All of Us Belong Here: Asian American Stories Video Contest 2023-2024

by Elpidio R. Estioko

There are many successful Asian American immigrants in the United States but we don’t know how they were able to overcome the struggles and challenges they went through to succeed.

Why? Because there was no medium or vehicle that put them together so the Asian American community will know and can learn from their experiences.

In June of last year, Silicon Valley Ethnic Media braved the challenges by putting together a massive contest nationwide known as the Asian American Stories Video Contest 2023-2024.

The goal was to encourage immigrants to tell their stories and how they succeeded so other immigrants and the whole community would know and follow their feat.

So, after almost 10 months of campaigning for Asian Americans to tell their stories with the theme “All of Us Belong Here,” the 16-man board of judges led by its chairman Joel Wong started this week screening the 72 video entries.

The community responded. The turnout was so heavy that the judges were split into two groups, one group scoring odd number entries and the other group scoring even number entries.

The 72 entries are: Romeo Morales, Kien Nguyen, Jojo Liu, Fan Zhang, Liesel Mendoza GRIT, Chinese Women Delta, James Chiao, Christopher Lee, Betty Li, Alfred Chan, Susan Mao, We Dance, Ron Chan, The Oakland Ballet, Xiaoping Yu, Jiayi Li, Liesel Mendoza, Lucy Luo, Deer Video Rancho, Gerrye Wong, Guanglan Zhu, Victor William Chan, Susan Mao, Samantha Tran, Yixin Wang, Andrew Yuen, Alex Liu, Dee Wee Lim, Chinese chamber AZ, Teresa Li, Historic CA Cemetery, Avalyn Wu, Linling Chen, Bin gong, Abby Wu, Memory Don Sun, JieLi, Hai Kim Le, Jeffery Zhang, Tech for Good, Sidney Dunten, Yu (Cathy) Chang, Kaihua Skyler Chong, Jike Cheng, Ellie Wong, Ly Pham Rivera, Lauryn Chew, William Chui, David Louie, ICAN, Michelle Ahl, Vietnamese Culture Club, Ella Ai-Vy Nguyen, Kumu Gupta, Xia Che, Quyen Vuong, Scan Wang, 888 Jasion, Jessie Han, The Abalone Village, Yuan Foundation, My Twin Son’s dream, Dr. Xiu Bao Chang, Growing Up Shaolin, Asian, or American, Sophia Chang, We’re All Scared, Peace Messengers SF, Cathy Chang, What Should I Do, and Calligraphy Belonging.

The members of the board of judges are Co-chair and chairman of the board of judges Joel Wong; Santa Clara Mayor Lisa Gilmor; Milpitas Mayor Carmen Montano; Filipino American Media Leader Don Orozco; Mattie Scariot, Director of the Poppy Jasper International Film Festival; Former Assembly member  of the State of California Kansen Chu; Piyush Malik, Startup Executive, entrepreneur, board adviser; Chris Norwood, President, Board of  Milpitas Unified School District; David Mosby, CEO of e21 Academy, speaker and author; Media Editor Sandy Close; Beverly Molina, Santa Clara Firefighter and author; Tony Shyu, Hollywood award winning TV and Film Director; Richard Flanders, Rotary International District 5170 Governor, attorney; David Louie, Post Editor, Reporter, ABC-owned KGO-TV; Maggie Liu, Founder of Brotherhood Cup Foundation; and Elpidio R. Estioko, author, educator PR pro, journalist and author of  the book “Unlocking the Chain of Poverty: In Pursuit of the American Dream” now available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Xlibris Publishing.

This year’s video competition was chaired by Diana Weiping Ding, founder and chair, Asian American Stories, CEO of Ding Ding TV; Joel Wong, president of National Asian American United (NAAUnited) and Francis Espiritu, president/publisher of Philippine News Today, as co-chairs.

The award ceremony will be held on Saturday, May 2, 2024 at the HL Peninsula Restaurant, 136 Ranch Dr., Milpitas, California.

During this ceremony, the sponsors will spotlight individuals who have made significant contributions to Asian American literature, film, art and culture.

The organizers said:

“It will be an evening filled with joy, appreciation, and recognition, for the talented storytellers who have shared their unique experience and perspectives with the world and a celebration of the vibrant and diverse narratives of the Asian American community.”

There will be two groups of winners: the youth category (aged 12 – 18) and the adult (aged 19 and above). A special prize is added for the viewers’ choice and excellence awards.

What is at stake? First prize winners (Adult and Youth); $5,000 funding or a $500 check each; second prize winners (Adult & Youth): $2,500 funding or $250 check each; and Third prize winners (Youth & Adult): $1,000 funding or a $100 check each.

Then we have the viewer’s choice winner (Adult & Youth): $1,000 funding or $100 each and 10 Excellence Awards at $100 each.

Names of winners will be engraved in their individual trophies and there will be an audio-visual presentation of winning entries during the awarding.

Sponsors and community partners include the Silicon Valley Community Media, Ding Ding TV, Philippine News Today, Brotherhood Cup Foundation, California State Library, Lily Lijun Li, NAA United, Fang Wu, IPAA, Alexander’s Steakhouse, Wonder Medical and Foundation Educational, Supervisor Otto Lee, People with Empathy, Poppy Jasper, APALI, India Currents, ACYPA, ICAN, ASEI, Phu Nu, Blue Dot, Asian American United Coalition, Kenson, Ethnic Media Services, among others.

Congratulations, in advance, to all winners! Let’s learn from them!

ELPIDIO R. ESTIOKO was a veteran journalist in the Philippines and an award-winning journalist here in the US. He just published his book Unlocking the chain of Poverty: In Pursuit of the American Dream which is now available with Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Xlibris Publishing. For feedbacks, comments… please email author at estiokoelpidio@gmail.com).


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