Ellen Wu, Ph.D.

Ellen  Wu is an associate professor of history and director of the Asian Studies program at Indiana University. Her research interests include race, identity and immigration in the context of the Asian-American experience. Her book, The Color of Success: Asian Americans and the Origins of the Model Minority tracks the changing attitudes towards Asian immigrants to the United States towards the middle of the 20th century from the “yellow peril” to “model minority” ideologies.

Wu’s commentary has been featured by a number of outlets including the Los Angeles Times, Washington Post and NPR’s Code Switch. She is currently in the process of writing another book entitled Overrepresented: Asian-Americans in the Age of Affirmative Action, which sheds light on Asian-American politics from the 1960’s.

Associate professor of history and director of Asian Studies program, Indiana University at Bloomington

Location: Bloomington, Indiana

Areas of Expertise: Asian-American history and culture, race and identity, immigration, diversity, higher education

Contact Information

E-mail: wue@indiana.edu

Nilanjana Bhattacharjya

Nilanjana Bhattacharjya is an ethnomusicologist and popular music scholar who focuses on South Asian popular music and film in India, as well as in the South Asian diaspora. She currently teaches interdisciplinary courses on the humanities, Asian Studies, music, and film at Barrett, the Honors College at Arizona State University. She has been researching how respective communities use music to define their identities, and how the meaning of that music changes as it travels one location to another since she began her doctoral research in 1999. Her research has focused on topics including the transnational career of the early 20th century dancer Uday Shankar in the United States and Europe, British popular musicians of South Asian descent in London during the mid 1990s through early 2000s, and Hindi film music sequences’ role in popular Hindi films. She is particularly interested in how the song sequence— once the distinctive marker of an Indian popular film— is evolving to respond to developments in the film and music industries, as well as changing tastes.

Her publications appear in the journals Asian Music, South Asian History and Culture, andSouth Asian Popular Culture, and the books Global Bollywood: Travels of Hindi Music and Dance, and South Asian Transnationalisms: Cultural Exchange in the Twentieth Century. 

Most recently, she has been working closely with other scholars who focus on the South Asian diaspora in the United States as a member and current co-chair of the Academic Council of the South Asian American Digital Archive <https://www.saadigitalarchive.org/>, which aims to raise awareness about South Asian American history by preserving historical documents and making them available to the public.

Nilanjana Bhattacharjya
Honors Faculty Fellow at Barrett, the Honors College at Arizona State University

Areas of Expertise: Ethnomusicology, South Asian popular music, Music and migration, South Asian popular culture, South Asian popular culture in the diaspora, South Asian American history, South Asian immigration

Location: Tempe, AZ

Contact Information:
Email: nilanjana.bhattacharjya@asu.edu
Phone: 480-727-6642

Heard on NPR Morning Edition: How The ‘Kung Fu Fighting’ Melody Came To Represent Asia

Added May 2015

Mee Moua

Executive Director and President of Asian Americans Advancing Justice (AAJC), Mee Moua, is also a former three-term Minnesota State Senator, serving as a member of the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party. While in office, Moua chaired the Senate Judiciary Committee, and was responsible for oversight in all state agencies: criminal, civil, and administrative law & procedures.

Moua’s work with the AAJC focuses on advocating on behalf of civil and human rights for Asian American and other vulnerable communities in the United States. These areas and issues include affirmative action, anti-Asian violence prevention/race relations, census, immigrant rights, immigration, language access, media/television diversity, and voting rights.

Moua was featured in PBS’s ‘Searching for Asian America’ as an ‘Asian American Politician.’

President and Executive Director, Asian Americans Advancing Justice

Areas of Expertise: Politics, Former Politician, Democratic Party, Civil Rights, Diversity

Location: Washington, DC

Contact Information:

Sandya Bathija, AAJC’s Director of Strategic Communications
Phone: (202) 296-2300
Email: sbathija@advancingjustice-aajc.org

Heard on NBC’s Comcast Newsmakers: Asian American Voters

Added November 2014

LeiLani Nishime

LeiLani Nishime is based in Seattle, where she is an associate professor of communication at the University of Washington. Her work focuses on Asian Americans in mass media.

Her 2014 book, “Undercover Asian: Multiracial Asian Americans in Visual Culture,” looks at representations of mixed race Asian Americans in science fiction, advertising, art and celebrity culture. She has also written on Asian American graphic novels, race and science fiction, yellowface performance, and ethnic museums.

She has appeared on Voice of America and was interviewed by NPR Code Switch blogger Kat Chow for a roundtable on the past and present of ‘yellowface.’

Associate Professor of Communication, University of Washington

Areas of Expertise: Asian Americans in Mass Media, Media, Communication, Race

Location: Seattle, WA

Contact Information:
Email: nishime@uw.edu
Phone: (206) 478-1316

Heard on Voice of America:
American Pop Culture Hides, Reveals Multiracial Asian-Americans

Oliver Wang

Oliver Wang is a music writer and cultural critic whose work has been published in almost every major hip-hop magazine: The Source, XXL, Vibe, Scratch and others. He has written about race, popular culture and music for Mother Jones, Spin, The Nation and the LA Times.

Wang is a frequent contributor to NPR and KPCC in California and runs the audio blog SoulSides.com. He teaches sociology at California State University at Long Beach, with a focus on race/ethnicity and social issues.

Music Writer and Cultural Critic, Professor of Sociology, California State University, Long Beach

Areas of Expertise: Music, Sports, Cultural Studies, Sociology, Race & Ethnicity, Hip-Hop

Location: Los Angeles, CA

Contact Information:
Email: oliverwang@gmail.com
Phone: (510) 593-3565
Twitter: @soulsidescom

Heard on NPR: For a full list, click here.

Tell Me More: Asian-American Artists Break Into Soul Music

All Things Considered: Kanye’s Latest A Deeply Personal Departure


Amanda Terkel

Amanda Terkel is a senior political reporter and the politics managing editor at The Huffington Post. She was previously deputy research director at the Center for American Progress (CAP), a progressive research and advocacy organization. She was also the managing editor of ThinkProgress.org, one of CAP’s political blogs.

Terkel has provided political commentary for prominent news organizations, including MSNBC and the BBC. Her bio on shesource.org states that she was honored with a 2010 New Leaders Council 40 Under 40 Award, “which recognizes young leaders who exemplify the spirit of progressive political entrepreneurship.”

Senior Political Reporter and Politics Managing Editor, The Huffington Post

Areas of Expertise: Politics, Political and Social Issues, Political Commentary

Location: Washington, DC

Contact Information:
Phone: (646) 468-9170
Twitter: @aterkel

Listen to her speak on MSNBC:


Hyepin Im

In an interview with CA Forward Thinkers, Hyepin Im (HAY-pihn ihm) says, “From the beginning, we knew that it made sense to work with churches, because 75% of the Korean community here is connected to their church.  At KCCD, we work through churches to provide access to services for newly arrived and not-so-newly arrived immigrants. Immigrants often see their church as a haven that supports them in so many ways.”

Im is the founder, president and CEO of Korean Churches for Community Development (KCCD), a nonprofit that works nationally to connect local Korean and Asian-American immigrant community with the private and public institutions that affect their lives politically and economically. KCCD’s programs and services include homeownership and foreclosure prevention counseling and small business development training. A new chapter will be opening in DC in the upcoming future.

The Center for Community Economic Development reports that Im partnered with the FDIC and Freddie Mac to develop a Korean curriculum in financial literacy and homeownership, and she implemented a $5 million U.S. Department of Labor workforce development program.

Hyepin Im

President and CEO of Korean Churches for Community Development (www.kccd.org)

Areas of Expertise: Homeownership, Affordable Housing, Foreclosure, Financial Education, Savings & Investment, Workforce, Economic Development, Economics, Asian Americans, Immigration, Mental Health, Marriage Education, Domestic Violence, Digital Literacy

Location: Los Angeles, CA


Contact Info:

Phone: (213) 216-3676
Email: hyepin@gmail.com
Im speaks on California Forward Thinkers: California’s Everyday Leaders

Added January 2013
Last Verified September 2015

Peter Chin

Peter Chin is the lead pastor of Rainier Avenue Church in Seattle, Washington, a multi-ethnic congregation located in one of the most diverse zip codes of the United States. Chin is also a columnist for Christianity Today, writing on issues of faith and race from a minority perspective.

Chin spearheaded a social media campaign to remove the Make Me Asian app from Google’s online marketplace, an effort featured on both NPR and CNN. His Christianity Today essay, “Daddy, Why Do People Steal From Us?” was the subject of an interview on NPR’s Tell Me More with Michel Martin. And his ministry work in an African American neighborhood of Washington D.C. was showcased by the Washington Post, as well as CBS Sunday Morning.

Peter Chin
Pastor, Rainier Avenue Church

Areas of Expertise: Race, Ethnicity and Religion

Location: Seattle, Washington

Contact Info:
Phone: (202) 294-3574
Twitter: @peterwchin

Heard on NPR: For a complete list, click here.

Tell Me More: Thefts Make Korean Pastor Tackle Prejudice At Home


Julia Huang

At interTrend Communications, CEO Julia Huang (hwang) works to connect clients with Asian Americans through multicultural ads and campaigns. Huang’s clients range from the automotive industry, to telecommunications, to insurance agencies and many more.

Established in 1991, interTrend has won dozens of awards for its pioneering achievements. It is one of the fastest growing advertising and marketing agencies.

CEO of interTrend Communications, Founder of Imprint Lab

Areas of Expertise: Marketing, Communications, Public Relations, Asian Americans

Location: Long Beach, CA

Contact Info:

Phone: (562) 733-1777
Email: jych@intertrend.com
Twitter: @interTrend

Heard on NPR: For a complete list, click here.

Morning Edition: Corporate America Takes On Multilingual PR

Morning Edition: Sea Salt Latte: Is 85C The Next Coffee Craze?

Studios near Julia:

Studios Near Long Beach Information Page

Added January 2013