This summer we are collaborating with Dr. Xiumei Pu in her Project, " "Mountains and Stories: Building Community Among Asian and Pacific Islander Refugee and Immigrant Families in Salt Lake Valley," with the support of a Whiting Public Engagement Programs Seed Grant. Anchored in the theme of mountains, the project consists of a twelve-part podcast and a documentary, a storytelling-conversation cultural event (June 26, 2021), and a group hike in the Wasatch Mountains (October 23, 2021). It is our hope that these efforts will amplify the environmental voices of Asian and Pacific Islander refugee and immigrant communities, and spark more public interest in thinking about the connection between culture, identity, and the natural environment. You can listen to previous episodes here on the IMR Podcast website.
At the heart of the project is a podcast series featuring the life and work of twelve storytellers who come from a range of age groups, occupations, and ethnic and racial backgrounds. Some of them are born in the United States; many of them are born in another Asian country or Pacific Island and immigrated to the US at a young age. Their stories show fascinating complexities of immigration routes and histories, incredible cultural richness and resilience, and long-lasting contributions of the Asian and Asian Pacific Islander communities to the social life and cultural landscapes of Salt Lake Valley and the broader Utah.
You can register for the June 26th event via this google form.
Today we hear from Emilio Manuel Camu. Emilio is a queer Tagalog-Bikolnon Filipino immigrant and first-generation graduate of the University of Utah, where he received both his BS Communication and Asian Pacific Islander Studies and MEd in Educational Leadership & Policy. For the past eleven years, he has served on the boards of numerous Asian Pacific Islander organizations both locally and nationally demonstrating his commitment to equity and justice. He currently serves as the National Vice President of Education & Culture for OCA National, Director and current president of OCA Asian Pacific Islander American Advocates Utah, founder and director of the Filipino American National Historical Society Utah, and the treasurer for Mana Academy Charter School.
Jeff Nichols and Brent Olson co-direct the Institute for Mountain Research and our 2018-2019 Mountain Fellows are Katie Saad and Naomi Shapiro. Our theme song is “Home” by Pixie and the Partygrass Boys.. As Naomi likes to say, “They are awesome and you should check them out.”
The Institute for Mountain Research is located on the ancestral and traditional lands of the Ute, Goshute, and Shoshone Peoples.
- OCA Utah — OCA Asian Pacific Islander American Advocates Utah is a local chapter of the national organization, OCA Asian Pacific American Advocates, a national non-profit organization dedicated to advancing the social, political and economic well-being of Asian and Pacific Islanders in the United States with goals to advocate for social justice, equal opportunity, and fair treatment; to promote civic participation, education, and leadership; to advance coalitions and community building and to foster cultural heritage; OCA aims to embrace the hopes and aspirations of Asian Pacific Islander Americans by engaging and organizing its 80 chapters to develop both leadership and community involvement.
- Chinese Women Writers on the Environment – McFarland — Dr Pu and her collaborators have just released a new book of translated writing. The stories, prose and poems in this anthology offer readers a unique and generous array of women’s experiences in China. In a world that is rapidly modernizing, these writings attempt to reconcile with the ever-changing people, plants, beasts and environment. After five years of painstaking collection and translation, the authors present these stories of strength and sadness, defiance and resilience, urban and village life, from the days of the cultural revolution to the present. Whether a house full of hawks and eagles, a stubborn cow, or a defiant elderly couple sabotaging a lumber operation, these stories express powerful visions of the earth interwoven with human memory.
- Pixie and the Partygrass Boys — Awesome, Local, Playing shows soon.