to to move out and move up when space wasn’t made for her on a particular corporate ladder.

Businesses Owned by Women of Color Growing Faster than the Overall Economy
The Center for Women’s Business Research
Study finds that employment, sales by companies also on the rise

Workers Awaaz: Fighting for South Asian Women
By Carol Amoruso, Hispanic Village Feature Writer
Hired in India, she was treated as a prisoner here until learning ‘I can fight’

Annie Lee: Actress on the Verge
By Lynda Lin, Assistant Editor
“The Next Lucy Liu” discusses difficult shoot, challenging role in controversial new film,Close Call

India’s Prostitutes: In AIDS Fight, We Need Our Rights
By Sandip Roy, Pacific News Service
Prostitutes in India are insisting the only way to protect themselves against AIDS is through their own empowerment, fueling a debate in the narrow streets of Kolkata’s famous red light district over the world’s oldest profession.

Entrepreneur Puts Fun Spin on Asian-themed Clothing
By Jane Liaw, Lychees Gone Wild
The young founder of LGW, recently featured in a Women’s Wear Daily article on ethnic-themed brands, started her business to proclaim Asian pride — even for the most acquired tastes, such as stinky tofu and durian


Even More Previous Village Readings

American Dream: India-Born Astronaut a Hero in Two Lands
By Sandip Roy, PNS
Dr. Kalpana Chawla “shed her hyphen” in death and took her place as an American heroine

In Celebration of Filipino Women 
By Gloria T. Caoile, Tambuli
Reflections on strong Filipinas in history, from Tambuli of the National Federal of Filipino American Associations

Cool Find for APA Month: Great Asian Americans Poster Series
By the AAV Staff
Poster series especially good for educational settings features Maxine Kingston, Kristi Yamaguchi, Haing S. Ngor and more

Secret Asian Man: Why Japan Needs Women’s History Month
By Tak Toyoshima, Village Artist-in-Residence
Our cartoon satirist gets a little serious for this WHM look at Japan’s propaganda about “voluntary comfort women” of WWII

Curated by Yayoi Lena Winfrey
An AAV Art Gallery exhibition featuring six exceptional Asian women artists

Note: Due to site changes, this gallery has been temporarily removed from the site.  However, this past feature can be temporarily viewed on a different site, the Wayback Archive, which is wholly unaffiliated with IMDiversity, but archives old versions of many websites. If you go, please note that many of the surrounding navigational links and news links may be outdated or broken. At certain times, the server can also be very slow. Still, the images themselves are splendid, and a visit with a fast broadband connection is worthwhile.

Healthcare: Hiding the Pain: Suicides High Among Asian Immigrant Women
By Pueng Vongs, Pacific News Service
Asian American women have highest suicide rates of all ethnic groups. Health researchers think they know why.

Asian American & Pacific Islander Women’s Health FAQ
By U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services
FAQ on major health problems from DHHS: osteoporosis, breast and cervical cancers, more

Asian Sisters in Boston “ASPIRE” to Excellence with Mentors’ Help
By Adam Smith, Sampan
Boston teens talk to Sampan about stereotypes, role models, and feelings about themselves

Giving Revolution a Sense of Humor…
By Kristina Sheryl Wong, aka Big Bad Chinese Mama
…or, why I lured thousands of nasty porn seekers to my fake mail-order bride site

The Evacuation Diary of Hatsuye Egami: June 5, 1942
Edited by Claire Gorfinkel
Excerpt from a lost diary written by an Issei woman during her WWII internment–rediscovered and published posthumously after 50 years.

Report: APA Women in Higher Education
By Dr. Shirley Hune
Executive summary of a report published by the Association of American Colleges & Universities

Many Milestones for APA Women in Law
Asian-American Village Staff
2002 has been a banner year for APA political appointees in the law, and for APA women in particular

Interview: “Notorious” Margaret Cho
By Yayoi Lena Winfrey, AAV Contributing Editor
The Notorious C.H.O. opening nationwide

Asian-American Women Candidates Score Big in 2002 Midterms
Early elections round-up by Rodney Salinas, PoliticalCircus
Martha Wong (TX) and Swati Dandekar (IA) victories lead a field of APA candidates in a banner election year


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