Tucson CitizenTucson Citizen

Asian American Islanders hope to bust myths at Sat. seminar

Citizen Staff Writer



Not all Asians are good at math, a misconception that can actually be detrimental.

“Asians are looked at as the model minority,” said Ross Iwamoto, 69, a Japanese-American living in Tucson. “Because of these myths, there are many who don’t get help.”

These and other myths will be dispelled at Saturday’s daylong seminar, the first Southern Arizona Asian American Pacific Islander Conference.

Chaired by Iwamoto and featuring keynote speaker and best-selling author Robert Kiyosaki, the event will run from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Tucson Chinese Cultural Center, 1288 W. River Road.

Space is limited to 200; about 150 have already signed up. For registration information, visit www.panasiantucson.org. Cost is $50, or $10 for students.

In addition to myth-busting, the conference serves a bigger purpose.

“Above and beyond all else, we want to build a network,” Iwamoto said.

The network should include, but not be limited to, the more than 25,000 Pacific Islanders who live in Tucson, he said.

“We want to have the university involved, the community, various civic groups, organizations that promote diversity and also leaders in the community,” he said.

“One of the reasons we want a broad spectrum to come, especially groups that focus on diversity, is because Asian American Pacific Islanders are invisible,” he said. “We are not seen as who we really are.”

As an example, Iwamoto told of the Vietnamese student who said that his teacher expressed dismay when he said he needed help with numbers.

“Why do you need help with math?” the teacher asked.

Conference workshops will include Pacific Islander history, culture, the younger generation and the challenges of being of mixed Pacific Islander race.

Iwamoto’s daughter, 23-year-old Annette Iwamoto, has a Japanese-American father and a mother, Marianne Vivirito, 62, with Italian and Irish roots.

“We want the community to understand us, see us as who we really are,” he said. “We want to learn who we really are.”

Our Digital Archive

This blog page archives the entire digital archive of the Tucson Citizen from 1993 to 2009. It was gleaned from a database that was not intended to be displayed as a public web archive. Therefore, some of the text in some stories displays a little oddly. Also, this database did not contain any links to photos, so though the archive contains numerous captions for photos, there are no links to any of those photos.

There are more than 230,000 articles in this archive.

In TucsonCitizen.com Morgue, Part 1, we have preserved the Tucson Citizen newspaper's web archive from 2006 to 2009. To view those stories (all of which are duplicated here) go to Morgue Part 1

Search site | Terms of service