UST and Asia Society Texas Center: Creating Video Vignettes for the Dignity of the Human Person
University of St. Thomas stands in solidarity with like-minded organizations against racial bias of any kind. Guided by a belief in the dignity of the human person, UST responded to a request from one of its partners, Asia Society Texas Center, to take action to discourage violence against Asian-Americans and enhance educational opportunities. With this goal, the Max Studios team began co-producing “Houston's Asian American Journeys,” an ongoing series of short video vignettes featuring accomplished Houston-based Asian-Americans who have contributed significantly to Houston and continue to play a vital role for the future.
Vignettes Are Part of Bigger Initiative
These vignettes are part of a broader educational initiative undertaken by the Asia Society to encourage community connection and relationships between people of all backgrounds.
Among those featured in the videos are:
- Mal Bernardo, high school English teacher. Bernardo was born and raised in Houston. With her students, this Chinese-Filipino American shares her life experience and strong interest in issues around mental health, identity and representation. When she is not in the classroom, Bernardo explores her passions for the art of cooking, analyzing films and non-fiction books.
- Glen Gondo, CEO of Gondo Company, Inc. Gondo’s mother and father started the first Japanese restaurant in Texas in 1965…when Houstonians didn’t even like sushi. Today, Gondo is a sushi king of sorts—Those hundreds of sushi bars in HEBs all over the state are his. Within his long list of accomplishments is this one: He started Houston’s Japanese Festival next to the Japanese Gardens in Hermann Park. Gondo believes in civil rights and has encouraged Asian Americans to step into their political power and vote. He is active on several boards, including the Asian Chamber of Commerce, the United Way and the Chinese Community Center.
- Y. Sun Ping, Counsel, Yetter Coleman LLP. Ping grew up in a seaport city near Beijing in China. From her, we get a sense of what it was like to grow up during that country’s cultural revolution when Red Guards were everywhere and could brand dear loved ones as “enemies of the people.” Her opportunity out of there was a full scholarship to Princeton as an international student.
- Bonna Kol, president & CEO of Asia Society Texas Center (Kol tells her story within a longer interview on the site). Born in Cambodia, Kol describes her family’s narrow escape amid bombings and the accompanying chaos. Her family connected with, and became part of, the Houston community. Kol works to keep connecting human beings to one another.
To watch the vignettes on the Asia Society Texas Center website, please click here.