AARP AAPI Marketing Communications Consultant

Gil Asakawa is a journalist, editor, author and blogger who covers Asian American issues and culture in blogs and social media. He is the Student Media Manager for the University of Colorado, Boulder’s journalism program, and a consultant managing editorial content and social media for AARP’s Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) marketing team.

He is a nationally known speaker, panelist and expert on Asian American and Japanese American issues. He was invited to speak about the Japanese American experience and train young writers in Japan in 2015. He’s the author of “Being Japanese American” originally published in 2004 and revised in 2015, a history of Japanese in America, and co-author of “The Toy Book” (Knopf, 1991), a history of the toys of the Baby Boom generation.

He is involved in a number of Asian and Asian American community organizations and boards, has been accepted as a member of the US-Japan Council and is an appointed member of the City of Denver’s Asian American Pacific Islander Commission.

Gil sings and plays guitar (sometimes in a “band”) and is the King of the Grill. He posts lots of pictures of food on social media.

Vote for the 2017 AARP AAPI Hero Awards!

Congratulations to the Finalists in AARP’s 2nd Annual AAPI Hero Awards Contest! We wanted to hear about the hard-working staff and volunteers who bring their passion and energy to non-profit organizations that serve AAPIs who are 50-plus. We were looking for the people who are the heart and soul of their organizations, not just the founders, CEOs and executive directors. We received 61 nominations, and the judges were impressed by every nominee. After much deliberation, we chose 10 outstanding finalists …

Vincent Chin’s Slaying 35 Years Ago Galvanized a Pan-Asian Movement

On the night of June 19, 1982, 27-year-old Vincent Chin was celebrating his bachelor party with friends in a Detroit strip club. He got into an altercation with two white men, and both groups were thrown out. The two men tracked down Chin with the help of a third man and brutally beat him with a baseball bat. Their reason? They were angry about the state of the U.S. auto industry, and blamed Japanese cars, which were at the time …

Reporter David Louie Celebrates 45 Years on the Air

David Louie, a familiar face to TV viewers in San Francisco, celebrates a personal milestone on May 29, Memorial Day: 45 years with ABC as a reporter, spending most of his career at KGO ABC7 Bay Area. Louie began his career at KGO in 1972, then left for a management position at an ABC station in Detroit in 1977. He missed the Bay Area and returned in ’79 and has stayed ever since. He covered the burgeoning technology scene out …

Deadline Extended for AARP AAPI Hero Award Nominations!

AARP AAPI Heroes Awards! You can read about our inaugural winners here Once again, we’re looking for hardworking individuals who may be volunteers or employees for a 501(c)3 organization that serves Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) who are 50-plus, and exemplify the mission of their organizations yet seldom receive the accolades that they deserve. You can nominate your 2017 AARP AAPI Heroes here We’re not looking for founders, executives or board members, necessarily; we want to shine the spotlight …

Japanese Immigrant Is Nashville’s First AAPI City Council Member

Mina Johnson is living the American dream, but it’s one she hadn’t dreamed about growing up. An immigrant from Japan, Johnson is Nashville’s first Asian American and Pacific Islander member of the city council. “I never imagined I would be doing this when I left Japan,” she says. Because of deep-rooted cultural traditions, it’s still unusual for women in Japan to enter politics and for Asian Americans to run for public office — particularly in the self-proclaimed “buckle of the …

Why Tax-Aide Needs Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders as Volunteers

Vivi Luangkhot has volunteered for the AARP Foundation Tax-Aide program for four years. An accountant who works for AARP by day, she first found she enjoyed helping others fill out their returns when she was in college. “I always enjoyed doing tax returns,” she says. “I do it for myself and I do it for my family.” After college, Vivi was referred to a Virginia program to help people with their taxes. And now she’s happy that AARP offers her …