tv ABC7 News on KOFY 7PM KOFY April 18, 2017 7:00pm-8:01pm PDT
>> welcome to "beyond the headlines." i'm cheryl jennings. our goal today is to raise awareness about child abuse and how to prevent it. child abuse, sadly, is a year-round problem, and the effects of child abuse can last a lifetime and can happen to anyone. the perpetrators may be people you know. one of the important things to consider is what will you do if you find out about the abuse? what should you do? abc7 news reporter tiffany wilson talked recently with a woman who is suing an easy bay school district,
accusing them of not doing anything about the abuse she says she suffered from a coach she trusted. >> newspaper clippings capture sherinne wilson on the court, but her memories of high school are buried in these journals. >> i lived with shame. i thought it was my fault. >> wilson says her basketball coach, leland sandler, started a sexual relationship with her when she was 16, often giving her drugs and writing notes like this to excuse her from class. >> he was a person in authority, and we're still taught, you know, that you listen to people in authority and you respect them, and that's what i did. >> eventually, wilson says her parents discovered the illicit relationship and confronted the principal at san ramon valley high school. >> the principal came up with -- told my parents that my four younger siblings would have to go to a different school if this came out, and it would just be better for everybody
if it didn't come out. >> so nobody ever contacted police. wilson says her coach was allowed to stay on the condition he stop any physical relationship with her. what allegedly happened next still brings wilson to tears 30 years later. she says, the principal, james henderson, walked in on sandler having sex with her again. >> i just remember our eyes meeting, and i remember thinking, "he's gonna tell. he's gonna do something. he's gonna call the police now. this is gonna be over." and i remember like a sense of relief, and he -- basically, he turned around [voice breaking] and he locked the door. and he never said a word. >> in february, wilson filed a $15-million lawsuit against the school district and her former principal. neither the school district, principal, nor former coach have returned multiple requests for comment. >> we believe the court will rule in sherinne's favor because what happened here
can't possibly be supported. >> wilson only came forward after reading about kristen cunnane's similar experience with a middle-school coach in moraga. that coach was convicted. wilson hopes to empower other victims by sharing her story. >> it takes courage to talk about it, and, you know, if i could -- if i could help others do the same, they're gonna become stronger, and they're gonna take control of their lives back. >> she also wants her story to serve as a cautionary tale for today's teens, who she feels are especially at risk because of social media and smartphones. in santa rosa, tiffany wilson, abc7 news. >> it took her so many years to find her voice, so i want to thank sherinne for having the courage to talk with us about this, and joining me in the studio right now is a woman who wants to stop that kind of abuse forever. she is executive director of the san francisco child abuse prevention center -- katie albright, and we have worked together for many years in this fight. now, you have two locations --
one is the firehouse on waller street and, of course, the children's advocacy center out in the bayview. >> first, cheryl, thank you so much for having me here today and shining the light. we all have a role to play in preventing child abuse, and thank you for being such a champion in this effort. >> it is a team effort. you know, it takes all of us to do this, and one of the things that you were sharing with me before we started the program is that the numbers just don't go down, sadly. >> no, in fact, in san francisco, there are more than 5,000 reports of child abuse each year, and the research shows that actually there's about 40% of cases that are never even reported. it's tragic. >> you have a place now that's just beautiful. i got to tour it last year, and i want to show people an update of the children's advocacy center. advocacy center in the bayview is just beautiful. it's a nice, safe place where kids who have been abused can share their stores one time. >> it's an incredible partnership that we have with the city and county of san francisco, where, as you said, children can come in and share their story one time with all the excellent and expert professionals that need
to hear that child's story so that we can really help that family find justice and help that child on a path to healing. it's incredible. in fact, since we started this work in 2008, we see a 76% increase in the number of these best practices interviews. we're thrilled to have just gotten national accreditation earlier this month, and so really have just been very proud of our partnership that we can do to make sure that all kids in our city are safe. >> i was reading on your website about something that just stunned me. you believe that we can actually end the cycle of violence in families. you have a new program. you wrote an essay about this. >> it's -- we have been saying for years that we are going to prevent abuse, reduce it, but now i really believe, we really believe we can actually end it in our generation. we have a terrific program where we provide support for families in crisis. we focus on five protective factors, and these are things that people have researched and defined that families need
in order to keep their kids safe. so parent resiliency -- whether or not a parent can weather the ups and downs of life at any time in any crisis. a child's resiliency, or social/emotional competencies. whether or not a parent understands age-appropriate behavior, and whether or not a family has social connections, or are they so deeply isolated maybe because of violence or mental-health issues that they can't seek help, and finally we look at concrete support, so basic family needs -- food, clothing, shelter. these things together help keep kids safe, and we have a fantastic program that we're providing kids with the support and families with the support. we do it through our 24/7 phone support line, our talk line, as well as counseling services, playroom, other child care, other kinds of group activities for parents to really engage and get the support that they need to keep their kids safe and break generational cycles of violence. >> i was reading about how you
think two generations it can be done. you did something with the aspen institute about this area. >> we just published an article with the aspen institute earlier this week, and we do believe that working with parents and children together, in two generations, that we can really focus on moving families out of generational cycles of violence, and we have the results to show it. about 76% of our families are showing improvement in their protective factors, which means improvement in their ability to keep their kids safe against all odds, against all the risks, against all their own generational cycles of violence that they may be coming through. so we're very excited about this program. >> katie, we have about 10 seconds left. most important thought you have you want to leave people with? >> parenting is tough, and if you need support and you need help, call our phone support line 24/7. it's 415-441-kids. and, as we said in
the beginning, it's gonna take all of us working together to prevent abuse, but we can. >> katie, thank you so much. we appreciate it so much. and we had the talk line on the screen for everybody, and we will have that on our website, as well. now, when we come, you're going to learn about an educational organization that offers free material to raise awareness about child abuse prevention. stay with us. you don't want to miss it. we'll be right back.
>> welcome back to our program on how to prevent child abuse. we're joined by two women who have been longtime partners in the fight against abuse. patty shimek is a founder of a nonprofit grassroots organization called partners in prevention, and kathy baxter, who led the san francisco child abuse prevention council for decades, and she has been my mentor on child-abuse issues for three decades. i can't believe it's been that long. wow. so now you have a whole new venture. this is just such a nice
supplement to the work that katie albright is doing. >> she's been my mentor, too. >> all right, so, patty, let me start with you. you founded this. kathy, you're the vice president. so what is partners in prevention and why did you do it? >> as you said, we are a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization comprised of people who believe that prevention is the way to end child abuse in this country and in our communities. >> and you also have a lot of products that we're gonna talk about in a little while, right? >> yes, yes. >> but, kathy, why did you and patty decide to join forces on this? >> well, you know, cheryl, i'd worked in the field for so long, and i consider myself a civilian now, i've been saying. i'm retired. i wanted to do something that i felt could reach out and be able to give things to people. for a long time, all of our programs have struggled with limited budgets, not being able to develop materials, getting a message out there to the community about child abuse, and to say that we believe that child abuse can be prevented. as someone who's now reading the paper, watching tv, i was expecting to see so much this
month on child abuse, this april, and other months throughout the year, and you realize that unless there's a sensational case, it's very hard to get the message out there, and we want the message to be 365 days a year. >> you're right. it is a year-round problem. so who are you working with and who is your audience? >> well, we are a diverse group of individuals from business, from civil society, from other organizations that work in this area -- experts -- and our audience is every adult. >> because it's a family affair. it's a family event. we all have to be involved. >> the responsibility is not for a child to be safe in their own childhood. the responsibility is in all adults -- not just the parent, but all adults. >> you're absolutely right. now, i received a packet of material, some of the things that you all distribute, and it was fantastic, and there was a hashtag in there for those folks who like to tweet, and i do, and it's called "how we do blue," and i love to show people that because it's part of
a calendar that's year-round. >> yes. >> so we're gonna put that up on the screen right now so that you want to get involved, you want to wear a blue ribbon for the love of a child, but your hashtag is "how we do blue." >> how we do blue. how we do blue -- yes. how you do blue. >> i did this in honor of this particular and important story. so, you have been asked by many, many people all across the country and the world now for these materials. >> it's so exciting that -- to be a partner in prevention means simply to understand what the blue ribbon represents and to wear it or display it in your life as you go about your day, and through our website, through conferences, international conferences, people have contacted us from the bahamas, from other states -- fayetteville, north carolina, throughout the greater bay area, of course, and reached out and said, "how do i do this? what does it take?" it takes simply to be able to know what the blue ribbon
represents and to be united in the belief that the best treatment for child abuse in adulthood is to have not have had it happen at all, to prevent it, so that is our mission -- preventing it from starting. >> we usually do the other way. we talk about the abuse and how horrible it is, but we don't talk about this piece of it. so, kathy, when the conversation starts, what do people say to you about getting these materials? >> well, they want to know how to get them, and part of it is we have this wonderful network of the 10 bay area child abuse councils that we've been working with for years. now i work as a volunteer with patty getting the materials out. patty is a great visual person and a great person looking at messaging, and she works with some other excellent people. so they've created wonderful materials, and it's really a pleasure to be able to say, "we can give you these materials. we can give you pins, bookmarks, posters, anything you need to spread the word," and people are just grabbing them and saying, "what else can we do? what else can we do?" and it's know what child abuse is. >> well, we're gonna talk a lot
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>> we are back, talking about ways to prevent child abuse and how you can join that effort. our guests are patty shimek, the founder of partners in prevention, and kathy baxter, the vice president of partners in prevention, and both of them are longtime advocates for prevention, and we talked about what it means to be a partner in prevention. it's something we all need to get involved with, but you have so much great material here. so i want to start first with these dolls whom i got to see during a presentation at a school to help children learn about safe touches, good and bad touches. >> mm-hmm. >> so, what are these guys' names here? >> harry and sally. >> [ chuckles ]
they're so cute. now, their clothing is just -- it's covering strategic places. >> mm-hmm, right. they're bathing suits, right, on harry, and on sally, the two-piece bathing suit, which are very obvious, clear messages for children to identify these are your private areas. >> mm-hmm. all right, now you also have -- this goes in the schools to talk to kids about touches, and the message that you have for them is three easy rules. >> right. >> yes, yes. it's say no, get away, and tell someone, and keep telling until someone listens. the overarching message is one of empowerment -- i can. i can do these things. you can. it's safe and correct. >> and you also have a lot of material. this book is fascinating because it says, "enough. child sexual abuse. ten conversations." so, kathy, tell me about this. >> right. you know, a couple of years ago, the bay area coalition of child abuse council and several
other groups merged and talked about child sex abuse, and this is the campaign they came up with. simple campaign -- enough. enough child sex abuse. and we want to make materials available to parents, to adults, and decided to print the "ten conversations," which were available online. many people can go online, but many of our parents and other people dt go online, so these booklets are available for people to read -- simple, 10 conversations. you can do one a day, one a week with your children and talk about preventing child sex abuse. >> you also have -- what i see here. you've got the calendar that we talked about earlier. you've got a big calendar, you have bookmarks. you have coloring books that are strategic in their message, too. patty, tell me about the coloring books. >> well, the coloring books are an activity that give children an opportunity to relax and share with their parent, caregiver, their friends, any adult what they're experiencing in life and hopefully it empowers them. they're treated as superheroes for themselves. it gives them a voice, gives them power.
you are your own individual, and although we do not expect children to be responsible for their own safety in childhood, it is an opportunity for parents to speak and adults to speak to the children. >> you work with a lot of different agencies. we're gonna be talking about the contra costa agency in a minute. so, do they ask for advice, support materials, what? >> all of it. i think mostly materials. i think that is the biggest area where we need more, and i see us, partners in prevention, as a supplement to everyone who's doing the work out there. so anyone can call and say, "well, what do you have this year? what are you gonna make available?" pins, bookmarks, ten command-- ten commandments -- "ten conversations." >> they should be. >> they should be the ten commandments for parents to really know what to do with their kids. >> the program that you have, it's not just gonna be stagnant. i mean, you are constantly evolving. so you've got some future plans. >> yes, we do. well, mostly we're listening right now to adult survivors, to people who work in the field,
and to children. we want to find the best messaging possible. we want to develop the best messaging possible to end child abuse. we, too, believe that it can be ended. we can stop it. >> i think that one of the things that people don't know is that they don't have to pay anything for these materials. >> right. >> there's no office because it's in your work office. >> right. we have no overhead expenses that most organizations find necessary, so, at this time, these last two years, we've been able to meet the requests of providing these materials at no charge. >> that's wonderful. thank you both so much for what you're doing and thanks for being here today. >> thank you. >> all right, and we do have to take a break. now, coming up next, we're gonna show you a program that has a very aggressive program to teach children how to protect themselves from child abuse, so please stay with us. we'll be right back.
"beyond the headlines." we are talking about how to prevent child abuse and what you can do to join the fight. right now our guest is carol carrillo with the child abuse prevention council of contra costa county, and, carol, thank you so much for being here today. you have a very comprehensive program, and i love this poster because it says -- if i can just hold this up here. it says, "child help. speak up. be safe. prevention education curriculum." and this is for 1 to 6th grade, and there are so many good little pieces of advice for children on here, so walk me through that. >> absolutely. our speak up be safe program is a comprehensive approach to child abuse prevention. we teach 1st-through-6th-grade students a curriculum on child abuse prevention, bullying prevention, and sexual harassment prevention. >> wow. so it's not just child abuse or child sexual abuse. bullying is a huge problem, too. >> yes, it is. absolutely. so it's very comprehensive. it really does touch on teaching kids about all those sort of issues and how to prevent those
issues. >> i want to talk about something that -- i've been following the issue of child abuse, child abuse prevention my entire career because i'm very passionate about this. i was fortunate to have a good, safe childhood, and i believe every child should have that. >> yes, we do, too. >> we love the props here. so you have dolls that you use in your curriculum. so do these little critters have names? >> they -- we use sally and -- the same names that other programs use. >> yes, okay. >> and -- but really it's really designed to show our younger kids, our 1st-through-3rd-grade children their private body parts, and what's covered by a bathing suit is considered their private body parts, and that no one really should be touching those private body parts or showing you their private body parts unless, of course, it's a parent or a caretaker and they're touching your private body parts to keep you clean and safe or, of course, a doctor or a medical provider that's touching your private body parts to keep you healthy. other than that, there should never be games around or any
sort of tricks around your private body parts because those are yours and not to be shown to other people. >> so how do you give the kids the language to say that's not okay, especially if they're already in a situation? >> well, what we do, particularly with the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd-graders is we play some really fun games. we talk about safe secrets and unsafe secrets, and we have kids stand up, and we give different scenarios, and we say, "if this is a safe secret, give a thumbs-up, if it's not a safe secret, thumbs-down." so we have different scenarios and different ways to present the material to kids at an age-appropriate level so they can understand and really get a sense of what's safe and what's unsafe. >> i know you got some good advice from the partners in prevention, and you modeled your program after the one they use in the schools in san francisco. >> absolutely. yes, we did. and we have bookmarks to sort of help reinforce the safety rules of telling someone, making sure that you keep telling your safe adult until
that safe adult believes you and helps that abuse from happening. >> and i know that you're in a big county -- big county. >> yes. >> i mean, san francisco's big, and their numbers are large. >> yeah. well, last year we were looking at about 10,000 reports of suspected child abuse, and we look at about one-in-four cases daily that get investigated for -- so rises to the level of higher needs and being investigated. so it's definitely a problem. it's a problem in every community in contra costa county, and we are really working to spread the word and spread our prevention programs throughout the county. >> you have a great staff, a great crew. we have some pictures of the folks who work with you, and we wanted to show them and thank them for the work they're doing. they've got the dolls there, and, you know, the cohesiveness of a team like that -- like, everybody who's been on this program today, everybody works together. that's so impressive. >> yes, we really do. and it is a team approach. we all need to work together to prevent child abuse in our
communities, and i think we're doing a really great job this month, every month of the year to make sure that our kids are kept safe and that are community can really rally around and learn about this issue and learn how they can help protect kids in our community. >> and i just want to reinforce the message that kids can take with them, for folks who are watching this, if they're in trouble, if they have to find that safe adult they keep telling, so the words on these bookmarks are? >> yeah, "stay away. i can -- i can keep myself safe and to tell a safe adult and to keep telling that adult until the abuse stops." >> and i think kids don't know that they can say no, that they have the power, the right to say no. >> that's right, that's right. and we're teaching them that they can, and they can help keep themselves safe. >> and how many kids do you have in your program now? >> well, last year, over the last two years, we trained 3,500 students. we work with their parents and the school staff, so it really is a team effort in keeping kids safe. >> oh, thank you so much for what you're doing, carol. >> thank you so much for your
support. >> all right. for more information about today's program, go to our website -- abc7news.com/community, or on facebook at abc7communityaffairs. have a great day. >> welcome to "beyond the headlines." i'm cheryl jennings. we have a special roundtable edition today, focusing on our bay area's asian-pacific american community. according to the library of
congress, the term "asian-pacific" encompasses all of the asian continent, as well as the pacific islands of melanesia, micronesia, and polynesia. the people and cultures of this region have added significantly to the rich diversity of the bay area. the u.s. census estimates, in 2013, asians and pacific islanders made up 20.8 million residents, or 6.4%. california had the largest population at almost 6.5 million, or more than 16% of the state. abc7's kristen sze is here now with leaders in our bay area's asian-pacific american community. >> thank you, cheryl. let's welcome today's guests. margaret abe-koga is a member of the san francisco regional water quality control board and district director for assembly member evan low. welcome. asha jadeja is highly respected as a venture capitalist, angel investor in more than a hundred silicon valley startups, closely affiliated with stanford university, and an
active philanthropist. chris punongbayan is executive director of asian americans advancing justice, asian law caucus. thank you all for being here. now, this is meant to be a stimulating conversation, so feel free to jump in with your thoughts and ideas like you would with friends, because we are all friends here. all right? welcome. you know, cheryl cited the growing asian-american population in the u.s. this has historical basis, of course, in a very important piece of federal law that passed 50 years ago. so, chris, let's begin with you. how did the immigration and nationality act open the door for immigrants, specifically for asians? >> mm-hmm. so that law was really transformative for all immigrants but particularly from asia. prior to 1965, there were quotas sealing limits on immigrants from certain countries, but in 1965, the doors were opened wide. prior to 1965, there had only been 1.5 million immigrants from asia in almost the 150 years prior to that. since then, in the last
50 years, we've seen over 12 million immigrants come from asia, and this is all due to the 1965 act. >> all right, this is really for anyone to answer. how have asian-americans, the immigrants, fared culturally, financially, educationally? what do you think? >> i think it's a diverse community that we're talking about, so overall, i would say -- and i come from the south bay -- that we're at, i think, close to 30% now apis in santa clara county. and you'll see it in the tech world, in silicon valley. there are a lot of high-tech workers from -- of api descent. so they're definitely a part of the community and have made great strides. i think we've made advancements. i come from the political world, and we've seen those gains over the last 20 years where, back 20 years ago, there were maybe a handful of elected officials who were asian-american, and now we have 13 in the state legislature, 12 in congress. so, definitely, we've seen some
big advancements. >> a little trivia here. margaret and i actually went to the same high school, where she was student-body president, i believe. and you made the leap to mountain view mayor at one point. so, a terrific role model for asian-americans, especially women, in government. okay, asha, what do you think? i mean, asian-americans certainly have made huge inroads in tech, silicon valley. >> they have. i think there is -- although, as margaret mentioned, i think there is a -- there's a difference in -- the asian-americans are a large -- sort of a large community. there's chinese americans, there is korean americans. and pacific islanders i don't think have made that much of an inroad as have maybe the indians, for example, in tech. i'm from india, originally, but what i see is that the asian-american population, in general, has made inroads in every regard, from college education to jobs in the tech industry to jobs in the creation of tech -- tech-industry jobs. and in venture capital, also, we see a lot of people of asian origin in positions of founding
roles. so i think -- that has happened for sure, kristen. i think there might be a gap, though, between, i think, pacific islanders and some of the other groups of -- and i don't know how those numbers are, but i think i would like to see more of an inclusion of the pacific islanders, for example, into stem studies and stem education and in tech in general. >> but even within the asian-american community, there is a lot of economic diversity. there are still a lot of legal problems that the community faces. even with the recession, we've seen san francisco and the bay area really transform and rejuvenate, but many low-income asian-americans really haven't been able to experience the same vitalization. so, during that period of the recession, asian-americans were the fastest-growing group in poverty and not just in san francisco but in california. many asian-americans are still working very hard and not getting paid minimum wage or overtime in restaurants, in the caregiving industry, so there's
still a lot of civil rights and legal struggles that the community is trying to overcome. >> well, chris, with the immigration reform president obama has embarked upon, is there something in there to help some of those asian-americans trapped in those low-paying jobs? >> mm-hmm. so, the last time we really saw congress and the president really try and take on immigration reform was two years ago. it stalled out because of the depolarization in congress, so the president did take affirmative steps last november to try and create more opportunities for the 11 million undocumented americans who are here. there are over 1 million undocumented asian-americans who would stand to benefit from some of the president's initiatives. at the same time, families are still being torn apart because of misguided enforcement efforts on the immigration front. so a lot of progress still needs to be made on behalf of the community. >> absolutely. i think even in the indian community, i notice, that a lot of times, families are torn apart -- right? -- because of h-1b visa gaps and families are
stuck in india, where the spouses might be working here. so there is a lot of that going on. so the general perception that the indian-american population is kind of playing sort of a significant role in tech is -- you're right about that. it's good, but there is a huge segment below, which is still struggling with the issue of sort of families all over the world. >> are there enough services available, margaret? >> i think the key is that, within the api umbrella, we are not -- we're not a monolithic group. we are diverse. and so we cover the spectrum. and so it's great -- yes, some people have been able to succeed -- but we have to continue to look at who else can we help, who else can we bring up to continue to get our entire community to a sufficient level? >> all right, those are some great points. we are just getting the conversation started, if you're just joining us. right now, we're gonna take a short break, but please stay with us for more of r conversation about our
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>> welcome back. i'm kristen zse, in for cheryl jennings for this special edition of "beyond the headlines," focusing on the bay area's asian-pacific american community. in the last two decades, there's been a great deal of change in the way asian-americans view ourselves and the way society at large views asian-americans. one sign is the popular new abc sitcom "fresh off the boat," about a chinese-american family's fish-out-of-water story in florida. >> jessica, i figured it out. >> dad, how come i have to start school on a wednesday? >> that's a great question. go to school. go, go, go, go. i was blow-drying my hair, and i figured it out, how the restaurant can attract bigger crowds.
>> how? >> i need to hire a white host. instead of people coming in and seeing a chinese face and saying, "huh? i thought this was an all-white steakhouse," they see a white face and say, "oh, hello, white friend. i am comfortable." see? exactly. not welcoming. that's why no to your face and yes to the white face. nice, happy white face, like bill pullman. >> [ chuckles ] >> actor randall park, who plays the dad, louis, there, expressing that perhaps an asian face won't sell as a restaurant host, kind of ironic because this show is actually about an asian-american family, and it's selling quite well to a general audience. chris, let's begin with you. what does that say about the acceptance and assimilation of asian-americans today? >> you know, and i think what's great about the show is that it's really offering a full, human experience of an asian-american family on mainstream media. prior images in previous periods were really flat, one-dimensional stereotypes, and so i think the show really, through humor, is able to poke
fun at ourselves. but, also, i think, the stereotypes that do exist in american society against asian-americans -- and other communities, too -- it's a great cracking open of the nut to talk about race issues. >> yeah, want to get back to that. but, margaret, you know, when we grew up in the san mateo area, "fresh off the boat" -- f.o.b. -- was a bad term. you don't want to be called that. i mean, you were foreign, you were different, you were strange, you were not cool. what does it say that the connotation has changed so much with that phrase? >> absolutely. i think it says that our community has arrived. we really have become a part of the mainstream. and i was thinking about the last program before this, "all-american girl"... >> margaret cho, yeah. >> ...and that was what you were talking about -- the one-dimensional stereotypes. and "fresh off the boat" is -- it's refreshing because it does -- it's multi-dimensional. it picks fun at us as asian-americans but also the mainstream community, and i think that's what the message is is that we are all a part of the same community now. >> that's right.
i mean, you might have the tiger mom, but she's gonna relent and let her kids do the school play, or you have the kids who are straight-a students but they're not your typical nerds. they also have girlfriends who bring them soda. asha, what do you think? i know you are very anti-the tiger mom. tell me about your philosophy there. >> so, i believe, actually, as a mom of a 9-year-old right now, and our children are classmates, is that i feel that if children are left to learn by themselves, a self-driven learning -- i'm actually now quite a bit in the field of education and non-formal learning now in my philanthropic work, and there, i believe, that if a child is allowed to learn by themselves in a small peer group, rather than in an institutional learning, that they're clearly much better off picking up what's important to them and thereby sticking with learning and having the love of learning that they would normally not have if they were sort of forced to do stem kind of stuff all the time. >> well, how could a typical parent give their child that kind of experience? >> i think the best way is -- we are used to this, kristen, because we see schools in our
lives which allow children to be who they are and allow them to be sort of, you know, pick and choose what they want to learn and self-drive the learning. the way, i think, the larger part of the community can do that is that, for the first time, we have so much information and course work available online. so let your children learn a lot of these things that they're learning in -- it's boring in the classroom setting. learn it at their own pace, individually, and then let classroom learning sort of enrich that learning, that individual learning. so i think that's probably the best way to do it, which is to really leverage the online tools for individual learning. >> mm-hmm. there is a class issue there with that, too, right? 'cause, i mean, the difficulty of giving that -- bridging that digital divide and giving that access to everybody... >> mm-hmm. that's not a privilege that all -- within the asian-american community or the american community -- are not able to fully take advantage of. so there are a lot of efforts, i think, to bridge that digital divide to create more opportunity in education and other fields that would really help people realize the american dream and achieve their full
potential. >> okay. here's another question for you, chris, and it's -- i don't mind if this is a little sexist, because you're a man, so this question is going to you. an asian-american man, to see the character, louis, the father in "fresh off the boat" -- and, also, abc has a new show, "dr. ken," coming out this fall -- what is it like to see images of yourself in mainstream media now? >> mm-hmm. i think it's a great thing. i grew up in massachusetts. we were the only asian-american family -- probably the only family of color in the whole town i grew up in, so the show has a lot of relatability, and i think that's important for many asian-americans who are still living in relative ethnic isolation to see positive images in the mainstream -- helps a lot with self-esteem. it helps a lot with feelings of belonging. >> you agree with that, margaret? >> absolutely. i think role models play a really big role in giving folks that feeling that they can achieve this, too. and i just want to acknowledge you, because i remember in
high school, you wanted to be a newscaster, and here you are, and you really have been a trailblazer, and it's been great to see folks like you in the media. >> thank you. you know what? i had great mentors. i think that is something very important to point out, too, is, whatever your chosen career is something you're interested in. how easy is it to find a mentor, and what is our responsibility to become mentors to the younger generation? >> i think that we in the bay area are really lucky to be in the bay area, because here, in silicon valley, the culture is that of mentoring young startups and young entrepreneurs, and we see a lot of that around us. so even we don't know a mentor immediately close to us, it's very easy to ask somebody to help us, to introduce us to a mentor. and i see this a lot, because when i go back to india, i find that there's almost no mentorship. so here, when i compare that, i feel like, "oh, my god. this is..." all of us have access to so many good mentors, and i think that's something we can leverage easily. i find that, even in east paolo alto, where we're doing a little bit of work, to find -- for young students to
find mentors from stanford is easier than i ever imagined now. so it's something that -- it's crucial. it's sort of the dna of the valley. the reason the valley is so successful, i think, is part -- successful in innovation -- is because of this whole notion of giving back selflessly and unconditionally by the mentors. >> all right, margaret, asha, chris, we have a lot more to talk about, but right now, we do need to take another short break. we'll be back with more from our a.p.a. community leaders with interesting conversation. we'll be right back.
>> welcome back to "beyond the headlines." i'm kristen zse with a special edition, talking with leaders in the bay area's asian-pacific american community. now, i want to focus a little bit on the engagement and connectedness in this final segment. for a long time, asian-americans had been seen as keeping to themselves, you know, putting their heads down and doing hard work, but not really connecting to the society at large or other groups. to what extent do you think that has evolved, really, in government, maybe, in networking, in our philanthropic or nonprofit ventures? asha, how about we start with you? >> sure. i think it has evolved significantly over the last 20 years that i've seen this population. and by asian-american, i mean pretty much all the nationalities that we can think of right now. i feel that one of the largest, one of the sort of the most significant forces in our lifetime, of course, has been the internet, which has been a unifying force -- right? -- which sort of shows us role models of how other asians, like
yourself -- or even for an immigrant -- like yourself might have achieved some level of visibility and success and giving back, actually. so, in my own personal work, a lot of my philanthropic activities are actually modeled after some of my other senior sort of indian colleagues in venture capital who, in giving back significantly for the last 25 years, and i model a lot of my activity after their work. and i see a lot of this happening right now. >> so, i know you find it very important to support emerging entrepreneurs and girls in particular, right? can you talk about how that became a mission for you? >> well, part of this is because i have two daughters, but i also go back and forth to india quite a lot, and i see the difference in the level of, you know -- that level of sort of freedom and success that women have here versus that in india. i mean, here we think it's bad. to see other countries, you know, suddenly, it's a glaring difference. and so, as a mother of two daughters, for me, it is absolutely crucial that a lot of my work, going forward, is gonna be in the field of learning and the girl child.
and the reason the girl child is because it just -- you know, it is very clear now that the r.o.i. -- the return on investment -- on a dollar spent on a girl's education has an almost tenfold return on investment. and so that is -- i mean, those numbers are pretty clear now, so that's part of the reason why i have a focus there. >> yeah. i mean, we absolutely need to lift up girls and women out of poverty and give them opportunities. chris, i know your organization has done work to really help some of the ladies who work in the dim sum industry or nail salon industry. can you tell us a little bit about the efforts there? >> right. so, there is still a lot of inequality and discrimination in the workforce for many asian-americans, and asian-american women still feel a heavy burden -- or, a heavy barrier into achieving equality in the workplace. so, in nail salons, in restaurants, caregivers for the sick and elderly, there is a lot of income inequality, and there is a lot of labor problems, where people are not able to fully actualize their labor
rights because of problems with employers understanding what their obligations are, problems with immigration status for many of the workers. so we advocate actively for community members to realize their rights so that their work is treated equally, as every other americans is. >> well, it is hard to speak up, isn't it? number one, if you don't know the language, and, number two, when you do fear immigration issues -- deportation, things like that. >> yeah, it's a major barrier, and so that's why we do need strong community organizations. we need to develop a lot of the community's leaders to be outspoken, so it's not just coming from nonprofits, it's not just coming from elected officials. it's coming from corporations, as well. with those three sectors working in synch, we can really raise the floor for everyone. >> and it is important for asian-americans and women, in general, to really get engaged civically, in government. and, margaret, you've been trying to do that. and talk about the importance of that. >> absolutely. it's the idea of having your voice heard. my parents were immigrants.
they didn't speak the language, and i translated for them when i was young. and i saw what you miss out on when you're not able to speak up, and so that's what drove me to get involved in the political process and public service. we have a community, we have definitely distinct needs and interests, and so it's important for us to be there and to be a part of that conversation as decisions are made. >> okay. but a girl might be watching you now, thinking, "that's great. but how do i get started? how do you just get into politics and become an elected official?" >> well, it's definitely, as we were talking about -- mentorship. i think that is really important. and there are a lot of programs now that there weren't before -- internship programs for asian-americans specifically to get involved in community service and public service. so you can do that in high school or even younger and definitely into college. and so those are great ways to get a glimpse of what this whole world is like.
>> yeah. and in your capacity as mountain view mayor in the past, how did you try to give more opportunities to give children access? >> yeah, so, mountain view -- we do have a population of the poor. 50% of our kids in our public schools -- >> it's easy to forget that when you have google based there. >> absolutely. and most people think we all live in mansions, but that's really not the case. and so i was trying to maximize their resources, so partnerships with the schools and the cities. and so we were the city side. when we don't get involved in it, maybe the school curriculum. but we can offer after-school programs, homework centers. one of my biggest joys of my time on the city council was that we opened a teen center in a neighborhood that's been considered less advantaged. and so those are the opportunities that we have and that we can maximize. >> you know, i think acting locally is important. acting globally is important, as well, asha. we've got about one more minute, but i'd love to hear about how you brought the makerfaire,
which we've all been to here and love, to india and africa, as well, right? >> yes. i started out, actually, supporting an entrepreneur who had wanted to take it to cairo, in egypt, and we just ended up funding it, actually. we're noreally hands-on. but later on, and once i saw the success of makerfaire in africa and how it spread to all other countries, i said, "let me try it out -- let me try and see if i can have a similar one in india." and i did that in my city, ahmedabad. it has taken off like crazy. it's now in multiple other cities now. and i'm just delighted that we have that whole maker community that is coming together globally now. because whether you're based in the u.s. or in india, a maker is a maker, and people who are interested in sort of technology and using technology for creating tools, it's a very similar mind-set, and people connect with that over the internet now. so i think it's a really rich community that's coming together. >> all right. asha, thank you very much, and to you, margaret, and to you, chris, as well. we explored very interesting ideas, based on your expertise and passions. thank you for spending the time
today. >> thank you so much. >> hope you had fun. >> lovely. enjoyed it. >> excellent. well, hopefully, these conversations will spur others and use it as a starting point and a trigger for discussions all year round beyond this asian-pacific american heritage month. we hope you enjoyed the program. now back to you, cheryl. >> thank you, kristen. for more information about today's program, just go to our website, abc7news.com/community. we're also on facebook at abc7communityaffairs. and follow me on twitter @cherylabc7. i'm cheryl jennings. thanks for joining us. have a great week. tech: when your windshield needs to be fixed...