Spotlight on Asian international adoption and award-winning filmmaker featured in APALA President’s Program: Deann Borshay Liem

When: Saturday, June 27, 2015, 4:30 pm to 5:30 p.m.

Where: 236-238 (S) Moscone Convention Center

First Person Plural
In 1966, Deann Borshay Liem was adopted by an American family and was sent from Korea to her new home. Growing up in California, the memory of her birth family was nearly obliterated until recurring dreams lead Deann to discover the truth: her Korean mother was very much alive. Bravely uniting her biological and adoptive families, Deann’s heartfelt journey makes First Person Plural a poignant essay on family, loss, and the reconciling of two identities

 


In the Matter of Cha Jung Hee
Her passport said she was Cha Jung Hee. She knew she was not. So began a 40-year deception for a Korean adoptee who came to the US in 1966. Told to keep her true identity a secret from her new American family, this eight-year-old girl quickly forgot she was ever anyone else. But why had her identity been switched? And who was the real Cha Jung Hee? IN THE MATTER OF CHA JUNG HEE is the search to find the answers. It follows acclaimed filmmaker Deann Borshay Liem as she returns to her native Korea to find her “double,” the mysterious girl whose place she took in America. Traversing the landscapes of memory, amnesia and identity, while also uncovering layers of deception in her adoption, this moving and provocative film probes the ethics of international adoptions and reveals the cost of living a lie. Part mystery, part personal odyssey, it raises fundamental questions about who we are…and who we could be but for the hands of fate.

URL: http://www.mufilms.org/

 

Image of Deann Borshay LiemGlobal Roots, Local Identities: Asian International Adoption and Advocacy

Co-sponsored by Video Round Table
Saturday, June 27, 2015, 4:30-5:30 PM
Moscone Convention Center, 236-238 (S)

Description: APALA President’s Program will feature a dynamic discussion between Dr. Catherine Ceniza Choy, a professor of Ethnic Studies at UC-Berkeley and Maria Taesil Hudson Carpenter, the City Librarian of the Santa Monica Public Library System. They will examine the issues raised by Geographies of Kinship: International Asian Adoption, a new film by award-winning Berkeley-based filmmaker Deann Borshay Liem, in the larger context of international adoption and reflect on universal questions of identity, assimilation, family, community, and advocacy. Excerpts from the film and a personal introduction especially produced for this program by Deann will be shown. The APALA President’s Program is co-sponsored by APALA and VRT.

We hope to see everyone there!

APALA co-sponsored film in Now Showing @ ALA: Memory of Forgotten War

When: Sunday, June 28, 2015, 3:00 am to 3:30 pm, US/Pacific

Where: 123 (N) Moscone Convention Center

Now Showing @ ALA: Memory of Forgotten War

MEMORY OF FORGOTTEN WAR conveys the human costs of military conflict through deeply personal accounts of the Korean War (1950-53) by four Korean-American survivors. Their stories take audiences through the trajectory of the war, from extensive bombing campaigns, to day-to-day struggle for survival and separation from family members across the DMZ. Decades later, each person reunites with relatives in North Korea, conveying beyond words the meaning of family loss. These stories belie the notion that war ends when the guns are silenced and foreshadow the future of countless others displaced by ongoing military conflict today.

The film’s personal accounts are interwoven with thoughtful analysis and interpretation of events by historians Bruce Cumings and Ji-Yeon Yuh who situate these stories in a broader historical context. Additional visual materials, including newsreels, U.S. military footage, and archival photographs bring to life the political, social and historical forces that set in motion the tumultuous events of the War and its aftermath.

The film screening at ALA Annual 2015 is sponored by the Office for Diversity, Literacy & Outreach Services (ODLOS) and APALA.

URL: http://www.mufilms.org/films/memory-of-forgotten-war/#.VYGriZNcjVY

 

 

Spotlight on Catherine Ceniza Choy

by Peter Spyers-Duran

Image of Catherine Ceniza ChoyOne of the featured panelists in the APALA President’s Program in San Francisco, entitled Global Roots, Local Identities: Asian International Adoption and Advocacy is Catherine Ceniza Choy, Professor of Ethnic Studies at the University of California, Berkeley.  Prior to coming to Berkeley, she was an assistant professor of American Studies and a cofounding member of the Asian American Studies Initiative at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities.  Choy received her Ph.D. in History from UCLA and her B.A. in History from Pomona College.  The daughter of Filipino immigrants, she was born and raised in New York City and is a graduate of Stuyvesant High School. She lives in Berkeley with her husband and their two children.

Choy is the author of the award-winning book Empire of Care: Nursing and Migration in Filipino American History, which explored how and why the Philippines became the leading exporter of professional nurses to the United States.  Choy’s new book Global Families: A History of Asian International Adoption in America unearths the little-known historical origins of Asian international adoption in the United States beginning with the post-World War II presence of the U.S. military in Asia.

In the last fifty years, transnational adoption—specifically, the adoption of Asian children—has exploded in popularity as an alternative path to family-making. Despite the cultural acceptance of this practice, surprisingly little attention has been paid to the factors that allowed Asian international adoption to flourish. In Global Families, Choy unearths the little-known historical origins of Asian international adoption in the United States. Beginning with the post-World War II presence of the U.S. military in Asia, she reveals how mixed-race children born of Japanese, Korean, and Vietnamese women and U.S. servicemen comprised one of the earliest groups of adoptive children.
Based on extensive archival research, Global Families moves beyond one-dimensional portrayals of Asian international adoption as either a progressive form of U.S. multiculturalism or as an exploitative form of cultural and economic imperialism. Rather, Choy acknowledges the complexity of the phenomenon, illuminating both its radical possibilities of a world united across national, cultural, and racial divides through family formation and its strong potential for reinforcing the very racial and cultural hierarchies it sought to challenge.

 

Global Roots, Local Identities: Asian International Adoption and Advocacy

Co-sponsored by Video Round Table
Saturday, June 27, 2015, 4:30-5:30 PM
Moscone Convention Center, 236-238 (S)

Description: APALA President’s Program will feature a dynamic discussion between Dr. Catherine Ceniza Choy, a professor of Ethnic Studies at UC-Berkeley and Maria Taesil Hudson Carpenter, the City Librarian of the Santa Monica Public Library System. They will examine the issues raised by Geographies of Kinship: International Asian Adoption, a new film by award-winning Berkeley-based filmmaker Deann Borshay Liem, in the larger context of international adoption and reflect on universal questions of identity, assimilation, family, community, and advocacy. Excerpts from the film and a personal introduction especially produced for this program by Deann will be shown. The APALA President’s Program is co-sponsored by APALA and VRT.

We hope to see everyone there!

Spotlight on Maria Taesil Hudson Carpenter

by Brian Leaf

Image of Maria Teasil Hudson CarpenterOne of the featured guests in the APALA President’s Program in San Francisco, entitled Global Roots, Local Identities: Asian International Adoption and Advocacy is Maria Taesil Hudson Carpenter, the Director of Libraries for the City of Santa Monica, CA. She has long been involved on the Korean adoptee scene, and we are proud to be able to highlight her accomplishments as we lead up to this must-see event.

As the Director of Libraries, Maria oversees a $12 million budget, 210 employees, and five libraries. Formerly, Maria was Director of Libraries for the City of Somerville, MA and Director of Advancement, Marketing, and Communications for Northeastern University Libraries.

She completed her Master’s in Library and Information Science at the University of Pittsburgh and received her B.A. from Ohio Wesleyan U. She is a member of Phi Beta Delta, the honor society for International scholars and an American Library Association (ALA) Spectrum Scholar. She studies leadership and libraries in a doctoral program at Simmons College and is writing her dissertation on community leadership. Additionally, she is an elected ALA Councilor-At-Large and has served on committees for Asian Pacific American Librarians Association, Academic Library Advancement Development Network, Association of College and Research Libraries, and ALA. Her research has been published in College & Research Libraries, Library Management and portal.

Maria was as a long-standing member of Boston Korean Adoptees (BKA) and continues her involvement now as the Vice President of the Association of Korean Adoptees of Southern California (AKASoCal), a Southern California organization for Korean adoptees. She has visited South Korea three times, attended the 2010 Korean adoption conference, got involved with Global Oversees Adoptees Link, or G.O.A.L., and stayed at KoRoot guesthouse for adoptees.

Since my first trip back I searched for my birth family including going on television on KBS and other news outlets with no success but I have met amazing adoptee friends along the way and learned a bit more about my homeland.

In addition to her library and adoptee activities, she is also a 200-hour registered Yoga teacher and is a second degree Reiki practitioner in the Usui Shiki Ryoho tradition. In the past, she has also served on Boston’s Asian American Resource Workshop, a pan-Asian advocacy group that works for the empowerment of local Asian Pacific-American community to achieve its full participation in national society.  Maria has two brothers adopted from Nicaragua and a Swedish-American sister adopted from Minnesota.

Maria believes in living a life of abundant joy and love.

 

Global Roots, Local Identities: Asian International Adoption and Advocacy

Co-sponsored by Video Round Table
Saturday, June 27, 2015, 4:30-5:30 PM
Moscone Convention Center, 236-238 (S)

Description: APALA President’s Program will feature a dynamic discussion between Dr. Catherine Ceniza Choy, a professor of Ethnic Studies at UC-Berkeley and Maria Taesil Hudson Carpenter, the City Librarian of the Santa Monica Public Library System. They will examine the issues raised by Geographies of Kinship: International Asian Adoption, a new film by award-winning Berkeley-based filmmaker Deann Borshay Liem, in the larger context of international adoption and reflect on universal questions of identity, assimilation, family, community, and advocacy. Excerpts from the film and a personal introduction especially produced for this program by Deann will be shown. The APALA President’s Program is co-sponsored by APALA and VRT.

We hope to see everyone there!

 

The 2014 Minnesota Institute for Early Career Librarians: Personal Vision

by Annie Pho, Rose Love Chou and Karen Gau

The Minnesota Institute for Early Career Librarians (MIECL) is an intensive, one-week professional development program intended for librarians from underrepresented groups in the first three years of their professional careers. Several APALA members attended the 2014 Institute last July and offered to share some of their takeaways in a series of web articles. In this last of three article installments, Annie Pho (University of Illinois at Chicago), Rose Love Chou (American University), and Karen Gau (Virginia Commonwealth University) reflect on MIECL’s discussions on personal vision.

image of the members of the Residency Interest group of the Association of Research & College Libraries

Some participants of MIECL 2014. Photo credit: DeEtta Jones

When we attended MIECL, the moderators DeEtta Jones and Kathryn Deiss introduced the idea of crafting a personal vision. They described it as being analogous to a horizon — compelling, inspiring, yet unreachable. It should provide you with a directional force that takes into account all aspects of your life, including your career, health, family and finances.

Why are you interested in crafting a personal vision?

Annie Pho (AP): Crafting a personal vision is really useful because I see it as my guiding philosophy. It guides me in terms of how I approach my career and life choices. Upon listening to DeEtta and Kathryn talk about crafting their own personal vision, I realized just how important it is for an individual to do because it helps you stay on course with what you are doing in your life. At the same time, I had a sinking feeling in my stomach because I realized I had never thought to craft my own personal vision before. I left MIECL with more questions than answers. I am still trying to craft my personal vision, but I know that it’s there. It’s up to me to articulate it.

Rose Love Chou (RLC):  Learning about the concept of a personal vision was very helpful to me. I think the question of “where do you want to be in five years” is used too often, even if it’s just rhetorical. I’m not really a binary thinker and tend not to see things in black and white. I really live in the grey area, so the concept of a personal vision that serves as a compass, rather than a checklist, really resonated with me. Instead of only creating goals to reach, a personal vision helps me develop and express my purpose.

Karen Gau (KG): The question “where do you want to be in five years?” hasn’t been particularly helpful for me either. Just over five years ago when I was an office manager for a manufacturing company, I didn’t imagine that being a health sciences librarian was in my future. Having a personal vision can help me focus on the impact I want to have and guide me with making good, forward-moving choices, even when unexpected career and personal obstacles present themselves. So if I end up on a very different path from where I thought I’d be, my personal vision can still act as a compass to help me achieve a meaningful purpose that I’ve defined for myself.

 

What is a meaningful vision and how do you craft one?

AP: When you are thinking about vision, you have to think big. If your vision is “be a library director, or move up in management,” then it’s not big enough. Your vision should be so big, that it’s unattainable. Like the horizon, it should move away from you as you walk toward it. Life can be pretty unpredictable, so a meaningful vision shouldn’t be shaken if something happens that you had not planned. I see a meaningful vision as something that influences not only my professional career, but also my personal life. In terms of how to craft your own vision, I started asking myself why I do what I do. Why am I a librarian? What do I want to contribute to not only the workplace, but society? What would make me happy in my life?

RLC: For me, a meaningful vision has to help me figure out how I want to be a leader and what I want to do as a leader. It has to help me turn my aspirations into action. One of the things that stuck with me from MIECL is the idea that the intention to lead, rather than just drifting into a leadership role, is important. Some questions to consider to help discover your purpose and voice: What are your personal values? What do you think and why?

KG: These are all great points. Touching on what Rose said, MIECL made it clear that knowing yourself is key to crafting a meaningful vision, too. For example, what are your strengths and weaknesses? How do they affect your way of making an impact?

 

How does one manage the gap between your Ideal and your Actual self?

AP: This can be a really tough thing to do. I know many librarians who hold themselves to a really high standard, but sometimes it’s just not sustainable to be going at full-speed 100 percent of the time. You’ll never be your own ideal, but that’s why crafting a personal vision is so important. You work toward your ideal self, but you also have to be OK with failing sometimes. That’s how we move forward in life.

RLC: Managing the gap is another concept I learned from DeEtta that was incredibly helpful.  The gap is the space between your Ideal and your Actual. Use the tension between these two to create goals. Do not measure yourself by comparing your Actual to your Ideal. Measure your progress by comparing your Actual to where you were previously.

KG: I think managing this gap between your Ideal and Actual self is key to having a good work/life balance, which is very important to me. I wonder if, on the flip side, integrating work/life balance into your vision as a value could help with managing this gap.

Image with "dream big" written in the sand.

When you are thinking about vision, you have to think big. If your vision is “be a library director, or move up in management,” then it’s not big enough.

Have you created a vision for yourself since MIECL?

AP: Ever since I returned from MIECL, I’ve been thinking about how to articulate my personal vision. It’s really hard to really know what you’re working toward. For me, I tend to make my progress by trying to deal with what is directly in front of me, and I don’t always take the time to look up and ask myself what is on the horizon.

KG: I’m working on mine, too. I’ve been talking about it with my MIECL mentor, whom I continue to meet with every month.

RLC: I feel like I am perpetually thinking about my vision. While I have some aspects of it down (mainly when it comes to family and personal life), I’m still working on the vision related to my career.

 

Editing assistance provided by Jaena Rae Cabrera and Melissa I. Cardenas-Dow.

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