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Response, Redress, and Representation

Written by: Joshua Lim

Published: Jan 3, 2023


Happy New Year! As we head into 2023, I wanted to reflect on some events that occurred in 2022.


Response

In February 2022, we shared the news of the acts of anti-Asian racism that occurred at the University of Toronto (UofT) in regard to the "hell money" incident and the incident at the support event offered by the Asian Student Alliance at OISE (check out their Instagram and Facebook). Following these events, UofT offered Asian-specific support for students and importantly, the UofT Anti-Asian Racism Working Group was formed (AARWG). In November 2022, the AARWG met to "review the practices, processes, policies and resources available at the University and make recommendations to support the University’s response to anti-Asian racism." These recommendations were based on information provided through confidential consultation surveys that were sent to the UofT community. More information about the AARWG can be found here.


Redress

In October 2022, actress Wong Liu Tsong "Anna May Wong," became the fifth and latest woman in the U.S. Mint's American Women Quarters program to appear on the quarter. Launched in 2022 and running through 2025, the initiative honours the achievements of women from a variety of fields whose contributions have shaped history, including abolition, government, suffrage, space, science, the humanities and the arts. The Mint is also striving to recognize women from ethnically, racially and geographically diverse backgrounds. Anna May Wong is the first Chinese American film star in Hollywood. Designed by Emily Damstra and sculptor John McGraw the coin features the image of Wong's face, resting gently on a manicured hand (pictured below). Wong experienced racism due to her heritage and, in spite of the challenges, remained a champion for greater representation of Asian Americans in film.

Though this news came from our American friends down South, I believe this pivotal moment relates well with ACENet's 2021 Culminating Task by the Teaching & Curriculum Committee. This task involves redress for Asian Canadians by considering a public space that could be named and honoured after them. The culminating task was the final part of a series of lesson plans that offer a practical guide to the ETFO-TDSB Addressing Anti-Asian Resource. The lessons were displayed during a two-part workshop by ACENet (register for our upcoming events here).



Representation

Part 1

As you can tell from some of my previous blog posts and ACENet's book spotlights, I'm a comic book enthusiast. You can probably guess I'm ecstatic about the following Asian superhero news. In July 2022, during the retailer panel at the San Diego Comic-Con, Marvel revealed that the Korean superhero team Tiger Division would be getting their first-ever solo series. Issue 1 (pictured below) of this new 5-issue limited series was released in November 2022. The story written by Emily Kim and artist Creees Lee is currently on its third issue.

The all-Korean group features superheroes from recent comics, like Luna Snow and Taekukgi. Check out ACENet's Comics page to see books featuring these characters and more. As writer Kim had stated, she is excited about launching this series and is hopeful there will be more Tiger division stories to come.


Part 2

One of the other aforementioned characters is Cindy Moon, aka Silk, a Korean superhero bitten by the same spider that turned Peter Parker into Spider-Man. In November 2022, Sony announced its plan to bring multiple live-action series based on their universe of Spider-Man characters to the small screen. First up to the plate is "Silk: Spider Society" led by "The Walking Dead" show-runner Angela Kang. Sony's lead on recent live-action movie adaptations of Marvel characters hasn't been the most promising. However, the success of the 2018 animated movie, "Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse," gives us hope that Silk, a fellow spider-verse character, will be done well. The Oscar-winning hit featured a great depiction of the lead character, Miles Morales, a mixed African-Latino-America teenage boy (I can't wait for the second movie in June 2023). "Silk: Spider Society" will air in domestically in America on MGM+ and stream globally on Amazon's Prime Video.

See the full Instagram post by Angela Kang here.

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