2022 Empowering Asian Americans: Community Advocacy a Panel Discussion

October 8, 2022
Tahoma Room, Thomas Hall
University of Puget Sound
Tacoma, Washington

Guest Presenters:
Lia Shigemura | DEI Consultant Bio
Daniel Nguyen | Bambuza CEO & Founder, Lake Oswego City Councilor Bio
Samantha Chevi Chung | Founding Artistic Director at empathos company Bio

Presented by University of Puget Sound’s Asian Studies Program and the Chinese Reconciliation Project Foundation in Tacoma, Washington, this event is co-sponsored by Puget Sound’s Offices of Alumni & Parent Relations, and Institutional Equity and Diversity.

Empowering Asian Americans Panel

Recognizing the historical and contemporary experiences of challenges and triumphs among Asian American communities, this year’s panel has three invited speakers: two Puget Sound alumni, Lia Shigemura ’80 and Daniel Nguyen ’01, and Chevi Chung from Tacoma. The panel aims to share stories behind community leaders in advocating Asian American voices and engage Puget Sound students, faculty, staff, alumni, and the general public in a deeper discussion on diversity and inclusion, particularly in light of the recent surge of anti-AAPI hate, violence, and racism.

Lia Shigemura

Lia Shigemura is a DEI consultant, whose work within the public, non-profit and private sectors focuses on issues of race, disability, labor and employment. Her passion to contribute to the creation of communities and a world in which all people can live with respect and dignity led her to become a founder of a leading domestic violence shelter for abused Asian women and their children. In this opening statement, Lia talks about race issues based on her professional experiences as well as her personal background.

Daniel Nguyen

Daniel Nguyen is a restaurateur, business professional, and community volunteer. He was elected to the Lake Oswego City Council in 2018, the first person of color to hold that position. Born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, Daniel shares his perspectives as a son of Vietnamese refugees who came to the United States in 1975. He shares family struggles and triumphs, and the impetus behind him getting into politics and service as a public official in his community.

Chevi Chung

Chevi Chung is the founder and visionary of empathos company. As a director and actor, her focus is on anti-racist, trauma-informed, and consent-forward artistic practices. In her talk, Chevi expresses her anti-racist ethos, and calls for more awareness and community actions to dismantle white supremacy and address issues facing historically excluded people.

2021 Empowering Asian Americans:
Women in Leadership
A Symposium at University of Puget Sound 10-2-21

Recognizing the intersections of racial and gender biases against Asian American women, this symposium aims to share stories of challenges and triumphs in the lives of three accomplished Asian American women leaders, and engage our students and the community in a discussion about workplace diversity, breaking through the bamboo ceiling, and other race and gender related issues, particularly in light of the recent surge of anti-AAPI violence and racism. Presented by University of Puget Sound’s Asian Studies Program, the symposium is co-sponsored by the Chinese Reconciliation Project Foundation in Tacoma, Washington.

Featured speakers:

Puget Sound Trustee Emerita Jill Nishi | Bio
Washington Supreme Court Justice Mary Yu | Bio
Attorney and Entrepreneur Nicole Shanahan | Bio

Co-sponsored by CRPF and the Asian Studies Program at the University of Puget Sound.

Mary Yu Prepared Remarks: Take the Space

Washington State Supreme Court Justice Mary Yu talks about growing up bi-ethnic in Chicago and her journey through the very white, male legal profession to her current position.

Nicole Shanahan Prepared Remarks: Claim Your Story

Silicon Valley entrepreneur and lawyer Nicole Shanahan tells of her mother’s arrival in the US from China in the early ’80’s and how Nicole grew up balancing family and business cultures, proving to her traditional grandfather that girls are worth educating.

Jill Nishi Prepared Remarks: Family Of Origin Stories

Gates Foundation administrator and now independent consultant Jill Nishi talks about the importance of remaining true to your own origin stories while finding a place in corporate America.

Empowering Asian Americans: Women in Leadership
A Symposium at University of Puget Sound 10-2-21

This panel of three dynamic Asian American women in leadership took place at the University of Puget Sound on October 2, 2021.