April is AAPI Heritage Month - Get to Know Local AAPI Leaders & Influencers in the Chippewa Valley
PART 1 - The Chippewa Valley has multiple AAPI leaders and influencers who contribute to the community in major ways. In honor of AAPI Heritage Month, please take a moment to get to know some of these individuals, and recognize their contributions, heritage, and value to our community as a whole. Because there are so many incredible AAPI leaders and influencers in the Chippewa Valley, we will be dividing this into a series.
Brooke Jeein Newmaster is a Korean adoptee who has dedicated her life to exploring her Asian heritage, mentoring other Korean adoptees, and connecting with Pan Asian communities in multiple states. She is also an activist, supporting the BLM and Stop Asian Hate movements, and uses her voice to highlight areas of inequality within the Chippewa Valley. Newmaster is the owner of Korean JangmiArts , which is a Korean dance, drum and music group that offers opportunities for Korean Adoptees and community members to learn and perform traditional arts. She and her students have performed across the United States and throughout South Korea.
Floor Dusters Crew is a Hmong breaking crew originating from Eau Claire, WI which has competed in events nationwide. Breaking and hip hop were the roots that brought the crew together. At a young age with both these common interests, we had no clue what the future held for us. However, as time with training and dancing together progressed, a second family was born. Although some of the members are no longer active in competing, the bonds between us remain the same. Besides breaking and hip hop, showing respect and supporting each other, and being open-minded and diligent with everything we do solidifies our crew. We strive to continue growing as a family and to compete in future events for the active members. We are passionate about giving back and hope our ambitions and qualities help influence others, especially younger generations with a less fortunate upbringing and people of color. We are Floor Dusters Crew. Current members include: Tony Lor, Suxa Yang, Charlie Lee, Sou Lee, Tou Yia Xiong, Andrew Stumborg, Fue Kong Chirpy Yang, Shinang Yang, Fue Khang , Chimeng Moua, Seng Xiong, Fue Vang & Kao Her. You can contact Floor Dusters Crew for events and other paid opportunities at: FloorDustersCrew@gmail.com
Elan Mccallum is a Filipina American writer who grew up reading in a haunted house on the edge of the woods. She has participated locally in "Hard Times: An Artistic Expression of Poverty in Eau Claire," the Sound and Stories Series, and the Snapshot Series, and has collaborated with E Dance Company and Dotters Books. In her spare time she enjoys reading, crafting playlists, and avoiding the dishes in the sink.
Dr. Catherine Chan identifies as Chinese, and Chinese-American and serves as the Executive Director of the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. Under Chan’s previous leadership, the UW-Whitewater Undergraduate Research Program received the Program Achievement Award from the Wisconsin State Council on Affirmative Action and the Diversity Award from the UW System Board of Regents, and the program was one of six finalists nationwide for the Award for Undergraduate Research Accomplishments from the Council on Undergraduate Research. Chan holds a doctorate in cell and molecular biology as well as a bachelor's degree in biochemistry and molecular biology, both from UW-Madison. She also serves to educate the local community on her experience as an Asian American through panels, advocacy and more.
Stay tuned for more parts to this series....