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Past Speakers

All our past speakers are proud Taiwanese Americans!

We have had community builders and activists, filmmakers, and musicians. Through each individual story, we hope to inspire all our participants.

Below are a list of speakers we have had in the past.

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Eric is a 2nd generation Taiwanese American, who pursued his Ph.D. in Political Economy from National Cheng Kung University in Taiwan. During the past decade, he has stood up and spoken out against social injustice and corruption in Taiwan.

Eric gained significant attention and news coverage in October 2008 when he stood up and protested against China’s ex-ARATS spokesman Chang Ming-qing, holding up a banner with “independent” spelled “independant.” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ORLmzkloOgk

Eric made short YouTube clips discussing and critiquing news and politics in Taiwan from a comedic perspective. He is no stranger to controversial opinions and demonstrates an unwavering voice in support of Taiwan’s democracy. He is passionate about trying to get more Taiwanese youth to realize they can make a difference in Taiwan, no matter where they are living in the world.

Arthur Chu

Arthur Chu first achieved nationwide fame for his 11-time Jeopardy! winning streak in 2014. He’s become a public speaker, blogger and culture writer talking about political and social issues in nerd culture, especially among the Asian-American community. He resides in Ohio and is the son of immigrants from Taiwan. Snippets of the documentary, “Who is Arthur Chu?” were filmed at TANG 2014. 

Deana Chuang is a second-generation Taiwanese American from Southern California. She currently works as a prosecutor for the City of Pasadena and has dedicated most of her career to public service. Deana currently serves as the Chairwoman of the Domestic Violence Project of the North American Taiwanese Women’s Association (NATWA) and as a volunteer for the Center for the Pacific Asian Family, a shelter for domestic violence survivors. She previously served as Co Coordinator of the NATWA II, Chairwoman of the Asian Pacific American Women Lawyers Alliance, and Board Member of the California State Bar’s Committee on Women in the Law. Deana graduated from Pomona College with degrees in Sociology and Women’s Studies and the University of Pennsylvania Law School.

Marilyn Fu (The Sisterhood of Night) signing in at the 2014 Woodstock Film Festival Filmmaker Lounge (Photo by Laura Revercomb)

Marilyn Fu is a Taiwanese-American writer based in Los Angeles. Her feature screenplay, The Honor List, was released in 2018 by Lionsgate. That same year, she headed the writer’s room on the Will Packer/Roma Downey-produced drama series “The Baxters,” based on the bestselling novels by Karen Kingsbury, for MGM. She wrote and co-produced The Sisterhood of Night (2015) and won an award for the screenplay at the Tribeca Film Festival. Her team’s Kickstarter campaign became the second-highest funded narrative project at the time. Marilyn was a research assistant for T: The New York Times Style Magazine and a writer/reporter for LIFE Books; she has been involved in over forty publications for Time, Inc. She was educated at the University of Pennsylvania and Columbia University’s School of the Arts, where she was the first recipient of the William Goldman Screenwriting Fellowship. Marilyn wrote and co-produced a sold-out run of her play “Breather” which premiered at the Hollywood Fringe Festival. In 2017, the Tracking Board named her one of the Top 100 New Writers in Hollywood on the Young and Hungry List and in 2019 her feature CLEO, inspired by the life of Cleopatra, was selected as a finalist on the Athena List. She is currently developing a feature film based on the award-winning LA Times article produced by Andrew Corkin, Theo James, and Mynette Louie as well as adapting the YA novel 500 Words or Less by Juleah del Rosario for Gabrielle Union’s I’ll Have Another Productions and Amazon Studios.

Arlene-Hsing

Arlene Hsing completed the Master of Arts and Literature Studies in Taiwan and the UK. In 2001 she founded Taiwan’s children books community website “Children’s Books Juicer” providing fruitful updates on children’s book publishing. In 2011 Arlene received her PhD degree in English Children’s Literature from Newcastle University, UK. Arlene was the first overseas Taiwanese to graduate with a Children’s Literature doctorate degree. Her work involves translation, writing, commentary, and research of children literature.

Arlene also founded the non-profit “Tainan Hulu Alley” in her hometown. As the director, she integrated academic research and the education system, and worked with a group of professors to promote reading for children. Arlene’s team took over the position from Tainan Municipal Public Library’s Children’s Library, becoming the first to develop such a program in Taiwan.

The majority of her work focuses on Taiwan, touching on issues of multiculturalism, transitional justice, gender equality, local identity, and children’s rights. For her efforts, she was awarded a Special Contribution Award at the 2019 Golden Tripod Awards. She passed away on Oct. 16, 2019 at the age of 46.

Kuo portrait image

Michelle Kuo was born in Kalamazoo, Michigan to immigrants from Taiwan. After graduating with a degree in Social Studies and Gender Studies at Harvard College, she joined Teach for America and moved to the rural town of Helena, Arkansas, located in the heart of the Mississippi Delta. Michelle taught English at an alternative school for kids who were expelled from other schools. Later, she writes a novel, Reading with Patrick, about her experience in the Delta and the relationships she formed.

At Harvard Law School, Michelle worked as a student attorney at the Criminal Justice Institute, a domestic violence and family mediation clinic, and the Education Law Clinic/Trauma Policy Learning Initiative. A Paul and Daisy Soros Fellow, Michelle received the National Clinical Association’s award for her advocacy of children with special needs.

Michelle has also taught courses at San Quentin through the Prison University Project, the only college-degree granting program at a state prison in California. There, she met some of the most motivated students in her life.

Currently, Michelle teaches in the History, Law, and Society program at the American University of Paris on issues related to race, punishment, immigration, and the law. She won the 2016 Board of Trustees Award for Distinguished Teaching.

Michelle is married to Albert Wu, a historian of Europe and East Asia.

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Jonathan Lee is a 2nd Generation Taiwanese American that grew up going to TACEC and was a former Executive Director of TANG. He considers Taiwan his second home and as he’s grown older, so has his affection for the country has as well. In his search for identity and ways to help Taiwan, he’s led and participated in many organizations such as TANG, TAF, ITASA and Formosa Foundation. His longest commitment has been to Formosan Association of Public Affairs, from being a leader in the Young Professional Group to FAPA California – North Chapter President. Jonathan currently resides in California.

peter

Taiwanese-American trombonist Peter Lin is a young and creative musician active on the New Jersey and New York scene. A graduate of the esteemed jazz programs of William Paterson University (undergraduate) and Rutgers University (graduate), Peter studied with jazz trombone legends such as Slide Hampton, Steve Turre, Conrad Herwig, Robin Eubanks, Steve Davis, & Frank Lacy. He has performed with many notable artists including Slide Hampton, Winard Harper, Charli Persip, Valerie Ponomarev, JD Allen, & Radam Schwartz. Peter is also an established educator, holding a prestigious faculty position at Melissa Walker & Christian McBride’s non-profit organization, Jazz House Kids. His first record, With Respect, featured arrangements of classic Chinese and Taiwanese songs, which peaked at #3 on the NACC Charts and #4 on the RMR Charts. His second album, New Age Old Ways, features eight of his original compositions along with an original comic book with illustrations by Kelly Lin.

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Jen Shyu is a groundbreaking, multilingual vocalist, composer, producer, multi-instrumentalist, dancer, 2019 Guggenheim Fellow, 2019 United States Artists Fellow, 2016 Doris Duke Artist, and was voted 2017 Downbeat Critics Poll Rising Star Female Vocalist. Born in Peoria, Illinois, to Taiwanese and East Timorese immigrant parents, Shyu is widely regarded for her virtuosic singing and riveting stage presence, carving out her own beyond-category space in the art world. She has performed with or sung the music of such musical innovators as Nicole Mitchell, Anthony Braxton, Wadada Leo Smith, Steve Coleman, Vijay Iyer, Bobby Previte, Chris Potter, Michael Formanek and David Binney. Shyu has performed her own music on prestigious world stages such as Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Brooklyn Academy of Music, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Rubin Museum of Art, Ojai Festival, Ringling International Arts Festival, Asia Society, Roulette, Blue Note, Bimhuis, Salihara Theater, National Gugak Center, National Theater of Korea and at festivals worldwide.

Her current instruments in performance include piano, violin, Taiwanese moon lute (2 strings), Chinese er hu (2 strings), Japanese biwa (4 strings), Korean gayageum (12 strings), Korean soribuk (drum), and Korean gong called “ggwaenggwari.”

Ho Chie Tsai has spent most of his life working to build organizations and networks that serve the Asian and Taiwanese American communities. A popular speaker among youth audiences, his personal mission is to inspire young people to discover their values and passions so that they can be a positive influence in their communities and in the world.

Ho Chie is often credited for helping to inspire a student movement, which resulted in the establishment of UIUC’s Asian American Studies Program and Cultural Center. During his collegiate years, Ho Chie was actively involved with various pan-Asian organizations at UIUC. He served as Co-president (92-93) and Internal Vice-president (91-92) of the Asian American Association, co-founded the Taiwanese American Students Club (90-91), and organized the first successful Asian Pacific American Coalition (91-92).

Professionally, Ho Chie is a board-certified pediatrician on staff at the UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital and Research Center of Oakland. Today, Ho Chie is well-known as the founder of TaiwaneseAmerican.org, a national website dedicated to connecting and highlighting the new generation of Taiwanese Americans. In past years, he also helped to found the Taiwanese American Professionals San Francisco chapter, the Taiwanese American Medical & Health Professionals (NATMA) 2G chapter, and the grade school summer camp program of the Taiwanese American Foundation where he served as a program director for over a decade. During the late 1990’s, he also served as the program director for the Junior and Junior High program of the Taiwanese American Conference / East Coast (pre-TANG) and is pleased to return to one of the camps that helped to shape his life experiences and ideas.

Chieh-Ting Yeh grew up in Taiwan and New York, and graduated with a BA in chemistry from Harvard and a JD from Harvard Law School. He was the Co-President of the Harvard Asia Law Society. He worked on international affairs and strategy at the DPP, London’s Demos think tank, and the Third Society Party. He was an attorney with the law firms Sullivan & Cromwell and Morrison Foerster, specializing in corporate finance, M&A, and tech startups. His clients included Goldman Sachs, Mitsubishi UFJ, and GREE. He founded Ketagalan Media, a media brand for contemporary Taiwan politics, business, and culture. He also co-founded the Global Taiwan Institute and serves as Vice Chairman. He has written for Foreign Policy, Apple Daily, Commonwealth Magazine and British fashion magazine Glass. He is fluent in Taiwanese, Chinese, Japanese and English, and is currently based in Silicon Valley.