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NBA-China controversy, SAT scores, garden in Oregon prison: Your AAPI newsletter

FILE - In this April 19, 2011, file photo, Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey discusses the direction of the team with the media during a basketball news conference, in Houston, after the decision to part ways with NBA basketball head coach Rick Adelman. Morey tried Sunday, Oct. 6, 2019 to defuse the rapidly growing fallout over his deleted tweet that showed support for Hong Kong anti-government protesters, saying he did not intend to offend any of the team’s Chinese fans or sponsors. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan, File)
FILE - In this April 19, 2011, file photo, Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey discusses the direction of the team with the media during a basketball news conference, in Houston, after the decision to part ways with NBA basketball head coach Rick Adelman. Morey tried Sunday, Oct. 6, 2019 to defuse the rapidly growing fallout over his deleted tweet that showed support for Hong Kong anti-government protesters, saying he did not intend to offend any of the team’s Chinese fans or sponsors. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan, File) AP

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It is Wednesday, Oct. 16, and this is The Sacramento Bee’s AAPI weekly newsletter, brought to you by yours truly.

See what Sacramento local fans and Hong Kongers think of the NBA-China controversy. It was a week of turmoil for the NBA after Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey’s tweet: “Fight for freedom, Stand with Hong Kong.”

It is a stress test for the NBA, which has billions of dollars on the line in tapping a country with 1.4 billion people and a basketball audience estimated to be between 500 million and 650 million fans.

Morey was referring to the Hong Kong protests, which began in June. Protesters objected to a bill amendment to allow extradition of certain criminal suspects to mainland China, saying that threatened the city’s autonomy and would make its citizens vulnerable to unfair trials.

“China will continue to use its soft power to oppress the freedom of speech around the world,” said Ken Chan, a core member of the Northern California Hong Kong Club, an organization established in 2011 to promote democracy and political progress in China and Hong Kong. “Companies have to reconsider how they defend their core values.”

“We have a deep respect for our nation’s unwavering commitment to free speech and support all Americans’ right to freely express themselves,” the Sacramento Kings said in an email to The Bee.

In other news, read this New York Times article about Mitsuye Endo from Sacramento who was the lead plaintiff in a Supreme Court case that successfully challenged mass internment of American citizens during World War II.

This Los Angeles Times article on whether UC schools will drop both the SAT and ACT as an admissions requirement touches on how scores have been strongly influenced by family income, parents’ education and race. The six universities that receive the most applications in the nation are UC campuses in Los Angeles, San Diego, Irvine, Berkeley, Santa Barbara and Davis. One potential alternative is to use the Smarter Balanced tests instead. Another option is keeping standardized tests, but controlling for the socioeconomic effects on scores.

The Oregon State Penitentiary is introducing a Japanese garden into its facility to create a sense of normalcy inside the facility to improve the quality of life for those incarcerated as well as employees, especially when 95 percent of the population are going to be released to society some day. Funding for the garden was raised by the Asian Pacific Family Club, and around 180 adults in custody have volunteered their time to build the garden.

K-pop singer Sulli’s death raised concerns about the culture of high pressure, overlooked mental health issues and misogyny directed at “unconventional” women. Sulli experienced cyberbullying and Yahoo interviewed writers and experts about the K-pop industry and how rising pressure combined with stigmas around mental illness in South Korea will continue to push its idols over the edge. Raised in the U.S., Stella Kim later became a trainee on track to join the famous South Korean girl group Girls Generation. She told Asian-American publication NextShark how her company forced her to go on a scale in front of other trainees and developed an eating disorder. Sulli, a former member of girl group f(x), was known to be outspoken on issues like South Korea’s recently revised abortion law.

Read this OCR article on how Korean boy band BTS inspired a middle school school in South L.A. to teach Korean culture.

A group of UC Davis students and community members have presented more than 1,100 signed letters urging Congressman John Garamendi (D-CA) to support the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act (H.R.3289). On Oct. 14, Garamendi agreed to support the bill. The House of Representatives approved the bill Tuesday.

In Sacramento this week, mark your schedules for the upcoming annual run on Oct. 26 organized by My Sister’s House, an organization dedicated to provide culturally competent services for API survivors of domestic abuse, sexual violence and human trafficking. Find more information here.

The Sacramento County Voter Registration and Elections office will provide information on how to register to vote, when to re-register, and on important changes for Sacramento County Voters for the Primary 2020 Election at the ACC Senior Services this Friday at 1 p.m.

That same day, learn about the impact of heart disease and high blood pressure in the Filipino community at the same location at 2 p.m. Preregister here.

June’s Cafe has been deserted since June following the death of co-owner Dennis O’Sullivan. The 30-year-old cafe is located at the extension of Sacramento’s once thriving Japantown near Southside Park, serving neighborhood Japanese American-style lunch counter meals. While its future remains unclear, stay tuned for updates at June’s Cafe’s Facebook page.

That’s it for this week’s newsletter. Please send tips to tyu@sacbee.com. Can’t wait to hear from you. Thanks for reading!

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