The Athens Asian American Alliance speaks on their mission and public history initiative

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In this installment of Conversations From Studio B, WOUB’s Emily Votaw speaks with Athens Asian American Alliance Board Members Fan Jiang, Yi-Ting Wang, Noriko Kantake, and Galia Williams as well as Angela Hall, an instructor at Athens Middle School and the advisor of the Athens Middle School Andrew Jackson Davison Club, and the Southeast Ohio History Center Director of Development and Outreach, Director Emeritus Tom O’Grady.

Studio B
Conversations from Studio B

The Athens Asian American Alliance (AAAA) was formed in response to the recent increase in anti-Asian hate crime. In this conversation, AAAA board members extrapolate on the group’s mission to connect, support, and advocate for the regional Asian American community and the AAAA’s ongoing collection of oral histories from those of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) heritage. O’Grady and Hall speak on the urgency and importance of preserving AAPI history in the context of their work at the Southeast Ohio History Center and the Athens Middle School’s Andrew Jackson Davison Club, respectively.

The AAAA’s ongoing oral history project is a part of a larger Public History Initiative that the AAAA launched in collaboration with the Southeast Ohio History Center, Athens Middle School Andrew Jackson Davison Club, and the Department of History at the University of Manitoba in order to work towards crafting a special exhibition showcasing Asian American history in Athens.

On their website, the AAAA describes this as a two part project. One part involves exploring archives of the region’s history to contextualize the history of the AAPI community in and around Athens and to identify artifacts associated with that history. The other involves the actual collection of oral histories. Both parts of the project are being supported by Jeong Min Kim, a history professor from University of Manitoba, Canada, who will host a series of workshops aimed at training volunteers how to conduct archival research and how to conduct oral history interviews.

The AAAA is currently seeking both volunteers for this work, as well as candidates to interview for oral histories.

Find more information on the Athens Asian American Alliance and how to get involved in their work on their website and Facebook