History: Midori Shimanouchi Lederer (1923-2005) was the founder of Japanese American Social Services, Inc. (JASSI), a social services agency for New York’s elderly Japanese and Japanese American residents. Born and raised in Fresno, California, Lederer was a student at the University of California, Berkeley, when she and her family were forcibly removed from their home and incarcerated at the Topaz War Relocation Center, a concentration camp, in 1942. Her 1943 appeal to the US government granted her permission to leave Topaz and resume her studies at Pace College in New York. While living in New York she became involved in the film and publicity industries. In 1952 she became the secretary of renowned film producer Michael Todd and served as his production assistant. She later joined Bill Doll and Company, a top New York-based firm of press agents in 1960 and eventually rose to partner and vice president.
Survey Conducted: Tue, 2010-09-14
Creator: Yuzawa, George
History: George Katsumi Yuzawa was born in Los Angeles, California on February 21, 1915. George’s immigrant parents named their Nisei son after the first president of their adopted country, George Washington (whose birthday was a day later on February 22). His parents, Tamasaburo “James” and Bun “Mary” Yuzawa, immigrated to the United States from Nagano, Japan. In 1917, James Yuzawa established the Vermont Flower Shop in downtown Los Angeles near the University of Southern California campus. He served a term as president of the Southern California Floral Association. As a young man, George was a founding member of Boy Scout Troop 64 in Los Angeles and achieved the rank of Life Scout.
Date Range: 1942 – 1986
Survey Conducted: Wed, 2009-04-08
Creator: Wu, William F. (1951-)
History: William F. Wu is a Chinese-American science-fiction writer who has published thirteen novels and more than fifty short stories. Born in Kansas City, Missouri, Wu attended the University of Michigan as an undergraduate, and later returned to earn his Ph.D in American Culture. During this time he became active in East Wind, an Asian American student group. His doctoral dissertation titled The Yellow Peril (1981) documents evolving depictions of Chinese and Chinese-Americans in American fiction.Wu has been nominated for the Nebula Award, World Fantasy Award and the Hugo Award, twice individually and once as a member of the Wild Cards. Hong on the Range, set in a futuristic version of the wild west, was chosen for the Wilson Library Bulletin’s list of science fiction “Books Too Good To Miss” and was a selection for the American Library Association list of Best Books for Young People, the New York Public Library’s Recommended Books for the Teen Age, and was also a Young Adult Editor’s Choice by Booklist Magazine.
Date Range: 1938 – 1969
Survey Conducted: Fri, 2011-05-20
Creator: United Automobile Workers of America, District 65
History: District Council 65 of the United Automobile Workers (UAW) began as a group of Jewish laborers working in dry goods warehouses in the Lower East Side of New York City. The union became a local of the Wholesale Dry Goods Employees Union in 1935 before affiliating with the Distributive Trades Council of New York and the Retail Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU). Its affiliation with the UAW began in 1979. In later years, the union’s membership grew beyond the warehouse and retail workers to include white-collar workers in publishing and universities. The union remained active until bankruptcy forced the union to close in 1994. Read more
Survey Conducted: Tue, 2009-10-06
Creator: Serpent’s Tail/High Risk Archive
History: High Risk Books was founded in New York City in 1993 by Ira Silverberg as an imprint of Serpent’s Tail Press in London. Dedicated to publishing challenging, innovative, and progressive literature, High Risk Books transcended the traditional boundaries of publishing to provoke and inspire a new generation of writers and readers. Ira Silverberg told The New York Times in a March 13, 1994 interview that he and his co-editor Amy Scholder wanted to “catch an area of the market that’s being overlooked by mainstream houses. We’re working with a lot of gay men, lesbians, and African Americans, because the voices of under served communities tend to shed more light on societal conditions than the voices of the people who have the franchise. That’s not to say we won’t publish straight white men.” While connected by a certain subversive impulse, authors as diverse as William Burroughs, Kathy Acker, June Jordan, Sapphire, Ameena Meer, Kenzaburo Oe and many others were published by High Risk.
Survey Conducted: Tue, 2011-12-13
Creator: Chin, Rocky
History: Rocky Chin is a civil rights attorney who has been an active community leader advocating for labor and human rights. An Asian American born in Washington D.C., Chin completed his BA at Lehigh University, his MA at Yale University, and his JD at the University of Southern California. As an attorney, Chin has represented marginalized groups including immigrant and working-class families. He is married to May Y. Chen, former vice president of UNITE HERE and a founding member of the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA).
Survey Conducted: Thu, 2010-01-28
Creator: Red Hot Organization
History: The Red Hot Organization is an international organization dedicated to fighting AIDS through pop culture. First founded as King Cole, Inc. by Leigh Blake and John Carlin in 1989, Red Hot Organization has since produced fourteen albums, related television programs and media events incorporating the talents of performers, visual artists, producers and directors to raise funds and awareness for HIV and AIDS. Read more
Survey Conducted: Tue, 2010-03-16
Creator: New York Coalition for Asian American Mental Health Records
History: The New York Coalition for Asian American Mental Health (NYCAAMH) is a not-for-profit 501 (c) (3) organization founded in 1989 by a group of concerned individuals including health and mental health professionals and organizations. Our mission is to improve the quality of mental health services for Asian Americans in the New York City metropolitan area. The Coalition offers mental health educational workshops and training, and a forum for mental health service providers and concerned individuals to network, share resources, and collaborate on culturally competent models of treatment for Asian Americans. Read more
Survey Conducted: Wed, 2009-12-09
Creator: New York Asian Women’s Center
History: One of the first organizations in the United States to address the linguistic, social, and economic barriers that prevent many Asian immigrant women from accessing domestic violence services, Womankind (formerly and at the time of the survey known as the New York Asian Women’s Center, NYAWC) aims to empower Asian women to experience their lives free from violence. Founded in 1982 by a group of volunteers led by Pat Eng, Womankind began as community awareness project to educate communities in Chinatown about domestic violence issues. Recognizing the need for an advocacy organization that engaged in direct service, Womankind set up a single-line, volunteer-run emergency hotline for abused women seeking help. Today, the emergency hotline (1-888-888-7702) operates 24-hours a day/seven days a week, provides services in 18+ different languages and dialects including Mandarin, Cantonese, Korean, Vietnamese, and Bengali, and receives over 3,000 calls each year. Read more
Survey Conducted: Fri, 2009-10-23
Creator: Mark Hall Amitin/World of Culture for the Performing Arts, Inc.
History: Mark Hall Amitin received his doctoral degree from the Universite Paris VIII in 1978. He went on to present lectures and workshops at universities in the United States, Europe, Canada, and Asia. He worked as a consultant and producer for several major theatre festivals, including the American College Theatre Festival, the Rhode Island Theatre Festival, the Festival Mondial du Theatre in Nancy, France, and the New Theatre Festival in Baltimore. He has published articles on theatre and performance in academic journals and contributed articles and reviews on film and theatre to books, magazines, and newspapers. He has also acted in, and directed, film, television, and theatre projects in the United States as well as in the Middle East, Europe, and Asia.