December 2, 2021

“When I returned home to Florida, I hoped I’d find a sense of self. Instead, everytime I stepped outside I felt fear. Anti-Asian hate crimes were increasing day by day. My proximity to whiteness never protected me from people making fun of my eyes, saying I ate dogs, or asking “Where are you really from?” It’s hard to think that the thing I relate most to with other Asian Americans is my experience of racism.”

Submitted by the AAJA Photojournalists Affinity Group (PAG). #AAJAKudos to Sydney Walsh, who received an Award of Excellence in the College Photographer of the Year (CPOY) Competition for "Self Portrait." The portrait depicts Sydney in front of bamboo in her backyard with an accompanying handwritten note as a part of an ongoing project that explores transracial and intercultural adoption. The note reads: “When I returned home to Florida, I hoped I’d find a sense of self. Instead, every time I stepped outside I felt fear. Anti-Asian hate crimes were increasing day by day. My proximity to whiteness never protected me from people making fun of my eyes, saying I ate dogs, or asking “Where are you really from?” It’s hard to think that the thing I relate most to with other Asian Americans is my experience of racism.”  You can view Sydney's work on her website and Instagram. See the #AAJAKudos section below for more CPOY winners.

  • Updates: A note on Taiwan in our Guide on Covering Asian Pacific America, mental wellness mini grants
  • Upcoming Events: Holiday events with AAJA-LA and AAJA-SF/Bay Area
  • #AAJAKudos & Resources: Launch of the Rural News Network
  • Member Bylines: Maria Ressa reflects on winning the Nobel Peace Prize
  • Opportunities


Do you need support for your mental health? Apply to be considered for a mental wellness mini grant.
We’re coming up on the holiday season, which we know can be a difficult time for some folks. We want to remind our community that AAJA distributes funds to AAPI journalists seeking support for their mental health. To request funding, fill out this Google Form. We prioritize requests from those who have already identified a mental healthcare provider.

Join our AAJA Awards Judging Committee
AAJA is recruiting judges to select finalists for the AAJA Journalism Excellence Awards. Apply here.

Join our Scholarships 2022 Judging Committee
We welcome current AAJA members to build the next generation of AAPI leaders through our scholarship program. Fill out this Google Form if you are interested in volunteer judging scholarship applications. For questions, contact

Deadline Extended: Propose and Renew Affinity Groups for 2022
Affinity Groups are dedicated to specific career interests or focus areas in order to meet the evolving and unique needs of AAJA members. Make sure your affinity group is renewed in order to remain active for our next cycle! Submit your application here. If you have any questions, reach out to AAJA Senior Vice President Nicole Dungca.

Submit Photos for AAJA's 40th Anniversary
To commemorate 40 years of AAJA, we're creating a book and microsite to celebrate our past accomplishments and to look toward the future. If you have some great photos from past AAJA events hiding in shoeboxes, in your attic or buried on your hard drive, we’d love to see them.


A Note on Taiwan in Our Guide on Covering Asian Pacific America
Join Our Style Guide Committee

It has been brought to our attention that the “Taiwan” entry in our Guide to Covering Asian Pacific America is in need of review. We are grateful to members of the community for their attentiveness and commitment to the accuracy of our guidance, written in 2012, which is under necessary revision. We welcome all feedback, volunteers, researchers, funders and community members who are willing and able to lend us their help with this project.

AAJA has removed the current version of the style guide, and in the coming weeks will publish a condensed version with basic terminology that can be a resource while we undergo a full review. As you seek comprehensive understanding of Asian Pacific America, we invite you to consult additional style guides and resources, including those provided by the AP Stylebook and Conscious Style Guide.

If you are interested in contributing to the Style Guide revamp or have suggestions regarding the guide, please fill out this form


🗓 Upcoming Events

December 11 | AAJA-LA
❄️ Holiday Party, Clothing and Toy Drive AAJA-LA is hosting its first in-person holiday party in two years, at the Far Bar patio in LA! Gather to catch up over appetizers and contribute to a toy and clothing drive. For the clothing drive, please bring new and gently used professional items that student journalists can wear to interviews. Register here.

December 15 | AAJA-SF Bay Area
❄️ Holiday Mixer Join AAJA-SF Bay Area for its first in-person holiday mixer at the San Francisco Chronicle building! Come mingle and toast to all the work that has been done this past year! With the party capped at a maximum of 50 members, you must RSVP by noon Friday, Dec. 10, to ensure you’re on the guest list. Register here.


📓 News About News
AKA, our resources section.

member spotlight Weijia Jiang discussed covering presidential administrations in light of anti-AAPI violence at an American University School of Communication virtual panel on November 11. She was also highlighted in a piece by Asian Americans Advancing Justice ahead of receiving the 2021 American Courage Award. 

member reflection Jasmine M. Pulido reflects on what the late journalist Alex Tizon means to her in a piece for The South Seattle Emerald. (All proceeds for Tizon’s book “Invisible People: Stories of Lives at the Margins” are donated to AAJA’s scholarship fund.) 

watch NBCU Academy's recording of “The streaming news boom” livestream from November 18 is available to watch now.

network The Institute for Nonprofit News, in close collaboration with the Native American Journalists Association will launch The Rural News Network to contribute to needed coverage of issues in rural areas of the country, including economic issues in Indigenous communities and access to water. Seven of the networks' members are NAJA organizations

news about news "What surviving leukemia taught the first Latinx president of Harvard's student newspaper” by Nicole Chavez of CNN, *featuring AAJA Voices research.

news about news ViacomCBS has released its 2021 diversity and inclusion report.


👏 #AAJAKudos to...
Celebrate your achievements with us—tag @aaja on Twitter or let us know on Slack.


Sydney Walsh (whose work "Self Portrait" is also featured above), received Bronze in the College Photographer of the Year (CPOY) Competition for "Pandemic Garden." In this image (L-R), sisters Téa Walsh and Sydney Walsh are in a staged scene watering their garden at home in Jupiter, Florida. See the #AAJAKudos section above for more CPOY winners.

On Our List 📺📸📰🎧
Follow us on Twitter @aaja for more works on our radar from the AAJA community.

📰 To read:

  • “Journalist Maria Ressa reflects on Nobel Peace Prize win” by Philip Marcelo, AP News — ft. Maria Ressa
  • Hayao Miyazaki Prepares To Cast One Last Spell” by Ligaya Mishan, The New York Times
  • “Sandra Oh on Finding Hope and 'Commonality' in Fraught Times: 'We Need to Move Through Fear'” by Melody Chiu, People
  • “These Portraits Show That BTS ARMY Is Not A Monolith” with intro by Kat Moon and photos by Hannah Yoon, TIME
  • "This Colorado community was proof an all-electric, net-zero future is possible. Now that vision is under siege" by Rachel Ramirez, CNN 
  • “Op-Ed: Why didn’t we talk about race in high school?” by Malaka Gharib, Los Angeles Times
  • "Daughter of Vietnamese refugees leads state panel on Afghan aid" by Peter Wong, Pamplin Media ft. AAJA Portland's conversation with Rep. Khanh Pham
  • “‘Licorice Pizza’ faces criticism for scenes involving fake Asian accent” by Wilson Wong, NBC News
  • “‘The Great Leap’ scores a solid win at Round House Theatre” by Daniella Ignacio, D.C. Metro Theatre Arts

🎧 To listen:

  • “Hawaiʻi food banks ready to address pandemic-related challenges and community need” by Casey Harlow, Hawai’i Public Radio

ICYMI: AAJA Defined, our monthly publication where we make visible the AAJA storytellers behind the news, launched in October—check out our profile on Clare Lynne Ramirez, and a behind-the-story look at some of our VOICES fellows’ work. Stay tuned for our Top 10 Lists.

Last Call to Nominate Media for the AAJA 2021 Top 10 Lists!
It’s getting close to that time of year againsubmit your suggestions for what should be included in AAJA’s Top 10 Lists for 2021! You can view last year's lists here and submit pieces for this year's lists here.


Visit AAJA Careers or follow @AAJACareers on Twitter to stay up-to-date on our career, internship and other opportunities. Check in with your AAJA chapters for more opportunities.


Did you produce (or consume) some great journalism recently? Put your work on our radar, so we can feature you in the next member highlights.

Collectively, we can celebrate 40 years of impact and contribute towards 40 more years of AAJA's mission of supporting and uplifting AAPI journalists. Donate today.

Asian American Journalists Association

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