Digital Town Hall- Asian Americans in the Time of COVID-19 with Congresswoman Judy Chu, Tamlyn Tomita, Viet Thanh Nguyen, Amna Nawaz, Renee Tajima-Pena, Helen Zia, Hari Kondabolu, Darren Walker and Naomi Tacuyan Underwood on April 30

The Center for Asian American Media (CAAM), along with WETA, the flagship public media station in the nation’s capital, and Asian American community leaders will host a digital town hall exploring how lessons from Asian American history can help us understand the experience of Asian Americans in the time of Covid-19 on Thursday, April 30 at 5pmPDT/8pmEDT. Click here for the Town Hall event page.

The discussion will be moderated by PBS Newshour Journalist Amna Nawaz, and welcome remarks will be given by Congresswoman Judy Chu who represents California’s 27th district. Two panelists have also been added to the digital event: Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA) Executive Director Naomi Tacuyan Underwood, and actor Tamlyn Tomita.

In connection with the upcoming PBS series, ASIAN AMERICANS, which will air on May 11 and 12, the digital town hall, presented on Facebook Live by CAAM will explore how today’s discrimination directed at Asian Americans is rooted in a long history of xenophobia and racism from the mid-19th century to the present. Panelists will discuss what can be learned from the history of Asian Americans, and how we can move forward together as Americans in this particularly challenging moment. Previously announced panelists include: writer Viet Thanh Nguyen, journalist Amna Nawaz, filmmaker Renee Tajima-Pena, journalist and activist Helen Zia, comedian Hari Kondabolu, Ford Foundation President Darren Walker; plus newly added panelists: Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA) Executive Director Naomi Tacuyan Underwood, and ASIAN AMERICANS Series Narrator and Actor Tamlyn Tomita.

Participants will also look at the impact of the pandemic on Asian American businesses and communities.

ASIAN AMERICANS, the five-part documentary that will air on PBS beginning May 11 and 12, and stream on all PBS platforms timed to the premiere, explores through individual lives and personal histories the impact Asian Americans have had on the country, and how they continue to influence society and culture.

Led by a team of Asian American filmmakers, including Academy Award®-nominated series producer Renee Tajima-Peña (Who Killed Vincent Chin?, No Más Bebés), ASIAN AMERICANS examines the significant role of Asian Americans in shaping American history and identity, from the first wave of Asian immigrants in the 1850s and the political movements during the social and cultural turmoil of the twentieth century to modern refugee crises in a globally connected world.

Accompanied by robust educational, engagement, and digital components, this groundbreaking initiative will bring a new perspective to the American experience. Partnering with Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Los Angeles, the series will aim to expand audience reach and engage diverse perspectives through targeted community events, impactful education initiatives and integrated digital content.

ASIAN AMERICANS is a production of WETA Washington, DC and the Center for Asian American Media (CAAM) for PBS, in association with the Independent Television Service (ITVS®), Flash Cuts and Tajima-Peña Productions, which are solely responsible for its content. The series executive producers are Jeff Bieber for WETA; Stephen Gong and Donald Young for CAAM; Sally Jo Fifer for ITVS; and Jean Tsien. The series producer is Renee Tajima-Peña. The Executive-in-Charge of Production is Eurie Chung. The episode producers are S. Leo Chiang, Geeta Gandbhir and Grace Lee. The consulting producer is Mark Jonathan Harris.

Major funding for ASIAN AMERICANS is provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), Wallace H. Coulter Foundation, Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), Ford Foundation/Just Films, National Endowment for the Humanities, The Arthur Vining Davis Foundations, The Freeman Foundation, Carnegie Corporation of New York, Kay Family Foundation, Long Family Foundation, Spring Wang and Cal Humanities.

For more information, please visit

Lia Chang. Photo by Garth Kravits

Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Bev’s Girl Films’ debut short film, Hide and Seek was a top ten film in the Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition, and she received a Best Actress nomination. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers,  musicians and corporations. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman. She stars in and served as Executive Producer for the short independent films Hide and Seek, Balancing Act, Rom-Com Gone Wrong, Belongingness and When the World was Young. She is also the Executive Producer for The Cactus, The Language Lesson, The Writer and Cream and 2 Shugahs.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2020 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at

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