Snapshots of Asian America: A Look at the Movement's Spirit and Legacy
Home Legacies Author Bios Site Credits

Prosy Albarquez-Delacruz
Liz Del Sol
Henry Der
Harvey Dong
Nancy Hom
Bob Hsiang
Floyd Huen
Rose Ibanez
Chris Iijima
Beverly Kordziel
Corky Lee
Gordon Lee
Miriam Ching Yoon Louie
Steve Louie
Warren Mar
Nelson Nagai
Nick Nagatani
Don T. Nakanishi
Tram Quang Nguyen
Mori Nishida
Cecile Caguingin Ochoa
Carol Ojeda-Kimbrough
Glenn Omatsu
Merilynne Hamano Quon
Pat Sumi
Brenda Paik Sunoo
Ray Tasaki
Daniel C. Tsang
Ryan Masaaki Yokota

Author Bios

Prosy Abarquez-Delacruz was a member of the Alliance for Filipino Concerns, which protested martial law in the Philippines during the 1970s. Abarquez-Delacruz has founded numerous organizations, including the Filipino American National Historical Society. She remains active in the Asian American community, serving on the Asian Pacific American Legal Center’s board of directors. She is currently the regional administrator of the State Department of Health Services’ Food and Drug Branch.

Liz Del Sol was born and raised in San Francisco, and enrolled at UC Berkeley in 1967. She helped form the Filipino Student Association there in 1969, and supported farmworkers who fought to be unionized and the tenants of the International Hotel who struggled against eviction. Today, she works as an accountant in a Bay Area municipal government agency.

Henry Der worked at San Francisco-based Chinese for Affirmative Action for nearly 25 years, serving as its executive director for many years. He currently serves as the deputy superintendent of public instruction for the California Department of Education, running programs that serve at-risk and special-needs students. In addition, he has served as the chairperson of the California Post-secondary Education Commission and the State Bar Legal Services Trust Fund Commission. Der is also a commentator for NPR affiliate KQED-FM, and has practiced Bikram yoga for the past seven years. He lives in San Francisco with his wife, Priscilla and their children.

to top of page

Harvey Dong lives in the San Francisco Bay Area and currently teaches Ethnic Studies courses at UC Berkeley. He was active in the Third World Liberation Front strike for Ethnic Studies, participated in the International Hotel movement, and organized support for Asian immigrant labor struggles. He also helped start the Asian Community Center in the basement of the International Hotel, Everybody’s Bookstore, and Wei Min She, a San Francisco Asian American anti-imperialist organization. When he is not working on his doctorate thesis on Asian American activism in the Bay Area, Dong can be found at Eastwind Books in Berkeley, where he is a co-manager.

Nancy Hom, an artist and writer, was introduced to the Asian American Movement in 1971 when she joined the Asian Media Collective and other groups in New York. Since 1974, Hom has been involved with Kearny Street Workshop, a San Francisco-based multi-disciplinary Asian American arts organization; she became its executive director in 1995, producing shows and exhibits that are relevant to minority communities.

Bob Hsiang, a second-generation Chinese American, is known for capturing the Movement on film. He became a photojournalist in the 1960s at State University of New York at Buffalo where he covered political actions. In 1971, he moved to New York City and helped form the Asian Media Collective, a multimedia and film group. He moved to San Francisco in 1974 and took a job as a photography instructor while volunteering at Kearny Street Workshop, a non-profit arts organization. Presently, he is a freelance photographer in the Bay Area, and his work has been featured in local and national magazines and books.

to top of page

Floyd Huen went to UC Berkeley during the late 1960s where he served as president of the Chinese Student Club, and participated in both the Asian American Political Alliance and the strike for Ethnic Studies. When he moved to New York for medical school, Huen and his wife co-founded the Chinatown Food Co-op and Asian Americans for Equality, a New York Chinatown-based social justice organization. Huen now lives in the Bay Area, and in 1999, he served as the physician for the UC Berkeley hunger strikers who won their demands for a stronger Ethnic Studies department.

Rose Ibanez became politically active in high school during the 1970s, when she joined the Third World Student Group. She worked with the West Coast Federation of Filipino Students (known as Samahan) during college and joined the Kabataang Demokratiko ng Pilipinas, a group that protested martial law in the Philippines. She has worked on numerous Filipino American, anti-Marcos regime, immigration, and affirmative action campaigns. Today, Ibanez works at the Los Angeles County Community Development Commission. She is also completing a master’s degree in Public Policy and Administration at California State University at Long Beach.

Chris Iijima was born in New York City in 1948. During the late 1960s and early 1970s, he participated in and helped form several groups, including Asian Americans for Action, I Wor Kuen, and Chickens Come Home to Roost. Iijima also performed with Nobuko Miyamoto and William "Charlie" Chin, forming one of the first Asian American folk groups. He has been a bartender, an elementary school teacher, and a lawyer. Iijima currently lives in Hawaii, where he is a law professor.

to top of page

Beverly Kordziel grew up in San Francisco and went to UC Berkeley. She joined the Asian American Movement in 1969, and became involved with fighting the evictions of elderly Filipino and Chinese at the International Hotel in San Francisco. She earned a master’s degree in Educational Counseling and Psychology, and works as a high school guidance counselor in Stockton. She married another Asian American activist and they have two children.

Corky Lee is well known for his photographs of the Movement and Asian American communities. A self-taught photographer, Lee is the eldest child of a "paper son" laundryman, and grew up in Queens, New York. Today, Lee’s work appears in publications ranging from local community newspapers to The New York Times.

Gordon Lee got involved in the Asian American movement in the spring of 1970 as a student at Columbia University, when students took over Kent Hall demanding an Ethnic Studies program. He was one of the original members of the Asian Media Collective, and after leaving New York, he joined Third Arm, a community organization in Honolulu’s Chinatown where he spent many years assisting residents to fight urban renewal. As an attorney, he developed a health insurance counseling and assistance program for seniors. Currently, he is pursuing a Ph.D. in depth psychology at Pacifica Graduate Institute in Santa Barbara, California.

to top of page

Miriam Ching Yoon Louie has dedicated over 30 years to advancing the movements of women of color, immigrant women workers, and grassroots Asian communities. She was instrumental in various organizations during the anti-war and Civil Rights era, including the Third World Women’s Alliance, and the Asian Immigrant Women’s Advocates. She also organized the United Farm Workers’ Grape Boycott and volunteered for the Venceremos Brigade, traveling with them to Cuba in order to build schools, hospitals, apartments, and cut sugarcane. She has written several books and continues to work with the Women of Color Resource Center, which she co-founded in 1990.

Steve Louie was active in the Asian American student, anti-war, and community organizing movements. He worked at the Asian Community Center in San Francisco Chinatown and with Wei Min She, an Asian American anti-imperialist organization. Louie also served as a co-editor and photographer for the monthly newspaper Wei Min. He was a working class organizer for seven years. He currently works as a business systems analyst.

Warren Mar helped form the Asian Student Union at San Francisco State University in 1974. He was a member of I Wor Kuen, a revolutionary Asian American organization. He spent 20 years as a union organizer with the AFL-CIO Organizing Institute, California Nurses Association, and the Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees Union (HERE) in San Francisco. Mar currently works as a labor policy specialist at the UC Berkeley Center for Labor Research and Education.

to top of page

Nelson Nagai was the chairperson of the constitution committee of Stockton’s Yellow Seed, a community service organization. While at Stanford University, Nagai also served as the chairperson of the Asian American Student Association. During the International Hotel struggle, Nagai served as the auditor of the International Hotel Tenants Association. He is currently writing a fictional book on the Movement.

Nick Nagatani is married to Wendy. They have three children, Brett, Cullen, and Remy.

Don T. Nakanishi helped organize the Yale University Asian American Students Association. He also co-founded Amerasia Journal in 1970. Nakanishi is currently the director of the UCLA Asian American Studies Center, and holds a joint faculty appointment in the Asian American Studies Department and the UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies.

to top of page

Tram Quang Nguyen is a writer and editor from Southern California and Vietnam. She is the executive editor of ColorLines, a magazine in Oakland. Nguyen has contributed to Pacific Ties newsmagazine, and was part of the new Gidra magazine collective. She graduated from UCLA in 1996.

Mori Nishida, a long-time Asian American activist, has worked with many social service organizations in the Japanese American community. Currently, he works as a janitor in Los Angeles’ Little Tokyo, and organizes around the Jericho Movement for political prisoners.

Cecile Caguingin Ochoa fought against martial law in the Philippines during the ‘70s. Ochoa became a writer and journalist, and served as the editor and co-publisher of the monthly Los Angeles Filipino Bulletin. She currently works for a government agency as a civil rights expert, and has received public service awards from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. She received her undergraduate degree in Mass Communications from the University of the Philippines, and a master’s degree in Public Administration from the University of Southern California.

to top of page

Carol Ojeda-Kimbrough did frontline organizing to protest martial law in the Philippines during the 1970s with the group Kabataang Demokratiko ng Pilipinas. Today, she is a doctoral student at UCLA’s School of Public Policy and Social Research. Before returning to school, Ojeda-Kimbrough served as a field deputy and community organizer for a member of the Los Angeles City Council. She remains active in civil rights and social justice advocacy, and is a member of the Los Angeles County Commission on Public Social Services.

Glenn Omatsu is a staff member of the UCLA Asian American Studies Center, and has served as an associate editor of the Amerasia Journal. He also teaches classes in Asian American Studies at California State University at Northridge, and Pasadena City College. Omatsu also works as a counselor in the CSU Northridge Equal Opportunity Program. He remains active in community and labor struggles, and continues to participate in international solidarity movements.

Merilynne Hamano Quon, a third-generation Japanese American was born in 1948, in Tokyo, Japan. As a full-time activist from 1968 to 1985, Quon was active in groups like the UCLA Asian American Studies Center, Asian Sisters, Gidra magazine, East Lost Angeles Outreach Team, National Coalition for Redress Reparation, and Communication Workers of America. She has been a member of the Community Workers Collective, Eastwind, and the League of Revolutionary Struggle.

to top of page

Pat Sumi, a sansei born in Colorado during the early 1940s, was an Asian American activist known for anti-Vietnam War organizing with G.I.s at Camp Pendleton and Fort Hood. Sumi worked for the Head Start program in Mississippi from 1966 to 1967, and worked on voter registration efforts in the South. Sumi also participated in the Eldridge Cleaver Delegation of anti-war Americans to North Korea, North Vietnam, and China. Sumi passed away in 1997.

Brenda Paik Sunoo is an award-winning freelance journalist based in Southern California. She has previously worked as an editor for the English edition of the Korea Times, as well as Rice and Workforce magazines. During the 1970s, Brenda and her husband, Jan, were anti-war and human rights activists, particularly advocating for Korean unification. In 1999, she obtained her MFA in Creative Writing from Antioch University, Los Angeles. She has written a memoir, Moment, Stay Awhile, based on her experiences as a bereaved parent. She and Jan have one surviving son, David.

Ray Tasaki is a sansei born in Los Angeles in 1936. During World War II, his family was interned in Heart Mountain, Wyoming, when Tasaki was 6. After release from the internment camp, his family returned to L.A. Tasaki ran with gangs like the Primera Flats (a Chicano gang from East L.A) and ended up spending the late ’60s in and out of penitentiaries. While in jail, Tasaki was exposed to Black Muslims and learned about the work of the Black Panthers and other groups. In the early 1970s, Tasaki helped form Asian American Hard Core, a program that dealt with drug and alcohol abuse. Tasaki recently retired from a non-profit vocational school in San Jose, where he was a printing and graphics instructor.

to top of page

Daniel C. Tsang hosts "Subversity," a public affairs interview show in Southern California. Tsang also covers "civil unliberties" for OC Weekly. He has also co-founded organizations like Philadelphia’s Asian Americans United and Orange County’s Alliance Working for Asian Rights and Empowerment. In addition, Tsang runs UC Irvine’s Social Science Data Archive, where he serves as the bibliographer of Asian American Studies, politics, and economics.

Ryan Masaaki Yokota is a yonsei nikkei who works on a variety of political issues like the prison-industrial complex. He interviewed Pat Sumi as part of an attempt to produce a documentary on the Movement. In interviewing her, he said he "hoped to play a role in facilitating intergenerational dialogue between the previous and current generation of Asian and Pacific Islander activists."

to top of page

[01 Transforming Ourselves]     [02 Not Without Struggle]     [03 Serve the People]
[04 Listening to the Small Voice]     [05 The Big Picture]     [06 Revolution]
[Author Bios]     [Site Credits]     [Home]