“Asian American Voices: Shaping Silicon Valley, Strengthening Community, Sharing Hope”
"Silicon Valley Asian American Voices is a multimedia project that facilitates education and advocacy on policy issues that impact Asian American immigrants. The project is facilitated by Asian Americans for Community Involvement (AACI), a nonprofit organization based in San Jose, CA.
This documentary follows the stories—the successes, hardships, and hopes—of three Asian American immigrants in Silicon Valley. Despite struggling through language, cultural, and health care barriers, these individuals readily work to shape the local community. For a region that has thrived on the ideas and labor of immigrants past and present, supporting these populations remains vital toward improving the social and economic health of Silicon Valley. This piece explores the strengthening of community through the support of immigrant populations.
Chapter 1 – Building California and Silicon Valley
Asian Americans have shaped and steered the innovation, development, and technological growth that uniquely characterize Silicon Valley today. This chapter provides a brief timeline of the history and contributions of Asian American immigrants to this region.
Chapter 2 – Nenita Ibe
Nenita Ibe, an elderly Filipina woman, works hard as a room attendant in the hotel industry. She is an active member of the union committee, advocating for workplace changes that will improve the lives of those around her. Related policy issues: health care access, language access, immigration reform, family reunification
Chapter 3 – Andy Pan
As a child, Andy witnessed his family struggle to support itself on multiple low-wage jobs. Now, a young sales executive at a software company, Andy has applied the lessons and values gained from his experience, succeeding in business and volunteering as a financial counselor for those in need. Related policy issues: language access, ESL classes, citizenship, immigrant support services
Chapter 4 – Iris Dinh
In 1981, Iris Dinh fled Vietnam. After months in a Thai refugee camp, she was granted sponsorship to come to the United States. Today, as a graduate student, social worker, and activist, Iris strives passionately to give voice to the vulnerable and build a community that honors the health and dignity of all. Related policy issues: health care, language access, cultural competency, immigrant support services."
i have to admit, one of the many reasons i miss the bay area SO much is because of how many asians live there. when i moved to san francisco in 1995, i distinctly remember walking around and becoming so aware that i didn't feel like the odd person out. it was especially humbling and empowering to disappear into a swell of filipinos and to see the living legacy of asian immigrants who paved the way before me.
i wish i could be there to see the screening of the documentary! nenita ibe reminds me so much of my lolas (grandmothers - meaning mine and all my friends lolas too.) just that little snippet of her makes me so proud and so eager to hear her story.
for those of you able to attend the film festival, here's an AWESOME bonus: head on over to silicon valley asian american voices' facebook page where they will be asking questions that fans can answer to win tickets to the Asian American Film Festival were the video will be screening on 3/20/10.
check out their website here. follow them on twitter here.