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Happening later this month is a virtual Art-N-Sign event led by Deaf Art Instructor Ka-yun Lau. This makes the perfect gift for Mother’s Day! All ages welcome and it’s free to attend. Please DM us if you have any questions, thank you.
Flyer ID: Flyer description: rectangular light pink background with right half featuring a half-circle cut photo of a color pencil artwork drawing of several cherry blossoms in a blue pot. The SCADA logo is on the top right corner. And there are two cream colored half circle designs made of diagonal lines in the top and bottom of the flyer. 
The flyer says: Virtual Art-N-Sign
Learn how to draw this cherry blossom in pot artwork! 
Featuring Deaf Art Instructor: Ka-Yun Lau
Saturday, April 24, 2021 
1:00PM to 3:00PM PST
Via Zoom
Cost: FREE 
Supplies required:
-Scratch paper to practice
-White paper for final artwork
-Pencil and eraser
-Coloring medium of choice* (*color pencils are recommended)
Zoom link:
Zoom ID: 407 294 8558
On April 17, we have an exciting workshop sponsored by Alvin Joseph Leung Leadership Fund available to anyone interested! You can register for the event by scanning the QR code with your smartphone or entering the url link provided on the bottom of flyer. It is highly recommended that you register early if you need any special requests so we can accommodate them. If you have any questions, please contact us at
Flyer Description: square periwinkle background with upper third having a light purple geographic triangle design. SCADA logo is on top left corner and AsianSigners is on top right corner. Three panelists square photos are in the middle and a QR code on the bottom in the middle. 
The flyer says:
Spring Workshop
Smita Kothari "Deaf Desi" (ID:  A brown/desi woman wearing a yellow knitted sweater. She stands front of a blue background wall and smiles with her medium black hair)
Justin Cha "Empowering Mentorship" (ID: A fair tan Asian man who wears a short sleeved black shirt and stands outside with a sky blue beach background. He has short black hair and wears black framed glasses)
Yeh Kim "Reframing Asians" (ID: A light fair skin Asian man who has short black hair and wears clear framed glasses. He smiles with his arms crossed over wearing his gray jacket and wears a light gray to white scarf. Yeh is standing with a background of an indoor building)
Saturday, April 17, 2021
Time: 1-3pm PST, 3-5pm CST, 4-6pm EST
Where: Zoom
Meeting ID: 407 294 8558
Don't forget to register!
Sponsored by Alvin Joseph Leung Leadership Fund
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Video Gallery


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Please take a minute to watch and understand what SB 692 could potentially do to our DHH school programs in California!
We have included a template that you can use to modify and email the senators our concern regarding SB 692. Thank you for your support!
Google Doc Link to Template -
Senator Richard Pan -
Senator Mike McGuire -
Senator Steven M. Glazer -
Senator Brian Dahle -
Senator Dave Cortese -
Senator Rosilicie Ochoa Bogh -
Video Transcript: Hello I’m Ida Mojahedi, president of Southern California Asian Deaf Association (SCADA), I’m in solidarity with CAD and Cal-Ed to oppose SB 692.  SB 692 is dangerous to our DHH students, especially our Deaf Asian community
We’re against SB 692 WHY? It will affect DHH children to become isolated from their deaf peers. It can lead to serious language deprivation, especially foreign people who have no access.  Also, their mental health is very critical because they need to have social and communication skills with their peers. 
As you see the sample letter, all you have to do is copy the letter in the sure to explain (3 reasons) why you oppose it with bullets. You see the senator’s email address.  Send each letter to each senator.
Again, we, SCADA, oppose this SB 692 and in solidarity with CAD and Cal-Ed.

Please take a minute to watch and understand what ...

Trigger Warning: In collaboration with BAADA, we’ve created a video signing adjective words in response to the racial violence towards Asians recently.
Video Transcript:
00:00 - 00:04 “Trigger Warning (Physical Violence/Racism): the following displays trauma caused by racist violence” [black background, white text]
00:05 - 00:08  An Asian woman in Oakland, California was pistol-whipped and attacked by multiple persons -her keys and car were stolen. Her face had several bloody cuts. Photo credit: Yahoo News
00:09 - 00:13 Outside the temple’s entrance, a statue was defaced with black spray paint. On the back of one read “Jesus” vertically down the spine.  Photo credit: NextShark
00:14 - 00:18  In Midland Texas, Burmese father and sons were slashed across their faces.  Photo #1:the youngest son has a cut reaching from behind his ear all the way across to his eye. Photo #2: the father had a cut on the left cheek. Photo #3: the oldest son had a cut slashed on the upper right side of the face. Photo credit: AsAmNews
00:19 - 00:22 A 27-year-old Korean American man was physically assaulted in the heart of Los Angeles' Koreatown. Purple and black swollen bruise on the right side of the face. Photo credit:
00:23 - 00:30 A video coming out of Oakland's Chinatown showing a 91-year-old man senselessly pushed to the ground by a suspect near Harrison and 8th Street outside the Asian Resource Center.  Photo credit: ABC7 Bay Area
00:31 - 00:35 “Terrified” [Maria Tanya, a Filipina-American woman wearing the BAADA shirt, a black shirt with the BAADA logo on the left upper chest area, sitting on a black chair behind a grey wall]
00:36 - 00:39 “Numb” [Sutha, an Indian American man sitting in front of a green background wearing a polo shirt]
00:40 - 00:43 “Sad” [Renu, an Indian-American woman standing in front of a white wall. Her long hair is hanging down and she is wearing the black BAADA shirt]
00:44 - 00:46 “Hurt” [Bradley, an American, Filipino, and ¼ Spanish man wearing the black BAADA shirt and standing in front of white background]
00:47 - 00:49 “Upset” [Bryant, a Filipino American man wearing a black shirt and glasses. He stands in front of a wall between a door and closet]
00:50 - 00:53 “Confused” [Byung, a Korean American man wearing the black BAADA shirt in front of a black background and sitting on a gaming chair]
00:54 - 00:58 “Heartbroken” [Jeongin, a Korean American woman wearing the black BAADA shirt and standing in front of a white background]
00:59 - 01:00 “Horrified” [Wonha, a Korean American man wearing the black BAADA shirt and standing in front of a linen background]
01:01 - 01:04 “Harmful” [Elizabeth, a Mexican woman wearing the black BAADA shirt and black glasses with her hair braided to the right side, standing in front of a taupe wall]
01:05 - 01:08 “Poignant” [Laura, a Korean American woman with black hair, is wearing a black shirt in the white background]
01:09 - 01:17 “Invisible” [Ginny, a A Filipina wearing the black SCADA shirt and long black hair with white streaks spells INVISIBLE and signs the word]
01:18 - 01:22 “Unsafe” [Teresa, a Chinese American woman, with her hair down, wearing the black BAADA shirt in front of a large portrait on a white wall]
01:23 - 01:27 “Isolated” [Leo, a Filipino American man wearing the black SCADA shirt, standing in front of a light green wall]
01:28 - 01:30 “Lonely” [Kimberly, a Korean American woman, wearing the black SCADA shirt and light pink framed glasses. Her brown hair is tied up and she stands in front of light purple wall]
01:31 - 01:34 “Vulnerable” [Sarah, a Filipina-American woman, wearing a grey cardigan with her hair up, standing in front of a light grey wall]
01:35 - 01:37 “Bruised” [Lan, a Vietnamese American woman, wearing the black SCADA shirt. She wears a ponytail. She stands in front of white wall.]
01:38 - 01:40 “Protect our elders” [Nan, a Chinese American man with salt and pepper short hair wearing a black t-shirt with black framed glasses. He stands in front of a cream colored wall]
01:41 - 01:45 “Stop Asian hate” [Ida, Filipina American woman wearing the black SCADA shirt and black framed eyeglasses. Her black hair is shoulder length and the background is blue]
01:46 - 01:50 [Screen fades to black; “#stopasianhate” in white text] 
01:51 - 01:52 [BAADA Logo]
01:53 - 01:54 [SCADA Logo]

Trigger Warning: In collaboration with BAADA, we&r...

Happy Lunar New Year, everyone! Our chef, Jenny Roman is here to teach you all how to cook Banh Xeo! A special thanks to Jenny for this delicious recipe and awesome demonstration.
ID: Jen Roman, Deaf Asian woman with shoulder-length black hair wearing a grey short-sleeved shirt and golden bracelets and necklaces, demonstrating how to cook Banh Xeo in her kitchen. 
Link to Recipe (Pg.1-2) and Transcript (Pg 3-5):

Happy Lunar New Year, everyone! Our chef, Jenny Ro...

We are excited to announce our 2021 Lunar New Year plans: a cooking demonstration of a popular Vietnamese food dish, by our volunteer chef, Jenny! Leave your guesses on which dish will be taught below, and look forward to its premier on February 12th. Happy Lunar New Year!
ID: Derrian Tabilin, hard of hearing Asian woman with shoulder-length black hair wearing a black shirt with colored SCADA logo on top left. She is standing in front of a white wall. 
Jen Roman, deaf Asian woman with shoulder-length black hair wearing a black blazer, white shirt, gold necklace, and bracelet on her wrist. She is standing in front of a flower vase art frame.
Video Transcript: Derrian: Hello! My name is Derrian and I’m SCADA’s 2021 Lunar New Year chairperson. We’re thrilled to announce our Lunar New Year plans! This year will be different since we need to accommodate our current circumstances with the ongoing pandemic and ensure our members’ safety. We will be providing a cooking demonstration of a famous Vietnamese food dish, alongside teaching culture and Lunar New Year history. It is our honor to introduce our chef, Jenny! *gesture to off screen*
Jenny: Hello! My name is Jenny Roman. I was born in South Vietnam. When I was six years old, my family immigrated to Southern California, so I grew up here. Today, I’m excited to announce that I will show you how to cook a popular Vietnamese dish. I’d like you to guess the name of this dish. We will post a cooking demonstration with the name of this dish and simple instructions on how to cook on February 12. I’m going to give you a little hint. Maybe some of you might know. So, this popular dish was mainly influenced by the French. France colonized Northern and Southern Vietnam in the late 1800s and influenced the Vietnamese culture in many ways. We recognize that some of Vietnamese foods are actually influenced by French cuisine. So, the dish that I’m going to show you was influenced from the French, but the Vietnamese added their own distinct flavor. I’m excited to show you on February 12! Happy Lunar New Year!

We are excited to announce our 2021 Lunar New Year...

ID: Ida Mojahedi, Deaf Filipino woman, with shoulder length black hair and black glasses frame. She wears olive cardigan and a black top. She is sitting down and behind her is a black curtain.
Video Transcript:
Hello, hope you’re doing well. The holidays are coming soon and we are thrilled to announce a holiday giveaway! It includes a SCADA t-shirt, SCADA keychain, 1-year SCADA membership (if you’re already member you’ll get a year extended to your membership), and a $10 Amazon gift card. To enter, share a video no more than 1 minute and 30 seconds or type in the comments, a story of your favorite holiday memory. You must also be located in the U.S.! Deadline to submit your entry is on Friday, December 11. 5 winners will be selected  and announced on December 13 at noon PST. Make to share your video and comments below this post! We look forward to hearing your stories and thank you for supporting SCADA and good luck!

ID: Ida Mojahedi, Deaf Filipino woman, with should...

Saving Face - SCADA proudly presents a Roundtable Discussion with three local Deaf Asian Americans, who will navigate and share their personal experiences and perspectives on various topics related to Deaf Asian communities including the concept of “Saving Face”.
Link to transcript:

Saving Face

SCADA proudly presents a Roundtable Discussion wit...

Congratulations message from SCADA's President - ID: Ida Mojahedi, Deaf Filipino woman, with shoulder length black hair and black glasses frame. She wears black shirt. She sits in the corner with red wall with white curtain on the right side. 
Video Transcript:
Congratulations Class of 2020, of all ages from k- college. You made it!  As you face challenges during the difficult times, we SCADA want to show our support and excitement on your special day! We know that it’s unfortunate that you don’t get to walk on your graduation day.  We are proud of you and your hard work.  Tomorrow will be a brighter future thanks to you. You did it! Together we will build a better future for our community.  You have a new exciting life ahead of you! We wish you the best on your next adventure!

Congratulations message from SCADA's President

ID: Ida Mojahedi, Deaf Filipino woman, with should...

Mental Health Awareness Month Vlog - Mental Health Awareness Month Quotes Transcript
Video Transcript: 
Ida: May is Mental Health Awareness Month. What’s the purpose of it? It is to raise awareness about mental health, fight stigma, provide support, educate the public, and advocate. It’s important especially today with the uncertainty with COVID-10 and quarantine. We, SCADA, want to support and encourage one another, so we have tips for you!
Kimberly: It’s important to remain mindful, especially during these times. Breath and notice how you feel, make time to care for yourself, reach out to others and stay connected, and don’t hesitate to seek help. Here are some positive quotes you can remind yourself everyday.
Lan: “My thoughts become my reality.”
Grace: “I take the time to care for my body, mind, and spirit.”
Ginny: “I have people who love and care for me.”
Sarah: “I love myself for who I am.”
Christine: “I will not worry about things I cannot control.”
Laura: “I choose to forgive and let go of anger.”
Leo: “I believe in myself and my goals.”
Derrian: “I’m allowed to relax and self care.”
Lan: “How I feel matters.”
Grace: “I am enough.”
Ginny: “I choose to let go of my fear.”
Sarah: “I deserve happiness.”
Christine: “Today, I will learn and grow.”
Laura: “I will come through this challenge with a better understanding of myself.”
Leo: “It is okay if I make mistakes.”
Derrian: “I know my worth.”
For more information, please visit these websites:

Mental Health Awareness Month Vlog

Mental Health Awareness Month Quotes Transcript V...

AAPIHM: Q&A with Leang Ngov - Celebrating Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, we are doing a series of interviews with AAPI deaf individuals from different cultural backgrounds. We ask a variety of questions such how they identify, what their unique stories are, and what advice they have for the Asian Deaf community.
Book mentioned in the video-  "Cambodia History: Cambodian History for the Young Generations," by Soy Taing
More books recommended by Leang Ngov:
1. The Illustrated Guide to Wildlife of Cambodia; Paintings and Text by students from the Liger Learning Center in Cambodia [this is in bilingual - Khmer and English]
2. Khmer Sayings by Khmer Community Development [not sure where to buy this because I bought this in Cambodia] 
3. A History of Democratic Kampuchea (1975-1979) [publishing company: Documentation Center of Cambodia]
4. Modern Literature of Cambodia. Edited by Teri Shaffer Yamada
5. Half Spoon of Rice: A Survival Story of the Cambodian Genocide, written by Icy Smith and illustrated by Sopaul Nhem [this is older children’s picture book]
ID: On the left side- Leang Ngov, Deaf Khmerican womxn with long brown hair, wears brown top. Behind her is an off white/tan wall.  
On the right side- Kimberly Han, light-skinned Korean American woman with medium brown hair and red glasses sits in front of light purple wall. She wears tan sleeveless top.

AAPIHM: Q&A with Leang Ngov

Celebrating Asian American and Pacific Islander He...

AAPIHM: Q&A with Jason Hoang - Celebrating Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, we are doing a series of interviews with AAPI deaf individuals from different cultural backgrounds. We ask a variety of questions such how they identify, what their unique stories are, and what advice they have for the Asian Deaf community.
ID: On the left side- Jason Hoang, light skinned Deaf Vietnamese American male  with hair combed to the left, wearing solid black t-shirt  The background from left to right: houseplant with pot, horizontal blinds, a bed w/ pillows fixed, and an inspiration quote canvas hanged on the wall.   
On the right side- Leo Samaniego, light brown skinned Deaf Filipino American with black buzz cut hair and wearing a solid light gray t-shirt. Background is matcha green wall.
Video Transcript:
LS: Hello, I’m Leo Samaniego. I am SCADA’s secretary and social media manager. What are we doing today? We’re celebrating Asian American and Pacific Islander Month (AAPI) by interviewing different Asian Deaf individuals. Right now, we have a special guest with us here. Do you mind introducing yourself to us?
JH: Hello! Yes, my name is Jason Hoang (signed “8” with middle finger flicking on the left side of his chest). I’m a fitness trainer and content creator.
LS: How are you doing? Doing well?
JH: I’m doing great! Right now, the coronavirus has us in quarantine so we have no choice but to stay home.
LS: Yeah, I got my head shaved because of being in quarantine! 
JH: I can see that! First time that I’ve seen you like that! 
LS: Okay, let’s get things rolling! Are you ready for questions?
JH: Yes, bring it on!
LS: Okay, first question. How do you identify yourself? And how did that identity impact your career and overall life?
JH: To answer your first question, I grew up thinking that I’m an American, period. When I started traveling, I discovered my Asian identity. I learned that I have a lot of identities involved, like being Asian American, but that is a broad answer. To be more specific, I’m Vietnamese - my parents were born and raised in Vietnam, Hong Kong, Chinese, and Deaf American. All of these make up my identity. For the second question, did you ask how my identity-
LS: Yes, how it impacted your career and overall life?
JH: Yes, really I grew as a skinny weak ass kid. Many people viewed me as that kid who was skinny and underweight. I thought I wanted to be masculine, but this damaged my confidence because others kept bringing me down. So over time, I started working out because I wanted to look like the men that you see in the media, such as Black, White, and Latino individuals who were perceived as masculine. This made an impact on my career because of the building pressure from society as a fitness trainer because Asians in this generation have to work two or three times harder, and don’t get a lot of media representation, especially showing us as masculine.
LS: Definitely
JH: We’re assumed to only be weak, nerdy, or intelligent. The lack of masculinity should be a serious discussion in the media.
LS: Stereotyping Asian as nerds.
JH: Right! 
LS: Yes, but it’s interesting how you found your identity. There’s no right time in finding your identity, but it is important you find your identity no matter how early or late. That’s all that matters.
JH: That’s right.
LS: Moving on. What was your relationship with your family like growing up and now? And how do you think they have impacted your choices and experiences?
JH: Really, I was the only Deaf member in the family, meaning my family was especially protective of me while growing up. They always said no to me going out or walking by myself on the streets. I felt restricted and dependent on my family. I had never learned how to become independent. This led to me feeling limited; I wanted to experience new things and travel, but my family said no. I was persistent in wanting to travel for experience. I had to! So, when that happened, I learned a lot about myself. I realized how limited I was because of my family always saying no. I understand that my family cares and wants to protect me, but at the same time, I have to learn on my own, by making my own mistakes and learning from them as life goes on. That realization impacted me greatly, and now I’m learning how to communicate with my family. It’s not one-hundred percent perfect since it takes time to communicate little by little to become open-minded. My Asian family is usually close-minded, so I’m learning how to take things step by step.
LS: I kind of feel that it’s a standard among Asian culture.
JH: Why’s that?
LS: Most tend to be close minded, especially the older generation. The new generation-
JH: Right, because we have to respect our elders. Elders always think they are right, but that might not always be the case. 
LS: Yeah, I also feel like maybe since past generations went through difficult times, they don’t want us to go through that. That’s why they are always protective of us, so I understand that. 
JH: Right.
LS: Okay, next question. We know that you enjoy traveling the world and experiencing different cultures; how has your Asian identity shaped your travels?
JH: How did my identity shape my travels? Really.. Well, for example, going to Mexico or Europe, I always found a way to get my fix of Asian food… It’s hard because they don’t usually match my preferences, but I’m really proud of my identity, my Asian culture. It’s who I am. I’m always motivated to learn about new cultures, but I feel most connected to my Asian identity.
LS: Interesting! So, who are some Asian individuals that you look up to and believe to be good role models, and why?
JH: To be honest with you, growing up, I had no role models.
LS: None?!
JH: There were only a few role models out there, like Jackie Chan and Bruce Lee. Yes, I sort of looked up to them, but I didn’t really feel that strong connection. The problem for me growing up was that I didn’t see enough Asian role models in the media. I didn’t see many then. But now, I look up to Jordan Yeoh, he is a fitness trainer on Youtube and Instagram. His work ethic is great and he’s so motivated about fitness and teaching so I love that. Also, Soo Hee Lee, who is an Instagrammer and published book author. She really made an impact towards research connected to food and fitness. Both Jordan and Soo Hee are Asian Americans, and I look up to them. 
LS: I never heard of them before, I’ll check that out!
JH: Yeah, you should. 
LS: Next, in what ways do you hope Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) community will evolve over time? How do you think we could give back and support one another? 
JH: Really, in my experience growing up, I didn’t really see a lot of Asian communities, so it was a really tough time for me. Really, I would like for our generation to look more up to and be involved in bringing both Deaf and Asian communities together. Meaning, we could give back by sharing our stories. I’ve recognized that many are scared to share their stories, though I don’t know why. Maybe some feel pressured-
LS: Yeah, it’s important to encourage it.
JH: Yeah, encourage it! It’s so important to share stories because those are my own experiences that I went through, and children can learn from these experiences and realize they’re not alone. It’s so hard to improve yourself when you feel alone; you need an entire community. One time, I went to a Latinx event with my girlfriend -she’s Deaf. I felt so inspired because many of them shared their stories. I was like, where’s my community and their stories? I don’t see any, like, what’s up? So, I think we should work on that. Sharing more stories, especially in the media, or making these types of events.  
LS: Maybe you should set up one? 
JH: Right, but it takes way more than just one person; we’ll need a collaborating team to ensure it’s successful!
LS: Yeah, I’ve also recognized that this year for AAPI, we have a lot more individuals speaking up, which is great. 
JH: Yes! It should continue. 
LS: Yes, all right, last question. Do you have any final thoughts or advice for the Deaf and/or Deaf Asian community? 
JH: Yeah, I think if I could tell myself something as a kid twenty years ago, I would’ve said “be yourself.” I used to try to conform to stereotypes, like that I should be good at math or the piano or music -but I couldn’t because I’m Deaf. So, the stereotypes can be extremely limiting, but it’s important that you follow your dreams. Figure out what you want and go for it! It doesn’t matter if you don’t see any other Asian Deaf person doing it- like myself, being a content creator and personal trainer, there’s so few Asians doing that. 
LS: Yeah, so true. It’s very rare. 
JH: You don’t see any. But I pursued it because it’s my dream and my passion. If you follow through, it’ll make you really unique. 
LS: One-hundred percent agree with that. Plus there’s so much expectations from parents like them wanting you to become a doctor or other esteemed careers, but it’s more important to follow your dreams. 
JH: I know it’s a bit of a sticky situation deciding between following either your parents’ or your dream. 
LS: Yeah
JH: It’s a hard decision, definitely easier said than done. But if you follow yours, you’ll be more happy. But yeah, that’s my advice. 
LS: Yeah, I like that. Well, thank you so much and we really appreciate your time in doing this interview! I hope our audiences have learned something- I personally learned a lot from you during this interview. 
JH: Yes, I’m really honored being involved in this interview too. Thanks!
LS: Thank you!

AAPIHM: Q&A with Jason Hoang

Celebrating Asian American and Pacific Islander He...

ASL Storytelling - The last ASL Storytelling for the month is performed by member, Vita Vongsikeo, based on the children's book Thanking the Moon by Grace Lin. Enjoy!
ID: Vita, Asian woman, wears black top and silver hoops on her ears. Her hair is black with blue and green dye on her hair end. She stands in front of white wall on left side and white door on right side. 
Video Transcript: 
Hello! My name is Vita. I’m from Los Angeles, California. I will sign a story titled, “Thanking the Moon” and it’s written by Grace Lin. 
The mid autumn moon glows in the sky. We go into the night to admire it. Ma-Ma prepares the nighttime picnic. Ba-Ba arranges the moon-honoring table. Mei-Mei plays with the pale green pomelo peel. Jie-Jie brings out the glowing lanterns. And I pour the round cups of tea. We all eat soft, sweet moo cakes. Then we thank the moon for bringing us together and send it our secret wishes. It peacefully watches over all of us...this night of the Mid Autumn Moon Festival.

ASL Storytelling

The last ASL Storytelling for the month is perform...

AAPIHM: Q&A with Amrita Booter - Celebrating Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, we are doing a series of interviews with AAPI deaf individuals from different cultural backgrounds. We ask a variety of questions such how they identify, what their unique stories are, and what advice they have for the Asian Deaf community.
ID: On the left side- Amrita Booter, olive skinned Deaf Indian American with medium wavy hair parted on left side, wearing black blouse with half sleeves. The background is a canvas with a colorful world map on a light blue grey wall, pencil sharpener and printer visible on black bookcase.
On the right side- Laura Kim, Deaf Korean American sitting on a patio chair with long dark brown hair, side braided ponytail, wearing mustard yellow tank top and red-orange cardigan. Background is white wall
Video Transcript:
LK: Hello, my name is Laura Kim. I am the San Diego representative for
SCADA. What's your name?
AB: Hello, I am Amrita Booter, I am a member of SCADA.
LK: How are you? 
AB: I’m good! How are you?
LK: I'm good. It's a beautiful and relaxing day. So nice! 
AB: Yes, I agree!
LK: Are you ready for the interview?
AB: Yes, go ahead!
LK: Okay! Related to your business-oriented work, how has it impacted you and how do you identify yourself?
AB: Well, my business is actually a 7-Eleven franchise. My family, specifically my father, was a 7-Eleven franchisee. I myself had never planned to become one, but growing up, since age 10, I would go to the stores with him during my summer vacations and breaks when I was free so I had acquired all the business knowledge early on. I don’t think it was until I graduated from college and was completing an internship at the Environmental Health Department for Food Inspection at restaurants that I realized the long 60-70 working hours and requirement to work subordinate to other people. My father suggested to me to buy a 7-Eleven franchise, and I thought, “sure, why not?” I got married during that time, so my husband and I completed the training course together and I found that I was a natural! I immediately picked it up and realized that it’s something I can do easily.  My father supported us and we got our first 7-Eleven store here in San Diego. My family is from Los Angeles. We did extremely well and the store prospered and now we have a total of 4 stores!
LK: Wow! 
AB: I feel like I didn’t work super hard since I had already obtained the necessary skills growing up.
LK: Yeah, I agree that it definitely helps growing up as a child and getting that opportunity to absorb the workspace and experiences like that! Going through life and asking questions like, “do I want that kind of job?” and not intentionally planning for it, but having it already a part of you.
AB: Yes, right
LK: Like, instead of job searching and finding something connected to your major, you had a family business as a back-up plan that was readily available to join! How nice! 
AB: Yes, it felt natural, something that I already had in me and was good at.
LK: Perfect! So, can you describe your journey to become a successful business owner?
AB: Like I said before, I had started getting experience around age ten then when I was older, I got the training in which I immediately picked up and passed the class. They approved of me getting a store since they knew my history well. Being Deaf is a challenge since every single person that I meet with, I have to let them know that I’m deaf and explain how I can communicate… that I lip-read or gesture. Iif I don’t understand something, we can text back and forth. I can work with them while being assertive and not afraid. They can see how friendly I am and how it is easy to communicate with me. It is a challenge every day, but once you past it, it does get easier. I do remember when I finished the 6-week training and had sought out my own 7-Eleven business. I was pretty young, about 23 years old.
LK: Wow!
AB: Because of my experience for doing it so long, I was able to help run my father’s business. He already knew my history. 
LK: That helps.
AB: So, he couldn’t say no to me. I proved how well I was at it by increasing his stores’ sales by 25 percent. He recognized how I was skilled with new technology. In the past, technology had been changing since the stores were keeping track of sales and orders using a book with scan codes, but now it’s on a screen called graphic order terminal (GOT). Similar to an iPad that makes it a lot easier to order. So he had recognized how I was already comfortable with picking up new technology and was capable of learning it quickly. 
LK:  It is easy to pick up that technical skill while you are young.
AB: My first store did so well and they gave me a second store after two years. The second store wasn’t bought from an existing franchisee, but was an actual brand new store. Each new store that we get is smaller and modern compared to older, normal 7-Eleven stores, so it’s neat to have that opportunity.
LK:  It seems like you already have a foundation of communication and different strategies that you got from when you were younger and observing how your father ran his business. You already have different ways to address people; not just because you’re deaf, but you really showed them that you can do it! 
AB: Yes, that’s right!
LK: So again, next question, what or who inspired you to open a 7-Eleven franchise?
AB: Of course, my dad! 
LK: Apparently! 
AB: I am really grateful for him. He believes in me and supports me. 
LK: That's important!
AB: Yes, he really encouraged me. I did want to become a doctor like my mother, but he really questioned me about whether I wanted to do those long hours like she had done; she left for work I went to school, and even when I came back from school, I was always only greeted by my grandparents at home and not my mother. I did understand how she was busy helping babies and young children. My father asked me if I wanted those long hours.  but I always imagined my mom walking me to school or picking me up from school, and 7-Eleven provides that opportunity to be there with my children. 
LK: Nice! That balance between family and work is really important; so great that you took your father’s advice! 
AB: Right! Yes!
LK:  What are some challenges regarding opening and operating a business store as a Deaf Asian person?
AB: Like I mentioned before, it’s a challenge informing others that I’m deaf and communicating with them. Overcoming that challenge requires proving yourself to them and showing how you can do it. I have to work twice as hard as my hearing counterparts, but, I was already passionate about it; I set that goal and was motivated to reach it.
LK: Yes, so important that you had the passion.
AB: Yes, passion is the key to achieve and succeed in anything.  
LK: Yes! Now, could you tell us about some cultural traditions, celebrations, or rituals related to your ethnic background  that your family participates in?
AB: Yes, my family is huge on weddings! Weddings are the most important celebrations for my family, and they’re very modern. Actually, I forgot to mention my identities. I see myself as Deaf first and then Asian, but there’s many more… I’m a woman-
LK: A whole lot of different "role" hats!
AB:Indian, Punjabi, Sikh. And that’s why I say my name is Amrita. It’s one identity; easy and simple. On my mother’s side, three generations had grown up in Africa and on my father’s side, they are from Pakistan… but actually, at that time, Pakistan was India before the 1947 partition. India is where my heritage is established, but I was born here in the United States. I don’t speak any languages from India, I only know ASL and English. So, it’s a bit hard to really identify what my specific identity is; generally, I’m South Asian, but what does that mean exactly? Because I’m also an American too. So, it complicated but I just say that I’m Amrita and I’m proud of all my identities. 
LK: It is really important how you identify yourself especially with all your multiple and interesting backgrounds and identities-
AB: Yes. 
LK: -they don't need to label you but you let yourself define who you are. Absolutely beautiful! Thank you so much for your family’s background. That's really important to know about your family history, like where they came from. Sometimes, families have to make the sacrifice and move to other countries to obtain job opportunities to make money and send it back to their home countries to financially support their families. 
AB: Yeah, our families do move for whatever opportunities may pop up.  
LK: So, since you identify yourself as a Deaf Indian American alongside all the other identities you have, is there anything you wish to share and clarify with Deaf Asians about your culture? 
AB: Right, I’m multicultural. I have Deaf culture, Indian culture, and so forth. But yes, I wanted to note how I notice some parallels between Deaf and Indian cultures. You know how one Deaf person shares something and then everyone follows? It’s similar for Indian culture: one business owner is successful and shares that with fellow Indians, so you can see why so many 7-Eleven owners are Indian.
LK: Yeah
AB: Really, success and resources are shared within their communities, both Indian and Deaf. Cultures are strengthened when resources are shared.
LK:  I’m wondering, have you met any other Deaf Indian 7- Eleven owners?
AB: No. So far, none. 
LK:  How about other countries that have 7-Eleven franchises?
AB: None that I know of. 
LK: No? Okay, I was just curious. 
AB: I do know one franchisee whose daughter is Deaf, and we are good friends.  
LK:  Really?
AB: Yes, but she doesn’t own a business; she’s actually a teacher.  
LK: Oh, okay. Do you have any advice for those who want to open their own stores and/or businesses?
AB: Sorry, it froze a bit. 
LK: That's fine.
AB: Did you ask me what my advice is for those who want to open their own businesses?  
LK: Yes, businesses or stores.
AB: I say, if you have a natural talent and passion already, go for it. Don’t be afraid of approaching that challenge since you don’t know anything until you do it!
LK: Wow, thank you for answering all the questions! To our audience, I hope this interview inspires and motivates you. It’s important that you don’t feel afraid of someone who has succeeded in their business or store, so go ahead and be curious and ask them questions! Great advice will follow and you’ll be able to further pursue your dream! 
AB: Yes, thank you! Bye!
LK:  Thank you for watching us! Thank you for this interview!

AAPIHM: Q&A with Amrita Booter

Celebrating Asian American and Pacific Islander He...

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