Student Track 

Not a student?

This track is intended for audiences of high school, college, or graduate students—including both international and domestic students. Workshops for specific school levels are indicated in the workshop description.

Students under the age of 18 are required to complete a signed waiver form and scan/send to letstalkconference@gmail.com by March 15 as soon as possible.


Facilitators:    The Cosmos

Facilitators: The Cosmos

the pillars

Location: Larsen 214

1:00 - 2:15 PM or 2:30 - 3:45 PM

What do we need to flourish and thrive as individuals and as a community of Asian Americans? Through individual reflection and interactive collaboration, “The Pillars” workshop explores how Asian and American culture influences our values. By illuminating the ways we can authentically support one another along our values, we can define success on our own terms.


zines in asian american activism

Location: Gutman 305

1:00 PM - 2:15 PM or 2:30 - 3:45 PM

Zines have long history in the Asian American community, as a platform for activism, identity-exploration, and self-expression. In this session, we will explore the history of zines in Asian American activism, the context in which they were created, the continuing legacy of zines today. We will also discuss how zines are an accessible means for documenting narratives, processing meaningful experiences, and expressing community solidarity. Attendees will have an opportunity to create their own zine pages to express their identities and meaningful narratives.


Facilitator:    Charlene Gaw

Facilitator: Charlene Gaw

shatter the stereotype: speaking up for leadership roles

Location: Gutman GCC 4 (ground floor)

1:00 - 2:15 PM or 2:30 - 3:45 PM

I grew up in a family that did not expect me to say anything past greetings to my elders. This only perpetuated my naturally shy personality. I was respectful, reserved, and focused on my studies. I am deeply grateful for the emphasis on perseverance and education in my upbringing. However, now I strive to create opportunities through the ‘Western’ world that rewards assertiveness and speaking up. If you can relate to this dichotomous narrative – come join our interactive workshop. We will discuss how to intentionally transform our courteous upbringing into strengths to succeed professionally. We will examine lessons learned from other prominent Asian American Pacific Islanders who found their unique voices, and practice sharing our own personal journeys.

Learning goals:
1. Examine and share success stories of AA/API speaking up
2. Discover how your journey empowers your future goals
3. Practice sharing your individual story
4. Identify opportunities to speak up in your current position


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 PM 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 :   Sukhmani Bal

Facilitator: Sukhmani Bal

Illness and Identity: Navigating Diagnosis in College

Location: Longfellow 229

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

Facilitator :   Mikayla Medeiros

Facilitator: Mikayla Medeiros

When having a conversation about mental health in the Asian community there is a complex interplay between acculturation, identity, and stigma. Asian students exhibit higher rates of depression and anxiety yet research has shown that they seek treatment at much lower rates. Approximately 75% of mental health conditions present before the age of 24. With 1 in 4 persons experiencing a mental health condition in their lifetime it is imperative that we understand signs and symptoms within a cultural context. In this breakout session we will explore the most common mental illnesses, their treatments and the support schools can provide students. Participants will be able to explore what a diagnosis means, how to support peers, and how to navigate the road ahead.


Facilitator:    Cindy Lin

Facilitator: Cindy Lin

“Fitting in” as an international student

Location: Gutman 404

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

Do you ever wonder how acculturated you are as an international student studying in the U.S.? Not all international students hold the same motivation to acculturate and many of them experience difficulty to “fit in”. During this process, many students experience a degree of acculturative stress. This interactive workshop will provide the opportunity for international students to reflect on their acculturation attitudes and ways to measure their stress caused by acculturation. In addition, you will also gain insights about the indicators of success in the intercultural context. You will leave this workshop with action steps and assessment drawn from research.


Facilitator:    Tim Huang

Facilitator: Tim Huang

Crafting our mental health narratives

Location: Gutman GCC 5 (ground floor)

1:00 - 2:15 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!


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

Location: Longfellow 320

1:00 PM - 2:15 PM

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:    Jiennie Kim

Facilitator: Jiennie Kim

Facilitator:    Hannah Lee

Facilitator: Hannah Lee


Facilitator :   Kristen Park

Facilitator: Kristen Park

Facilitator :   David Yang

Facilitator: David Yang

Moving Beyond Stigma: Accessing Mental Health Care as a Student and Designing your Action Plan

Location: Larsen 228

1:00 - 2:15 P.M.

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.


Facilitators:    Mustard Seed Generation

Therapeutic Small Groups: How to Facilitate Dialogue and Build Relationships

Location: Longfellow 319

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

The practice of “saving face” in Asian culture can often make it difficult for individuals to open up about their real struggles in a group setting. This session will focus on ways that small group leaders can facilitate challenging and vulnerable conversations that foster emotional health. We will create a space to share current challenges and effective practices that can be applicable to all facilitators seeking to foster healthy dialogue in a variety of group settings (church groups, book clubs, interest groups, etc.). We welcome leaders from all Asian American backgrounds to share their experiences and join in the conversation.


Facilitator:    Maddie Alvendia

Facilitator: Maddie Alvendia

Bi/Multiraciality and Mental Health: Identity, Resilience, and Well-Being

Location: Larsen G01

2:30 - 3:45 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.


Facilitator:    Damaris Altomerianos

Asian Adoptee Narratives

Location: Larsen G06

2:30 - 3:45 P.M.

Facilitator:    Meghan Kelly

Facilitator: Meghan Kelly

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:    Dr. Matthew Poon

Facilitator: Dr. Matthew Poon

Q&A: Questions about shame and resilience for Queer Asian American Young adults

Location: Gutman 303

2:30 - 3:45 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.