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One in a Billion is a podcast about Asian values, culture and society – one person at a time. We interview Asian writers, producers, entrepreneurs and entertainers about what they do, and what drives their choices and decisions. Hosted by Mable Chan (former ABC News producer), “One in a Billion” gives the stage to the young and the bold with a voice and a view that is rarely heard. Learn more at https://www.oneinabillionvoices.org/
 
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What would you do if you’ve written about becoming a Supreme Court justice, dreamed of a life and career in law, put in a lot of time and work to prepare for that track - then one day you change my mind? Is it a waste of time, money and education at that point? These are some of the questions that Daniel Christopher “D.C.” Rogers (Harvard Class of …
 
How far will you travel outside of your hometown, your neighborhood, your comfort zone, in order to see the world differently? Why is it important to keep your sense of insecurity as your companion as you embark on your scientific, academic or philosophical enquiry? How does failure keep you hungry for success? Those are some of the questions that …
 
Should a Harvard education prepare you for failure?Should failure be normalized in the course of higher education?Or at the very least, would you want to learn how to take or talk about failure? Those are the sort of questions rarely asked if you’re a Harvard student who is used to acing your exams, winning accolades or top awards until one day – y…
 
How do I want to engage in the world?Do I want to be an academic teaching philosophy as a professor?Wouldn’t that be a very inward-looking, insular kind of life?Is that what I want? Those were some of the questions Janet Hook, (Harvard Class ’77) asked herself before deciding not to pursue a Phd in philosophy. For Janet, a Harvard graduate with a d…
 
Many Harvard Asian American undergraduates I know with immigrant parents who are physicians receive a lot of pressure from their families to be a doctor. But not Divya Narendra, (Class of 2004) While at Harvard, Divya was given the space and the autonomy he needed to think critically and explore creatively what he wanted as a consumer that was miss…
 
Remember your college days dreaming big dreams, anxious about your grades, fearful about your future until one day, you find yourself in a different place, at a different stage of life doing very different things than you could ever imagine as a student? “Where Are They Now?” Is a special co-production between One in a Billion and WHRB (Harvard Rad…
 
With less than ten days before Thanksgiving, my podcast team and I find ourselves counting the innumerable ways that we have been challenged, and the unpredictable opportunities that have come our way in 2020. So in today’s Season 5 True Colors Episode #10 Reflections on 2020, we each will share our voices expressing our thoughts and feelings about…
 
Today, tens of thousands of Americans head to the polls. Our choice of the next president - Donald Trump or Joe Biden - may be hard for some, but it will have immediate and long-term consequences for America in the years to come. Many of our listeners like you may not be able to choose your country’s leaders for a variety of reasons. But in your ow…
 
Three in ten Americans blame China or Chinese people for the Coronavirus pandemic, according to the Ipsos Poll. Anti-Asian harassment, assault and hate crimes have also been on the rise since the outbreak began. However, the racial bias against Asians in America has long existed in everyday life way before the virus. In Season 5 True Colors: Episod…
 
When was the last time you felt your life was turned upside down? How did you find a way out? Last Spring when Covid-19 outbreak led to a series of campus closures, forcing tens of thousands of students to move out of their dorms in a matter of days, Kimberly Jung, a graduate student at MIT Engineering School, got the news on her mobile phone. Stun…
 
As the Black Lives Matter movement spread across America earlier this summer, many Asian Americans began to reflect on their personal history of struggling for racial equality. In particular, one civil rights group has pushed for attitude change among Asians to reach across the racial divide and join African Americans and other communities of color…
 
To whom do you feel indebted for your civil rights and citizenship status in America? Your parents or your parents’ parents? Or yourself? Frankly, I had never considered this question until I came across Eileen Huang’s critical letter urging the Chinese American community to confront their anti-Black racist statements and stereotypes. In her words,…
 
Imagine this. You have Covid-19. You’re running out of breath. You’re inside a hospital emergency room getting a blood transfusion. Suddenly this happens. There’s a leak somewhere. Your bodily fluids spew and splash all over the bed sheets, some of the droplets land on the exposed skin of the emergency physicians and nurses risking their lives to s…
 
It’s been four months since the police shooting of Breonna Taylor, the 26-year-old emergency room technician of Louisville, Kentucky. Her tragic death in her own apartment has triggered ongoing protests demanding police accountability. As the sound of fury and cries of justice rage on across the country, there is one young African American woman wh…
 
Who can assure you when you can’t breathe? What do you need to hear from ER Doctors when you are in ICU? In the age of Covid-19, these questions are more pressing and personal than ever. In Part 2 of our Season 5 True Colors: “Finding Humanity in Emergency” Dr. Anita Chary and Dr. Paul Chen, both are ER doctors in Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospi…
 
We kick off Season 5 today (July 14th) with a 10-part series True Colors. True Colors is about the color of one’s character in times of crisis. How do you respond after you’ve seen the video of George Floyd dying under the knee of a white police officer in Minneapolis? What can you do to confront anti-black racism in America? Veteran ABC News corre…
 
She never ceases to amaze me. Sanyee Yuan - a 20 something writer, actor, host, and Harvard graduate - is always chasing the next big opportunity by connecting with people who inspire her creative thought that would turn into a story or a script! I first interviewed Sanyee in 2012 when she spoke movingly about being raised by a single mom with two …
 
What drives you crazy? How about being called just that - crazy. If you are struggling with a mental disorder, you might lash out or turn inward. And when you do, that word “crazy” could feel like a weapon that cuts through your skin. In this episode “This Asian American Life: Don’t Call Me Crazy” - New York based writer/editor/illustrator Hannah B…
 
What’s wrong with bribing your 3-year-old with a gold star? Or, if you’re in China, it’s a red star. Chinese American journalist Lenora Chu was a new mother when she first moved to Shanghai with her husband, she quickly discovered the authoritarian style of Chinese schooling clashed with her American upbringing in Texas. How? What did she do? Well,…
 
Have you ever been tempted to trace your roots? What might pique your curiosity if your mother refused to talk about her parents? For Scott Tong, he decided to find his home village precisely because no one seemed to remember his grandparents. What happened to them? Why did they stay in China when his mother fled to America? Check out my conversati…
 
What if your father called you after you two hadn’t talked for a year? What if you were looking for a better relationship with him, and you were finding you were running out of time? In Part 2 of my interview with Mimi Wong, a New York-based writer and multimedia producer, she shared her reflections on those last few conversations with her father, …
 
When was the last time you had a talk, or a fight with your father? What might trigger your urge to call him, or to reflect on what’s been missing in your relationship? In Part 1 of my interview with Mimi Wong, a New York based writer and multimedia producer shared her story, first published in “How Watching Asian Father on Screen Helped me Face My…
 
Why would you give up all that you’ve studied or worked so hard for once you hit a certain life stage and decided to pursue what really makes you happy? In Part 2 of my interview with Chinese American documentary filmmaker Hao Wu, he talked about giving up the traditional notion of success. Making money. Making parents proud. Instead, he chose to l…
 
What will you find if you bank on the Internet to fulfill your desire? How much money will you spend to make your dream come true in this digital universe? In this 2-part interview with Chinese American documentary filmmaker Hao Wu, he talked about “The People’s Republic of Desire” - a film about live-streaming in China. It’s a story about the huma…
 
If you’re a 20 something Asian woman trying to establish yourself as a writer in Tech, listen up. You can speak up, share your thoughts and yet, nobody hears you. You’re ignored. That’s Eda Yu’s story. In “Don’t Talk Over Me” Eda talks with Lauren Dai, another Asian woman working in Silicon Valley about tough challenges in a room full of white men.…
 
If you have spent a good chunk of your life studying and working like a robot, how would you know to wake up one day, and say “I am not a robot!” That’s Kou Aizhe’s story. A former librarian and TV journalist, he was inspired by "This American Life" podcast to create his own show “Gushi FM.” The idea is to give voice to real people with real-life e…
 
Part 3 of a Special Summer Series from Shanghai: In Context with Anita Xu: “How can this be...the rest of my life!?” If you’d invested almost your entire adult life training to be a professional landscape designer, you’d landed at your dream job. But a few years later, you looked around your workplace and you discovered something that would forever…
 
Part 2 of A Special Summer Series from Shanghai: In Context with Anita Xu. Can you imagine your life’s mission is to meet the expectations of your parents? Ever since she was a little girl, Carol pushed herself, moving to a big city from a small town, working her way up and up to satisfy her parents. Now, at age 33, Carol’s lost. Her parents have c…
 
Season 4 kicks off with a Summer Special Series from Shanghai: In Context with Anita Xu- "Why Risk It?” It’s an intimate conversation between digital marketing professional Anita Xu and her college buddy Xu He. Xu He chose to become an entrepreneur after feeling unfulfilled in his first few jobs after graduating from a top journalism university in …
 
What makes people in China laugh? Why would they spend time and money to go to a stand-up act by an American comedian in Beijing? And, who is he? This is story about an American scholar turned comedian who dedicates his life to bringing Chinese and Americans together through humor and laughter. Music Used: Brad McCarthy's One in a Billion Theme Son…
 
What is love about? Can you show gratitude without spending or giving money? Can you show care without sacrificing your passion? To truly show gratitude, must you also sacrifice? With these questions in mind, I interviewed Jinzhao (JZ) Wang, a 28 year old Chinese American a few months ago. JZ told me she can’t fully enjoy what gives her pleasure wi…
 
Are you the person you or your parents want to be? Is your personal dream inseparable from your parents? Can it be? Should it be? That is Angela’s agony. How does she navigate around a set of cultural expectations to create her own path? Check out my interview with Angela Tang, a rising senior at Williams College, in Episode #3 “This Chinese Life: …
 
What does it mean to be Chinese? 415 million Chinese millennials in China wrestle with crushing pressure to live up to a cultural identity and societal ideal. What are they? How do they cope? What are their biggest fears? Check out Part 2 of my interview with author/public speaker Zak Dychtwald “This Chinese Life: What does it mean to be Chinese?” …
 
He grew up in a predominantly white suburban town in California. His parents would take him travelling around the world for work since he was a child. Then one day, he stumbled upon a movie - “Enter the Dragon” (starring Bruce Lee) that would strike his fancy about another world - China. That’s where Zak Dychtwald decided to go right after he gradu…
 
An unexamined life is not worth living. What leads one to examine one’s life? A surprise setback? An unforgettable encounter? An ongoing desire? All of these experiences tend to re-emerge or surge in our memory as we look back on 2017. In this last episode of Season 2 “Reflections on 2017: What’s Weighing on My Mind,” we listen to three compelling …
 
She carries the good genes of music and science from the family. Her grandmothers are physics professors in China, one of them plays the piano as a child. Her father is a computer scientist, her mother is a medical scholar. Yet, she struggled to learn the piano as a child. Her head was bored from slavishly following the sheet music. And her heart w…
 
Kira Omans was just four months when she was abandoned in a public walkway near a bridge in Zhongshan, China. Not only was she discovered and adopted to begin a new life in America, she would go on to become Miss Pacific Asian American (2015), a model, dancer, and an actress with her first lead in a new feature film “Shoes.” How did she get back up…
 
What would you do when someone tries to break you down, yelling at you saying “You’re the worst!?” What would you do when no one believes in your startup idea, saying “it’s too idealistic. It’s never going to work!?” What would you do when you face humiliating questions and intense scrutiny in front of millions of TV viewers? Listen to Part 2 of my…
 
What would you do when you hit a storm in the middle of climbing to the mountain top? Would you stop? Would you keep going? She would keep climbing. What would you do when your parents want you to marry a doctor or a lawyer, go to Harvard or Stanford? She would rebel. She would choose a different path, become an army officer and an entrepreneur. Ho…
 
In America, the freedom of speech a First Amendment right enshrined in the U.S. Constitution. The right to speak our mind is not only valued in the American culture but expected in our liberal democratic society where voices are votes. The American electoral process expects it, and American citizens demands it. But what happens when the culture and…
 
It sounds like a simple question, “Are you Chinese?” But why would someone ask it? And what makes it difficult for someone to answer it? Eric Liao, our blogger/podcast intern at One in a Billion, started writing a blog about this question a month ago. When I first read it, it overwhelmed me with provocative ideas and perplexing analogies, and many …
 
This year, I’ve promised my husband to be in Boston for Christmas and New Year. For the first time, it hit me how important it is to him that we celebrate Christmas, not in New York, or in Hong Kong (my hometown), but Cambridge our new home. I realize that his heart is forming roots to this place we’ve settled down for more than two years now. And …
 
The first time I wanted to deny that I was Chinese, I was 17 years old facing another 17 year-old. She was tall, blonde and huge from Chicago. “Where are you from?” She taunted me as I was sitting quietly in the corner, watching with wide-eyed wonder every teenage girl dancing up a storm on a chair or on a table. It was our Friday night “break out …
 
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