'Not Your Model Minority: Shattering the Myth,' an AAPI Town Hall

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Wednesday, May 31, 2023
AAPI Town Hall: Not Your Model Minority
WATCH: CeFaan Kim hosts and moderates 'Not Your Model Minority: Shattering the Myth,' a town hall marking Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- CeFaan Kim hosted and moderated 'Not Your Model Minority: Shattering the Myth,' a town hall marking Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month.

The town hall streamed live on Wednesday, May 31, at 2 p.m. right here at ABC7NY.com and our ABC7NY app on Roku, FireTV, Apple TV and Android TV.

The event featured panelists who discussed a range of topics including mental health, hate crimes and poverty, in addition to a conversation on the controversial jail set to be built in Chinatown.

The common denominator for each topic was mental health and how each of these topics are affecting the community's mental health.

Get to know the panelists:

Joo Han - Deputy Director of Asian American Federation

Joo Han is the deputy director at the Asian American Federation (AAF), an umbrella leadership organization that represents the collective voice of 70 community-based organizations serving 1.3 million Asian Americans, the fastest-growing population in New York City.

Learn more about AAF at its website.

Jan Lee - Neighbors United Below Canal (NUBC)

Jan Lee is a third generation Chinatown resident. For 18 years he owned a home furnishings business in the heart of historic Chinatown on Mott Street. His family has owned various businesses in the community from a hand laundry to dry cleaner, coffee shop and a gift store.

Learn more about NUBC at its website.

Noel Quintana - Hate Crime Victim

Noel Quintana is a Filipino American non-profit worker who has been vocal about combating Asian hate after surviving a violent hate crime in February 2021.

Shinhee Han - senior psychotherapist of New York School University's counseling services

Shinhee Han, Ph.D. is a psychotherapist who works at the New School University's Counseling Services and in a private practice in New York City. Her practice is predominately committed to Asian Americans and people of color.

Learn more about Han's work at the New School at its website.

Liz Kari - President of AAP(I Belong), daughter of hate crime victim

Elizabeth Kari (Liz), the daughter of immigrants, was born and raised in the Western suburbs of Chicago, she moved to New York City to pursue a Bachelor's Degree in Economics from New York University. She has been in the fashion industry for 13 years. On March 29, 2021, Elizabeth's mom, Vilma, was brutally attacked in NYC while walking to church. The footage of the incident garnered international attention not only for the vicious attack but also for the unresponsiveness of the main bystanders in the video. Elizabeth was inspired to create a nonprofit platform called AAP(I belong).

Learn more about AAP(I Belong) at its website.

Christopher Marte - Councilman for District 1

Christopher Marte was born and raised on the Lower East Side, where his father owned a bodega and his mother worked in a garment factory before becoming a home attendant. When he wasn't stacking cans, he attended local public schools and after-school programs. Eventually, his father's store had to close down because of rent hikes, and Christopher started to see the community he loved get torn apart by luxury development and corrupt politicians. CMarte co-founded two community gardens in NYCHA and volunteered at the Bowery Mission in order to give back to the community that raised him. In 2021, Christopher won the City Council election and now serves as District 1's City Council Member.

Learn more about Marte's professional work on the City Council website.

More mental health resources for the AAPI community:
Asian Mental Health Collective
Bridges Mental Health
Asians Do Therapy
New York Coalition for Asian American Mental Health
Asians for Mental Heatlh

RELATED | Columbia students create card game in honor of AAPI month

A card game by Columbia University masters students is called Trailblazer Heroes and has complex strategies aimed at teaching about AAPI history. CeFaan Kim has the story.


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