Louder Than Words

January 11, 2010

PEOPLE ARE USUALLY SURPRISED to learn that I'm a workout enthusiast. Whether because of my scrawny frame or my hipster posturing, I don't scream "athletic" upon first (or even subsequent) glance. But in fact, I love to run and do yoga, and I try to do one or the other every single day.

So when I recently took a knee-busting fall on my usual run through Golden Gate Park, it jolted me out of my routine. I got to truly - and rather painfully - notice the hundreds of tiny daily movements I once took for granted.

In The Action Issue, my first as managing editor, we proudly present some movements in the Asian American community that deserve more attention. Dorian Merina brings us the story of Southeast Asian refugees in the Bronx who are connecting across generations to break a decades-long cycle of poverty, while Emily Leach has ventured to Cuba to report on Japanese Americans and Japanese Cubans who are exchanging stories of shared and divergent pasts - and of uncertain but hopeful futures.

Momo Chang sheds light on a movement that's right at our fingertips: "green" nail salons run by Asian Americans who, as salon workers, have long borne the brunt of under-regulated toxins. And Steffi Lau provides a front-row vantage point of ongoing changes in Asian American theater, including ventures beyond tried (and tired) stories about culture clashes and identity searches.

In reading these stories, I hope you'll likewise be shoved out of your usual routine and into doing something. To help you out, we've listed resources and information on how you can get involved in these and many other issues highlighted here: go to hyphenmagazine. com/take-action.

One easy action I recommend: If you like what we're doing, subscribe and/or donate to Hyphen. In these times, every dollar counts.

So what are you waiting for? Take action now. No Band-aids necessary.

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Lisa Wong Macabasco

Former Editor in chief

Lisa Wong Macabasco joined Hyphen in 2006; she has worked as the magazine's features editor, managing editor, and editor in chief. She has written for Mother Jones, the San Francisco Bay Guardian, AsianWeek, Audrey, Filipinas and ColorLines’ RaceWire. She graduated from U.C. Berkeley and Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism and co-founded the National Asian American Student Conference. She was formerly an editor at AsianWeek newspaper and an editor in the marketing department of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.