Pacific Sovereignty Movements and Asian Americans: Communities, Coalitions, and Conflicts

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Bonds Under Bondage

In the late Nineteenth Century, David Kalākaua, the King of Hawai‘i, watched as the monarchal power over his kingdom slowly fell to foreign invaders from the West. American businessmen entered the Kingdom of Hawai‘i and began forming a coup d’état. In 1881, Kalākaua embarked on an extended excursion to Asia, visiting Malaysia, China, Japan, and Thailand. On his trip, he argued for an alliance among Asian and Pacific Islander communities as a means of resisting the rising tide of American and European imperialism.1 In China, King Kalākaua met with the chief of foreign affairs Li Hongzhang regarding imperial threats from the West that would affect both the Pacific and Asia.

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Caring for Spirits and for Bodies: Working with Chinese Immigrant Religious Institutions to Increase HIV Knowledge and Reduce HIV Stigma

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Because of their respected role in communities, religious institutions have the potential to be important partners in improving the health of the communities they serve. Religious institutions may be especially important in immigrant groups, where language and cultural barriers make accessing more mainstream sources of information and support more difficult. A wide range of research suggests that religious institutions play an instrumental role in helping immigrants cope with the practical challenges of daily life. But the work of these religious institutions has been limited in public health initiatives and even more limited in work related to HIV/AIDS education and support. We were particularly interested in immigrant religious institutions’ potential role in HIV/AIDS work because of the high level of stigma that surrounds the condition. We thought that perhaps religious institutions, because of their role in defining community values, could help not only to provide HIV/AIDS education and support, but also to reduce stigma, which often gets in the way of HIV/AIDS work. We also wanted to evaluate the extent to which religious institutions might contribute to HIV/AIDS stigma by promoting negative messages about groups that are stereotyped as having HIV/AIDS, such as gay men. Our previous and current research suggests that negative views of homosexuality constitute much of the basis for HIV/AIDS stigma in Chinese immigrant religious institutions, but stigma and taboos related to disease and sex in general and unfounded fears of HIV infection through casual contact also contribute.

Manhattan’s Chinatown at the Dawn of the Twenty-first Century

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“The End of Chinatown,” so proclaims the Atlantic Magazine, is a sensationalized assertion based on new population counts showing a moderate decline from the previous decade. Negative growth could predict a long-term slide, but as demographers know, projections are fraught with uncertainties. The dismal forecast of waning enclaves, of course, is not new. In 1949, Rose Hum Lee in a much more scholarly fashion declared “The Decline of Chinatowns in the United States.” A little more than a decade later, Chinatowns embarked on a four-decade expansion, driven by an unforeseen historical development on the immigration front. The inaccuracy of the earlier declaration, however, is no guarantee that today’s assertion is wrong. Too many unknowns cloud even the best crystal ball. Among the factors that influence the future trajectory are the decisions and actions taken by stakeholders. Communities are not merely passive victims of predetermined history, thus effective action requires knowledge. The purpose of this essay is to inform the political and policy discourse on the future of these neighborhoods by examining the economic factors transforming New York City’s Chinatown in recent times.

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