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Professional / Educator Track

This track is intended for professionals supporting Asian and Pacific Islander students in roles such as clinician, counselor, teacher, school support staff, etc. The registration fee for professionals will benefit this year’s and future Let’s Talk! Conferences. Thank you for all your work with Asian and Pacific Islander students!

Facilitator :   Marina Lee

Facilitator: Marina Lee

developing cultural awareness to support students

Location: Larsen G08

1:00 - 2:15 P.M. or 2:30 - 3:45 P.M.

Do you teach students of Asian descent? Have you been wanting to increase cultural understanding and awareness so you can better support your students? If so, this session is for you. This presentation will provide an overview of different cultural-deficit and strength-based approaches in supporting Asian students and unpack how culture shapes their views on mental health, identity, ethics, academic performance, relationships, and family. The session will address common challenges and stereotypes that arise in working with Asian youth and their families and examine how cultures tend to reveal themselves in situations where much is at stake, such as in college admissions. Most importantly, participants will have a chance to ask burning questions.

Facilitator :   Nora Yasumura

Facilitator: Nora Yasumura

Mindfully Guiding Asian and Asian American Students through Moments of Cultural and Racial Dissonance

Location: Larsen 106

1:00 - 2:15 P.M. or 2:30 - 3:45 P.M.

For all youth, exploring one's social identity is a complex and nuanced process. However, Asian or Asian American students can sometimes face unique circumstances where they experience a certain level of cultural or racial dissonance. Through utilizing case examples, this workshop will provide the opportunity to examine the role professionals can play during these sensitive moments. In addition, we will explore some concrete process steps that can enable you to stay mindfully present in order to facilitate a supportive and empowering "holding" environment for all.

Facilitator:    Shirley Li

Facilitator: Shirley Li

Supporting undocumented api youth & families

Location: Larsen 203

1:00 - 2:15 P.M. or 2:30 - 3:45 P.M.

Facilitator:    Amy Jiravisitcul

Facilitator: Amy Jiravisitcul

Experiences of undocumented youth and families have been prominently featured in major news outlets recently, especially surround the southern border of the US. However, we hope to highlight the invisible stories of Asian and Pacific Islander students affected by uncertainty in their immigration status. Asian Pacific Islanders represent 15 percent of the undocumented population (Center for Migration Studies, 2015), yet APIs often fall under the radar in dialogues about undocumented communities. This workshop is welcome to all professionals who are interested in supporting Asian and Pacific Islander students in their work as educators, counselors, community organizers, etc. While we are excited to build professional skills together, we as facilitators do not position ourselves as the “experts” of this expansive topic. We hope to foster a community of mutual learning and sharing best practices.

Facilitator :   Tim Huang

Facilitator: Tim Huang

Crafting our mental health narratives

Location: Gutman GCC 5 (ground floor)

2:30 - 3:45 PM

Facilitator :   Liz Zhong

Facilitator: Liz Zhong

This session is based on the "Public Narrative" framework, which has been used by organizers and advocates around the world to move others to action by sharing personal narratives grounded in our values and histories. We will practice Public Narrative with a focus on Asian and Asian American mental health:
1. Story of Self: who am I? why do I care about mental health?
2. Story of Us: what are our shared values and mental health experiences?
3. Story of Now: what will we do together to advance our collective well-being?

We will coach you on how to craft and tell your mental health narrative to break the stigma as well as empower your friends, family, and community to join you in this movement!

Facilitator:        Venissala Wongchai

Facilitator: Venissala Wongchai

Collectivistic Memes for Asian American Teens: Popular Culture, Youth Development, and Self-Esteem

Location: Longfellow 207

1:00 - 2:15 P.M. or 2:30 - 3:45 P.M.

Facilitator :   Woojin Kim

Facilitator: Woojin Kim

This workshop's purpose is to investigate how media and popular culture affect Asian American youth development and self-esteem, especially as it relates to race/ethnicity, LGBTQ+, immigration, and gender. After a brief overview of Asian American representation in popular culture and the impact it can have on identity development, participants will review sample lesson plans and will further or create their own for future use.

Facilitator :  Dr. Matthew Poon

Facilitator: Dr. Matthew Poon

Q&A: Questions about shame and resilience for queer asian american young adults

Location: Gutman 303

1:00 - 2:15 P.M.

For young adults who hold multiple marginalized identities, it can feel as if they must choose the least painful one to grieve. Queer and trans* people of color (QTPOC) often must negotiate between invisible and visible identities while navigating developmental milestones, in what can be an unsafe world. While this tug of war can foster independence and resilience in some, it can contribute to mental health issues like depression, anxiety, and isolation for others. This interactive workshop aims to identify the challenges and obstacles for QTPOC specifically queer and trans* AAPI folx, and will offer an ecological-systemic model to support this community courageously and compassionately.

Facilitator:    Maddie Alvendia

Facilitator: Maddie Alvendia

bi/multiraciality and mental health: identity, resilience, and well-being

Location: Larsen G01

1:00 - 2:15 P.M

Facilitator:    Shannon Daniels

Facilitator: Shannon Daniels

This interactive workshop is structured in three parts. Part I will explore the meanings of the words multiracial, biracial, multiethnic, and monoracial. Part II will center the experiences of multiracial Asians and address “what are the unique racialized experiences of multiracial Asians?” We will discuss microaggressions, as well as similarities and differences of racialized experiences of monoracial and multiracial Asians. Part III will explore how best to support the well-being and resilience-building of the multiracial Asian community.

asian adoptee narratives

Location: Larsen G06

1:00 - 2:15 P.M.

Asian adoptees are part of the pan-Asian community, and they bring unique perspectives to discussions on mental health. Come learn more about Asian adoptee experiences with race, culture, and identity development. This is aimed for undergraduate and graduate students who would like to stand in solidarity with Asian adoptees in pan-Asian spaces (e.g., affinity groups). This is also suitable for mental health professionals who would like to deepen their understanding of Asian adoptee experiences. We cannot represent all Asian adoptees, but we can speak from our experiences and hold space for this discussion.

Facilitator :   Damaris Altomerianos
Facilitator:    Meghan Kelly

Facilitator: Meghan Kelly

Facilitator:    Jiennie Kim

Facilitator: Jiennie Kim

struggling in silence: deconstructing stigma and subcultures, moving toward collective action

Location: Longfellow 320

2:30 - 3:45 P.M.

Facilitator :   Hannah Lee

Facilitator: Hannah Lee

Despite mental health phenomenon such as suicide, depression, anxiety, and PTSD being leading causes of concern for Asian Americans, research has continually found that members of the Asian American community are least likely to access and utilize mental health resources. This trend has kept commonly experienced struggles of community members in silence and have perpetuated non-help seeking behavior. This integrative breakout session will address mental health trends in the Asian American community, dissect the factors influencing stigma and the negative impacts it has on seeking mental health care, and provide an opportunity for Asian Americans to come together as a community to change the culture around mental health to cultivate healing and action.

Facilitator:    Kristen Park

Facilitator: Kristen Park


Location: Longfellow 228

2:30 - 3:45 P.M.

Facilitator:    David Yang

Facilitator: David Yang

A considerable amount of research has shown that Asian Americans, compared to the general US population, underutilize mental health services (NLAAS, 2004). Asian American students are less likely to seek psychological help compared to their peers from different racial and ethnic backgrounds (Sun et al., 2016). There has been an over-emphasis in the role of stigma and help-seeking attitudes, which places a lot of the burden on the shoulders of the community. Furthermore, it fails to address the availability, accessibility, and quality of mental health services for racial and ethnic minorities. There is a huge need to expand research that address the dynamic impact of culture, race, and ethnicity on mental health and mental illness of Asian Americans.

Our workshop has two main goals: 1) address institutional barriers to mental health care access for Asian American college and graduate students, 2) design your action steps to increase utilization of mental health services.