Teaching and Telling Asian American Stories Virtual Symposium

Teaching and Telling Asian American Stories Virtual Symposium. Co-sponsored with YURI Education. Featuring three workshops with Asian American educators and community members, plus keynote speaker Joanna Ho, New York Times bestselling and award-winning author. June 1. 6 p.m. EST. Registration: friday.institute/10513. Image of author Joanna Ho and the cover of her book, Eyes That Kiss in the Corners. Cover features a young girl holding a flower as her hair blows in the wind.


While Asian American Studies has existed as an academic field in higher education for more than 40 years, this field is less emphasized in PK-12 curricula. Teaching and Telling Asian American Stories is a symposium for PK-12 teachers who love storytelling, especially stories from lesser-known Asian American communities. Recent legislation in Illinois and New Jersey has mandated the inclusion of Asian Americans in school curricula. But what about Asian American students in the Southern region of the U.S.? Given these policy shifts, this workshop aims to provide concrete teaching strategies and pedagogy on how to bring untold stories from Asian Americans into PK-12 classrooms. 

Participants will gain an understanding of the historical background of Asian American studies in schools. Led by academics, community activists and educators, participants will learn about Asian American literature, civic education and immigrant voices in the Asian diaspora. Through these inquiry-driven sessions, attendees will be provided with ready-to-use materials and strategies for their classrooms.

Please scroll down to register for the symposium toward the bottom of the page. Registration is free and open to the public. NC State students can receive 1 PGU credit under PD586.

Keynote: The Asian American Stories We Live and Tell

Joanna Ho

Joanna Ho is the New York Times bestselling and award-winning author of many books for kids. Her debut picture book, Eyes that Kiss in the Corners, won the Golden Kite Award. Playing at the Border: A Story of Yo-Yo Ma, was an Ezra Jack Keats Honor Book. Her other picture books include Eyes that Speak to the Stars, One Day (2023), The Wave Riders (2023), Say My Name (2023), Eyes that Weave the World’s Wonders (2024) and When Light Divides (2024). Her debut YA novel, The Silence that Binds Us, will be released in June 2022.

Joanna is a writer and educator with a passion for anti-bias, anti-racism and equity work. She holds a B.A. in psychology from the University of Pennsylvania and a master’s degree from the Principal Leadership Institute at Berkeley. She has been an English teacher, a dean, the designer of an alternative-to-prison program and a professional development creator partnering with educational leaders around the country.

She is currently the vice principal of a high school in the Bay Area, where she survives on homemade chocolate chip cookies, outdoor adventures and dance parties with her kids. Keep your eyes open for more books to come!


Workshop #1: American Masters’ Amy Tan: Unintended Memoir

YURI Education Project co-directors, Cathlin Goulding and Freda Lin, will share the curriculum they designed around the 2021 documentary Amy Tan: Unintended Memoir. They will address how the Joy Luck Club author’s works can serve as a launchpad for anti-racist teaching. Both the film and Tan’s writing provide fertile ground for classroom discussion on how the past informs the present, the importance of representation and how dialogue between immigrant parents and their children can reveal a deeper understanding of the forces that shape America. Drawing on resources available on PBS LearningMedia, the workshop will include clips from the film and activities that can be used in the classroom.

Workshop Speakers

Freda Lin

Freda Lin is the co-director of YURI Education Project, a business that develops curriculum and professional learning with a focus on Asian American and Pacific Islander stories. She began this work as a student activist leader for Asian American Studies at Northwestern University. This led her to become a middle and high school teacher to integrate these and other marginalized stories in schools. Freda taught history and leadership at Chicago and San Francisco Bay Area schools for 16 years. After leaving the teaching field, she facilitated social movement history tours with Freedom Lifted and consulted with the Center for Asian American Media and the UC Berkeley History-Social Science Project. She also served as the education program director of the Fred T. Korematsu Institute, where she implemented new programming to promote awareness of the World War II Japanese American incarceration experience and its connection to current issues. Freda currently serves on the National Council for History Education Board of Directors.

Cathlin Goulding

Cathlin Goulding, Ed.D., co-directs the YURI Education Project, an education consultancy studio that develops resources for cultural institutions and PK-12 students. For YURI, she has created educational materials for the WNET Group’s Mission U.S. and It’s Lit!, PBS’ American Masters and The Asian Americans series, Third World Media’s Resistance at Tule Lake, Mikva Challenge, Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience and Smithsonian Institution’s National Portrait Gallery.

A fourth-generation Los Angeleno, Cathlin started in the education field as an English language arts teacher at a public high school in the East San Francisco Bay Area. She later trained as an education researcher at Teachers College, Columbia University. After completing her doctorate, she served as an Andrew W. Mellon postdoctoral research fellow at the 9/11 Memorial & Museum and visiting scholar at New York University.

In addition to her work at YURI, she teaches future public school teachers and instructional leaders at the City University of New York, San José State University and Teachers College, Columbia University. She lives in Queens, New York, with her partner, Kevin, and feline soulmate, Miso.

Workshop #2: Asian Immigrant Children and Families as Transnational and Multilingual Experts

Asian immigrant children and families are connected to multiple languages, cultures and countries. They build and mobilize a wealth of linguistic, cultural and experiential knowledge as they move across contexts and countries. In this workshop, attendees will explore and engage with Asian immigrant children and their families’ stories, writings, drawings, photographs and maps that show their multilingual and transnational expertise. Attendees will also be invited to engage in collective inquiry and action toward amplifying immigrant children’s voices and leveraging their multilingual and transnational resources inside and outside the school environment.

Workshop Speaker

Jungmin Kwon

Jungmin Kwon is an assistant professor of language and literacy in the Department of Teacher Education and an affiliate faculty member in the Asian Pacific American Studies program at Michigan State University. Her research centers on immigrant children and families, transnational migration, multilingual learning and teacher preparation for linguistically and culturally diverse students. To amplify the voices of immigrant children and families, she adopts a community-engaged approach and employs child-centered research methods. She is the author of Understanding the Transnational Lives and Literacies of Immigrant Children (Teachers College Press, 2022). Her book invites readers to learn from the stories, photographs and artifacts of Asian American children in North Carolina and Michigan, whom she positions as transnational and multilingual experts. Her scholarly work has appeared in journals, including the International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, Bilingual Research Journal, Language and Education, Language Arts, and others.

Workshop #3: Teaching to Empower: Asian American Youth and Civic Engagement

The empowerment of Asian American youth can start in the classroom! Learn how to connect with Asian American students and engage with the Asian American community by joining Giselle and MK from North Carolina Asian Americans Together, a non partisan, non-profit organization committed to supporting equity and justice for all by fostering community among Asian Americans and allies in North Carolina. Giselle and MK will share information about the Asian American community in North Carolina, talk about their own experiences with community involvement and provide resources for Asian American youth to stay civically engaged in North Carolina.

Workshop Speakers

MK Alova (they/she)

MK is the youth engagement coordinator at North Carolina Asian Americans Together (NCAAT). They are a Raleigh local who attended UNC-Greensboro as a nursing major and was a Lloyd International Honors College student. While at UNCG, they served on the school’s Filipino American Student Association executive board where they engaged students and Triad residents alike in Filipino and Filipino American culture and history. Through college youth engagement as well as serving as a panelist and facilitating discussions regarding BIPOC and AAPI communities, MK became inspired to work with Asian American youth back in Raleigh in hopes of sparking the want to self-advocate for their communities. On the side, they are currently writing a short stage play through Raleigh Little Theatre’s The New Voices Program, facilitated by The Ink Project. You can catch MK playing music, watching movies and shows, practicing Korean with friends or adding ideas to their fun creative writing memo.


Giselle Pagunuran

Giselle Pagunuran is the digital communications coordinator at North Carolina Asian Americans Together, a nonprofit committed to supporting equity and justice for all by fostering community among Asian Americans and allies in North Carolina. She grew up in Concord, NC, and graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill, where she studied journalism and media with a double major in communication studies. After being involved with various Asian American campus organizations, she grew her desire to connect with and serve her community. With her experience in media production and communications, she aims to amplify AAPI stories and uplift diverse voices. In her free time, she likes playing music, going to concerts, journaling and doing her best to keep her house plants alive.


Symposium Schedule

6:00-6:20 PM Opening Session: YURI Education Project and Dr. Crystal Lee Introduction to Asian American Histories and Stories in Schools. What does Asian American mean? 6:20-6:30 PM Keynote Opening: The Literacy and Community Initiative Students’ Reading The Stories of Asian Refugee Students from The Literacy and Community Initiative; 6:30-7:20 PM Keynote: Joanna Ho, Nationally renowned Asian American Author The Asian American Stories We Live and Tell; 7:30PM-8:15PM Session Workshops Choose one of three workshops Workshop 1: Yuri Education Project: Freda Lin and Cathlin Goulding, Workshop 2: Jungmin Kwon; Workshop 3: North Carolina Asian Americans Together (NCAAT) Organization: MK Alova and Giselle Pagunuran, American Masters’ Amy Tan: Unintended Memoir, Asian Immigrant Children and Families as Transnational and Multilingual Experts Teaching to Empower: Asian American Youth and Civic Engagement; 8:15-8:30 PM Closing Session: YURI Education Project and Dr. Crystal Lee Final Reflections

Organizers and Presenters