Welcome to the rePRO Film Periodical – featuring a mission-aligned short film of the month and accompanying podcast conversation. The Periodical is generously underwritten so that our monthly curation is FREE and available for anyone to take part in.
Sign up via email or check in on the 15th of each month for the latest volume, film, conversation, and links to organizations we’re loving and things we’re learning about.
For May, we chose to align our content with Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. It just made sense: About two-thirds of the rePRO team is AAPI, and this community faces distinct reproductive health challenges.
At the same time, we feel a little funny about “heritage” and “history” months. After all, reproductive health is a concern every single month — and we’re committed to including the perspectives of Black, brown and indigenous people in the rePRO Periodical all year long.
That said, we’re glad to welcome director Lilly Hu and organizer Seri Lee (NAPAWF) to the Vol. 5 podcast to shed light on what reproductive care and sex education means for the AAPI community.
~ xo Team rePRO
Have you had a chance to watch May’s featured short film?
For her AFI thesis, Lilly Hu made a film about an international student facing both an unwanted pregnancy and cultural barriers that prevent her from accessing the care she needs.
As we move towards stricter abortion laws in the U.S., sex education and the dissemination of accurate information to young people becomes increasingly crucial — especially in cultures where these topics aren’t readily addressed.
After a classmate experiences a miscarriage in a school bathroom and a graphic video goes viral, 16-year-old international student Bei Bei — AKA Katie — realizes she can’t trust anyone. “Cold Wall” follows Bei Bei as she negotiates her own unwanted pregnancy in an American culture she doesn’t fully understand.
PERIODICAL PODCAST EPISODE 05
with special guests Lilly Hu and Seri Lee
Hosted by Asha Dahya
In our latest episode, Asha speaks with COLD WALL Director Lilly Hu, along with Seri Lee, the national campaign & membership director for the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF).
“It’s really important that there is (AAPI) representation in media and in film. But then there’s also the representation of just us doing things, of getting out there.”
— Seri Lee on being an Asian American organizer
Seri Lee (they/she) is a community organizer, movement worker, and queer child of the Korean diaspora. Since 2018, Seri has worked at the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF) and now serves as their National Campaign & Membership Director, building power with Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities to advance reproductive justice across the country. They dream of and work toward collective liberation.
THE DANGERS OF DATING AS AN ASIAN WOMAN: ‘FETISHIZATION ISN’T APPRECIATION
“For centuries, Asian American women have faced a lose-lose situation when it comes to desirability,” writes Jenna Ryu. The way Asian women are portrayed as submissive and/or hyper-sexualized carries serious health implications, from diminished self-esteem to sexual violence — and we need to talk about it.
HER PLACE’S JOYCE LEE IS BUILDING A COMMUNITY OF SEXUALLY EMPOWERED WOMEN, ONE RIBBON AT A TIME
“It’s a very scary place, to talk about sexual wellness,” says Joyce Lee, the founder of the beauty line Her Place. Nevertheless, Lee has placed sexuality at the center of her brand. We’ll be following along as Lee starts conversations about sexuality from an Asian American perspective.
AAPI WOMEN HAVE BEEN OVERLOOKED IN THE ABORTION FIGHT. BUT OUR VOICES MATTER.
“The model minority myth masks Asian Americans’ health-care needs, including those in reproductive health,” writes Sung Yeon Choimorrow, who leads the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum. The org has conducted groundbreaking research into AAPI women’s attitudes about and use of abortion services.
ASIAN TROPES IN SEX-SELECTIVE ABORTION BANS HAVE ADVOCATES WORRIED ABOUT WHAT’S TO COME
In the U.S., Asian Americans’ access to abortion is policed in in a highly specific way, as laws based on racial stereotypes are in effect across the country. ““It’s just a really awful attempt to chip away at our rights,” says Becca Asaki of NAPAWF.
MIN JIN LEE WANTS TO KEEP BUILDING ON THE ASIAN-AMERICAN EXPERIENCE IN REAL LIFE AND ON THE PAGE
This wide-ranging Q&A with novelist Min Jin Lee is just what we needed to read right now. “I do not want to give in to cynicism. The one thing that history can keep teaching us about activism and positive change is that we must constantly work out of love, not hatred and not despair.”
Edited by CAPE (Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment) / Introduction by SuChin Pak
Thirty Asian Americans reflect on their identities in an essay collection that functions as “a celebration of community, a call to action, and a road map for a brighter future.” Support AAPI creators by ordering a copy or requesting it at your library.
The book features contributions from bestselling authors Melissa de la Cruz, Marie Lu, and Tanaïs; journalists Amna Nawaz, Edmund Lee, and Aisha Sultan; TV and film writers Teresa Hsiao, Heather Jeng Bladt, and Nathan Ramos-Park; and industry leaders Ellen K. Pao and Aneesh Raman, among many more.
the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum
Through advocacy and research, NAPAWF fights for abortion access for AAPI people, who struggle with “language barriers, cultural stigmas, and low rates of insurance coverage for our most vulnerable members.”
We’re loving this new entertainment platform for Asian American and Pacific Islanders. “Joy Sauce’s approach is to create a space where our joy and power are radically celebrated,” writes founder Jonathan Sposato. “I believe that strong and powerful AAPI imagery has the potential to reframe the status quo.” One of our faves: a first-person essay about trans identity.
Our rePRO Community is heading to Facebook (for now!)
Join us in our newly created rePRO Film Community Group, a safe space to discuss our monthly films, conversations, media and the state of repro healthcare and justice. You may post anonymously, and we ask that everyone be kind and respectful. No hateful language allowed!