Episode 21: Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month with Gia Vang and Wenda Fong

1024 576 Nadine Ono

On this week’s PolicyWise (Episode 21) hosts Mahek Kandru and Michael Wiafe honor Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month with two trailblazing Asian American guests, Gia Vang and Wenda Fong. The four discuss topics ranging from anti-Asian violence to the need for representation in media, both in front of and behind the camera.

Vang is the first Hmong American news anchor at Minneapolis-St. Paul’s KARE-TV. She is a graduate of her hometown California State University Sacramento and has worked in news markets across the country.

“Given all the anti-Asian hate that has happened, unfortunately that has given us visibility and that is not how I see AAPI,” said Vang. “But I do see it as this moment of solidarity between the Asian communities and I’ve not seen that in a long time.”

Also a Sacramento native, Fong has opened doors and broke ceilings for Asian Americans in entertainment. At Fox Broadcasting Company, she oversaw all the company’s reality shows after launching American Idol in 2002. She was also FOX’s first executive director of creative development of diversity and vice president of diversity development. Fong is the co-founder of Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment and is currently the vice chair of the California State University Board of Trustees.

“The importance of representation is so important, because otherwise we are invisible, we are not represented,” said Fong. “So, starting in 1974, you can imagine the changes that I have seen over the decades and it’s one of the reasons I co-founded CAPE.”

The PolicyWise podcast is a partnership between Youth Leadership Institute and CA FWD and can be heard on Spotify, Apple PodcastsStitcherBreaker AudioRadioPublicPocket Casts and Overcast.


Nadine Ono

All stories by: Nadine Ono