The IU Office of the Bicentennial Presents


Building and Empowering Underrepresented Communities

This conference will explore the diverse efforts of individuals and organizations who aim to serve the needs of underrepresented communities, empower them, and build a sense of community.

Schedule of Events

A Woman from a Different Shore by Dr. Yuko Kurahashi
Dr. Yuko Kurahashi, IU Alum, Ph.D 1996
New Venue: Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center, Bridgwaters' Lounge (275 N. Jordan Ave.)

Professor Yuko Kurahashi graduated from the Ph.D. program in IU’s Department of Theatre and Drama in 1996. Her presentation will focus on her key works and teaching in the area of Asian American studies as a graduate student at Indiana University and as an instructor/professor. The key events include the presentation of Velina Hasu Houston’s Tea (a full production) at the Monroe County Public Library, her investigation of the first Asian American theatre company, East West Players in Los Angeles, and her current project on Ping Chong. She will include personal stories to highlight difficulties and challenges in surviving, and living as a woman from a different shore in the United States.

From Racism to Health Care Disparity: Empowering Communities Through Social Justice
Dr. Paul Park, IU Alum, B.S. 2004
Venue: IMU Dogwood Room

This session will examine the causes and consequences of global health inequity from racial, socioeconomic, and anthropological lenses. In addition, Dr. Park will share his first hand experiences building and empowering communities in Guatemala, Rwanda, and the Wampanoag Native American reservation through strengthening health delivery systems.

Amp It Up: Making a Difference in the Workplace and the Community by Being You
Khai Yang, IU Alum, B.A. 1997
Venue: IMU Dogwood Room

Growing up, we aspire to make a difference and change the world. In this talk, I will share my personal journey to make a difference post-college in corporate America and startup companies. Come and learn secrets to having a successful career and how to positively impact your workplace, community and beyond. Know thyself. Know your values and strengths. And then amp it up.

Luncheon featuring keynote speaker, Dr. Jules Lin
Asian American Heritage Month: More Than a Meal
Dr. Jules Lin, IU Alum, B.S. and B.A. 1995
Venue: IMU Georgian Room

Jules Lin was the president of the Asian American Association from 1993-1995. His talk will highlight the efforts of the executive board and the collaborations that were key to making IU’s first Asian American Heritage Month a reality bringing together 12 different student groups to raise awareness on campus and in the community. He will talk about how something as simple as food could bring diverse people together to sit at the same table.

Building Community Through Compassion Around Immigration Policy
Shoba Sivaprasad Wadhia, IU Alum, B.A. 1996
Venue: IMU Georgian Room

Professor Wadhia will talk about the current state of hot topics in immigration law and policy including but not limited to the travel ban, DACA and immigration enforcement. She will also discuss how she and her clinic have engaged with the community on changing immigration policy. Finally, she will talk about how Hoosiers can help individuals and families impacted by current immigration policies.

Symposium Speakers

Dr. Yuko Kurahashi

Currently, Dr. Yuko Kurahashi is a professor of theatre in the School of Theatre and Dance at Kent State University. Her areas of specialty include multicultural theatre, community-based theatre, and intercultural theatre. She is the author of Asian American Culture on Stage: The History of the East West Players (Garland, 1999) and Multicultural Theatre (Kendall/Hunt, 2004 & 2006). Kurahashi is a writer for, San Diego Press, and HowlRound. She is completing her book on Ping Chong (McFarland).

Dr. Paul Park

Paul H. Park, MD, MSc, is the Director of Implementation for NCD Synergies at Partners In Health. He also holds appointments at Harvard Medical School, the Division of Global Health Equity at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and the University of Global Health Equity.

Dr. Park previously worked at Partners In Health – Rwanda as the Director of NCDs and later as the Deputy Chief Medical Officer of Chronic Disease. He also provided clinical care and education at the Butaro Cancer Center of Excellence as well as Rwinkwavu District Hospital. Before beginning his four years in Rwanda, Dr. Park worked on implementation research surrounding community-based models of delivery in both diabetes mellitus and MDR-TB for two years with AMPATH in Eldoret, Kenya

Dr. Park continues to provide clinical care for the Indian Health Service. In addition, Dr. Park is the founder of the Timmy Global Health – Pop-Wuj NGO-based partnership in Xela, Guatemala and a former member of the Board of Directors for the Universities Allied for Essential Medicines (UAEM). Dr. Park earned his MD from Indiana University and his MSc at Duke University and completed a dual residency in Internal Medicine and Global Health at Duke University. Dr. Park has also completed fellowships with Fogarty International Center and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI).

Dr. Park served as the first Political Advocacy Chair of the Asian American Association at IU Bloomington from 2002-2004. Campaigns included the inclusion of Asian Americans into the Hudson & Holland Scholars Program, establishment of the Asian American Studies Program, and honoring and raising awareness of the death of Felix Chen.

Khai Yang

Khai Yang is a catalyst for fueling positive change. As a Director of Data & Analytics at Allstate Insurance, she is responsible for the product vision, roadmap and execution of harnessing data insights to drive optimized business decisions, disruptive product innovation and a wow customer journey. She has extensive experience and proven success in technology strategy, data analytics, product management, and delivery of large complex programs via agile and hybrid methodologies.

Khai is a sponsor for developing and unleashing talent in others. Khai has been an influential leader in increasing the capabilities of others through professional development, networking, and mentoring. She is a driving force in Women in Technology at Allstate, board advisor for Allstate Asian American Network (3AN), former Executive Vice President of OCA-Chicago leading their mentoring program, and Board Secretary of Asian Americans Advancing Justice Chicago.

Khai graduated from Indiana University Bloomington in 1997 with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and East Asian Studies and LAMP certificate. As an undergraduate, she founded the first Asian interest sorority in the Midwest, Kappa Gamma Delta (KGD). In addition, she was a core leader in the student coalition campaign and protest that successfully established the IUB Asian Culture Center and created the Asian American Studies program. She is married to her college sweetheart, Robert, and enjoys spending time with her 3 kids, Hannah, Bobby, and Myles.

Dr. Jules Lin

Jules Lin, M.D. is an Associate Professor and Mark B. Orringer Research Professor of Thoracic Surgery and Lung Transplant Surgical Director. Dr. Lin graduated from Indiana University in 1995 with highest distinction majoring in chemistry, biology, and East Asian Studies. He received his medical degree from Harvard Medical School in 1999 where he served as president of the Asian Pacific American Medical Student’s Association hosting the national conference in 1997. He completed General Surgical Residency at the University of Michigan. He also completed a Surgical Critical Care Fellowship and a research fellowship in thoracic oncology. He completed Cardiothoracic Surgery Residency at the University of Washington. He is serving on the National Comprehensive Cancer Network Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Guidelines Panel and the editorial boards of the Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, PLOS One, and the Journal of Thoracic Disease.

He is interested in medical education and was awarded the 2014 Mark Orringer Thoracic Surgery Teaching Award, 2018 Silver Scalpel Award, and inducted in the League of Educational Excellence. He also serves as a Thoracic Surgery Lead Section Editor for the Society of Thoracic Surgeons online curriculum. He is active in the United Asian American Medical Student Association and received the Mentor of the Year Award in 2015.

Shoba Sivaprasad Wadhia

Professor Shoba Sivaprasad Wadhia is an expert on immigration law, with research focusing on prosecutorial discretion’s role in immigration law, and the intersections of race, national security, and immigration. She has published more than 30 articles, chapters, and essays on immigration law, as well as written for the American Constitution Society, American Immigration Council, and Harvard Law Review. Her upcoming book examines immigration enforcement and discretion during the first 18 months of the Trump administration. Her scholarship has been cited by federal court judges. She has appeared on national TV including MSNBC and C-SPAN, and has been quoted or featured by international and national publications, including the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and The Atlantic among others.

At Penn State Law, Wadhia teaches doctrinal courses on immigration and asylum, and refugee law. She is also the founder/director of the Center for Immigrants’ Rights Clinic, where she supervises students. The Clinic provides community outreach and education, gives legal support in individual cases applying for an immigration benefit or challenging deportation (removal) in federal courts, is a member of Welcoming America, has reached more than 500 individuals and families and serves as a clearinghouse communally and nationally on changing immigration law and policy. Clients have included the ACLU, Human Rights First, and Kids in Need of Defense among others, and the clinic works closely with the Borough of State College and local organizations on emerging immigration topics.

Wadhia’s awards and honors include: the Excellence in Legal Advocacy Award (2017, given to the clinic) and title Pro Bono Attorney of the Year (2003) by the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, Honoree by the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild (2017), the Faculty Diversity Award (2017) by Penn State Law, the Spirit of Internationalization Award by Global Connections (2016), as well as honors by the Department of Homeland Security’s Office for Inspector General and Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties.

Prior to joining Penn State, Professor Wadhia was deputy director for legal affairs at the National Immigration Forum in Washington, D.C. She has also been an associate with Maggio Kattar, P.C. in Washington, D.C., where she handled asylum, deportation, and employment-based immigration benefits matters.

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