August 29, 2021



  • A note from the executive director, Naomi Tacuyan Underwood
  • Post #AAJA21 To-Do List
  • Learn more about AAJA's 40th Anniversary
  • Announcing this year's Karaoke Champion!
  • #AAJA21 Highlights
  • AAJA-HQ Office Closed August 30 - September 6

Dear AAJA Family,

Yesterday, we concluded #AAJA21, our second fully virtual convention. I hope that #AAJA21 was not just another thing to add to your schedule, but has given you much needed moments to pause and be in camaraderie and community with one another. 

It’s hard to comprehend an exercise I think many of us go through daily just how much the world has changed and keeps changing since March of 2020. But through it all, we have had journalists asking the important questions, holding us through tremendously hard moments, and holding each other together.

As Sara Kehaulani Goo asserted, “How do we build the newsroom we’ve deserved all along?”

As Sewell Chan asked during our plenary about journalism’s role, “Will it be enough to save democracy?” 

I am so proud that together with the board, we’ve built a mission-oriented team. “Is it enough?” is something we at AAJA HQ grapple with every day, and the resounding answer from AAJA Family is, we will make it be more than enough, because together, and as AAJA family, we are infinitely more than the sum of our parts. Across generations and at our diverse intersections, we continue to share wisdom, hope, and learnings, and we keep moving forward.

Because together, and as AAJA family, we are infinitely more than the sum of our parts. Please join us as we continue to build power and influence on behalf of our AAPI journalists and storytellers, and on behalf of our AAPI communities. 

Forty years of AAJA. We’ve come a long way, but we have a long way to go. As long as newsrooms stubbornly refuse to acknowledge the implications of decades of racism, and as long as leaders maintain workplaces where journalists of color do not feel they can show up as their full selves, we still have a mission that is as relevant as it was in 1981, a mission to fulfill.

That’s why we keep taking ambitious projects, not quite sure if we’ll succeed, not quite sure if we’re ready, but that’s the moment we’re in— it’s time to take voice, to take risks, to take up space. As Renee Tajima-Peña told us about Vincent Chin’s murder sparking a movement, no one was ready or expecting it, EXCEPT FOR US. We know our power. We know our voice. We are proud to use it.

We are so thankful to our Presenting SponsorWarnerMedia News and Sports for their continued support over the years.


Naomi Tacuyan Underwood
Executive Director, Asian American Journalists Association



We want to hear from you! Tell us about your convention experience by completing our post-convention survey.

Voting in AAJA's National Officer Election closes TODAY at 8 p.m. ET! Results will be announced on Tuesday, September 7.

Missed a session? Visit "Swag Bag & Portfolios" in Cadence where recordings are available under "Recorded Sessions." Your access to #AAJA21 through Cadence is available through the next six months.



This year, AAJA celebrates 40 years since its founding. Celebrate with us and explore our 40th anniversary website, which features our exciting endeavors: an Oral History Project, JCamp Class of 2021 interviews with AAJA leaders, upcoming Hall of Fame, and Book Project. Our oral history videos are also viewable on our YouTube channel playlist.


#AAJA21 Karaoke Champion

🥁 The moment you’ve all been waiting for… we’re excited to announce our winners for our 2021 AAJA Karaoke Night: 

  • Tied for third place, Mariecar Mendoza and James Boo.
  • In second place, Victoria Meaney.
  • The winner of the George Kiriyama trophy and travel package to Caesars Entertainment: Sharon Chan and friends! 🎉🎉 Watch their winning performance here!

Thank you to all who submitted entries! All the karaoke videos are still available to watch on Cadence.


#AAJA21 Highlights

"The act of informing people and telling truthful things in support of democracy is inherently good. Will it be enough to save democracy? The jury's out on that one. But is it worth doing and devoting oneself to? It absolutely is." —Sewell Chan

How can so much happen in the span of five days—not to mention, virtually?! We'll refrain from rehashing every little thing that went down during #AAJA21, but there are a few highlights we need to mention, including:

#daigorolled (if you know you know!)

And then the Twitter threads. Oh, the many, many Twitter threads. They deserve their own section, because some were written by you, #AAJAFamily:

Monday, August 30 - Monday, September 6

The AAJA-HQ team is taking a break from August 30 - September 6. For any urgent matters, please contact Board President Michelle Ye Hee Lee and Senior Vice President Nicole Dungca.

Thanks to Our Presenting Sponsors:


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