RICE 2015

March 21, 2015 | 10:30-4pm | Loosemore Auditorium | DeVos Center | Grand Rapids, MI

RICE (Realizing and Addressing Issues in our Culture and Education) is a formal academic and professional conference hosted annually by the Asian Student Union of Grand Valley State University. It provides an opportunity for members of the local community, alumni, professors, and college and high school students to become further educated on current issues in Asian American society. Our goal is to promote Asian awareness and understanding of other cultures.

Join us at this year’s conference on Saturday, March 21, 2015 from 10:30am-4:00pm. RICE will be held at Grand Valley State University’s Pew Campus at the Richard M. DeVos Center in downtown Grand Rapids. RICE is free and registration can be found HERE. Complimentary lunch is also offered.

This year’s theme for RICE is Connecting Communities.

The event consists of a plenary keynote address, panel discussion, networking event and the introduction of the next year’s executive board members.

The keynote address will be given by Dr. Sook Wilkinson and Victor Jew, the authors of the soon to be released book, “Asian Americans in Michigan”.

Sook Wilkinson, Ph.D. is an author, psychologist, and community leader who has devoted more than thirty years of her life to improving the lives of others. Passionate about giving back, she serves as vice chair of the board of trustees at Northern Michigan University. She is active on many nonprofit and advisory boards, including those of Global Detroit and the Asian Pacific Islander American Health Forum. Previously, she served as chair of the Michigan Governor’s Asian Pacific American Affairs Commission.

Victor Jew received his B.A. in history from the University of California–Los Angeles and his doctorate in U.S. history from the University of Wisconsin–Madison, where he currently teaches in the Asian American Studies Program. He taught at institutions such as Cornell University and Michigan State University, where he offered that campus’s first course in Asian American history. He has written on anti-Asian violence in the nineteenth century (Milwaukee in 1889 and Los Angeles in 1871) and is working on a history of Asian American communities in the Midwest from 1870 to the present.

In addition to the keynote address, the conference will feature workshops.

Kimberly McKee, PhD – Assistant Professor, Department of Liberal Studies at Grand Valley State University

Session Title: Negotiating Adoptee Identity in the 21st Century: The Impact of Digital Technologies on Deterritorialized Communities
Abstract: Adoptions from Hong Kong, Japan, and South Korea from the mid-twentieth century onwards launched an over sixty-year pattern of migration, whereby Asian infants enter predominately white families in Western countries. Excluding South Korea, whose engagement has persisted into the twenty-first century, the sending countries involved in transnational adoption have shifted to include nations such as India, Vietnam, and China. The Asian American community has witnessed the impact of this shift with adoptees increasingly joining the ranks of Asian Americans as they assert their ethnic and racial identities. For example, Korean adoptees represent one in ten Korean Americans. This workshop will examine how adoptees increasingly utilize online methods of communication (e.g. Facebook, Tumblr, blogs, Twitter, and YouTube) to forge community. In this session, we will consider the impact of YouTube docu-series akaDan (2014), the Twitter hashtag #BuildFamiliesNotBoxes, and the adoptee-centric magazine Gazillion Voices in the adoptee community. Participants will also be provided information concerning the variety of adoptee-related communities and organizations.

Lien Dang President of Delta Phi Lambda Sorority, Inc.
Jenna Bradshaw President of Asian Student Union, member of Delta Phi Lambda Sorority, Inc.

Session Title: How Campus Organizations Influence
Abstract: Many people join a variety of campus organizations throughout their college career. It is through these organizations that students are given a chance to reach out and connect to different communities. It is not only the job of the organization to make the connections. Those in the community can extend a helping hand sharing knowledge, experiences, and resources. This cooperation is beneficial for everyone and foster a healthy relationship between different communities (different cultures, different age groups, etc.).

The RICE Conference itinerary is as follows:

10:30 am Registration and networking brunch
12:00 am Introduction by the founder of the RICE Conference, Jay Alt
12:30 pm Keynote address by Dr. Sook Wilkinson and Dr. Victor Jew
1:30 pm Group discussions
2:00 pm Book signing with light refreshments
2:30 pm Workshops led by Professor McKee, Lien Dang, and Jenna Bradshaw
3:15 pm Panel discussion in auditorium
4:00 pm Closing remarks and the introduction of Asian Student Union’s new Executive Board

Please feel free to leave a comment below or email the Asian Student Union for further questions or comments.


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