Welcome to the USC SCAPE website!
The USC Student Coalition for Asian Pacific Empowerment (SCAPE) is dedicated to bringing together the Asian Pacific American community on and off the USC campus through solidarity, advocating and empowering APAs.
Please feel free to check out the website by meeting our executive board, viewing the calendar of events and even reading our blog. And if you have any news you want to share, are interested in joining our mailing list, want to get involved or just want to talk feel free to drop us a line by heading to our contact page.
On Saturday April 27th, from 11am-3pm at USC’s Ronald Tutor Campus Center (TCC 227), SCAPE will be hosting College Days at USC, a free conference open to all high school students interested in learning more about what college has to offer and how to get in. The schedule is as follows:
11:00 – 11:30am : Introduction, Check-in, and Ice Breakers
11:30 – 12:00pm: USC Student Leader Panel
12:00- 12:30pm : Campus Tour
12:30- 1:00pm : Lunch (Provided by us)
1:00 – 2:30pm : Workshops:
- Why Attend College
- Getting Into College
- Financial Aid & Scholarship Information
2:30– 3:00pm : Q & A session
As mentioned earlier, the conference will take place in the Ronald Tutor Campus Center (TCC 227). It costs $10 to park on campus, but it is free to park on the side streets surrounding USC.
Please RSVP by Wednesday, April 24th at: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1nHPggE4hHYGkefdWI7ZvklaEmUEMziZ6pUKKv3IL5ew/viewform?sid=708802fc0d23e1f&token=If1c6z0BAAA.CAggguFrZc8HXjAsyXd8Pg.tsoE2TFcITow3qXvlCfYbQ
Parents are welcome to come too!
If you have any questions or need more details, please don’t hesitate to ask. Please email us at email@example.com.
We look forward to seeing you there!
Hey everyone! Another week goes by and another APA Artist to spotlight! This week we have the opportunity to present to everyone the lovely singer-songwriter Kina Grannis. After graduating from USC in 2007, Kina catapulted to stardom as the winner of the Doritos’ Crash The Super Bowl contest hosted by Youtube. This quickly earned her a record deal with Interscope Records and a 97-million viewer audience for her winning video, “Message From Your Heart.”
However, Kina decided to shortly after part ways with Interscope Records, trading creative control for independence. Even without the backing of a major label, Kina self-funded and released her 2010 album, “Stairwells,” which debuted on Billboard’s Top 200 and #5 on iTunes Pop Chart. With the success of her newly-released album, she then went on to tour all across America and Canada. Touring allows her to connect with her fans and supporters, which Kina describes this as “the best thing ever.”
Coming from a bi-racial half Japanese background, Kina has not abandoned her roots and works closely with the Asian American community. She was featured in Wong Fu’s series, “Funemployed,” along with collaborating with other Asian artists, producers, and directors.
Here’s the music video that set in motion her career:
“Message From Your Heart”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UV1u5QrqUHM
My personal favorite. Her super-catchy melodies combined with her soulful vocals and topped off with her innocent lyrics are the reasons why she’s a staple on my and millions of other fans’ iTunes: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=840NbiFF1zM
Other relevant links:
Wikipedia Page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kina_Grannis
Youtube Page http://www.youtube.com/user/kinagrannis
Wikipedia Page: http://www.kinagrannis.com/?page=home
Hey everyone! We well be jump-starting our USCScape wordpress again, and what better way to kick things off than with our Asian Pacific American Artist Spotlight!
For this week, we want to spotlight the singer-songwriter David Choi, who rose to semi-notoriety with his “I Love Youtube” song. This Korean-American Los Angeles Native came from a musically-inclined family, but it was his love of pop songs that motivated him to forego traditional jobs and dedicate his life to his musical passion. David Choi is part of the growing community of Asian-Americans who utilizes Youtube as a platform to showcase their creativity and art. Posting homemade videos of pop song covers initially for the sake of sharing his content, he never dreamed that his music videos would end up being watched over 100,000,000 times.
From his humble roots as a music producer/song-writer, he accolades now includes working as a singer-songwriter with NBC, FOX, VH1, MTV, A&E, E!, Travel Channel, Style, PBS, Food Network, Disney, and national commercials overseas. He has worked with brands such as Kelloggs, Starburst, American Cancer Society, GE, YesStyle, Google, Toyota, Samsung, and JC Penney.
Here are some examples of his original work:
As you can see, one of David’s signature habits is that he never smiles in front of the camera!
My personal favorite
Other links that may be of interest:
Youtube Page: https://www.youtube.com/user/davidchoimusic/featured
Jade Agua, Assistant Director of USC’s Asian Pacific American Student Services, recently shared this story with me. It discusses issues related to the provision of aid for immigrants from the Federal States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and the Republic of Palau (Compacts of Free Association, or COFA nations) who may receive aid–but currently, only at the state level–while living and working in the US. Providing such aid has proven difficult, as Guam’s and Hawaii’s budgets are “severely constrained” these days.
While this news pertains to a few specific Pacific Islander groups in Hawaii, the situation relates to API immigration in America in general. It’s important to consider what kinds of resources, services, and aid that immigrants can receive from any level of government–if any. Clearly Hawaii represents a special case in this story. While the state may find it difficult to sustain the aid they give Compact Migrants, they have given it nonetheless, and has shown, to use Senator Akaka’s words, deep compassion and aloha for their brothers and sisters across the Pacific. It’s important to consider how various forms of aid both positively and negatively affect immigrant communities across the board, however. Some communities may not have access to the aid they truly need. Sometimes aid can negatively impact communities’ engagement in areas of society like education. To give an example, a family friend of mine is a teacher at a public middle school in Hawaii, where many teachers find it consistently difficult to motivate certain Marshallese youth, who want to simply rely on aid given to their families and communities in the future and see no purpose in doing well in school or eventually going to college given this provision of aid.
Though cases like the one discussed in this article may only directly affect some API communities, they are still important for all API(A)s to consider–specific immigration and aid policies affect the entirety of our communities in the US as well as across Asia and the Pacific.
The following is a Forbes article that sums up the problem with this bake sale and shortcomings of naive sayings like “Let’s move beyond race” by ignoring it and its accompanying history and effects as opposed to helping move beyond race by addressing the years of social injustice that segregates people of color in poor neighborhoods, shitty schools and no resources.
Eat Your Racist Cupcakes and Count Your Blessings
In other words, they require satire’s hard slap in the face to make their political point.
Swift famously recommended that the Irish sell and cannibalize their infants to solve the “Irish problem” – what we’d now call food insecurity.
Today, the College Republicans at U.C. Berkeley, home of the early ’60s Free Speech Movement, cooked their political opposition toSenate Bill 185 into bake sale cupcakes.
And oh! what a ruckus they caused, pricing cupcakes for “white men” at $2.00 per, $1.50 for Asians, $1.00 for Latinos, $.75 for blacks and $.25 for Native Americans. Add the $.25 discount for all women and Native American women were entitled to their cupcakes free.
If only they could be found on the U.C. Berkeley campus.
The Source of the Dust Up
When asked to justify his organizations’ inherently racist bake sale, Shawn Lewis said,
We agree that the event is inherently racist, but that is the point . . . It is no more racist than giving an individual an advantage in college admissions based solely on their race (or) gender.
Politicians, even those still in short pants like Lewis, are skilled at making tidy analogies to call attention to the injustices against which they fulminate. Because negotiators do so as well, we weigh in on the racist cupcake debate to judge the success or failure of this particular piece of political theater.
It is Not a Fair Analogy
The college GOP’s bake sale preferentially prices their cakes and cookies according to racial designations. And because so many millennials have trouble characterizing themselves as either Black or White, Lewis said his customers were free to “self-identify.”
In other words, if you were a white male, you could pick up a cupcake free by identifying yourself as a Native American woman.
We’ll get to whether this is funny or grotesquely offensive later. Right now, we’re analyzing the aptness of the analogy. By that standard, the college kids’ prank fails.
This bill would authorize the University of California and the California State University to consider race, gender, ethnicity, and national origin, along with other relevant factors, in undergraduate and graduate admissions, to the maximum extent permitted by the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution, Section 31 of Article I of the California Constitution, and relevant case law.
That reference to section 31 of Article I is the successful voter initiative which wrote the following language into the California Constitution:
The State shall not discriminate against, or grant preferential treatment to, any individual or group on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin in the operation of public employment, public education, or public contracting.
The racist cupcake sale expressly granted preferential treatment to Latinos, women, African Americans, and Asians, among others. SB 185 includes within its terms the stipulation that the University’s consideration of race, sex, national origin, and the like, cannot be used to grant anyone preferential treatment.
For that reason, the analogy fails and this bit of college hijinks is therefore pretty much only offensive to anyone who understands how things are in America.
It’s really a very simple concept. When white men occupy 80% of all positions of power across all industries and in all sectors, you have only two choices. Either white men are preferred or women, African Americans, Latinos, Asians, gays and Lesbians are inherently inferior.
When you are saddled with non-preferred characteristics – breasts, dark skin, accents associated with foreign countries – it’s insulting to be told by members of the privileged class that your efforts to make the society a more equitable one are costing them the advantage they continue to enjoy.
There you go, Native American coed whose ancestors my people slaughtered, you can take your cupcakefree. Consider that your reparations. You too Black man. For all the trouble my ancestors caused yours, you get a discounted cupcake.
The historic and existing bias that makes life’s race so much easier for those born into the skin of the ruling class is not funny. And pricing cupcakes to match disadvantages acknowledged by the college GOP’s price structure is like mooning your housekeeper.
The Berkeley GOP is not poking a stick in Marie Antoinette’s eye. It is, like Antoinette, suggesting that those less advantaged should “eat cake.”
In this case, cupcake.
Here’s my suggestion to the U.C. Berkeley College Republicans. Jog on over to Starbucks and eat your $2 cupcake in gratitude for being born on third base. You’ll know you’ve lost the advantage your color and gender give you when the people around the Board table at Dell or Microsoft no longer look just like you. If you see an African-American brother at a table nearby, humbly ask him what percentage of his brothers are locked up in American prisons. Then ask what you might do to be of service.
Changing up the pace a little bit with something a little unexpected: Hawaiian music….sung by a Vietnamese American sista…from Southern California….Lily Bee aka Lilian Bui. ENJOY!!!!!!!
Summer might be over, but the vibes don’t have to be.
Here’s her music video for “They Don’t Make Em Like You”
And her are some other songs I enjoy: