MIXER: Thursday, August 21

Come join AAJA-Philadelphia for our annual mixer with our colleagues at NAAAP and APABA-PA!
What: Super Networking Mixer with members of NAAAP (National Association of Asian American Professionals) and APABA-PA (Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Pennsylvania)

When: Thursday, Aug. 21st, 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. 

Where: Tavern 17, 220 S 17th St. (between Locust and Walnut), Philadelphia, (view map)

Cost: Free for members of AAJA, NAAAP and APABA-PA. $15 for non-members.  
Exchange business cards and make some meaningful connections. Enjoy complimentary appetizers and bring cash for great drink specials.
Click here for more information including parking and transportation.

Ready for the AAJA Convention?

This year’s national AAJA convention is just a few days away! From August 13 to 16, hundreds of journalists will come together in our nation’s capital to learn from and network with the best in the industry.

Our chapter has several members registered for the convention and will be arranging a special chapter dinner on Thursday, August 14 a few blocks away from the convention hotel at Teaism (400 8th St. NW) at 8:30 PM.

If you’re going to the convention and would like to attend, please RSVP (with your cell phone number) to aajaphiladelphia@gmail.com by Saturday, August 9.

In addition to the dinner, our chapter will be sitting together for the convention gala on Saturday, August 16. If you’d like a seat reserved for you at the table, please RSVP (with your cell phone number) to the same email address by the same deadline.

You can STILL apply for the convention itself! To learn more, check out the official site: http://www.aaja.org/dc2014/

MIXER: Thursday, June 19

Join AAJA-Philadelphia in a mixer with members of the Philadelphia chapter of the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association (NLGJA), the National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ), and the Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists (PABJ)!

WHEN: 6:30-8:30 p.m., Thursday, June 19

WHERE: Pen & Pencil Club, 1522 Latimer Street, Philadelphia. We will be on the second floor (which is non-smoking).

RSVP: By 5 p.m. Tuesday, June 17, to aajaphiladelphia@gmail.com



AAJA Philadelphia will meet as a chapter on Sunday, May 4 at 5 PM at Banana Leaf (1009 Arch Street).
We’ll talk about these topics:
- the national convention in Washington, D.C. this summer
- our South Asian-themed event this fall on culture, religion and the community
- our chapter’s mentorship program
- reaching out through social media
- social/networking activities
If you are planning on coming, you must RSVP by Friday, May 2 to aajaphiladelphia@gmail.com.

Sun. Mar. 30: Meet Drew Lazor and Neal Santos

Join AAJA-Philly for intimate conversation and snacks with local journalists (and men-about-town) Drew Lazor and Neal Santos.

Lazor and Santos will tell AAJA members about their experiences in the Philly journalism world, including how they got their start and how they landed their latest gigs.

What: “Brain Pickings” with Drew Lazor and Neal Santos

When: 5-7pm on Sunday, Mar. 30

Where: Board member Yowei Shaw’s house in West Philadelphia, when you RSVP we’ll send the address

RSVP: By Wed., Mar. 26, to shaw.yr@gmail.com

About Lazor and Santos:

Drew LazorDrew Lazor is a Philly-based freelance journalist covering food, drink, movies and music locally and nationally. A food columnist for the Philadelphia Daily News, he has also contributed to Bon Appétit, Saveur, Serious Eats, Zagat and more. His writing has earned first-place honors in the 2011 AltWeekly Awards and the 2013 Association of Food Journalists Awards. He is the co-author of Jeremy and Jessica Nolen’s German Cooking Now, out fall 2014 on Chronicle Books.

Neal SantosNeal Santos is a photographer living and working in Philadelphia. Currently, he serves as the chief photographer at the Philadelphia City Paper. Additionally he runs a small-scale urban farm called Farm 51 with his partner. He considers himself lucky to call himself a Philadelphian as he types a bio with a cat stepping on his keyboard in his home in Southwest Philadelphia.

“Stand up and share”: Koliyan cofounder responds to Phoodie’s “Pol Pot Stickers” blog post


Anna Hitchens, cofounder of Koliyan. Video still from Cory Popp.

When Anna Hitchens read an article about her Cambodian dessert company that featured an offensive headline, she decided to take that opportunity to share more about her family’s history.

In March, Philadelphia food blog Phoodie,info published a post about Koliyan, Hitchens’ dessert company, headlined “Lunch Break: Pol Pot Stickers Edition.” In response, Hitchens posted on Facebook:

I’m a 31 year old first generation Cambodian American who was born in Philadelphia just a few months after my family arrived in the country. Both of my parents were born and raised in Cambodia, and they left in the late 70s due to the Khmer Rouge. Pol Pot was head of the Khmer Rouge, the Communist Party who violently overthrew the Cambodian government. During this time about 2 million Cambodians died via execution and starvation. My mom’s entire family including her father, mother, sisters and brother were among those killed.

I was moved to start Koliyan after returning from my honeymoon to Cambodia. It was a way for me to connect and share my culture with other Philadelphians in the best way I know how—food. Seeing Pol Pot’s name in a title of a blog post associated with my efforts to preserve the long standing beauty of my culture has inspired me to share more about my family’s history, which I’ll be doing in the weeks to come.

Within days, Phoodie.info removed the post and editor Adam Brodsky wrote on Phoodie.info:

I just quickly dashed off a pun I’ve had in my pocket since 7th grade and published without thinking. It wasn’t the right thing to do and as soon as somebody said, “Hey fucko, that’s not the right thing to do.” I realized and took down the post. On my good days I’m better than that. So I offer an apology to Koliyan and all Cambodians with the exception of Pot himself, and y’know his henchmen and lackeys and minions and such, but to everyone else, I’m sorry.

Read the rest of the apology here.

We asked Hitchens for her thoughts on the incident, and this is what she emailed to us:

I wrote my response to Adam’s post to express how the dark period in Cambodia’s history is still affecting Cambodians today. I didn’t expect an apology or a response. The hardest part was telling my mom about it. She gracefully said in Khmer, “We’ve been living with this for over 30 years; they don’t know what we went through, you have to forgive.” Through this, I hope more people in my situation will stand up and share rather than react.

It’s part of our mission to make sure that Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are covered fairly and accurately in the local media. If you read, hear or see something that you find unfair or inaccurate, email us at aajaphiladelphia AT gmail.com and we’ll review it and respond as necessary. For more resources, check out “AAJA’s “Handbook to Covering Asian-America.”

- Yowei Shaw and Juliana Reyes for AAJA-Philly

Scholarship Lead: John Curley Scholarships

The AAJA National Convention in Washington, D.C., from August 13 to 16 this year will be a wonderful opportunity to network with other journalists from around the country, to participate in panel discussions with seasoned journalists, and to attend a career fair and résumé critique sessions.

For the fifth year in a row, AAJA-Philadelphia will be offering the John Curley Scholarship. This year, we will offer two scholarships, each up to $500, to help pay the expenses for two members to go to the annual convention.

Our ability to do so comes from the kind generosity of our donor, John Curley, the former president, chairman and CEO of the Gannett company, who has been a strong supporter of the Philadelphia chapter of AAJA.

WHAT: The chapter will reimburse the selected members up to $500 in expenses to attend the convention. These expenses include the registration fee for the convention, transportation, and hotel costs. (You may be asked to share your hotel room with another AAJA-Philly member.)


  • You must be a current dues-paying AAJA-Philly chapter member to apply.
  • We will consider current students or professionals who are trying to establish themselves in the journalism field or who are in financial need.
  • Send a one-page essay telling the AAJA-Philly board why you want to go to the convention, how you think you will benefit from it, and why you need help with the expenses. E-mail your essay to:aajaphiladelphia@gmail.com

DEADLINE: Apply by the end of the day, Monday, March 31, 2014.
AAJA-Philly board members will review all applications and announce the scholarship winners by Tuesday, April 8. Expenses will be reimbursed in the form of a check after the convention. You must give us copies of your receipts.
(If a board member wants to apply, he/she will not be part of the judging process.)

The winning applicants will also be required to:

  • Register for the convention by the early-bird registration date of Tuesday, April 15. (The early-bird student registration fee is $100; for professionals, it is $250.)
  • Write a blog post about something you learned at the convention for our chapter website either at the convention or soon afterward. This could be a summary of things you learned, a Q+A with a speaker at the convention, or a summary of a panel discussion, for instance.
  • Take a few pictures at the convention to be posted on our chapter website.
  • Assist in the planning, promotion or day-of duties for an AAJA-Philly panel event currently scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 18, 2014.

MORE INFORMATION: For more info about the convention, visit: www.aaja.org/dc2014

We encourage everyone who wants to go and who needs help with expenses to apply for this! Questions? Feel free to e-mail aajaphiladephia@gmail.com.