Asian in Austin

Minh Vu and Sandra Pham

Asian in Austin is a podcast by Minh Vu and Sandra Pham to elevate the voices and stories of Asian Americans living in Austin, Texas while exploring what it means to come into one's own Asian American identity and experience by inviting open dialogue and conversation with community members. read less
Society & CultureSociety & Culture

Episodes

205. Reporting Live w/ Jenni Lee
Dec 12 2023
205. Reporting Live w/ Jenni Lee
Jenni Lee is an investigative reporter and Midday anchor at KVUE in Austin, Texas. Jenni joined the KVUE news Team in June 2015 as the Weekend Daybreak anchor and weekday reporter but the veteran journalist has worked in the Austin TV market since 2001.Before arriving in Austin, Jenni worked at KBTX-TV in Bryan and College Station after graduating from the University of Texas at Austin. For more than 20 years now, Jenni has been breaking and covering stories important to our community and to our world. Her work has been recognized by several organizations: the Texas Associated Press of Broadcasters; the Lone Star Emmy Chapter; the American Cancer Society; the Diversity Council and the Austin Mayor's Committee for People with Disabilities.Jenni was born and raised in Richardson, a suburb of Dallas. She is married, has a son, adopted two crazy rescue dogs and is raising all of them. She no longer does gymnastics.NOTE: This episode was recorded in Summer of 2023. Topics Covered:• The origins of her interest in journalism • Her experience with gymnastics • Taking a break from anchoring • One of the most challenging stories she's had to cover. • Reporting during the height of the Stop Asian Hate movement • AAPI representation in news reporting and in media and her experience in that • Separating work from home life and the importance of work/life balance and self care exercises• The story Jenni still wants to share• The importance of mental health • What brought Jenni to Austin and what's kept her here• What does Jenni want to be known for? • Her relationship to her ethnic identity today. Materials Referenced:3 Part KVUE Series: The fasting-growing minority segment in Austin - AAPIKome, Coco's Cafe, Qi Austin99 Ranch, 85 Bakery, Soup Leaf Hot PotPew - Asian Americans are the fastest-growing racial or ethnic group in the U.S.KVUE: Jenni Lee
204. Y'all We Asian w/ Yola Lu
Nov 24 2023
204. Y'all We Asian w/ Yola Lu
Yola Lu is a comedian and actress based out of Austin, TX. She is the co-founder of Y'all We Asian, Austin's first and only all-Asian American improv troupe. She also is the 2022 Austin Chronicle Best Actress winner, and is currently in post production of her short film, Patsy. You can see her perform with her all female-identifying improv troupe, Garage, every Thursday at the Fallout Theater, and with Y'all We Asian every first Friday of the month also at Fallout Theater. She also hosts a monthly stand up show called Oops! All Headliners which is every last Saturday of the month at ColdTowne Theater. NOTE: This episode covers topics related to miscarriages and depression. This episode was recorded in June 2023. Topics Covered: • Feeling the pressure of being at times the only woman or Asian comic on a standup lineup across Texas.• What motivated Yola to pursue more creative endeavors for a career instead of a more corporate path.• Describing what it felt like to perform standup for the first time and how she knew she did well. • Directing, producing and promoting neighborhood productions as a kid.• Her parents perspective on the neighborhood productions and encouragement in her life.• What inspires her standup material?• Taboo topics around divorce and miscarriages and her short film, "Patsy". • The importance of mental health and therapy and the differences between generations of Asian Americans.• What brought Yola to Austin and how she found community and stability here. • Starting Y'all We Asian and aspirations for the future. Materials Referenced• Yola Lu Comedy | Instagram• "Patsy" - A Short Film by Yola Lu• Y'all We Asian Comedy Troupe• The Alchemist Book• Xian Fresh Restaurant• China Family Restaurant
203. Public Service w/ Zohaib 'Zo' Qadri
Oct 3 2023
203. Public Service w/ Zohaib 'Zo' Qadri
The first-born child of immigrants, Zohaib 'Zo' Qadri is the first South Asian American and Muslim elected to serve on the Austin City Council. He was elected to represent District 9 in 2022 and serves the residents of some of Austin’s oldest neighborhoods, including Travis Heights, Hyde Park, and Downtown. He is committed to tackling Austin’s housing crisis, fighting for an expanded and equitable transit system, and protecting and uplifting Austin most marginalized residents. He currently lives in Downtown Austin with his wife, Wafa, a physician assistant at Baylor Scott & White, and their cat, Daisy Mae.Topics Covered: • Spending down time w/ wife and friends• Growing up in Victoria and A Town Called Victoria Documentary by Li Lu• Pivoting from medicine/healthcare into public service and being inspired by his family's giving back.• Zo's political career journey from graduate school, working with the City of Kyle, City of Houston and pivoting towards electoral work, getting involved in campaigns (Beto's Senate Race), working at the capitol and worked at Senator Warren's Presidential Campaign, before running for Council. • Difference between Texas State and Rice University and what drew Zo back to Austin• Family expeirences with politics and reaction to Zo's pivot. • Zo's perspective on the changes and growth Austin has experienced and representing District 9.• Not taking for granted being the first South Asian city council member and the importance of representation. • Helping to pass increased safety measures on Sixth Street and Rainey Street after the Lady Bird Lake incidents. • How Zo wants to be remembered for during his time on City CouncilReferenced Materials: District 9 | Austin, TexasA Town Called Victoria DocumentaryKiin Di Thai TruckMusic from #Uppbeat (free for Creators!):https://uppbeat.io/t/mountaineer/anatoliaLicense code: CTKXYDZ8R9QDK4F8
202. Building Cambodian Community w/ Sherry Kong
Sep 5 2023
202. Building Cambodian Community w/ Sherry Kong
Sherry Kong is the co-founder of Mama Kong, a nomadic kitchen cooking up Cambodian food with her husband, Brandon since 2017. Her family immigrated to Austin in 1982 after fleeing the war in Cambodia. After teaching in Japan and New York’s Chinatown, she nad her husband decided to reset the button on life, move back home and introduce Austinites to Cambodian food. She trained and cooked with her mom every week until she mastered  the recipes she grew up eating. You can find them at pop-ups, festivals and organizing private dinners / supper clubs. They're constantly introducing people to Cambodian food and exploring ways to curate special connections that revolve around deliciousness, positivity and shared experiences. Topics covered: •  Her family owning a donut shop in Round Rock and Cambodian's relationships to Donut Shops in the U.S.•  Learning recipes with her mom and sharing what makes Cambodian cuisine unique from other Asian cuisines.•  Curating the first menu for Mama Kong Cambodia's first pop up and the menus that follow. •  Perspectives on owning a brick and mortar location.•  Running Mama Kong with her husband, their strengths and weaknesses, and importance of allyship. •  Early memories of the Austin Cambodian Community and their reception to Mama Kong•  The differences between our parents generation vs our generation's relationship to eating out •  Future aspirations with Mama Kong, perspectives on owning a brick and mortar and what success looks like.Referenced materials in this episode: Mama Kong Cambodian Website ; InstagramThe Donut King DocumentaryEmma Long Metro ParkTan My Restaurant, Din Ho Chinese BBQ Restaurant Music from #Uppbeat (free for Creators!):https://uppbeat.io/t/mountaineer/anatoliaLicense code: CTKXYDZ8R9QDK4F8
201. Archiving Austin's Asian History w/ Ayshea Khan
May 9 2023
201. Archiving Austin's Asian History w/ Ayshea Khan
We kick off Season 2 with Ayshea Khan, former Asian American Community Archivist at the Austin History Center, Austin Public Library and current Equity & Inclusion Coordinator at the Austin Equity Office. Ayshea's worked in Austin as a storyteller, facilitator and community archivist for over 10 years and has been a longtime volunteer and collaborator with the South Asian American Digital Archive (SAADA) and is proud to serve as their current Board President. She believes deeply in the history of Black, Indigenous and People of Color as a site for healing, organizing and building a more humane future. Topics covered: • Plant caretaking and their health being a reflection on your own health. • The initial migration patterns of Asian Americans into Austin from the 1800s to 1950s. • What spurred the Austin History Center to start collecting the histories of Austin's communities of color.• Anti-Asian legislation and conferences around land ownership held in Austin in the 1920s and 1930s and protests led by local Chinese immigrants to stop racist legislation from passing. • Ayshea's journey in the film industry, archiving industry and relationship with her own Asian American identity today. Referenced Materials this Episode: • Zilker Botanical Japanese Garden• Ng Family and the Sam Wah Cafe• South Asian American Digital Archive (SAADA)• Asian American Archive Collection at the Austin History CenterMusic from #Uppbeat (free for Creators!):https://uppbeat.io/t/mountaineer/anatoliaLicense code: CTKXYDZ8R9QDK4F8