Professor Robert A. Nakamura, a pioneering filmmaker and influential teacher and mentor, “the Godfather of Asian American media” has been a major force in the conception and growth of community media since 1970. Nakamura left a successful career in photojournalism and advertising photography to become one of the first to explore, interpret and present the experiences of Japanese Americans in film. His ground-breaking personal documentary Manzanar (1972) revisited painful childhood memories of incarceration in an American concentration camp during World War II, and it has been selected for major retrospectives on the documentary form at the San Francisco Museum of Art and the Film Forum, Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles.
Areas of Interest
Professor Ong has done research on the labor market status of minorities and immigrants, displaced high-tech workers, work and welfare and transportation access. He is currently engaged in several projects, including studies on the effects of neighborhood economies on welfare and work, community economic development in minority communities, and the labor market for healthcare workers.
Previous research projects have included studies of the impact of defense cuts on California’s once-dominant aerospace industry, the impact of immigration on the employment status of young African Americans, and the influence of car ownership and subsidized housing on welfare usage. He was co-author of a widely reported 1994 study on Asian Pacific Americans, which challenged the popular stereotype of Asians as the country’s “model minority” by showing they are just as likely as other groups to be impoverished. Dr. Ong has served as an advisor to the U.S. Bureau of the Census, and to the California Department of Social Services and the state Department of Employment Development, as well as the Wellness Foundation and the South Coast Air.
Dr. Marjorie Kagawa-Singer is a professor at the UCLA School of Public Health and Asian American Studies Center. Presently her research focuses on developing standards of cultural competence in health care research and practice and reducing disparities in health outcomes for populations of color, especially Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and other Pacific Islanders. Dr. Kagawa-Singer serves on multiple local, state, and national committees involved with issues of ethnicity and health care. She has published, lectured nationally and internationally, and taught extensively on issues in cross-cultural health care, cancer, pain, grief and bereavement, end of life decision-making, and quality of life. She also serves as a consultant to community groups to reach underserved populations with cancer education and services.
Areas of Interest
Health disparities in cancer control among diverse ethnic populations; development of cross-culturally valid concepts and measures to expand existing behavior theories in PH using qualitative research methods, and applied through intervention studies primarily in the Asian American communities. Cultural competency training for health professionals, doctor/patient communication, and end-of-life care in multicultural populations.