Will you break the silence at the 1st Annual New York City Asian American Student Conference?
New Demographic Newsletter | www.newdemographic.com | March 2007

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Monthly Newsletter from New Demographic

Carmen Van Kerckhove, co-founder and president of New Demographic Dear Friend of New Demographic,

Here's what you'll find in this month's newsletter:

  • Will you break the silence at the 1st Annual New York City Asian American Student Conference? find out
  • Should we ban the n-word? How about anti-Asian slurs? find out
  • Got a burning question about race or racism? find out
  • How have blogging and podcasting helped New Demographic? find out

1st Annual New York City Asian American Student Conference

Break the Silence at the 1st Annual New York City Asian American Student Conference

I'll be the keynote speaker at the 1st Annual New York City Asian American Student Conference on April 14, 2007. If you'll be in the area, please come out! The conference is open to the public, and is being co-sponsored by NYU and Columbia. In addition to the keynote, I'll be presenting the workshop Geishas and Math Nerds: Challenging Stereotypes about Asian Americans.

"Break the Silence" is an all-day conference designed to inspire young minds to learn, grow, and lead their own ways to success through the exploration of issues in race and identity, as well as empower young Asian Americans into becoming proactive in issues within the Asian American community in New York City and beyond.

They have a great list of speakers lined up, including film directors Eric Byler (American Knees, Charlotte Sometimes) and Michael Kang (The Motel, West 32nd Street).

Banning the N-Word and Other Anti-Asian Slurs

Banning the N-Word and Other Anti-Asian Slurs

Politicians in several different cities, including New York, have been passing symbolic resolutions to "ban" the n-word, in an attempt to eradicate this loaded word from our vocabularies. But are these bans realistic or useful in any way?

I told New Jersey's Herald News that I wasn't so convinced:

[Michael] Richards’ use of the word was the least offensive part of his tirade, which also included shouted references to lynchings and white supremacy, said Carmen Van Kerckhove, co-founder and president of the New York-based New Demographic anti-racism training program. Most people focused solely on his use of the epithet, for which Van Kerckhove blames Americans’ frequent failure to recognize more subtle racial insults.

Pacific Citizen, the award-winning Asian Pacific American semi-monthly newspaper, posed this question: “There’s a national movement to abolish the use of the N-Word. Can a similar effort be launched for racist terms directed at the Asian American community?” Here was my response:

“The reason there’s such a debate over the N-word is because it has, to some degree, been reclaimed by black people. The N-word doesn’t exist solely as a racial slur - it is used in many different contexts, with many different meanings,” said Carmen Van Kerckhove, president of New Demographic, an anti-racism training company. “That same ambiguity doesn’t exist with anti-Asian slurs like ‘Jap,’ ‘Chink’ and ‘Gook.’ As far as I know, there aren’t many Asian Americans who have reclaimed these words to use as terms of endearment amongst themselves.”

…"It has a lot to do with the way history is taught in our schools. We’re all familiar (at least in broad terms) with the history of slavery and the struggle for civil rights. But few of us learn about the long history of anti-Asian discrimination in this country,” said Van Kerckhove. “As a results, words like ‘Chink’ and ‘Jap’ and ‘ching chong’ aren’t recognized as having the same kind of historical context of oppression as words like ‘N-word.’”

Race Exhibit at Science Museum of Minnesota

Got a burning question about race or racism?

As I mentioned in last month's New Demographic email newsletter, I've been working with the Science Museum of Minnesota on their new exhibit, "RACE: Are We So Different?," developed by the American Anthropological Association.

I'm a featured "Scientist on the Spot." This segment of the web site features experts (not only scientists) from various fields, and allows visitors to submit questions to those experts, either from home via the museum's web site, or from the museum via a computer station.

I'll be "on the spot" from now through to April 5. So if you'd like, please submit a question to the web site! I'll be answering up to five questions per week. The questions will be selected by the museum and posted to the site.

So far I've answered the following questions:

  • "What paths brought you to the position you are in now?"
  • "Why do you think we are 'addicted to race?'"
  • "How do racial stereotypes start?"
  • "What is white privilege?"
  • "What's important to teach little kids about race, and how do you do it?"
  • "I was recently at a meeting where the term tolerence came up, and someone said that tolerence should not be our goal - we should not merely tolerate others, but we should accept and welcome them - this I thought was an excellent point. How come tolerance is so often a goal when it seems that is setting the bar so low?"
  • "What percentige of the U.S.A's population still believe in racism? Also is there anything we can do to stop racism? Final question is if someone is a racist is there a way to try to get them not to be racist?"

Carmen spoke at BlogHer Business

How have blogging and podcasting helped New Demographic?

On Thursday, March 22, I spoke at the BlogHer Business Conference here in New York City. BlogHer is the leading guide to women bloggers, and I'm one of their contributing editors on the topic of race, ethnicity and culture.

My session was entitled "Lab: Four Successful Business Blog Case Studies, Why They Win and What You Can Take Away." New Demographic was one of the four case studies, and the fabulous Lena West interviewed me about how I have used blogs and podcasts to get the word out about New Demographic. The three basic questions were:

  • What was your strategy?
  • How do you get it all done?
  • What results have you seen?
  • What advice do you have for other business owners?

Rachel at License to Roam and Jen from JenLemen.com were kind enough to live-blog the session, so you can read more about it on their blogs.

- - - - -

That's it for this month!

Please help New Demographic to grow by forwarding this email to a friend and encouraging them to check out our web site!

Until next time,

Carmen Van Kerckhove

Co-Founder and President
New Demographic
carmen@newdemographic.com

www.newdemographic.com

New Demographic is an anti-racism training company that goes beyond diversity buzzwords to tackle the real issues behind race and racism.

 

About This Newsletter
This newsletter is published by New Demographic, an anti-racism training company that goes beyond diversity buzzwords to tackle the real issues behind race and racism.

Contact Us
Carmen Van Kerckhove
Co-Founder and President
Tel: 917.657.3886
carmen@newdemographic.com

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View Videos of Our Media Appearances
Watch video clips of our past media appearances, including MSNBC, CNN, Forbes.com, The John Walsh Show, Asian America on PBS, The Ananda Lewis Show, and much much more.

Speaking Engagements
Apr 14, 2007
NYU Asian American Conference
Mar 22, 2007
BlogHer Business Conference
Mar 6, 2007
New York University
Jan 17, 2007
Northeastern University
Nov 17, 2006
Princeton University
Oct 19, 2006
Brown University

 

Addicted to Race - a podcast about America's obsession with race

Addicted to Race
Our weekly podcast about America's obsession with race.

Racialicious - a blog about the intersection of race and pop culture

Racialicious
Our blog about the intersection of race and pop culture.

Anti-Racist Parent - blog for parents who are committed to raising children with an anti-racist outlook

Anti-Racist Parent
Our blog for parents who are committed to raising children with an anti-racist outlook.

 

Keynote and Seminar Topics
  • Beyond Diversity Buzzwords and Oppression Olympics:
    A New Framework for Discussing Race and Racism
  • Not Just Fetishists and Race Traitors:
    Challenging the Ways We Look At Interracial Relationships
  • Racialicious! When Race and Pop Culture Collide
  • Recognizing Racial Stereotypes and Their Impact on the Workplace
  • Cute But Confused: Myths and Realities of Mixed Race Identity
  • Geishas and Math Nerds: Challenging Stereotypes about Asian-Americans and Understanding Their Origins
  • Never The Twain Shall Meet: Interracial Relationships On the Big Screen
  • Tragic Mulattos and Exotic Temptresses: (Mis)representations of Mixed Race People in the Media
For information on availability and fees, please email carmen@newdemographic.com.

 

About New Demographic
New Demographic is an anti-racism training company that goes beyond diversity buzzwords to tackle the real issues behind race and racism.

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