Iconic Asians with Dina Yuen

Now you can help bring an Asian-focused television show to life! Iconic Asians with Dina Yuen showcases influential Asians using “a format that combines the best of Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations and The Oprah Show.” The show will feature celebrities, musicians, chefs, politicians, activists, athletes and many more.

Iconic Asians with Dina Yuen shows Asians (particularly children and young adults) around the world that there are ways to become what they dream of.”

Dina Yuen shared a few words with us to let us know why this project is one that the entire Asian community should care about.


Tell us a bit more about yourself and what you do.
After studying Industrial Engineering and Operations Management in college, I founded my first company, Dragon Music International, at the age of 20. With DMI I spent several years as singer/songwriter working with various producers and other artists in the Anglo and Latin music industry. Finding myself at a crossroads in my mid 20’s trying to figure out what I really wanted to do with my life, I returned to my Southeast Asian roots.

During my extensive travels through Asia, I grew heavily involved in rescuing children in prostitution, working with orphanages and senior citizens in India, Thailand, Cambodia, Indonesia and China. The profound impact of witnessing the best and worst of Asia inspired me to create my next endeavor– multimedia company AsianFusion.

Through AsianFusion, I get to wear a multitude of hats: CEO, author (Indonesian Cooking, Iconic Asian Americans, The Shanghai Legacy), food writer, travel & product reviewer, marketing strategist, journalist (interviewing Asian celebrities around the world) and product creator– all with the underlying goal of celebrating Asian cultures and people.
These days I’m focused on finishing my next three books, developing my television show Iconic Asians with Dina Yuen and creating several product lines.

What gave you the idea to create a show focused on Iconic Asians?
Growing up in San Francisco, despite the fact that there were a lot of Asians, I was still bullied for being Asian. Through my teen years, I felt there was something wrong with the way I looked because I wasn’t the typical blond, blue-eyed American girl. Later in my 20’s, after experiencing the two extremes of Asia– the rich cultures, compassionate people and amazing food, versus the children forced into prostitution, people living in slums and corruption, I wanted to create a platform that celebrates the beautiful aspects of Asian culture. I never had Asian role models growing up, only to find out later that there are “Iconic Asians” around the world doing positive, amazing things on a local and global scale. Iconic Asians with Dina Yuen gives Asians both in America and around the world what they’ve never had before– one show where awesome Asians are highlighted, celebrated and lauded for their achievements.

What makes this show different?
Iconic Asians with Dina Yuen is unique not only because it’s the first show of its kind to focus on interviewing Asian leaders and celebrities of all industries, but also because of a format that combines Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations (the fun lighthearted food scenes) with The Oprah Show (a more in-depth look into each Iconic Asians’ personal life).

Why is it so important that we showcase Asians in mainstream Hollywood?
Asians have long been an integral part of America’s foundation– structurally, culturally and financially. While mainstream Hollywood still has issues with giving fair representation to the African American and Hispanic American communities, at least our brothers and sisters in those communities have made significant progress. Both have major networks of their own (BET, Univision) in addition to major roles in television and film. Asians however, have made little progress in mainstream Hollywood, still for the most part, relegated to roles that involve cleaning (maids), prostitution, martial arts or heavily-accented stereotypical FOB roles. Given the enormous contributions Asians have made to America and the world, it is high time that Hollywood embraces an Asian-focused show not just because it’s Asian but also because it’s about amazing people that everyone can get inspired by.

How can we help?
My team’s goal is to raise 50k to get Iconic Asians with Dina Yuen off the ground and find a permanent home on a major American network. Hollywood executives have expressed to me that they want me to prove there would be public support for a show like this. We hope that all of you out there will spread the word so that we end up with tens of thousands of people contributing $10, $25, $50 or $100 rather than just a few people contributing $1k (though of course all contributions are greatly appreciated). The power lies in all of you to prove to Hollywood that small gestures from the many voices mean far more than their preconceived and outdated notions of what the public wants to see on television.

For more information and to help contribute to Iconic Asians with Dina Yuen, click here. 

The “Asian Women Don’t Get Breast Cancer” Campaign

Earlier in the month, we wrote about why Asian women need to care about breast cancer despite the myth that breast cancer is not a worry for Asian women. Luckily, we aren’t the only ones to take note of this issue.


The National Asian Breast Cancer Initiative is the first national organization dedicated to raising awareness that breast cancer is one of the leading causes of death among Asian women in the United States.

NABCI is a not-for-profit project put together by the efforts of Privy Groupe, the Asian Pacific Community Fund, the Asian and Pacific Islander National Cancer Survivors Network and the Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum.

This month, timed perfectly with breast cancer awareness month, NABCI is creating a social media campaign called the “Asian women don’t get breast cancer” campaign which aims to shine light on the relationship between Asians and breast cancer.

The title of the campaign is honor of  breast cancer activist Susan Shinagawa:

In 1991, Susan noticed a lump in her breast during her monthly self-exam. Her mammogram came out negative, but a sonogram revealed that the lump was a solid mass.  Two doctors in different states diagnosed Susan with fibrocystic breast disease–lumpy breasts–and both initially refused to do a biopsy because, “Asian women don’t get breast cancer.” After the biopsy, Susan was diagnosed with invasive breast cancer and opted for a modified radical mastectomy of her right breast and six months of chemotherapy. Ten years later, a routine mammogram revealed that Susan had an unrelated breast cancer in her left breast, for which she underwent a second mastectomy.

Susan is still in active treatment and has become one of the nation’s leading Asian breast cancer activists.  Susan helped co-found the Asian & Pacific Islander National Cancer Survivors Network (APINCSN), which is a partner of NABCI.  To this day, Susan still meets Asian women (mostly young) diagnosed with breast cancer who were initially told by their healthcare providers that “Asian women don’t get breast cancer.”


To make a direct donation to NABCI, checks can be made payable to the “Asian Pacific
Community Fund FBO NABCI”.

Asian Pacific Community Fund
1145 Wilshire Blvd, Suite 105
Los Angeles, CA 90017

All funds will be used towards the following goals:
● build a multi-language information and resource directory website at  asianbreastcancer.org
● produce printed in-language materials that can be distributed to breast cancer outreach centers throughout the U.S.
● solicit and create a Youtube channel for Asian breast cancer survivor stories in multiple languages
● create a medical exchange for U.S. and Asia-based breast cancer doctors to share best practices for detecting and treating breast cancer for Asian women
● organize a national breast cancer awareness campaign targeting Asian women in the U.S. (especially immigrants)
● become an advocate for public policy and research that relate to breast cancer and Asian women in the U.S. and abroad


Remember to check out all the reasons this issue needs to be recognized in our community. Tell your loved ones to get checked and help spread the word! Like this campaign on facebook.com/asianbreastcancer and follow them at @aznbreastcancer. Find out more at  www.asianbreastcancer.org


David Choi’s New Music Video Reminds Us To Stop Texting While Driving

Youtube star David Choi has joined forces with the AT&T “It Can Wait” campaign.

It is reported that 75% of teens believe texting while driving is normal among their friends. As expected, texting has quickly risen to be one of the major causes of car accidents and deaths. Because of this, the “It Can Wait” campaign aims to educate people, especially teens, on the dangers of texting and driving. Simply put– its not worth risking your life for a text. It can wait. The official website tells us more about their initiative:

Each pledge made to never text while driving is a symbol of commitment to be part of a movement that helps everyone make safe choices with their wireless devices on the road. Teens on average, text five times more a day than a typical adult. That’s a lot of texting! And drivers that text while driving are much more likely to be in a crash*. So we are partnering with teens to get the word out about the serious effect texting and driving could have on their friends, their loved ones and their future.


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“Chill Tonight” is David Choi’s new song and music video dedicated to the campaign. The lyrics remind us that couples can be sweet and understanding without texting one another while driving.

Choi was also able to include other stars such as Big Phony, Kero One, Arden Cho to participate in this video by taking the pledge themselves. Check it out for yourself below:

And what could possibly be cuter than David Choi writing a song for a good cause? That would be his excitement to spread the word about it.

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Asians in Fashion | Kiko Mizuhara for 3.1 Phillip Lim, Fall/Winter 2013

The Japanese-based model-actress (and rumored former GF of Bigbang’s G-Dragon) stars in this fall’s campaign for the popular brand 3.1 Phillip Lim.  Photographed in Tokyo by But Sou Lai, Kiko is joined by British model Louis Simonon.  As noted by Elle, the ads “called “Sonomama,” were inspired by a Japanese phrase meaning “the way you are.”  Much to our delight, the campaign is accompanied by a film, where you see the pair and their friends living the life in Tokyo (complete with a breakdancing session).




For more images from the campaign, check out 3.1 Phillip Lim’s site.