Asians in the City

Asians in the City is a joint venture composed of teachers at Fresno City College and the Asian American Club. There are three projects sponsored by Asians in the City: the Conference, the Booklet, and the Student Film Festival.

  • The Conference is a Saturday morning event held at the historic Old Administration Building on the campus of Fresno City College; consisting of lecture presentations, cultural workshops, and discussion groups.
  • The Booklet is a free publication of Asian-themed poetry, art, photography, non-fiction and fiction created by high school and college students.
  • The Film Festival is a public showing of narrative and documentary films produced by college students.

Asians in the City is organized and led by John Cho, an Asian American Studies instructor, and Michael Takeda, a reading instructor. They are the advisers for the Asian American Club.

Guests: The Slants

Conference Schedule

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Check-in Registration
8:00 am - 8:30 am

Opening Ceremony
8:30 am - 8:45 am

Session I
9:00 am - 9:50 am

Session II
10:00 am -10:50 am

Session III
11:00 am - 11:50 am

12:00 pm -12:30 pm


Phone: 559.442.4600 ext. 2392
Email: FCC Asians In The City
Location: FCC Campus
Campus Map

Fresno City College
Attn: Asians in the City
1101 E University Avenue
Fresno, CA 93741


Conference Brochure


The Asians in the City Conference is a Saturday morning event held at the historic Old Administration Building on the campus of Fresno City College. The purpose is to promote education, culture, and understanding; so we want to offer participants the opportunity to learn from lecture presentations, to engage in cultural workshops, and to share thoughts in discussion groups.

Participation is open to all high school students, college students, and adults in the community. Registration is limited to 100 participants. Lunch is available at a nominal cost. The first fifty participants will receive a free copy of the Asians in the City booklet, which showcases the work of students in the genres of fiction, non-fiction, poetry, photography, and two-dimensional art.

Register for the Conference


Learn about

  • Fantastical Creatures in Chinese Art Susana Sosa

Over thousands of years, Chinese artists have created images of mythical creatures such as the taotie monster, dragons, and guardian lions in different styles and media. Explore the symbolism and meaning behind these motifs in fantasy.

  • Han Dynasty of China John Cho

Learn about the Han Dynasty of China from 206 BC to 221 AD. Confucianism became the basis upon which Chinese society developed. Examine the technological innovations of this dynasty. Why do Chinese refer to themselves as Han Chinese?

  • Studying and Teaching Abroad Michael Takeda

What it means to live in another country. Have you ever wanted to travel the world? How about seeing the world while earning college credits? Or experiencing an exciting new culture while working and making money?

Participate and experience

  • Japanese Flower Arrangement Aiko Takeda

Japanese Flower Arrangement, or Ikebana, is a cherished traditional art that has been practiced in Japan for over 500 years. Originally a religious art, Ikebana is now practiced worldwide.

  • Japanese Taiko Drumming Clovis Heiwa Taiko

Taiko drums have been a part of Japanese culture and history for over one thousand years. Today ensemble groups maintain this cultural heritage and perform in multi-cultural events. Members of Clovis Heiwa Taiko will show and share their skill.

  • Hmong Pan Dau Mai Yang & Shoua Yang

Pan Dau “flower cloth” is the embroidery artwork of the Hmong. This is an iconic representation of the Hmong culture and a heritage skill of needlework which has been passed from grandmothers to mothers to daughters for many generations.

Discuss and share thoughts on

  • Asian Stereotypes Michael Takeda

Which came first: the reality or the stereotype? Are stereotypes based in reality, or do stereotypes shape reality? Why do Asian stereotypes exist? How do they do harm? Will they persist?

  • On Being LGBTQ in Our Community Patti Van Vleet

Has society changed its attitudes towards the LGBTQ community and in what ways? How would your family react to a family member who came out; what variables would influence their reaction?

  • What is Mental Illness? Mary Ann Valentino

What defines mental health and mental illness?  How does one’s cultural background influence those definitions? When does it become necessary to seek professional help?


Asians in the City booklet

AITC Student Film Festival

1st Place


Director: Fernando Galarza Carter

Contributors: Patrick Marmolejo, Monty Dodson, Fernando Ruiz, Victor Reyes, Jazmin Olivera, Juan Gomez, Kevin Rodriguez, Chris Beas, Sindy Amarta, Evan Goldstein, Larry Konsuelo, Blaze Carter, Anthony Galarzqa, Zeek Fullerton, Javi ruiz, David dodson, Eva dodson, One job Rob

Synopsis: The year is 2014 and CMAC continues to build the speed rail.  They've taken the resources and the land from the people of the Central Valley to complete their Dystopian vision of the future.  Their corruption has taken funding for water resources.  it is up to Sav, a leader of a group called Pirate Ctrl to end CMAC's reign of control of the hard working people in the Central Valley.

2nd Place


Director/Writer/Editor/Cinematographer: Chong Thao

Contributors: Jordan Jizmejian, Jonathan Vang, Brenda Morales, Peterson Thao, Matthew Vang, Thong Chai Vang, Lyric Thao.

Synopsis: On a dark, quiet night, at a fairly isolated, rundown home, an uncompromising, gruff-in-appearance father awaits the return of his unpunctual son impatiently.  His rage and anger are unleashed upon his son who bears the brunt of his abuse.  His younger son is neither spared the mistreatment and the two boys have only each other to survive the violence that is their father.  Many years later, the boys relive a terrifyingly similar night to their childhood and the older brother comes to terms with the effects of the trauma and abuse he suffered at the hands of his father.

3rd Place



Director: Thomas Andrade

Synopsis: Creation is a short film about a sculptor who becomes exhausted with his process and dreams up a cruel fate for his creations.

Submission Guidelines

  1. Eligibility: The film is an original creation by the entrant that must have been made within one year of the submission deadline, which is Friday, April 6, 2018. The entrant must be a current college student.
  2. Film: All films will be judged as being only in one category. The film shall be in a length of up to 10 minutes in duration. The films shall not be deemed obscene or offensive to the general public.
  3. Acceptable format are the following: digital disc (DVD or BD) or USB flash drive, with movies in QuickTime, AVI, or MP4 files.
    1. Entrant agrees to the following:
      Free use and showing of submitted film for media release, event promotion, the film festival, and being shown on the Fresno City College webpage.
    2. Entrant agrees to a total release of any liability associated with
      the submitted film.
    3. To avoid copyright infringement by obtaining permission to use copyrighted music or downloading free music from websites such as
    4. In addition to the film, entrant must include the following on the submission page to be considered: Synopsis, Press Kit, Title, Running Time.
  4. Cash prizes: A cash prize will be awarded to the top three films in both categories in the amounts of $100 for 1st place, $75 for 2nd place, and $50 for 3rd place.
  5. Films will be judged based on creativity, composition, continuity, and cinematography.
  6. Winning entrants agree to attend the film festival to be acknowledged, receive their prize, and to discuss their film.
  7. The 2018 AITC Film Festival will take place at 5 pm on Friday, April 20, 2018 in the FCC Recital Hall (MS-132).
  8. To submit a film, send to:
    Dr. John Moses, Film Program
    Fine, Performing and Communication Arts Division
    Fresno City College, 1101 E. University Avenue, Fresno, CA 93741
    For further information:

1st Place


Director: Fernando Galarza

Contributors: Patrick Marmolejo, Fernando Ruiz, Victor Reyes, Jazmin-Livera, Nicolas Gonzales, Christian Barerra, Antony Yun, Francisco Ruiz, Jason Garcia

Synopsis: A young field worker, full of doubts, has to find his own voice in order to believe in himself and take the first step towards his future.

2nd Place

The Futility of Time

Director: Elias Garza

Contributors: Adam Benitez, Shireen Klein, April Vu, Graham Aldredge, Flor Garza, Gabriel Quintero, Jenna Garcia, Elias Garcia, Jonathan Perez

Synopsis: Joe is your average, well, Joe. Nothing exciting has ever happened to him, until a time traveler suddenly appears in his living room and sets off an unexpected chain of events.

3rd Place


The World and Its Ways

Director: Toni Erebia

Contributors: Jeff Morgenstern, Angelica Hanna, Jiaang Czher Choong

Synopsis: A young woman “pays it forward” by helping a man get back on his feet.


On January 18th, 2017, the Asian-American Dance Rock band The Slants stood before the US Supreme Court to argue its case. At issue was the band’s right to use the term “slants”, which the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) had previously deemed derogatory in forbidding the band to trademark the name. The band argued that the use of the term “slants” was its way of reappropriating the term for Asian Americans, thereby robbing the term of its power.

On April 3rd, 2017, The Slants made their way to Fresno City College to talk about the pending case and introduce the campus to its brand of music, Chinatown Dance Rock. Simon Tam, the group’s bassist, enthralled the attendees in the historic Old Administration Building Auditorium with the amazing story of the band’s long fight with the USPTO and the righteousness of its purpose. The remaining members—vocalist Ken Shima, guitarist Joe X. Jiang, drummer Yuya Matsuda—then joined Tam on stage to perform for their existing and budding fans. Among their many songs, none defined their struggle better than From the Heart:

Sorry if our notes are too sharp

sorry if our voice is too raw

Don’t make the pen a weapon

And censor our intelligence

Until our thoughts mean nothing at all


Sorry if you take offense

You made up rules and played pretend

We know you fear change

It’s something so strange

But nothing’s gonna’ get in our way


There’s no room

For your backward feelings

And your backyard dealings

We’re never gonna settle


No, we won’t remain silent

Know it’s our defining moment

We sing from the heart


No, we won’t be complacent

know it’s a rock n roll nation

We sing from the heart


Sorry if we try too hard

To take some power back for ours

The language of oppression

Will lose to education

Until the words can’t hurt us again


So sorry if you take offense

But silence will not make amends

The system’s all wrong

And it won’t be long

Before the kids are singing our song

June 19th, 2017, brought an end to the band’s eight-year battle for freedom of speech and expression: the Supreme Court, in a unanimous opinion written by Justice Samuel Alito, affirmed the right of the The Slants to trademark their name as such. In his opinion, Justice Alito wrote,

                “To the extent trademarks qualify as commercial speech, they are an example of why that category does not serve as a blanket exemption from the First Amendment’s requirement of viewpoint neutrality. In the realm of trademarks, the metaphorical marketplace of ideas becomes a tangible, powerful reality. To permit viewpoint discrimination in this context is to permit Government censorship.”

On September 6th, 2017, Fresno City College will again welcome The Slants to the OAB Auditorium stage to celebrate their victory. With this long struggle to win the rights of marginalizes groups everywhere in their rearview mirror, the band will continue in their struggle for equity and justice in America while savoring their place in the future of our cherished Free Speech.

For more information about The Slants, please visit their website:


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