Renowned Asian-American actor John Cho will be speaking as a part of the Boston College Asian Caucus Cabinet Speaker Initiative on Feb. 1. Cho will discuss his life and experiences, significant points in his career — such as his role as Hikaru Sulu in the revamped Star Trek movies, and important Asian-American related topics — such as being the first Asian romantic lead in the history of American television.
The event has been organized by the Asian Caucus in collaboration with AHANA Management Academy, FACES, and the International Club of Boston College. According to Co-President of Asian Caucus, Hyun Chan Jeong, MCAS ‘16, “The Asian Caucus Cabinet, which is composed of the eight Asian intercultural organization [Co-] Presidents as well as the AC Co-Presidents, has been in constant discussion since the beginning of the school year over a Cabinet speaker initiative.”
“The event will be moderated by two members of the Asian-American community. Andrew Lee, '16, Co-Director of the AHANA Caucus, and Suraj Mudichintala, '16, Co-President of the South Asian Students Association, will be interviewing John Cho in a talk-show host type style,” Jeong commented. “Throughout the event, the audience will be able to submit questions through social media that the moderators will address upon the conclusion of the interview.”
When asked about AC's process of contacting Cho to speak at BC, Jeong replied: “Through an external agent, we brokered the contracts and agreements with John Cho's direct manager. Our efforts began during the summer so it has not been a short process, but we are confident that the event and the presence of these renowned speakers can greatly benefit our BC population.”
In regards to the impact that John Cho has had on the Asian-American community, Jeong added, “John Cho is very cognizant of his position as an Asian-American actor in an industry where minorities, especially Asian-Americans, are under or misrepresented. He consistently turns down roles in which Asian-Americans may be portrayed in a stereotypical light and intentionally challenges the limitations set on him by the film industry.”
AHANA Management Academy Vice-President, Jerry Hou, MCAS ‘17, added, “John Cho is one of the most prominent Asian-American actors in the industry today and is also incredibly dynamic, with a variety of roles in both film and television. I believe he's a great voice and spokesperson for the Asian community because his work is always pushing the envelope and breaking barriers, which sets a great precedent for others following in his footsteps.”
In the past, the AC Cabinet has established other initiatives similar to the speaker initiative, such as Silver Week, which focuses on promoting mental health education and awareness. “We want to continue tackling issues that plague the Asian-American community, but are not as apparent to the greater Boston College community,” Jeong said. “By bringing people such as John Cho and George Takei to BC, we are not only able to engage and inform students first and foremost about their noteworthy achievements in their careers, but we also take the opportunity to shed light on some prominent issues.”
For more information on tonight’s event, visit the event Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/events/1215341118490808/.