2008 National Conference » Events

The Bonds of Community: Hapa Identity in a Changing U.S.

Gil Asakawa, Writer, editor, online consultant

Dennis Tojo Bambauer
Michelle Tamotsu Trevino, University Counselor, University of Colorado at Boulder

Topic: Defining, Preserving and Expanding the Community
Date: Saturday, July 5, 2008
Time: 1:00 p.m. - 2:15 p.m.
Location: Capitol 5 & 6, 4th Floor

The word "hapa" derives from the Hawaiian term "hapa haole," and originally was a derogatory connotation for someone who was half white. In recent years, “hapa” has become for many a proud badge of identity, as Americans of Asian and Pacific Islander ancestry have “out-married” in escalating numbers to produce not only Eurasians, but also Latin Asians, African-American Asians, or multi-ethnic Asians such as Filipino-Chinese or Japanese-Thai. Catalyzed by the proliferation of hapa celebrities such as Ann Curry, Tiger Woods, and Apolo Ohno, the term has rapidly disseminated throughout American culture and society. The 2000 US Census (the first census to permit classification by two or more racial and ethnic categories) revealed 2.1 million people of mixed Asian heritage. Those on this panel, representing the period from World War II to the present, reflect on the historical evolution of the word "hapa" as well as its diverse meanings as a marker of identity.

JANM_EnduringCommunities_20080705-hapa-identity.mp3 (13.6 MB)