Asian American Originals

To celebrate Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, the Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA) is highlighting inspirational members of the community across the country. Check back every Wednesday this May, and hear from true Asian American and Pacific Islander originals — innovative and pioneering Asian Americans who are changing the game. Every week, we’ll ask how being Asian American and Pacific Islander has driven their work throughout their careers.




MAY 1: Jeff Yang, trailblazing columnist 

The writer and former columnist for the Wall Street Journal, the Village Voice, and the San Francisco Chronicle talks about starting up his own publication when he didn’t see enough Asian American stories, and how a review of Margaret Cho’s groundbreaking sitcom changed his outlook on his career.




MAY 8: Kathy Tu and Tobin Low, podcast pioneers

The co-founders and co-hosts of WNYC’s “Nancy” podcast discuss delving into LGBTQ culture as Asian Americans, getting each other’s references, and which journalist heroes inspire them.






MAY 15: Catherine Cruz, radio and television veteran

The Hawaii Public Radio reporter and host opens up about growing up in Guam and working in newsrooms where diversity was the rule, not the exception.






MAY 22: Juliana Reyes, local reporting star

The Philadelphia Inquirer work and labor reporter talks about trying to capture the nuances within immigrant communities, and how Asian and Filipino values inform her reporting.  






MAY 29: Andrea Nguyen, food writer extraordinaire

The cookbook writer and editor ruminates on who owns Asian food and pushing Vietnamese and other Asian cuisine into the mainstream from the margins.




AAJA’s Asian American Originals campaign is sponsored by our partners at Panda Express, which has launched its own campaign highlighting Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders making their mark.

Artwork by Nicole Vas, a designer at The Hill newspaper.

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