46th Forum on Tolerance: What does Asian American mean? animation

46th Forum On Tolerance
Virtual Event from October 18th-22nd, 2021.
What does Asian American mean? Identities, Struggles, & Contributions.

The need for this forum was spurred by the devastating 149 percent increase in anti-Asian hate crimes in American cities since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, but we are also aware that such sentiments that exclude, stereotype, and target Asian-Americans have existed well before the recent pandemic.   What we hope to achieve with this forum is to share a variety of unique human stories that explore the many Identities, Struggles, & Contributions of Asian-Americans. We hope that all participants will also share their unique answers to the question, “What does Asian-American mean?”


October 18th




Dr. Paul Watanabe photoDr. Paul Watanabe, introduced by NSCC President, Dr. William Heineman

"No Longer Strangers: Uncovering the Asian American Experience"





October 19th





October 20th




2:00 pm–3:00 pm
Dr. Ben Railton photoPanel Discussion with Dr. Ben Railton from Fitchburg State University

"Asian American Histories and Stories"




Dr. Li Li photoand Dr. Li Li from Salem State University.

"From the Chinese South to the American South: Historical, Personal, and Beyond"



October 21th




1:00 pm–2:30 pm

Aimee Liu

 Author Aimee Liu





October 22nd





This forum is presented in collaboration North Shore Community College.

Our Speakers

Dr. Li Li

Dr. Li Li was born and grew up in Shanghai, China. He finished his undergraduate studies at Peking University. He then came to the United States and received his MA from the University of South Carolina and PhD from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In addition to his broad training in East Asian history, his doctoral training was focused on the history of the US-China relations. He has published extensively on topics regarding the development of US-China cultural exchanges. His most recent research has been about the Salem-Canton trade that originally started the US-China relationship. He is currently a Professor of History at Salem State University.



Author Aimee Liu

Aimee Liu is the bestselling author of the novel Glorious Boy, as well as Flash House; Cloud Mountain; and Face. Her nonfiction includes Gaining: The Truth About Life After Eating Disorders and Solitaire. Aimee's books have been translated into more than a dozen languages. Her short fiction has been nominated for and received special mention in the Pushcart Prize competition. Her essays have appeared in the Los Angeles Review of Books, The Los Angeles Times, Poets & Writers, and many other periodicals and anthologies. She taught for many years in Goddard College's MFA in Creative Writing Program at Port Townsend, WA.



Photo of Dr. Ben Railton

Ben Railton is Professor of English and American Studies at Fitchburg State University. He's the author of six books, most recently Of Thee I Sing: The Contested History of American Patriotism (2021). He also writes the daily AmericanStudier blog, contributes the bimonthly Considering History column to the Saturday Evening Post, and is an active public scholarly tweeter @AmericanStudier.



Dr. Paul Watanbe photo

Dr. Paul Watanabe is Professor of Political Science and Director of the Institute for Asian American Studies at the University of Massachusetts Boston. He currently serves as President of the Board of Directors of the Nisei Student Relocation Commemorative Fund; Board of Directors of the South Shore Health System; Board of Directors of North Hill Communities; Board of Trustees of the Harry H. Dow Memorial Legal Assistance Fund; Board of Trustees of the Town of Weymouth Libraries Foundation; Redistricting Data Hub’s Advisory Data Council, and the City of Boston’s COVID-19 Health Disparities Task Force. He was appointed by President Obama to serve on the President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and served as the first Chair of the U.S. Census Bureau’s National Advisory Committee on Racial, Ethnic, and Other Populations. He is the author of Ethnic Groups, Congress, and American Foreign Policy and principal author of A Dream Deferred: Changing Demographics, New Opportunities, and Challenges for Boston. His scholarly articles on ethnic studies, Asian Americans, public policy, political behavior, foreign policy, and health disparities have appeared in major academic journals and edited volumes. Paul received his B.S. in Political Science from the University of Utah and Ph.D. in Political Science from Harvard University.




NSCC Forums teach tolerance, embrace diversity and support a learning environment.

NSCC Forums on Tolerance initiate educational challenges to students and members of the community to learn more about one another, bring about empathy and understanding toward other people, and to make a difference in ourselves, our neighborhoods, and our world. Since 1996, NSCC Forums have explored social injustice and its effects on the modern world and our own communities through topics ranging from the Holocaust to immigration and civil rights.

Partially supported by the Forums on Tolerance Endowed Fund.

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