ShameLESS: Tackling Taboos in the APA Community
Lisa Lee is the cofounder of Thick Dumpling Skin, a community
forum dedicated to discussing body image issues and eating
disorders in the Asian American community. Lisa co-founded Thick
Dumpling Skin with actress Lynn Chen in February 2011. The site was
picked by Audrey Magazine as one of the best blogs of 2011 and the
duo is featured in the April 2013 issue of Marie Claire. Thick Dumpling
Skin was also honored last year with the Embody Award by About-Face.
During the day, Lisa works at Pandora as its first diversity program
manager. Prior to Pandora, Lisa Lee held numerous roles at Facebook
as one of its first 250 employees and also founded and chaired Facebook’s
AAPI Employee Resource Group. Lisa was listed on Angry Asian Man's list of 30 Most Influential Asian Americans under 30 in 2009 and is the recipient of the 2011 San Francisco Emerging Leader Asian American Heritage Award. She formerly served as Hyphen’s publisher and currently serves on the board of Asian Americans for Civil Rights and Equality. When Lisa is not thinking about changing the world, she can be found with loving family and friends, jet setting, and enjoying live performances.
Lian Cheung is a 1.5 generation refugee from Oakland, CA.
She grew up in the Bay Area and has spent over a decade working
in low-income communities of color. Lian started out as a youth organizer
on the Kids First! Campaign and has since worked for funding for youth
programs, fought for educational and health justice, volunteered and
trained for numerous GOTV efforts with the Alameda County Labor
Council, and most recently fought for workers’ rights regionally and
internationally. In 2007, Lian helped Migrant Forum in Asia organize the
very first regional, migrant domestic workers’ assembly in Asia. Lian
believes in fighting for our self-determination as women, as workers, and
as creators of knowledge and culture in our communities. She was also the former director of the Movement Activist Apprenticeship Program (MAAP) at the Center for Third World Organizing (CTWO). When Lian is not working, she enjoys yoga, dog training, and cooking with her partner.
Amita Swadhin is the Los Angeles Executive Director of Peer Health Exchange, a national nonprofit that empowers teens to make healthy decisions. Prior to joining PHE in May 2012, she served as Coordinator and a cast member of Secret Survivors, a theater p project she conceived of in 2009 for the off-off Broadway Ping Chong & Co., featuring survivors of child sexual abuse telling their stories. She has 15 years of experience in nonprofits and public institutions, and has served as an Adjunct Faculty Member at Kingsborough Community College (CUNY), Youth Power Project Coordinator at Make the Road NY, Senior Trainer at Global Kids, and Program Assistant at Legal Momentum. Amita has also served as a consultant to organizations including the National Organization of Asians & Pacific Islanders Ending Sexual Violence (NAPIESV), the Social Justice Philanthropy Collaborative and the Liberty Hill Foundation, and is a frequent public speaker on intersectionality, youth activism, and approaches to ending violence that center on queer and transgender youth of color. As a volunteer, she has served as Board Chair of the National Youth Advocacy Coalition, co-host of Flip the Script, and a founding member of South Asians for Justice. As an author, her essays have been published in Dear Sister: Letters from Survivors of Sexual Violence (AK Press, 2014) and Queering Sexual Violence (Magnus Books, 2014). Amita holds an M.P.A. with a specialization in Public Policy from the NYU Wagner School, where she was a Reynolds Fellow in Social Entrepreneurship, and a B.S. in Foreign Service from Georgetown University.
In 1999, Duc Ta was driving a car from which shots were fired at another car. No one was hurt. He was not the shooter. He was affiliated with known gang members and had his fair share of trouble. Duc was sentenced with gang and gun enhancements, law enforcement tools for which the original intent was only the most severe and hardcore gang members, and given 35 years to life in an adult prison. During his incarceration, Duc struggled with trying to adapt to his life inside while staying connected to the world outside. With support and love from family and friends, he managed to thrive in prison. Educating himself through books and self-help programs, he earned an A.A. in Business Management. Fifteen years later, with an appeal that removed 31 years off of his sentence, and three Board of Parole hearings, Duc was finally granted parole and released in 2013. Today, he works as a Prop 36 Services and Housing Coordinator with Stanford University’s Three Strikes Prison Project at the Amity Foundation in Los Angeles.