Asian Pacific American Smithsonian exhibit: “I Want the Wide American Earth” coming to Tucson



“I Want the Wide American Earth: An Asian Pacific American Story” was created by the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center and the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES). The exhibition is supported by a grant from the W.K.Kellogg Foundation and is a set of large panels about Asian Pacific American history. It will be at the Tucson Chinese Cultural Center through May 29, 2016.

Desert Leaf magazine (March 2016, pages 42-47)  had a good article about what Asian Pacific Americans have endured in America: As a former Legislative Aide to the late U.S. Senator Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii) I know this story well.

More info: and flyers of each of the upcoming events on Facebook:

UPDATE: March 29 event time has changed to 6 to 8:30 p.m. (dinner), not a luncheon. And May 7 event only goes to 7 p.m., not 9 p.m.

March 19 opening schedule for “Speaking of Asian Pacific Americans” below:



  1. Welcome today by Sara Artes, project director of this traveling exhibit, who said that the exhibit was started in May 2013, has 16 venues to go before it stops touring in 2019. Then Professsor Karen Leong (ASU) spoke of the APA “history of resistance/speaking up to fight for collective rights”.She outlined the long history of discrimination against Asians in U.S. , including Supreme Court challenges for citizenship, equal protection, civil rights (Japanese Am. internment). There are 1.5 undocumented Asians in U.S. Then ASU Prof.Joanne Rondilla spoke about “Salvaging the Savage” and U.S. colonialism in the Philippines, Guam, Hawaii, taking over the government, education & media. She said these island economies are not full of “happy Natives”, esp. in Hawaii where Native Hawaiians comprise 20% of the population, but 40% of the prison population (many spent to Mainland jails). Then Dr. Kathy Nakagawa talked about the Changing Asian Demographics, and identity of Asians many (62%) who identify as (blank) Americans from their country of origin, not as Asian Pacific Americans (19%). Asian Americans are the 2nd largest multiracial group in U.S. (after Blacks), but only 5.4% of total U.S. Population, though Asian immigration #s are growing. Finally she mentioned the White House Initiative on health issues affecting Asian Americans – Hepatitis B, obesity, diabetes, language access, educational aspirations from newer immigrant communities (i.e. Marshallese), pay disparities (with white people) and Asian female suicides (high among 15-24 year olds).
    In the afternoon, documentary film maker Curtis Chin showed his first film “Vincent Who?” about the murder of 27 year old Vincent Chin (no relative, but family friend in Detroit) who was killed outside a bar in 1982, a day before his wedding. The 2 perpetrators thought he was Japanese (and were angry about the car layoffs in Detroit), got off with only $3,000 fine and 3 years probation, which galvanized the Asian Pacific American movement for justice. Curtis answered answers afterward. Stay tuned for more programs in this series – check website,

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