HAPPY AAPI HERITAGE MONTH!It’s important to celebrate AAPI heritage every month, but in May we take time to honor, uplift and remember the important contributions of AAPI folx, and dedicate ourselves to being in community with all who speak and pursue truth, justice and love. Here are some of my favorite follows on Instagram & Twitter – an array of powerful AAPI women:
KALPANA KOTAGAL – you know I had to start with my dear friend and colleague. As a civil rights attorney, you’ll learn about relevant cases on her Twitter feed (often ones she’s been involved in) especially around sexual harassment in the workplace, paid parental leave, and of course – the Inclusion Rider. She also shares updates about her amazing mother and sister. And scroll down to the next section of the newsletter to hear how she’s making new waves – all the way at the White House!
NINA YANG BONGIOVI – Nina’s a producer along with Forest Whitaker at Significant Productions. She helped ‘discover’ Ryan Coogler (Black Panther director) while he was a student at USC. She continually produces content that is all about truth, justice and love – like Coogler’s Fruitvale Station, Boots Riley’s Sorry to Bother You and Rebecca Hall’s Passing. This is a great follow if you want to keep up with groundbreaking films!
NANCY WANG YUEN – Nancy is an educator, sociologist, author, journalist and representation activist. Her seminal book Reel Inequality: Hollywood Actors and Racism examines racism in Hollywood through interviews with Asian, Black, Latino and white actors. She recently left her job in academia to pursue her DEIA work full time. Her feed is always engaging, and always a celebration especially of AAPI actors and filmmakers.
MICHELLE YEOH – Everything Everywhere All at Once – need I say more?
Send ALL the good vibes to Kalpana for her U.S. Senate Confirmation hearing – beginning on May 10th!
What an incredible 6+ years I’ve had working at Pearl Street. I’ve learned so much about the film industry, about producing and about that all important skill: networking. I started without much clarity around what my job would be – and ended with a solid understanding of how I can contribute to real and lasting change, with great friendships, and with enough knowledge to feel confident in launching TruJuLo and helping to get good stories told. Matt Damon, Ben Affleck and I will continue our Inclusion Rider efforts together – and I’ll still be bringing projects to them to consider executive producing.
Speaking of which – a quick update on the film Flash Before the Bang: we are in the casting phase and the Inclusion Rider couldn’t be more helpful in steering our conversations towards representative and intersectional casting choices!
I got to attend the launch of this important resource – if you’re a writer, take a look at and implement these ideas to help plant seeds (no pun intended) for helping to take good care of our planet:
Introducing Good Energy: A Playbook for Screenwriting in the Age of Climate Change
Created by writers, for writers, this interactive resource is here to help creators explore the endless ways the climate emergency complicates characters and colors story worlds. From the dark obsessions of climate scientists, to unlikely climate heroes, to mental health effects and climate impacts like scorpion attacks and blood snow, the Playbook provides a wild array of material that will inspire and inform new ideas.
The Playbook is now publicly available at goodenergystories.com/playbook5 Ways I’m Coping with my Mother’s Death
This year will be my first Mother’s Day without Mama Trudy being physically here. I know it’s going to be a tough one. I made this video as part of my healing process. I hope that if you or someone you love is going through this kind of loss, my suggestions here can help you cope – and at least be able to keep on keepin’ on – the way I know our loved ones want us to.