We tell Asian America's stories to go beyond being seen.
As people of all backgrounds reckon with complex legacies of race, power, culture, and identity and ask themselves, “Where do I stand?” Self Evident presents reported stories and radically open conversations from the everyday Asian Americans who have been confronting this question for generations. Our mission is to empower local communities to share stories and build relationships around the value of self-representation.
Self Evident is a Studiotobe production, made with support from our listener community.
Self Evident Presents: “Live! Making Before Me With Lisa Phu” (by The Vietnamese Boat People podcast)
Our friend Tracey Nguyen Mang, host of the Vietnamese Boat People Podcast, goes behind the scenes with Lisa Phu in this conversation — about how to document the lives of our parents, when that process can feel overwhelming.
This episode, recorded live online, is the Season 6 Premiere of The Vietnamese Boat People, a podcast and nonprofit project that preserves the story of the Vietnamese diaspora community — and provides spaces where people can share their experiences. This latest season of their podcast follows the theme, “Ba, Mẹ ơi” (which roughly translates to "Dear Dad and Mom"). You can listen to more stories from the season by searching for “Vietnamese Boat People” where you get podcasts, or on their website.
Self Evident Presents: “How to Wash Your Brain” (by Boen Wang and Feet in 2 Worlds)
Boen’s mom thinks he’s brainwashed by the New York Times. Boen thinks his mom is brainwashed by the Chinese Communist Party. But when Boen starts listening more deeply to his mom’s stories of growing up in China and then immigrating to the U.S., he spots the signs of his own political conditioning — and unravels the threads of Chinese and American history that led to the very fabrication of “brainwashing” as a concept.
This story comes from our friends at Feet in 2 Worlds, originally airing on their podcast, A Better Life? — and was written and produced by Boen Wang. Full transcript, credits, and show notes available on our website.
Self Evident Presents: "Exploring Ancestral Grief" (by Grief, Collected)
America! The land of opportunity! And also, for so many, the ambiguous loss of immigration and uprooting a life and a history comes with a complex web of emotions. In this episode of Grief, Collected by The Mash-Up Americans, hosts Amy S. Choi and Rebecca Lehrer speak with trauma therapist and educator Linda Thai — about ancestral grief, and how unmetabolized grief, particularly in "Mash-Up" families, is passed down through generations. We dive into how important understanding historical context is for grief and healing, and ask: What happens to a family structure if we don’t grieve?
Full episode transcript available on the Grief, Collected website.
Grief, Collected is a production of The Mash-Up Americans Executive produced by Amy S. Choi and Rebecca Lehrer Senior editor and producer is Sara Pellegrini Development Producer is Dupe Oyebolu Production manager Shelby Sandlin Original music composed by The Brothers Tang Sound design support by Pedro Rafael Rosado Website design by Rebecca Parks Fernandez Grief, Collected was supported in part by a grant from The Pop Culture Collaborative
Self Evident Presents: "Arrival" (by VPM's Resettled)
The LahPai family’s arrival to Virginia from Myanmar was highly anticipated: the local resettlement agency prepped their home; the local religious community was ready to provide support; the family’s U.S connection lived just minutes down the street. Even with these support systems, resettlement was (and still is) not a straightforward, clean-cut process.
Why is that? In this debut episode from Resettled — a series by Virginia Public Media about the real experiences of refugees after they arrive to the U.S. — you'll meet the people helping the LahPais during their early days of resettlement... and explore some of the unexpected difficulties that arise when moving to a new country, a new culture and a new life.
Resettled is a production of VPM Produced by Gilda di Carli and edited by Kelly Jones, with oversight from Angela Massino and Nate Tobey Hosted by Ahmed Badr Production management by Gavin Wright Steve Humble is VPM’s Chief Content Officer Music for this episode by Sandhill and Blue Dot Sessions. Special thanks from VPM:
Thanks to Catherine Komp, Zar Wahidi, Yasmine Jumaa and interns Safiya Ahmed and Helen Zein Eddine, along with the folks at NPR’s Story Lab for helping kickstart the podcast. Thanks to Leslie Bretz, Louise Keeton and Michael Hayes for web and digital support. More photos and stories available at vpm.org/resettled.
Self Evident Presents: "Before They Were Your Parents" (by Immigrantly)
Today, we're sharing some work by our friends at Immigrantly, a weekly podcast that features deeply personal conversations about race, identity, and the immigrant experience. This episode features a conversation between host Saadia Khan and reporter Neda Toloui-Semnani, who wrote a book called THEY SAID THEY WANTED REVOLUTION: A Memoir of My Parents.
To finish that book, Neda went through a whole journey to learn about the life her parents lived before she was born, understand why they moved from the U.S. to Iran to join the revolution taking place there in 1979, and unpack what kind of legacy they had left for her in the process. You can listen to Immigrantly wherever you get your podcasts, or learn more at immigrantlypod.com.
Immigrantly Episode Credits:
Host & Producer: Saadia Khan
Content Writer: Ashley Lanuza & Saadia Khan
Editorial Review: Yudi Li
Sound Designer & Editor: Manni Simon
Immigrantly Theme Music: Evan Ray Suzuki
Other Music: Epidemic Sound
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Please take our listener survey to tell us what you think of Before Me! The survey is anonymous, takes 5 minutes, and is incredibly important for helping us take our next steps as an independent studio for stories by and about Asian Americans. We use your answers to better understand your needs as a listener — but we also use your feedback to show how we’re making an impact as we raise funds for our next new podcast season or storytelling program.
Learning from different perspectives as an Asian American myself
This show shares a lot of wonderful narratives and insights from many perspectives. I enjoy hearing from other Asian Americans about experiences we all may have encountered.
Thanks for educating me, an Asian American
Wow! Great podcast. Love that it covers all Asian and Pacific Islander communities. The individual stories are inspiring and uplifting.
Excellent storytellers working together to amplify the voices and experiences of Asian Americans. Thank you for this important work, educating people like me so we can understand and support the Asian American community.