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Community Forces “Put the Students in Charge” Episode Show Notes

Put the Students in Charge

In this episode, we learn about the significance of Asian American youth development and mentorship from Wasinee Siewsrichol, a UIC student who drew on her relationships in her local Thai community as part of her internship with Asian Americans Advancing Justice Chicago, and Steve Hosik Moon, Wasinee’s mentor.



Asian Americans Advancing Justice Chicago is the leading pan-Asian organization in the Midwest, with a mission to empower the Asian American community through advocacy, research, education, and coalition-building.

To learn more, visit


Participating in the Kansha Project organized by the Chicago Chapter of the Japanese American Citizens League comprised an important step on Wasinee’s path to becoming an advocate.The Kansha Project brings young adults from the Midwest on an immersive educational trip to Los Angeles’ Little Tokyo neighborhood and the Manzanar National Historic Site. Through workshops with local experts and community activists, historical tours, and group reflections, participants work to interpret and promote the stories, lessons, and the legacy of the Japanese American confinement site experience. More information is available at


Steve gained valuable insights about the connections between educational institutions and communities, and how students can influence their own education and shape the universities they are part of while pursuing his MA in Asian American Studies at UCLA. Learn more about UCLA’s Asian American Studies program at


Steve described how the mentorship of Glenn Omatsu (whose work also influenced the name of our podcast!) impacted his approach to youth development and community organizing. Glenn continues to teach at California State University, Northridge


Recommended reading by Glenn Omatsu includes:

Omatsu, Glenn, "The 'Four Prisons' and the Movements of Liberation: Asian American Activism from the 1960s to the 1990s." In Asian American Studies Now: A Critical Reader, edited by Jean Yu-wen Shen Wu and Thomas C. Chen, Rutgers University Press, 2010: 298-330.

Omatsu, Glenn, “Listening to the Small Voice Speaking the Truth: Grassroots Organizing and the Legacy of Our Movement.” In Asian Americans: The Movement and the Moment, edited by Steve Louie and Glenn Omatsu. Los Angeles: UCLA Asian American Studies Center Press: 2006: 306-316.


As a firm believer that young people have led, are leading, and will lead the movements for positive social change that make our world more just and equitable, Steve Moon supports the urban arts youth development organization Kuumba Lynx as a board member.  Visit to learn more about what they do.


Community Forces is a project of the Global Asian Studies (GLAS) program at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). To learn more about course offerings and ways to get involved with GLAS, visit


Community Forces was created by Dr. Karen Su and Dr. Corinne Kodama, and this episode was produced by Sarah Eli Lu with production help from Caroline Lee and Lubna Shah.

For more information on internship opportunities with Asian American community organizations, visit .


Ari Schwartz composed our theme music. To connect with Ari, visit


Additional music by Blue Dot Sessions. More information available at

Hana Choi designed our logo. To follow Hana, visit her youtube channel