On May 1, 2021, UCA held a “Silent No More: We Rise-Up and Write-Up” webinar to kick-off the month-long celebration of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage. This webinar was a part of a new initiative that aims to make our voices heard and presence felt through opinions and editorials (op-eds).
UCA President Haipei Shue and Board Member Hardy Li introduced UCA, the event, and the speakers. Speaker Mary C. Curtis, an award-winning journalist, provided information on how to write an op-ed and suggestions to two drafts in a live editing session. Speaker Melissa Green, deputy Director of Communications at Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, talked about how employees at nonprofits and individuals can write op-eds. UCA Advisor Monica He moderated a panel on the editorial and author sides of op-ed writing. The panel consisted of Atlanta Journal-Constitution Editorial Editor Andre Jackson, UCA member, nurse educator, and op-ed authors Lily Chen, and public relations professional Lucca Wang. UCA Communications Chair Changfu Chang provided concluding remarks.
Over 140 people, mostly Asian Americans, attended the webinar. The event has generated considerable interest and enthusiasm; we have received very positive feedback and op-ed drafts from our members. The recording of the webinar is available at below:
Pre-survey data were collected from the 272 people who registered. The main things we noted were:
(1) There was broad geographic representation among the registrants (37+ states and 11 countries).
(2) The sample was self-selective, with very high education levels. The majority were women and adults.
(3) An overwhelming majority of the registrants agreed that is it important to write and publish articles in order to make our voices heard in the nationwide conversations about Asian American issues.
(4) While many of them felt comfortable writing, only a small percentage of them have written an op-ed article before.
(5) There were multiple reasons for the lack of publications. Some of them could be addressed through providing training and resources.
(6) WeChat is the main source of communication among the Chinese American community.
Here is a brief summary of the complete data:
(1) A total of 272 people registered for the webinar.
(2) While the majority of registrants were in the United States, thanks to our online platform we also had international representation from Canada, Australia, China, and Taiwan, as well as seven other countries.
(3) Registrants from the United States were from over 37 states. Seven states had the most registrants (over 5% each): CA, IL, NC, MA, NJ, NY, and TX.
(4) The majority of them were women (73%).
(5) About 91% identified as Chinese.
(6) Most of the registrants were adults; about 3% were youth.
(7) Almost 74% of the registrants have a graduate degree.
(8) 78% of the registrants have Chinese as their first language while 18% have English as the first language.
- Survey Questions
(1) 88% agreed that it is important to make our voices heard in the nationwide conversations about Asian American issues.
(2) 89% agreed that writing and publications by Asian Americans can help advocate for our voices to broader communities on the rise of anti-Asian hate crimes.
(3) 90% agreed that our community members need to reach as many local newspapers as we can by telling our stories and sharing our thoughts.
(4) 75% felt comfortable with writing to local newspapers and other media outlets to express their views.
(5) 92% wanted to learn how to write and submit an article on Asian American issues.
(6) Only 16% have written a “Letter to the Editor” or “Op-Ed” article before.
(7) There were multiple reasons for not being able to write or publish, including not knowing where to submit an article (35%) and how to write (31%), having concerns about English writing skills (29%), (d) not having time to write (26%), etc.
(8) Most of the registrants found out about the webinar through WeChat. Other sources included community members, speakers and panelists from other webinars, and other social media outlets (e.g., Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn).
A few pertinent results are highlighted in the charts below.
Mary C. Curtis
Mary C. Curtis, a columnist at Roll Call, is an award-winning journalist and educator based in Charlotte, N.C., and Washington, D.C. She is host of the CQ Roll Call podcast “Equal Time, with Mary C. Curtis.” She has contributed to NBC News, NPR, The Washington Post, The Root, ESPN’s The Undefeated and talks politics on WCCB-TV and NPR-affiliate WFAE in Charlotte. Curtis has worked at The New York Times, the Charlotte Observer, the Baltimore Sun, and the Associated Press, and was national correspondent for AOL’s Politics Daily. Her coverage specialty is the intersection of politics, culture and race, and she has covered the 2008, 2012, 2016 and 2020 presidential campaigns.
Curtis is a Senior Leader with The OpEd Project, facilitating “Write to Change the World” seminars, at Yale University, Cornell University, and the Ford Foundation and at the Aspen New Voices Fellowship in Johannesburg, South Africa. Curtis was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University and a Kiplinger Fellow, in social media, at Ohio State.
Curtis was chosen to be included in The HistoryMakers, the single largest archival collection of its kind in the world designed to promote and celebrate the successes and to document movements, events and organizations that are important to the African American community and to American society; it is available digitally and permanently archived in the Library of Congress.
Her honors include Clarion Awards from the Association for Women in Communications, awards from the National Headliners and the Society of Professional Journalists, three first-place awards from the National Association of Black Journalists, two first-place SPJ DC Dateline awards, and the Thomas Wolfe Award for an examination of Confederate heritage groups. Curtis has contributed to several books, including an essay in “Now What: The Voters Have Spoken, Essays on Life After Trump” and “Covering Politics in the Age of Trump.”
Melissa Green is the Deputy Director for Communications for Clinical Scholars, a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation program. Melissa began her career providing technical assistance to health departments and community-based organizations in North Carolina. Her public health practice and research focus is health equity and collaboration between communities and academic institutions. Her research interests include health disparities across the cancer continuum, peer support interventions, disease prevention, and factors that influence participation in health research. She earned her Masters of Public Health from the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Public Health in Health. She is a staff member of UNC’s Center for Health Equity Research, adjunct faculty in UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health’s Maternal and Child Health department and a doctoral candidate at A. T. Still University.
Andre Jackson became Opinion Editor of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution in April 2009. He oversees the newspaper’s thought leadership expressed via its Sunday editorial page and daily opinion pages.
Previously, Jackson was Senior Editor for business, federal and state news at the AJC, which included overseeing the state capital and D.C. bureaus. He joined the AJC in 2008 as an editorial writer covering business and the economy. He began his newspapering career in 1984.
Jian (Lily) Chen
Jian (Lily) Chen: Lily is a First Generation Chinese American, RWJF Clinical Scholar Fellow, UCA WAVES Youth Mental Health Project Director and nurse Educator at North Carolina Central University. She recently wrote an OpEd “ Silenced Voices Speaking Out ” and a letter to the editor “Asian Americans.”
王曦 Lucca Wang
Lucca Wang 王曦 is a biracial and third-generation Chinese American woman native to the Midwest where she lives now. She has been a public relations and communications professional for 14 years, and and has two recently published op-eds in the Kansas City Star and Ms. Magazine on her own experience and perspective and the long history of anti-Asian racism in the U.S. and what is happening now. She is a journalism school graduate of Drake University and an alum of The Op-Ed Project.
Co-hosted by United Chinese Americans (UCA) and the Asian and Pacific Islander Caucus of the University of North Carolina (www.apicunc.org)
UCA主席薛海培（Haipei Shue）和董事会成员黎观城（Hardy Li）做了致辞，介绍了UCA。 UCA顾问何凯元（Monica He）做主持人。此次活动的演讲嘉宾是屡获殊荣的新闻记者玛丽·C·柯蒂斯（Mary C. Curtis），她介绍如何撰写专栏文章，并在现场就两篇来稿做了编辑示范。罗伯特·W·约翰逊基金会（Robert Wood Johnson Foundation）传媒部副主任梅利莎·格林（Melissa Green）谈到了非盈利组织和个人如何撰写意见书的问题。
随后，报纸编辑和专栏作者进行讨论、互动。参加这次讨论的有：著名的由《亚特兰大宪法报纸》的专栏版编辑安德烈·杰克逊（Andre Jackson），UCA成员、护士教育家，专栏作者陈健（Lily Chen）和公共关系专业人士、专栏作者王曦（Lucca Wang）组成。 UCA媒体负责人常昌富教授作了总结发言。
Mary C. Curtis
Mary C. Curtis 是Roll Call的专栏作家，是一位获奖的记者和教育家，居住于北卡罗来纳州夏洛特和华盛顿特区。她是CQ Roll Call播客“Equal Time, with Mary C. Curtis.”的主持人。她曾为NBC News, NPR, The Washington Post, The Root, ESPN’s The Undefeated做出贡献，并在夏洛特的WCCB-TV and NPR-affiliate WFAE上谈论政治。
Curtis被选入 The HistoryMakers，这是世界上最大的档案馆，旨在宣传并记录非裔美国人社区和美国社会重要的运动、事件和组织，它可以在国会图书馆以数字方式永久存档。
她的荣誉包括美国女性传媒协会颁发的号角奖、全国头条新闻和专业记者协会颁发的奖项、全国黑人记者协会颁发的三项一等奖、两项SPJ DC Dateline一等奖，以及托马斯沃尔夫奖。Curtis撰写了几本书，包括一篇文章《现在该做什么: 选民们的发言，特朗普之后的生活随笔》(Now What: The Voters Have Spoken, Essays on Life After Trump)和《特朗普时代的政治报道》(Covering Politics in The Age of Trump)。
Melissa 是罗伯特·伍德·约翰逊基金会(Robert Wood Johnson Foundation)临床学者交流项目的副主任。
她的研究兴趣包括癌症连续体的健康差异、疾病预防和影响健康因素等。她获得了北卡罗来纳大学教堂山分校公共卫生学院的公共卫生硕士学位。她是北卡罗来纳大学健康公平研究中心的工作人员，北卡罗来纳大学吉林斯全球公共卫生学院孕产妇和儿童健康系的兼职教员，以及a . T. Still大学的博士候选人。
陈健 Jian (Lily) Chen
Lily是第一代美籍华人，RWJF临床学者，UCA WAVES青年心理健康项目主任，北卡罗来纳中央大学护士教育家。她最近写了一篇专栏文章“沉默的声音在说话”在AJC.com上发表，还给北卡报纸New and Observers写了一封信“亚裔美国人”。
王曦 Lucca Wang
她毕业于德雷克大学(Drake University)新闻学院，是The Op-Ed Project的校友。
Changfu Chang, 美国华人联合会(UCA)媒体委员会主席
Chinese Friendship Association of Portland
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholar
The MGH Center for Cross-Cultural Students Emotional Wellness
The Asian and Pacific Islander Caucus