Bringing the world to Pittsburgh for 90 years
Loading Events

From Hate to Joy: The Asian Experience Past & Present

May 17, 2021 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

Register here to join the webinar, or watch live on Facebook @WorldAffairsPGH.

Kicking off our series on immigration, we are joined by community leaders for From Hate to Joy: The Asian Experience Past & Present, an interactive conversation on the Asian experience. Following the moderated discussion with our panelists, audience members will have the opportunity to participate in a Q&A session. 

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of hate crimes committed against Asians in the United States has skyrocketed. From March 19, 2020 to March 31, 2021, Stop AAPI Hate, a track and response center for attacks against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI), reported 6,603 incidents of racially motivated attacks against Asians in the U.S. Although the number of these attacks has risen since the pandemic began, anti-Asian sentiment is nothing new in the U.S. or around the world. Racially motivated policies and hate crimes have followed Asians since they first began emigrating from their home countries in significant numbers hundreds of years ago.

This discussion will work to provide historical context for the Asian experience spotlighting the U.S. and Brazil specifically, and uplift the impact and joy of the community as we celebrate Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. 

We will be joined by panelists Jasmine Cho, Samuel Tsoi, Marian Lien, and Marcelo Pan, each representing different facets of the Asian community locally, nationally, and globally. They will provide unique perspectives related to their experiences and expertise.

Following the moderated conversation with our panelists, audience members will have the opportunity to participate in a Q&A session moderated by Council President & CEO Betty Cruz.

This program is free to attend and open to all.



Jasmine Cho – Artist, Author, & Cookie Activist

Jasmine M. Cho is a Pittsburgh-based artist, author, and cookie activist most known for using portrait cookies to elevate representation for Asian Americans & Pacific Islanders. She is also a Food Network Champion, TEDx speaker, and the Founder of Yummyholic, an online bakery specializing in adorably delicious small treats.

Her cookie activism has been featured internationally on various media outlets that include NPR, HuffPost, CBS This Morning, and The Korea Daily. Jasmine has received numerous accolades including CREATOR of the Year by the Pittsburgh Technology Council, the Small Business Community Champion Award by Citizens Bank, and was also awarded a Mayor’s Proclamation declaring Jan. 28th, 2020 as “Jasmine Cho Day” in the City of Pittsburgh. Expanding to traditional fine art while pursuing art therapy studies, Jasmine wrote, illustrated, and published her first children’s book Role Models Who Look Like Me: Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders Who Made History.

While managing the stressors of owning a small business, Jasmine became more aware of the therapeutic impacts of baking. Believing that mental health services should be as diverse as the communities they serve, she is now exploring the frontiers of research-based bake therapy with hopes to make the kitchen a more accessible and empowering space for creativity and healing for all people.


Marcelo Pan – Legal Director at Paper Excellent Brazil

Marcelo Pan is a Generalist lawyer with more than 10 years of experience in the infrastructure and technology related areas with substantial expertise in telecom and IT, management and practices of compliance, knowledge in corporate structuring, taxation and assessment of risks. He is a specialist in reviewing and negotiating contracts: finance, M&A, construction, and revenue share. Marcelo has participated in several due diligence projects in public and private owned companies; with exposure to large telecommunication network implementation projects in the Latin America region.

Marcelo currently works as the Legal director for Paper Excellence in Brazil, a diversified manufacturer of pulp and paper, including printing and writing, packaging, and specialty papers. They believe in the enduring value of wood-based products in global markets and have built a large network of mills and chipping plants to produce them competitively.


Samuel Tsoi – Director of 21st Century China Center at UC San Diego

Samuel Tsoi is the assistant director for the 21st Century China Center at UC San Diego, where he produces a podcast, events and programs to promote research and dialogue on U.S.-China relations.

Samuel serves as the board vice president at Alliance San Diego and on San Diego County’s Human Relations Commission. He is also a core member of the San Diego Asian Pacific Islanders Coalition and a Civic Seminarian at Citizen University. As a RISE San Diego Fellow, he co-founded Welcoming San Diego, a cross-sector initiative to advance immigrant integration.

Prior to moving to California, he coordinated a flagship conference, produced policy reports, and built diverse coalitions in Massachusetts state politics, and was a consultant in the field of corporate social responsibility.

Samuel is a graduate of Gordon College (BA) and the University of Massachusetts Boston (MS) and has completed advanced studies at University of San Diego, Tufts University and Harvard Kennedy School. He has published articles on urban development, leadership, and Asian American affairs. Samuel and his partner Amanda, a public school teacher, are parents of three, and they are members of the Vineyard Church.

Marian Lien – Director of Edu. for Inclusion & Global Awareness at St. Edmund’s Academy

Marian Lien joined St. Edmund’s Academy to guide the school’s Signature Experience program and affiliation with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. With a background in social justice woven throughout her career, Marian brings a thoughtful and strategic awareness of diversity, equity, and inclusion work to St. Edmund’s Academy. She has a Bachelor of Science from the University of California, San Diego, and a Master of Public Policy from the University of Pittsburgh.

Share This Post