Ok… last night I was watching Jay Leno (I was surprised I was because sometimes he turns me off), and out comes gold medalist Olympian Apollo Anton Ohno, to the screaming delight of all the women in the audience. He was Mr. Popularity! And it really freaked me out because he really does look like my lil brother: eyes, eyebrows, goatee, wavy full hair, smile, profile, and all. He even has that similar laid back air. For a second there, I felt like I was watching my brother on tv. But I think what weirded me out the most was the fact that Apollo is increasingly looked at as a sex symbol. Not that my brother wouldn’t deserve it, he is a handsome and laid back kind of guy, but it’s just that weird feeling a sibling gets when someone’s got the hots for your bro.

Glamour magazine does not strike me as the progressive type of magazine. In fact, I don’t necessarily get into their pseudo-feminism. But, go figure, they’ll be profiling some tales of fiestyness from the upcoming book, That Takes Ovaries! The book will be released in mid-May, and contains stories by various women from all walks of life, telling of times when they stood up for themselves, took charge of their destiny, had the audacity to stand up and be heard, and all that goodness. The book’s already being sold on Amazon.com, though right now they’re just taking pre-orders.

I, and 2-3 other women, have been chosen as featured authors. They’ll be doing short summaries of what we wrote about, and from what I understand, the article will be about a page or 2. It will come out in the May issue, will be in stores by mid-April. Check it out.

**please forward and post to interested parties! thanks**

Call for Submissions

We are not here to consider the appeal of mute ruins,
the hollowness of reason, the veneer of American order…
this garden is not about charm nor the mathematics
of living form. This is about survival, something
old roses understand. Telling the story, we are.
(Frances Driscoll, from “Here, Among Old Roses”)

Every two minutes, somewhere in America, someone is raped. Fewer than one in three rape cases are reported. The Wall of Survivors project is a multimedia arts piece that hopes to lift the veil of silence and taboo around the experience of rape and rape survival. A patchwork of contributions from artists, survivors, and allies, The Wall of Survivors seeks to:

· Increase awareness of rape and rape survival among Asian
American women and women in general.
· Provide artists, survivors, and allies a form for expressing
the spectrum of emotions and experiences of rape and rape survival.
· Make more visible the experience and effects of rape and rape
survival to all communities.

The Wall will initially consist of 27 squares of canvas (16”x16”)
designed by 27 different visual and literary artists, survivors, and
allies sewn together (canvas squares are provided). The Wall will be
publicly unveiled at NYU’s Take Back the Night event (Location and Date TBA). The Wall will then tour to various women’s rape crisis centers and Asian American women’s sites nationwide.


For more information, questions, concerns, or to have a canvas piece mailed to you contact: Christine Bacareza Balance

Blank canvas pieces may be picked up at the
Asian/Pacific/American Studies Program & Institute
269 Mercer Street (btw. West 4th Street and Washington Place), Suite #609
M-F, 10am-6pm
contact: Sheelagh Cabalda, Student & Community Affairs Director

For more information about NYU’s Take Back the Night
Contact: Jamie Steiger, Office of Sexual Assault Prevention and
Education Services jamie.steiger@nyu.edu

Sponsored by:
Campaign for Safer Subway Stations (www.
Asian Women’s Center (www.nyawc.org)
Asian/Pacific/American Studies Program & Institute, NYU

Funded in part by:
Office of Community Services, NYU
North Star Fund

* * *

Michelle Kwan Headline Controversy Continues to Haunt Us
By Rene M. Astudillo,
Executive Director, Asian American Journalists Association

In 1998, American figure skater Tara Lipinski beat fellow American Michelle Kwan to capture the gold medal at the Nagano Winter Olympics. A headline announcing the upset victory on the MSNBC Web site read, "American Beats Out Kwan."

Four years later, in Salt Lake City, Kwan -- again favored to win gold -- loses out to fellow American Sarah Hughes and Russian skater Irina Slutskaya. History is repeated, and I’m not just talking gold medals. The day after the womens figure skating finals in Nagano, The Seattle Times sports page ran a controversial secondary headline on its lead story about the gold-medal skating performance of Sarah Hughes. It read, "American outshines Kwan, Slutskaya in skating surprise.

Prompted by numerous reader complaints that the heading implied that Michelle Kwan was not an American, The Seattle Times immediately issued an apology -- first on its web site, then in next day's edition of the paper about what it called a "misunderstanding."

The Times explained that the headline was in two parts, the main headline reading "Hughes good as gold." The apology went on to say that "...the writer was attempting to find another word for Hughes in order not to repeat her name in the second head." The apology further claims that the headline was written quickly on deadline.

Also on February 22, the San Francisco Chronicle ran a front-page story on the figure skating finals. In the jump page, staff writer John Crumpacker made reference to the 1998 Olympic competition by saying that, "And Kwan, who persevered for the past four years after losing out on the Olympic gold medal to American Tara Lipinski in Nagano, glumly settled for the bronze medal this time . . ."

I wrote a letter to the editor expressing concern about the implication in that statement that Kwan was not an American, just like the MSNBC headline implied in 1998. Admittedly and in hindsight, I missed the first reference to Kwan in the third paragraph of the news story. It said, "Skating after Hughes, the two favorites, American Michelle Kwan and Russian Irina Slutskaya..."

Chronicle assistant executive editor Narda Zacchino pointed out that "A careful reading of the story would make clear that the nationality of each skater is stated with the first identification of that skater, so that when Tara Lipinski is mentioned, we tell the readers that she is American, just as we told them earlier in the first references that Kwan is American and Sarah Hughes is American and Slutskaya is Russian."

By the rules of editing, the Chronicle did not err. But other readers and members of the Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA) saw an issue beyond editorial correctness. Hayley Sterling, former AAJA Washington, D.C. chapter president, says that "The fact that the line stood out for many of us, should be reason enough to make issue of it. I agree with another writer it wouldve been more accurate and informative and perhaps less confusing to some readers if the sentence read fellow-American Tara Lipinski."

Ti-Hua Chang of the AAJA New York chapter suggested that the Chronicle should be more sensitive to the previous flap with the MSNBC headline. "Given that history and context, SF Chronicle should have added one more word "fellow" to American Tara Lipinski.," Chang added.

Another Chronicle staffer, David de la Fuente maintains that " the phrase questioned is not a mistake of apparent omission (as would be the case if the story never mentioned Kwan being an American) or apparent commission (as was the case with the 1998 MSNBC headline...").

De la Fuente asserts further: "Michelle Kwan has been in the spotlight for several years now. She is not the fresh-faced and relatively unfamiliar newcomer she was in 1988, and I sincerely doubt that there are very many people who were interested enough in skating to a) read that article or b) watch that competition who did not know she is an American."

Agreed. But if so much controversy was generated by the San Francisco Chronicle story beyond just readers missing references to Kwan as American, there must be an issue here. If there are enough people complaining about inappropriate headlines such as the one ran by The Seattle Times and prompting an apology from a respected newspaper then we know readers get involved in what they read and writers and editors should be more sensitive
to the things they print.

Part of AAJA's core mission is to be vigilant about fair and accurate
coverage of Asian Americans and Asian American issues. The real issue here is not Michelle Kwan, but all Americans of different racial and ethnic heritage who have long been "tokenized" and who have historically been relegated to a "second-class" citizen status. Many Asian Americans have had this experience, including many of our own journalist-members. But we must also remember that there are thousands of other Asian American readers who don't
care about editorial correctness and who constantly bear the insult and hurt caused by even the slightest suggestion or implication that they are less American than their fellow Americans.

* * *

URGENT ACTION: Support Detained Palestinian Mohammad Bachir

Mohammed Bachir was arrested with another Arab American approximately three weeks ago when police stopped them based on their ethnic backgrounds. Mohammad was picked up and subsequently placed in INS detention based on a INS warrant, issued on allegations that he did not report to INS when requested to. These allegations were based on a INS requirement for Mr. Bachir to report that he was not made aware of, following a 90 day period where he was required to report weekly (which cost him his job) which he complied with to the letter. At the end of the 90 days, Mr. Bachir made the INS aware of his location, told them he would report when needed, but that he was unable to sustain a job while being required to report weekly, and had also lost his apartment due to regular unscheduled INS visits.

Being detained by the INS is not new to Mr. Bachir, he was detained in the past (1996-2001) despite having been a legal permanent resident since 1985 without any problems. This detention was based on a criminal charge of "parental kidnapping" stemming from him picking up his son by himself at the airport as the son arrived from a refugee camp in Lebanon, when the son's mother did not show up (the mother had gotten custody as she was afraid Mr. Bachir would bring the son to Lebanon).

While in detention he became active in publicly denouncing the horrific conditions INS detainees are regularly held in. In response, the INS began to move him throughout the country. Mr. Bachir started contacting the media in different locations as he was moved, creating a huge stir due to his exposure of the terrible indignities and abuse heaped on detainees on a daily basis in INS detention facilities. At one point, a hunger strike started by Mr. Bachir gained enough publicity that a INS facility in New Hampshire was shut down when it became apparent to the public that detainees were being held in conditions amounting to "cruel and unusual punishment".

Stung by his continued organizing work behind bars, the INS offered to release him (being unable to deport him as he is a stateless Palestinian), on the condition that he no longer speak with the media, after three years apart from his wife and child, Mr. Bachir agreed and was released. Since then, the INS has regained its grip on Mr. Bachir. Having detained him, they are once again attempting to isolate him, by moving him far from his community and family.

INS attempted Thursday night to take him from LA - San Pedro to Batavia, NY. He said he would not go, so they dragged him part ways. Then, put him at the back of the plane, before the plane was boarded by other passengers. When he saw the other passengers boarding, he stood up and said: "Look I am not a terrorist; I am a Palestinian; why is immigration treating us like this? I have an American family; I have a son, I have been here 21 years. Ask these people if I am a terrorist. Why are they holding me?"

The INS staff told him to be quiet, that he was embarrassing them.

The stewardess asked the INS officers, "Is he a terrorist, he's saying he is not a terrorist, then, why are you doing this, get him out of this airplane." INS made the passengers then leave the plane.

Passengers were taking notes and pictures of what was happening.

Since this incident he has been held in isolation, and has been told that he must submit to an interview with the FBI. Mr. Bachir is holding to his constitutional rights and demanding that an attorney be present if this is to happen.

Also, see the Arab American Anti Discrimination Committee Website: http://www.adc.org/action/2001/1march2001v002.htm for history on his case

We ask you to write letters (include his name and A # 41 796 593) to the following and demand:
1. That Mr. Bachir be released from isolation
2. That the INS not remove Mr. Bachir from the L.A. area where his family and community is.

Write or call:
Officer In Charge Mr. Garcia
San Pedro INS Service Processing Center
2001 Seaside Ave
San Pedro, CA 90731


David Venturella, Assistant Commissioner for Detention
fax: 202/353-9435
ph: 202/305-0188
US Department of Justice, INS, 425 I. Street, NW Washington, D.C. 20536.

Please see attached sample letter (also below):
Prison Moratorium Project - Desis Rising Up and Moving - Coalition for the Human Rights of Immigrants

February 23, 2002
Sent by fax only to 202 353-9435
David Venturella
Assistant Commissioner for Detention, INS

Re: BACHIR, Mohammad
A# 41 796 593

Dear Sir,

Mr. Bachir contacted our coalition and made us aware of the situation of his detention. We are concerned that the motivation behind his detention may be linked to his history of agitation around detention conditions at INS facilities. We are also concerned that his arrest and subsequent detention seem to indicate racial profiling.

Our organizations are community based, and involved in street level activity around INS Detentions. To this end, we plan to include Mr. Bachir's case in our ongoing media and organizing work. We are concerned that there seems to be efforts afoot to move Mr. Bachir from the Los Angeles area, where his family including his son and wife, and community are based. We are also concerned that he is being isolated, only for demanding his constitutional right to have an attorney present when questioned by the FBI.

We demand that Mr. Bachir not be moved from the L.A. area, and that the INS cease in isolating him. To this end, we will work with the media and with our constituencies here and allies nationwide to expose the INS' treatment of Mr. Bachir should these demands not be met.

We appreciate your attention to this situation.

Mac Scott
Coalition for the Human Rights of Immigrants

Our groups can be reached c/o the Coalition for the Human Rights of Immigrants 339 Lafayette St. NY, NY 10012 fax 212/674-9139
phone 212/254-2591

This message distributed by / Este mensaje distribuido por:
Coalition for the Human Rights of Immigrants (CHRI)
Coalicion para los Derechos Humanos de los Inmigrantes
339 Lafayette St, New York, NY 10012 tel 212-254-2591 /
fax 212-674-9139 email

* * *

See the flyer for the event here:

More Info Below:
Subject: [FACES_NYNJ]
Mar. 2
Creative Collective for Crizel

Dear members and Friends,
JOIN US THIS SATURDAY! Help create a solidarity banner to be sent to the communities around the bases and listen to/participate in performance art/dance.

Creative Collective for Crizel
Saturday, March 2, 2002 1:00 4:00 pm
Join us for a celebration of her life with a Film by Aimee Suzara dedicated to Crizel, an Indigenous Dance workshop, Spoken Word by Kontrast, Poetry and
Collective Art to share with her community in solidarity.

Asian American Writers Workshop, 16 West 32nd Street, 10th Floor (Between 5th Avenue and Broadway) Suggested Donation $5.00
Filipino/American Coalition for Environmental Solutions New York / New Jersey
Phone: 917.450.8626
E-mail: faces-ny@facessolutions.org
National Office Phone/Fax: 212.594.4021,

CRIZEL JANE VALENCIA ENVIRONMENTAL ACTIVIST 1993-2000 Crizel Jane Valencia was six years old when she passed away on February 25, 2000 from a rare form of leukemia. During Crizels short life, she called attention to the struggle of her community, where she and many others suffered from illnesses linked to toxic waste, abandoned by the United States government at its former military bases in the Philippines. With her constant smile, strength, and optimism, she raised awareness of the deadly effects of toxic waste contamination and the urgent need to end the environmental degradation of her community. Crizel has been called the "child toxic warrior" whose living memory continues to fuel the struggle for bases cleanup.

* * *

FREE Health Fair for Asian Women

Sponsored by Women Workers Project of CAAAV
Kalayaan at Pagkakaisa mga Manggagawang Pilipina
Sunday, March 3, 2002
From 1:00 - 4:00 pm
Hunter College, Manhattan
West Building Room 217

· Free Check Ups
· Free Breast Exams, and training on how to do a self-breast exam
· Information about safety and health on the job
· Information about keeping healthy and simple exercises to promote good health everyday

Take the 6 train in Manhattan to 69th Street - Hunter College
The college is on the corner of 68th Street and Lexington Avenue

For more information, please call Carol de Leon at (718) 220-7391 Ext. 12

* * *


POSSE To Present Its Demands to Citizenship and Immigration Canada

February 27, 2002 (Vancouver, BC): People Organizing Spontaneous Solidarity Efforts (POSSE) will rally in support of immigrants, refugees,and migrant workers, at high noon on March 1 at 800 Burrard, the BC/Yukon Regional Office of Citizenship and Immigration Canada. Rally participants will present their list of demands to the head of Immigration's regional office, Michel Smith.

You are invited to come hear a broad range of speakers concerned about the effect of the new Immigration Act on ordinary people. In combination with Bill C36 (the Anti-Terrorism Act), Bill C35 (Act to Amend Foreign Missions and International Organizations), Bill C42 (so-called Public Safety Act), the new immigration legislation gives government security forces power to restrict everyone's civil liberties and does not create new mechanisms for alleviating terrorism from our communities.

Rita Wong, a community advocate with Direct Action Against Refugee Exploitation (DAARE), states, "On any given day in Canada, there are about 460 people in immigration detention. There needs to be more public
scrutiny into this shameful use of state force against people who, for the most part, are not a danger to the public but are mostly just poor and unlucky people."

"Despite all the promises, under the new Immigration Act, Filipino nurses will continue to be denied entrance to Canada, except through the Live-in
Caregiver Program or the new Temporary Foreign Workers Program," exclaims Leah Diana of the Filipino Nurses Support Group. "They will continue to be exploited as sources of cheap, but highly skilled labour, despite the critical nursing shortage in Canada."

"While the concessions announced yesterday by the new Minister of Immigration, Denis Coderre, may be a tiny step in the right direction,they do not address the fundamental flaws and inequities of Canada's immigration system," asserted Agnes Huang.

At the same time as the rally in Vancouver, there will also be a rally in Montreal to demonstrate that immigration is a national issue, and that people across the country do not accept the racist backlash and scapegoating of immigrants, refugees and migrant workers implemented by Immigration Canada.

POSSE is an ad hoc coalition of concerned citizens who understand that the well-being of people in Canada is intimately connected to the well-being of common people overseas, and that the current systems we live in are inadequate to address people's needs in the face of neoliberal globalization. Draconian legislation is the wrong response to the symptoms
of global inequities, and does nothing to solve systemic problems.

For more information, contact Rita Wong - 604-875-0412, or Ian Robinson - 604-434-0451.


I am almost done with the layout of the next issue of Bamboo Girl, but wouldn't you know it, my scanner konked out! So I am in need of a scanner, or the possibility of getting some pix scanned - if any of my pals in the NYC vicinity can hook me up, please drop me a line!

So, I joked with my brother, because he looks exactly like U.S. Olympic Gold-Medalist Skater Apollo Anton Ohno. It turns out my mom, our family friends, and his classmates at massage school told him about seeing the resemblance before I did! And I thought I was making a unique observation!

Just received the email below... do check out When the Elephants Dance by Tess Uriza Holthe!


Dear BambooGirl,

I am the husband of Novelist Tess Uriza Holthe. She is an American born Filipina who recently had her first novel When the Elephants Dance published by Crown/Random House. When the Elephants Dance is an historical fiction account of the last week of WWII in Manila. A group of civilians are forced to hide in an underground cellar telling mythological stories to pass the time (See SF Chronicle article below).

I am e-mailing groups and individuals to inform them about her work. Beyond the obvious reasons for promoting my wife's novel, I am enthusiastically celebrating the advancement of Filipino art and culture in the U.S. Given the lack of American published Filipino literature, hopefully, Tess' book will encourage other major publishing houses to start supporting Filipino writers.

Published January 15th, When the Elephants Dance has experienced enormous success in its first month out. Elephants continues to remain on the prestigious San Francisco Chronicle Best Seller list, even hitting number one! In addition, the book was chosen for the Borders Books Original Voices Program, Barnes and Nobles Discover Program, the Book Sense 76 Top 10 pick for Jan/Feb. Tess was recently interviewed by Bryant Gumbel on the Early Show and has just concluded a national book tour. She has been featured in numerous national publications including the February cover for Filipinas Magazine, Book Magazine, Elle, Glamour, Jane, YM, The New Yorker, SF 7x7, Pages Magazine, Travel and Leisure, Focus Magazine, Publishers Weekly, and others.

Your support, suggestions, and comments are appreciated. Salamat!

Jason Holthe

"Steps to survival: In a striking debut novel, Filipinos endure Japan's reign of terror by sharing stories"
San Francisco Gate

Reviewed by Gail Tsukiyama
Sunday, January 13, 2002
View article