General Track Workshops

Friday-Saturday, June 28-29, 2019

2020 Census Plenary
Friday, June 28, 2019

Ballroom ABC | 9:00 AM - 10:30 AM

The Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander population has increased over 27% since the last census in 2010. With over 20 million AANHPIs living in the United States, it is imperitive that we participate to ensure we are represented in policy-decision making processes. Join us as we hear from a panel of Census experts as we discuss the upcoming decennial 2020 Census. Panelists will share what to expect from the first online Census, barriers that exist to prevent our AAPI community from having an accurate count, and ways to get engaged.

State of Asian Pacific America Plenary

Rose/Foyer | 9:00 AM - 10:30 AM

To build stronger advocates, we must understand both the barriers that we face as well as the power that we have as a community. In this time, when our civil rights are so often challenged, it is more important than ever that we raise our voices and advocate for ourselves and for others. Join us in this plenary as we pinpoint the obstacles we face as a community and how we can work to surmount them. Hear from experts as they discuss our collective political and economic power, and methods to utilize this power to make this country a more equitable place.

Friday General Workshops

Lights, Camera, ACTION: The Role of Storytelling in Social Justice Movements

Time: 10:45 AM - 12:00 PM

Location: Briarpark 1,2,3

The struggle towards social justice requires a multi-pronged approach that involves policy work, grassroots organizing, cultural strategies, and more. Organized by the Asian American Documentary Network (A-Doc), this facilitated conversation explores how filmmaking in particular can be leveraged to inspire, agitate, and mobilize target audiences through narratives that amplify people-centered values and incite cultural transformation. By reflecting upon the power dynamics between mediamakers and advocates on the ground, facilitators Lan Nguyen and Set Hernandez Rongkilyo will discuss the principles and considerations that guide their collaborative work with the larger community. Case studies of their documentary projects, along with Renee Tajima-Peña’s work with the Nikkei Democracy Project and Curtis Chin’s film “Vincent Who?” will illustrate how cultural production and community organizing go hand-in-hand.

This session welcomes advocates, organizers, mediamakers, and everyone in between, to identify how they can work in synergy through intentional, mutual collaborations that serve the collective vision of a movement.

Moderator: Sharjeel Hanif


  • Curtis Chin

  • Lan Nguyen

  • Set Hernandez Ronquillo

  • Renee Tajima-Peña

The first sign of Filipinos in Houston was when Igorots were featured on a postcard in 1908 in the annual carnival known as No-Tsu-Oh. In 1912, a young man by the name of Rudolfo Hulen Fernandez appeared in the Campanile yearbook as the first Asian graduate from Rice University. Despite the Philippines being colonized by America, and the beginning of Filipino migration to the U.S. during the 1920s and 1930s, there is little evidence of their presence in Houston. In 1934, the Tydings-McDuffie Act reclassified all Filipinos from nationals to aliens, which was limited to 50 immigrants per year. The most significant wave of immigration was with the 1965 Immigration Act that granted the Philippines 20,000 visas per year, igniting the era of the Filipino nurse and her career in the Houston Medical Center. Other professionals, such as accountants and engineers, followed.Join us in a discussion with authors Christy Panis Poisot and Jenah Maravilla and hear how they selected the best images of the first families, their descendants, and community leaders who were organized to recall how their stories contribute to the history of Filipinos in Houston.


  • Christy Panis Poisot

  • Jenah Maravilla

Book Talk Filipinos in Houston

Time: 10:45 AM - 12:00 PM

Location: Westchase 1,2

Data Privacy: A Right or Obstacle to Innovation?

Time: 1:45 - 3:15 PM

Location: Westchase 1,2

In this day and age, consumers want to protect their privacy and assurance that companies are protecting their data. Companies are subject to a wide range of national and international data privacy laws that protect the personal data and privacy of individuals while maintaining the ability of organizations to use personal data for legitimate business purposes. How can we be sure our data is being protected and what are companies using our data for? How can we access the data that companies have on us? And as a community with language and cultural barriers, is our data equally being protected? In this panel, you will learn about the history of Data Privacy and why it has become so important in the recent media. The discussion will explore: the history of Data Privacy, why the subject is a hot topic, what data privacy means to you and our AAPI community.

Community Building with the Arts

Time: 3:30 - 5:00 PM

Location: Westchase 1,2

As organizers we aim to rally our communities under a common voice oftentimes using civic actions and education. Although these are both important, we often overlook the communities built through other avenues. The arts celebrate shared experience and culture, and work to forward and strengthen our communities. Join us as we welcome a panel of artists and advocates as they share their experiences on how art can be used for advocacy.


  • rogene gee calvert


  • brian ching, pitch25

  • mei lum, w.o.w. project & Wing on wo & Co.

  • C.K. Pang, former principal of Gensler

Saturday General Workshops

An AAPI Perspective: Impacts of Immigration Policy

Date: Saturday, 6/29

Time: 10:45 AM - 12:00 PM

Location: Westchase 1,2

The political landscape for immigration policy under the Trump administration has created a dangerous rhetoric for the 1.5 million undocumented Asian immigrants who continue to live in fear. From the increasing deportation efforts impacting Southeast Asians and Pacific Islanders, to the travel ban on the Muslim community, as well as the potential Chinese scholar ban, we have seen a full attack on immigrant communities and the attempts to undermine the family and employment visa processes. Join the conversation on how we can educate and organize our communities to defend our human and civil rights, and protect our families from such dubious policies.


  • Gordon quan, Partner, Quan Law Group


  • Vinh ho, South Texas College of law

  • Zenobia lai, catholic charities

“Brown Skin, White Minds” by
E.J. David

Time: 10:45 AM - 12:00 PM

Location: Westchase 3,4

“Filipino Americans have a long and rich history with and within the United States, and they are currently the second largest Asian group in the country. However, very little is known about how their historical and contemporary relationship with America may shape their psychological experiences.” Join author E.J.R. David as we discuss his book Brown Skin, White Minds and how we can address issues of internalized oppression.

How to Care for Your Elders

Time: 10:45 AM - 12:00 PM

Location: richmond 2,3

AAPIs are the fastest growing population in the United State, but that does not mean that we have not contributed to the building of this country. Our elders have given a lot towards creating the fabric of this country, and despite this elderly AAPI populations experience the most social isolation and poverty. Join our panel as we hear from experts on the current problems facing aging AAPI populations and what we can do to take better care of our elders.


  • Tina Tran, AARP TExas


  • Dr. Stephen k.w. chao, UT Community clinics

  • Kerwin Higashi, Vice president, sodexo seniors

  • Chi mei lin, Director, chinese community center

  • general taguba, retired major general of the U.S. Army

How do the concerns of dying Chinatowns relate to those of post-Hurricane Harvey Houston? In both cases, immigrants and communities of color are oftentimes the most impacted and at the most disadvantaged. Join our panel of community leaders as we discuss the strategies they use to preserve equity in housing, jobs, and development in the face of gentrification and natural disasters. 


  • Sasha Legette, Policy ADVISoR, Harris county precinct one

  • Malcolm Yeung, Deputy Director, chinatown community development cent.

Equity in Disaster Recovery & Community Development

TIME: 10:45AM - 12:15PM

Location: Ballroom F

Congressional Gold Medals

Time: 2:00 - 3:30 PM

Location: Ballroom f

So much of our story is rooted in coming to America to build new lives and pursue education and economic success, and many of us have made significant contributions to this home we know as the land of the free, home of the brave. However, history shows that America didn’t always give back and it’s important we honor those who fought for our civil rights as we caryy on the legacy of building strong advocates. For over 90 years, the U.S. government failed to recognize Chinese, Filipino and Japanese Nisei veterans for their service during World War II, until Asian American community leaders at both the local and national level came together to advocate for the recognition the veterans deserved. Asian American leaders from Houston played a key role in getting legislation passed for the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest award a US civilian can receive. The WWII Filipino Veterans Act and the Chinese American WWII Congressional Gold Medal Act were passed and finally acknowledged Asian American soldiers who fought and sacrificed their lives for this country. Join us in hearing from leaders who were apart of working together as a coalition as they share what the process and political strategy was like in getting such critical legislation passed.

Moderator: Rogene Gee Calvert, Director, Outreach Strategies, LLC


  • Donna Cole, CEO & President, Cole Chemical & Distributing

  • Ed Gor, President, Chinese American Citizen’s Alliance

  • General Taguba, Retired major general of the U.S. Army

Caught in the Crossfire? Asian Americans in the U.S. China Conflict

Time: 2:00 - 4:00 PM

Location: Westchase 1,2

For Asian Americans, the U.S.-China conflict can no longer be a headline read and forgotten, but an issue that calls for community awareness.  Why?  Because Asian Americans unknowingly may be in the sights of two global powers, whose relations are increasingly likened to a new Cold War.  
Whether working on sought-after technologies or coming into contact with foreign nationals at home or abroad, Asian Americans can be seen as either potential assets or spies.  Leading U.S. scholars on China and a Member of Congress are calling on Asian Americans to be self-informed of overseas influence operations targeting them, along with other Americans.  With the upcoming elections, community vigilance is warranted.

Get briefed on the concerns by the U.S. government and China pundits, select investigations into Asian Americans that have made headlines and responses by Asian American community groups and the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus.

  • Aryani Ong, moderator (MD); Former civil rights lawyer, Six Hues blog

  • Julie Edelstein – (DC); Deputy Chief, Counterintelligence and Export Control Section, National Security Division, U.S. Department of Justice

  • Steven Pei - Founding board chair, United Chinese Americans

  • John Pomfret (CA); former Washington Post bureau chief in Beijing, author

  • Brian Sun (CA); Partner in Charge, Jones Day law firm, Los Angeles office

  • Peter Toren (DC); Intellectual property litigator, Sherry Chen co-counsel, Peter J. Toren, Attorney at Law

Helen Zia’s “Last Boat Out of Shanghai”

Time: 2:00 - 3:30 PM

Location: Westchase 3,4

From her work on the Vincent Chin case to her continued service to many AAPI and LGBTQ organizations, Helen Zia has long served the AAPI community as an author, journalist, and outspoken advocate. Join author the of Asian American Dreams, as we discuss her newest book, detailing the lives of four Shanghai residents in the wake of Mao’s proletarian revolution as they abandon everything for the uncertain lives of refugees in Hong Kong, Taiwan, and the United States.

Court Translators Procedures Training

Time: 2:00 - 3:30 PM

Location: Richmond 2,3

Description TBA


  • cecilia lopez

  • Philoan Tran

Murder Mysteries with Henry Chang

Time: 3:45 - 5:00 PM

Location: westchase 3,4

Chinatown is often the last bastion of immigrant heritage and inaccessibility to outsiders in many metropolitan areas. Through the eyes of his protagonist, Detective Jack Yu, Henry Chang is able to provide a unique look into the New York’s Chinatown in his series of mystery novels. Join us as we speak to the author about using his own upbringing and experiences to create the world within the pages of his books.

Judges Panel on Court Procedures

Time: 3:45 - 5:00 PM

Location: Richmond 2,3

Description TBA

Moderator: Philoan Tran


  • Judge Ali Zakaria

  • Judge Jason Luong

  • Judge Rabeea Collier

  • Judge Stutti Patel