Hear what Jeremy and Yul have to say about busting down the doors of traditionally "non-Asian" fields: basketball and mainstream TV.

NBA Star Jeremy Lin and
Survivor Winner Yul Kwon
on Being Asian American Firsts

     The Asian Pacific Fund invited former Golden State Warrior Jeremy Lin and media personality Yul Kwon—both firsts as Asian Americans in their fields—to meet for a revealing, funny and heartfelt conversation with Thuy Vu, Emmy award-winning broadcast journalist and board member of the Fund.
     It turns out that Jeremy and Yul have more in common beyond being pioneering Asian Americans. During the conversation they revealed that being Asian presents its hurdles, but this motivates them to work even harder to break down barriers.
     Before Survivor, Yul thought:‘Why on God’s green earth would I ever go on a reality show? My parents would clearly disown me.’ But I thought about the fact that there weren’t a lot of Asian Americans on television. To the extent that you do see them they’re often playing stereotypical roles. Even though they were casting me as the Asian nerd, I didn’t have to act like the nerd. I had an opportunity to try to break some of these stereotypes. 
     Playing for Harvard, Jeremy learned to deal with ethnic slurs on court: The first few times it happened I got so mad, I was just running around playing mindlessly. One of my coacheshe’s African Americanpulled me aside. When he was growing up he faced a lot of racial slurs as well. He was teaching me how to channel it in the right way where it didn’t necessarily make me play angry and out of character, but more controlled. How can I use that to make me play better?
     While they both view their success as progress for Asian Americans, they agree there is plenty of room for improvement in how Asians are perceived in the mainstream.
Listen to the full interview to hear many other surprising and humorous revelations, including:
  • How Jeremy deals with the deafening cheers of Asian fans—and the weight of all their hopes and expectations
  • How Yul overcame a social anxiety disorder and fear of public speaking to become a respected public figure
  • How close childhood friends have inspired both Jeremy and Yul's deep commitment to giving back

WATCH Jeremy Lin's advice on the
ultimate Asian fixation:
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The Asian Pacific Fund recently held its annual gala honoring Silicon Valley entrepreneur Hsing Kung at the Four Seasons San Francisco. See the presentation and speeches from the evening.

Asian Outlook

The Fall/Winter 2011 issue of Asian Outlook highlights the Bay Area’s newest Asians and the particular issues they face. Read the online version and browse past issues.

Annual Report

View the 2010-2011
annual report online.
Copyright © 2011 Asian Pacific Fund, All rights reserved.
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