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Introduction to Colorism in Asian American Communities

July 19, 2023 @ 9:00 am - 10:00 am HST

“Don’t go out in the sun or you’ll get too dark.” All too often, Asian Americans encounter such messaging from family and community members. This workshop will define colorism and explore its significance within the Asian American community. Topics will include: a brief history of colonialism and its impact on understanding of skin color, how colorism informs anti-Black and anti-Indigenous racism, and the popularity of skin lightening products and its lasting health impacts on individuals and communities.

Who is this workshop for?

  • Behavioral health care providers who work with Asian American communities.
  • Members of Asian American community-based organizations.
  • Support staff in public schools and higher education institutions who work with Asian American students.
  • Asian American individuals and those who support them.

This event has passed. You can watch the replay on our YouTube, or here on the website.

Workshop Presenters

Hello! I am Dr. Joanne L. Rondilla and I’m an honored to serve on the team that is organizing the AANHPI Ohana Center of Excellence. As a daughter of Filipino immigrants, I was born and raised on Guam. This project means the world to me because at a young age, someone dear to me suffered from depression and eventually took their own life. Growing up, I did not have the education or awareness of mental health issues, or how this experience would impact me well into adulthood. This is among many of the motivations behind participating in this work.

In addition to this project, I am an assistant professor of Asian American Studies and Sociology at San Jose State University. Recently, I served as a Public Voices fellow at The OpEd Project. An award-winning educator, I am the co-author of Is Lighter Better?: Skin Tone Discrimination Among Asian Americans and co-editor of Red & Yellow, Black & Brown: Decentering Whiteness in Mixed Race Studies. My research interests include colorism, popular culture, and media representations.


July 19, 2023
9:00 am - 10:00 am HST
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