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Diversity Seminar to Address How ‘Model Minority’ Myth Impacts AAPI Community

Copper wolf statue in Wolf Plaza - Diversity Seminar to Address How 'Model Minority' Myth Impacts AAPI Community - College of Natural Resources News NC State University
Photo by Marc Hall, NC State University Communications

Ricky Leung, co-founder and program director at North Carolina Asian Americans Together (NCAAT), will lead a DIRE Dialog seminar on Thursday, February 24 at 12 p.m.

Funded by the Duke Energy Foundation and hosted by the NC State College of Natural Resources, the DIRE (Diversity, Inclusion and Racial Equity) seminar series aims to address the discrimination and systemic inequalities faced by marginalized individuals in fields related to natural resources.

Leung’s seminar will include discussions about how the “model minority” myth in America applies to recent events and hate crimes, as well as how to support students, staff and faculty in the Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) community.

“Since the events of March of last year, I think many of us became horrified to begin understanding the level of intense violence and bigotry that our AAPI communities have endured,” said Stacy Nelson, professor and interim associate dean for diversity and inclusion at the NC State College of Natural Resources. “This DIRE session is dedicated to the education and uplifting of AAPI voices within our college, university and society … I’m so very excited that Mr. Leung is willing to facilitate this dialogue session for us.”

At NCAAT, Leung works with the organization to support equity and justice by fostering community among Asian Americans and allies in North Carolina. The nonprofit encourages civic engagement, leadership development, grassroots mobilization and political participation.

Leung studied journalism and mass communication at UNC Chapel Hill and began his career at National Geographic in Washington, D.C. While there, he worked in the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center and became involved with the Asian American grassroots movement.

In 2010, Leung returned to North Carolina to work for NC Policy Watch, a news and commentary project of the North Carolina Justice Center. He then launched NCAAT alongside Chavi Khanna Koneru and eventually began working for the organization full-time.

Leung’s seminar will be free and open to all students, faculty and staff at NC State. It will be hosted virtually via Zoom and can be accessed here. For more information about the College of Natural Resources’ Office of Diversity and Inclusion, please click here.