inspirASIAN v3.0

As part of the month-long Asian Pacific American Heritage Festival, SCAPE (in collaboration with USG, Delta Phi Kappa, and USC TAO) hosted its 3rd annual InspirASIAN event on Thursday Feb 28, 2014, featuring the voices and talents of local APA artists and activists! 

InspirASIAN featured a panel discussion that will have you re-thinking what it is to be an Asian Pacific American. We took a fresh new look on how members of the Asian/Pacific Islander community use their identity as a source of inspiration and creativity. The folks that assembled for this event are all APA figures that have proven over and over that success doesn’t mean leaving behind but rather LIFTING UP our APA community! We learned about how their art, identity, and community activism come together.

DANTE BASCO – Actor, poet, and dancer, best known for his role as Zuko in the animated series Avatar: The Last Airbender, and Jake in American Dragon: Jake Long!

JENNY YANG – Comedian and writer, recognized nationally for her unique blend of social commentary and humor! She’s been featured on BBC, Al Jazeera, Angry Asian Man, and The Always Summer Project, and has collaborated with the likes of Far East Movement and Wong-Fu Productions.

TAZ AHMED – Activist, storyteller, and politico based in Los Angeles currently working as the Voter Engagement Manager at Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Los Angeles. She was a long-time writer for Sepia Mutiny, and was recently published in the anthology Love, Inshallah: The Secret Love Lives of American Muslim Women and both zines from Totally Radical Muslims. Her personal projects include curating images for Mutinous Mind State and writing about Desi music at Mishthi Music where she just co-produced Beats for Bangladesh: A Benefit Album in Solidarity with the Garment Workers of Rana Plaza. Taz also has the monthly column “Radical Love” at Love, Inshallah’s website and is currently selling a line of snarky/witty hand-painted #MuslimVDay cards online. Taz organizes with Bay Area Solidarity Summer and South Asians for Justice – Los Angeles. You can find her rant at @tazzystar.

TRACI KATO-KIRIYAMA – Artist, educator, and organizer, founder of Los Angeles’ oldest and still-running public arts series Tuesday Night Cafe, as well as the director of TNC’s umbrella organization Tuesday Night Project. Her work as a multidisciplinary artist has been curated through places such as The Los Angeles Theater Center, Hammer Museum, East West Players, and the LA Asian Pacific Film Festival.

The event also hosted a talent portion featuring STUDENT PERFORMANCES – Leo Xia and Hannah Nguyen, the first and second place winners of this year’s USC iVoice!

Thanks everyone who came out to inspirASIAN this year! It was a great night of performances and engaging discussion :)

Big thanks to our wonderful performers and panelists Dante Basco, Jenny Yang, Taz Ahmed, Traci Kato-Kiriyama! As well as our talented student performers Leo Xia and Hannah Nguyen



Co-Presidents hosting and student performers Leo Xia and Hannah Nguyen


Thanks everyone who came out!


Dante Basco performing slam poetry, Jenny Yang’s stand up comedy performance, Taz Ahmed and Traci Kato- Kiriyama reading their poems


Discussion and Q&A with our panelists!

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Thanks to Delta Phi Kappa and TAO for sponsoring and helping out!

More Pictures


P.S. Jenny Yang wants you to buy her “How To Be Good Asian” Zine


Support and learn more about all of our panelists by checking out their websites!



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