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WE BELONG HERE: Dismantling AAPI Racism and Violence

Online Panel Discussion Himalayan Heritage

Wednesday, May 19, 2021
5:00 PM–6:30 PM

Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities have long experienced racism, harassment, and violence, which have been magnified during the COVID-19 pandemic and culture wars.

In this virtual program, held in honor of AAPI Heritage Month, unpack some of the complexities that contribute to violence against AAPI people, including how issues of gender and racial injustice intertwine to target Asian American women of all ages, and how the myth of the model minority and submissiveness, as well as the oversexualization of women, contributes to gender-based violence. You’ll also hear how AAPI communities are fighting back for change!

Join leaders at the forefront of AAPI advocacy, education, and community engagement: Jo-Ann Yoo, executive director of the Asian American Federation; Dechen Tsering, co-founder of the ACHA Himalayan Sisterhood and co-founder of the Himalayan COVID-19 Task Force; and moderator Mary Luke, board member of UN Women USA. The panel will discuss the factors that lead to AAPI hate crimes; community-based and marginalized Asian diaspora perspectives; and what’s needed to change societal attitudes and behavior.

This program is hosted by Tashi Chodron, Himalayan Cultural Programs and Partnerships, Rubin Museum of Art, and followed by a Q&A.

About the Presenters

Mary M. Luke is a member of the UN Women USA Board of Directors and President Emeritus, Senior Advisor to the UN Women USA NY Board. She is Vice President of PowHerNY, a coalition promoting gender and racial justice in New York State; co-chair of NYC4CEDAW Act; advisor to Women of Color (WOC) in Fundraising and Philanthropy; member of the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF) and Asian Women Giving Circle; and former volunteer at I Am Womankind.

In her career spanning 35 years, Luke was a global leader in women’s reproductive healthcare and advocate for gender equality and women’s empowerment. She held executive leadership positions in the United States and globally at four major non-government organizations, designing and managing women’s healthcare and development programs in 20 countries in Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and Latin America.

Jo-Ann Yoo is the executive director of the Asian American Federation (AAF), a membership organization that works with the nearly seventy nonprofits that represent and support the pan-Asian community. Established in 1989 under the mission to raise the influence and well-being of the pan-Asian American community through research, policy advocacy, public awareness and organizational development, AAF is a pan-Asian non-profit organization representing a network of 70 community service agencies in the Northeast. These agencies work in the fields of health & human services, education, economic development, civic participation, and social justice.

Jo-Ann’s professional experiences include program management and operations, fundraising, and advocacy in the fields of community development and immigrant rights. Jo-Ann currently serves on the NYC’sRacial Justice Commission for New York City’s Charter revision, and on Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Racial Equity Task Force for Vaccine Distribution, as well as on the boards of Nonprofit New York and the Advocacy Institute. Ms. Yoo was named to City and State NY’s 2021 Power 100, acknowledging the impact of NY’s nonprofits & their leaders on our City. Jo-Ann is particularly proud of her immigrant heritage and loves to hear others’ immigration stories.

Dechen Tsering currently manages the innovative sugary beverage tax of Berkeley, California. She serves as a board member of the Tibetan Nuns’ Project and as co-founder of ACHA Himalayan Sisterhood, a community organization empowering women and addressing domestic violence. She spearheaded the Himalayan COVID-19 Task Force, mobilizing Himalayan healthcare providers to assist their communities during the pandemic. She is a past president of the Tibetan Association of Northern California and has served as program coordinator for the Seva Foundation, community health coordinator for the Tibetan Delek Hospital in Dharamsala, and program officer for the Global Fund for Women for the Asia and Pacific regions.

Himalayan Heritage programs are supported by The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation and Heather Beth Henson.

Suggested Ticket Price: $10

Pay what you wish for this online program. A generous ticket purchase shows your support of the Museum and helps us develop future offerings.

Member Tickets: Free

Contact for registration assistance.

Find the Zoom link to connect to the program in your confirmation email. View our Frequently Asked Questions for more information or contact our Box Office at for assistance.