orange asian man

scattering ideas for the good of humanity

Misplaced Shame of Sexual Assault with Asian Americans — October 15, 2018

Misplaced Shame of Sexual Assault with Asian Americans

“Statistics for sexual assault in Asian American communities are hard to come by, but a study by Asian Pacific Institute on Gender Based Violence found that anywhere from 21-55 percent of Asian American women report facing physical and or sexual violence in their lifetime. If we continue to create a culture of shame around survivors, less and less Asian American will report these incidents publically and we will not know how deeply this issue affects our communities.

We need to disrupt and transform our culture so that reporting sexual assault is not shameful. We need to raise our men and boys to respect women and know they will be held accountable for their action if they assault anyone. I want women and girls in the Asian community to live in a new time where sexual assault is unacceptable and has consequences for perpetrators. We need to disrupt culture and create an environment that allows survivors to feel safe, heard, and believed when they tell their stories.”

— Read on

A Christian Vision of Belonging: Race and Gender – ISAAC’s 6th Symposium — September 25, 2014

A Christian Vision of Belonging: Race and Gender – ISAAC’s 6th Symposium

Invitation Letter from Young Lee Hertig


Bridging the Church and Academy To Transform Our Community

November 3-4, 2014 at Hillside Community Church 2241 N. Eastern Ave, LA

We are gearing up for one of the first Asian American and African American bilateral symposiums: “A Christian Vision of Belonging: Race and Gender,” on November 3-4, 2014. The keynote speaker is Willie James Jennings, Professor of Theology and Black Church Studies at Duke Divinity School.

Our many panelists include Rev Drs. Chip Murray (USC), Soong-Chan Rah (North Park Theological Seminary), Mark Whitlock, and Drs. Allen Yeh (Biola University), Charlene Jin Lee (Loyola Marymount), David Choi (Princeton Theological Seminary), Jonathan Tran (Baylor University), Joy Moore (Fuller Theological Seminary), Kay Higuera Smith (Azusa Pacific University), and Laura Mariko Cheifetz (Presbyterian Publishing). The workshop leaders include most of the panelists as well as local pastors from both Asian American and African American communities.

At our annual legacy banquet on the night of November 3rd, we will be honoring Bill Watanabe, the former Executive Director of Little Tokyo Service Center for over 33 years; Bill is the Asian American nonprofit guru. The backdrop visuals will be of Yuri Kochiyama, who was a close friend of Malcolm X and was beside him during his moments of last breath. In an early example of Asian American and African American bilateralism, Kochiyama mentored Dr. Donald Brown, who now serves as the LA Regional Center Director of Azusa Pacific University. He will share about her influence on his life. Rev Wendy Tajima will be also speaking at the banquet. Her cousin, Prof. Renee Tajima of UCLA, produced a documentary film about Yuri Kochiyama.

There are two links below: 1) registration; 2) a 2-minute promotional interview with Elder Oscar Owens, Kay Smith, and Soong-Chan Rah.

The courses are prepared for both a physical and intellectual feast: 3 choice meals will be served and COPA VIDA will be brewing their fresh coffee. Don’t forget to sign up for a great early bird deal.

Registration link:

Looking forward to having you all,

Rev Young Lee Hertig, PhD
Executive Director

How to discuss hospice care with Asian Americans — April 17, 2013

How to discuss hospice care with Asian Americans

Death and end-of-life matters are very very difficult to discuss within Asian cultures. According to one statistics, only 4% of Asian Americans have utilized hospice care. Yet this is such an important fact of life that all of us will eventually face with family and for ourselves. How to face this reality with grace and sensitivity? Here’s some helpful tips from Dr. DongMei Wang — via Hospice Matters: a Newsletter for Family and Friends of Hospice (Spring 2013) published by Montgomery Hospice in Montgomery County, Maryland ::

Hospice Discussions with Asian Patients by Dr. DongMei Wang

Montgomery County, Maryland is known for its rich and diverse culture and heritage. We have a large Asian community along with a growing Asian patient population. From nationwide data, we know that Asian patients use hospice care less often, as compared to other races. How can we help these patients in need to maximize their benefit from hospice?
Here are some thoughts based on my experience in my oncology private practice. Let’s first look at the barriers to utilization of hospice service by Asian patients:
  1. Many people from Asian cultures think death is a bad thing, and that anything linked to death is bad luck. They do not want to talk about death among family members.
  2. Respect for the elderly is an important part of many Asian cultures. As part of this respect, it is not uncommon for Asian adult children to hide a terminal illness diagnosis from their parents.
  3. Most Asian patients are not familiar with hospice care, as it is so rare in their country of origin.
  4. In general, Asian patients have less knowledge about the American medical system.
  5. Dying in a hospital is considered acceptable or the norm in Asian culture.
  6. Many Asians expect to receive medical treatment until they die. They may want to try anything and everything to help when there is a poor prognosis.
  7. Language barriers exist for many Asian patients and families.
When facing these challenges, here are some tips that I have found helpful when I talk to patients and families about hospice care:
  1. Do not rush. Set up a time and sit down with the patient and his or her family.
  2. Use an interpreter if you don’t speak their language.
  3. Get the family’s permission first before releasing a bad diagnosis to the patient.
  4. Emphasize quality of life rather than quantity of life.
  5. Learn about the family’s attitude towards hospice. Understand and respect a different culture’s approach towards end-of-life issues.
  6. Explain the benefit of pain control.
  7. Explain the benefit of getting service at home.
  8. Explain the benefit of stress relief for family members.
  9. Explain that the patient can keep his or her current doctor.
  10. Be open to alternative types of medicine.
I have been in a private oncology practice for 5 years, and face many of the same challenges every practitioner faces. I sincerely hope that my tips will help others to discuss hospice services with their patients.
Dr. DongMei Wang is Board Certified in Oncology and in Internal Medicine, and practices at Montgomery Oncology Care and Hematology in Rockville, MD
Okay to be Asian American and bipolar — February 5, 2013

Okay to be Asian American and bipolar

It’s now public knowledge. My name is DJ Chuang and I have bipolar disorder. It took me a long time to seek professional care for my mental health. Here’s what the Orange County Register article, O.C. exports Asian American churches to the world, described:

Chuang has bipolar disorder. He has been successfully treated for the condition since 2001. But he attributes his numerous career changes and intellectual restlessness, in part, to manic episodes.

His periods of depression, he said, brought him near suicide. And they convinced him that helping Asian American churches become more culturally inclusive is tantamount to a life-or-death calling.

“It’s very hard for Asians to talk about their weaknesses,” Chuang said, explaining why he waited years before publicly acknowledging his condition and seeking treatment.

Chuang said traditional Asian American churches are especially inhospitable to painful personal problems because many Asian cultures prize a veneer of stoic hard work and moral respectability.

“I want to bring churches into a place to deal more honestly with the real person,” Chuang said.

“I would like to see Asian Americans become more healthy and whole as people.”

View/Download PDF version of the OC Register article

By posting here and on my personal blog, I am making myself available to you and to people you know who may be struggling with bipolar disorder or other kinds of mental illness. I am not a professional, but I am willing to offer a listening ear and to be an encourager and a friend. Contact me.

[cf. Julie J. Park]