show episodes
 
We tell Asian America's stories to go beyond being seen. As people of all backgrounds reckon with complex legacies of race, power, culture, and identity and ask themselves, “Where do I stand?” Self Evident presents reported stories and radically open conversations from the everyday Asian Americans who have been confronting this question for generations. Our mission is to empower local communities to share stories and build relationships around the value of self-representation. Self Evident i ...
 
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show series
 
We’re playing an episode from an exciting new podcast by our friends at APIENC, an organization that builds transgender, non-binary, and queer power for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the Bay Area (you might’ve heard their director, Sammie, on one of our previous episodes). The new podcast is called Dragon Fruit, and it’s all about the hi…
 
We're sharing the story “When Your Country Doesn’t Trust You” from the podcast WorldAffairs.In the past year, reports of anti-Asian hate crimes have spiked across the country. A lot of this is attributed to anti-Asian rhetoric about the pandemic. But the hard truth is that whenever tensions escalate between the United States and Asian nations overs…
 
Julianne Sato-Parker first heard the phrase, “Shikata ga nai” while watching a video series of interviews with Japanese Americans and Japanese nationals who were incarcerated by the U.S government after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. The Japanese phrase translates to, “It cannot be helped.” It reminded Julianne of her grandmother, who has always said…
 
We’re sharing this story from one of our favorite podcasts, See Something Say Something, by Ahmed Ali Akbar. Pakistani-American communities in the U.S. rely on dealers on WhatsApp to gain access to their most coveted treasure: Pakistani mangoes. And they pay a premium for it. In part one of this two-part investigation, reporter Ahmed Ali Akbar sear…
 
The phrase “Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion” is buzz-word-ier than ever, but what does it really take to empower workers and reduce racialized harm in the places where we spend so many of our waking hours? And when is it OK to simply stop trying? In this second episode of a three-part series, guest host Alex Sujong Laughlin (Senior Producer at Tra…
 
The impact of storytelling is often portrayed as a story changing the life of the person consuming it — and changing the world by reaching as many people as possible. But what about the person who offers their story to be consumed? How else can we define the value of our life’s stories, and the importance of how they’re shared? In this second episo…
 
We often take for granted that “seeing people who look like us” — especially in mass media — means progress towards racial justice. But what forms of representation do we see making an impact? And who is that impact for? In this first episode of a three-part series, Senior Producer Julia Shu invites Eliza Romero (co-host of Unverified Accounts and …
 
Why do Asian Americans have such deep relationships with fruit? Cathy goes on a quest to find the answers — starting with her friendly neighborhood fruit vendor, Cece, then spending time with friends and listeners in our extended podcast fam. Along the way, she hears stories about family heirloom trees, mango sharing techniques, persimmon obsession…
 
When producer Erica Mu moved back to her hometown in 2014, she said goodbye to a past life without any idea what exactly her new life should look like. Looking for the most grounded place she could find, she went to the local mall early one morning, turned on her tape recorder, and started talking to everyone she could meet. As Erica made her way t…
 
What happens when you come to America to marry the person you thought would take care of you, only to find yourself in an abusive family, losing all sense of self? Guest producer Rosalind Tordesillas brings us this story about Joy, a woman whose dream marriage turned into a nightmare — and the advocates for survivors of domestic violence who helped…
 
During this year’s protests for Black lives, the national conversation was filled with calls to have uncomfortable conversations about anti-Blackness. This push, to talk about racism with our loved ones, has been both championed and criticized — but how do these conversations actually go down, and where do they lead? To find out, we spoke with thre…
 
During the 48 hours of uncertainty after November 3, 2020, our producer James called over a dozen people — not to talk about Trump vs. Biden, but about the more systemic problems that would stick with us after all the votes were counted. These conversations with family and friends led him to reexamine a pivotal moment in his civic education: When h…
 
With so much attention focused on the Presidential race and other federal elections right now, we hope you'll find it refreshing to hear from Yuh-Line Niou, the only Asian American woman in New York's state legislature. In this conversation with Rock the Boat podcast host Lucia Liu, Yuh-Line explains how and why she got involved with local and stat…
 
When New York City became the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic, Brooklyn-based producer Beenish Ahmed struggled over whether to visit her parents in Ohio or stay put. Her parents — a landlord and hairdresser who immigrated from Pakistan in the ‘70s — begged her to come home. When Beenish finally decided to go in May, she recorded that journey,…
 
How can Asian American communities create safety, when the harms of racism and xenophobia are so deeply rooted in our society? We’ve spent time unpacking the simplistic solution of hate crime enforcement, then learning how local activists rallying against anti-Asian hate often reveal a much deeper history of neglect and under-resourcing of immigran…
 
The rise in xenophobic harassment, discrimination, and violence against Asian Americans during the pandemic has led to a rise in neighborhood watch groups in historic Chinatowns and other Asian immigrant communities across the country. While these groups have made headlines for speaking out against racism, their motivations and actions reveal a dee…
 
Two Asian American olds (Cathy and James) watch the original Mulan for the first time, then join a seasoned fan (Julia) — for an animated discussion about the limitations of Hollywood representation, the saving grace of gender-bending innuendo, and what exactly it is about Mulan that resonates with so many Asian Americans who grew up with it. Resou…
 
Two incidents of anti-Asian racism — the beating of an elderly grandfather in a San Francisco park and the harassment of a mourning son in a New York pharmacy — reveal an ugly side of the COVID-19 pandemic. This is the first of three episodes reporting on Asian American responses to anti-Asian hate incidents. Share your thoughts on the stories with…
 
You’ve said the words, “Black Lives Matter.” You’ve put your money where your mouth is. You’ve shown up for the marches. What next? What exactly is the change we’re showing up for, and how exactly can we commit to making that change in our own communities? In this bonus episode, we’re passing the mic to Jaime Sunwoo (a Korean American interdiscipli…
 
The struggle to save lives from COVID-19 is far from over, and neither is America’s struggle against racism. As we report on hate crime and anti-racist action, Cathy and James hop on the phone and check in with a couple of our friends in podcasting: Paola Mardo (who tells stories from the Filipino diaspora on Long Distance) and Ahmed Ali Akbar (who…
 
When we started Self Evident, we were surprised at how many people wanted a new show but hadn’t heard about all the Asian American podcasts already out there. In this bonus episode, our team shares clips from a few other independent podcasts, showing a wide range of Asian American stories and conversations. Tell us what you think of our first seaso…
 
We asked our listener community, “How did you learn where you come from?” What came back was a wide range of personal stories about how tricky it can be to access our heritage. From kids going to culture camp, to adoptees making journeys to their birth countries, to Asian Americans of all ages realizing that they’re inevitably going to lose a piece…
 
Under the Trump administration, the United States has pushed aggressively to deport Southeast Asian Americans with criminal records. Hurt that members of the Vietnamese community would support this action, guest producer Thanh Tan (creator of the podcast “Second Wave”) seeks out the people at risk of deportation — and the organizers fighting to kee…
 
Three intimate conversations reveal how we deal with changes to our most deeply rooted identities, and how we tell the people who matter most. “Unspoken” Documentary filmmaker Patrick G. Lee tells Cathy about the unexpected ways that coming out affected his family. “The Debut” Producer Preeti Varathan and her cousin Srinidhi unpack complicated feel…
 
Gabe's always felt distant from his parents: not Filipino enough for his dad, not affectionate enough for his mom. But when he moves back to his white-bread hometown to donate a kidney to his dad and work alongside him at the “Fiesta in America,” Gabe is forced to rethink the way he's seen his family, his heritage, and his lifelong struggle to belo…
 
Sharmin Hossain, a member of New York’s Bangladeshi Feminist Collective, helps us take a hard look at the roles of class, colorism, and cultural education within the broader conversation about Asian representation in America. This interview was one of many conversations we had when producing Episode 002: “The Non-United States of Asian America.” To…
 
Do you have a story about going to language classes, Saturday schools, religious community groups, clubs, music lessons, or other alternative classrooms where you learned about your culture or heritage? Was it a positive, negative, or mixed experience for you? We're producing an episode of the podcast exploring the ways that we learn where we come …
 
Self Evident tells Asian American stories — but that term itself, “Asian American,” can mean many different things to different people. In this episode we present three stories from our listener community to explore the ways “Asian American” reflects both representation and exclusion, empowerment and stereotyping, under the diverse umbrella of Asia…
 
What does it mean to be excluded from the American Dream? Two stories, set 100 years apart, explore this question from the perspective of immigrants who think they’ve made it in America, only to find out that their dream comes at a cost. "No Place Like Home" At the height of America’s Exclusion era, an Indian immigrant’s quest for prosperity ends i…
 
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