The Board elected the Leadership Team of Milton Liu (Interim Executive Director), Thu Nguyen (Chair), Kavneet Singh (Vice-Chair) and Daniel Mayeda (Chair Emeritus) to govern the Alliance — launching new Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) initiatives, establishing strategic standards of Cultural Competency and formalizing a Support Network with Affiliate Member Organizations.
“Since 1999, the AAMA (with our inaugural Chair Norman Mineta) began meeting with the broadcast networks,” said Interim Executive Director Liu. “We have seen some improvement in diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility in various media categories (such as Actors, Writers/Producers, Directors, Unscripted). As part of the larger Multi-Ethnic Media Coalition (MEMC) — which also includes the NAACP, National Hispanic Media Council, and American Indians in Film/TV — we pushed the networks to sign Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) to create diversity departments, actor showcases, writers and directors programs, and other pipeline programs. However, as the entertainment landscape is constantly changing, it is imperative that the AAMA be dynamic and fluid with consistent communication, advocacy and accountability with the networks, and increasing our reach with streamers, cablers, feature films and documentaries.”
“While we continue to advocate for the broadcast networks to feature more AANHPIs in leading roles, the Alliance applauds the increased inclusion of AANHPIs in their other platforms, including streaming and cable,” added Liu. “We recognize that many of these programs and films would not have been possible without the training and opportunities created by the networks’ diversity efforts. However, the networks need to stay vigilant in not being satisfied with a status quo (or ceiling) in AANHPI representation, especially with behind-the-camera creative talent.”
“Given the increased outright discrimination many Asian Americans have faced because of COVID-19, we urge the networks to further their reach, reflecting the remarkable contributions our communities have made to this country and realize the effect that our visual representation has on society,” added Thu Nguyen, AAMA Chair and Executive Director of OCA—Asian Pacific American Advocates, an AAMA member organization.
“The Alliance is honored to join forces and collaborate with eight Affiliate Organizations, whose breadth and reach only serves to enhance, strengthen and amplify our mutual goal of diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility,” remarked Kavneet Singh, AAMA Vice Chair and Chair of AAMA member group, SALDEF. “The AAMA looks forward to issuing our Annual Assessment of AANHPI Representation this Fall.”
AAMA has been advocating for greater diversity and inclusion of AANHPIs in network television since 1999. It has agreements (Memoranda of Understanding, or MOUs) with ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC committing them to work to increase diversity on-screen and behind the camera.
AAMA Member Organizations include Asian Americans Advancing Justice—AAJC, East West Players, Japanese American Citizens League, National Council of Asian Pacific Americans, National Federation of Filipino American Associations, OCA—Asian Pacific American Advocates, Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund, and Visual Communications Media.
AAMA Affiliate Organizations include Asian American Documentary Network, Asian CineVision, Brown Girls Doc Mafia, Center for Asian American Media, Center for Asian Americans United for Self-Empowerment, Hawaii International Film Festival, Pacific Arts Movement, and Vietnamese American Arts & Letters Association.