The APA Compass Radio Collective formed in early 2005 and aired its first program on KBOO Community Radio in May 2005. We are a group of activists, artists, educators, scholars and writers committed to bringing perspectives and issues that are absent in mainstream media. Currently, the collective includes Kushlani de Soyza, ThuVan Hoang, Marie Lo, Sarika Mehta, Anna Preble, Toni Tabora-Roberts, Liz Rogers, Patti Sakurai, Brian Yarne, and Andrew Yeh.
Given that discussions on race and racism are often framed in terms of black-white relations, the history of oppression and racism against APIA communities remains invisible. We are a community fragmented by anti-Asian immigration laws, disenfranchisement, U.S. foreign policy, colonization, exploitation, violence and systemic and institutionalized racism. At the same time, our achievements and contributions to American life are overlooked or erased because we are persistently viewed as foreigners or worse, traitors.
Contrary to the stereotype that “All Asians look alike,” we are not a monolithic group. There are many of us who speak only English and can trace our history in the U.S. back many generations. Some of us emigrated for economic opportunities, and some of us came as exiles. Some of us come from countries with long histories of conflict against each other. Many of us are multiracial and multilingual. We are not all upwardly mobile academic overachievers, and we are not all apolitical.
Our Program Mission:
- To provide a forum for dialogue, exploration, and dissemination of issues pertinent to Asian Pacific-Islander American (APA) communities.
- To unite, politicize and empower APAs.
- To raise awareness of social and economic justice issues.
- To highlight the parallels and intersections between APA experiences and the experiences of other groups; to provide media access, mentorship and training to APAs.
- To promote APA art and culture; to challenge racist representations and to enable APAs to define themselves.