This panel will center on the rise of Anti-Asian hate coinciding with the rise of COVID-19 and existing dynamics of othering affecting people of Asian descent in America.
Reframing the Conversation brings together experts from across campus and the community to spark important conversations around racism, othering, and safety. With these conversations, we are striving to counteract the growing culture of othering with a culture of belonging.
While we continue to identify and remove barriers and bias incidents targeting our campus community, persistent strides towards an institution where every member is given the opportunity to be educated on equity, diversity, and inclusion efforts will remain at the forefront of our work.
Karen Cone-Uemura is a gosei, or 5th generation Japanese American, whose interest in prejudice, discrimination and exclusion / inclusion / acceptance / belonging began in childhood upon realizing she was somehow different. Her circuitous path towards becoming a psychologist is filled with lived experiences that complement her formal study in the area of equity, diversity and inclusion. She takes a mindful approach to life, paying particular attention to the interconnectedness of people to each other, the systems they live in and the ecosystem that provides a tenuous home to all.
Kent A. Ono (PhD, Communication Studies, University of Iowa, 1992) is a Professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Utah and President of the National Communication Association. His research focuses on rhetoric; media and film studies; and race, ethnic, and cultural studies. Before moving to Utah, Ono was on the faculties of the University of California, Davis (1992-2002), and the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (2002-2012). At Davis, he directed the Cultural Studies Graduate Program (1999-2002). At Illinois, he directed the Asian American Studies Program (2002-2007) and the Center on Democracy in a Multicultural Society (2005-2006). And, at Utah, he chaired the Communication Department (2012-2017). He has authored, co-authored, edited, or co-edited six books. His authored/co-authored books are: Contemporary Media Culture and the Remnants of a Colonial Past (Peter Lang, 2009); Asian Americans and the Media with Vincent Pham (Polity, 2009); and Shifting Borders: Rhetoric, Immigration, and California’s Proposition 187 with John Sloop (Temple University Press, 2002). He is a past editor of two NCA journals: Critical Studies in Media Communication and Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies and founder and past series co-editor of the book series, “Critical Cultural Communication,” at NYU Press.
Lehua Kono is currently a Junior at the University of Utah where she is double-majoring in International Studies and Asian Studies with emphases on Global Health and the Pacific Asia region. Due to her interest in health disparities, Lehua is currently assisting a research project focusing on the amount images of People of Color used at the U’s School of Medicine in portraying various health conditions. On-campus, Lehua is the External Vice President of the Asian-American Student Association (AASA). Through her position, she is responsible for interacting and making connections with organizations on and off-campus. After completing her Bachelor’s degrees, she hopes to attend graduate school to research health disparities and continue her focus on global health.
An active member of the Utah Asian Chamber of Commerce and the Asian Association of Utah, Theda Petilos is Filipino by birth and American by choice.
Having been a banker for Citigroup and a member of Invesco Private Capital’s investment team, she is as comfortable in the canyons of Wall Street as she is in the canyons of Utah. Since her relocation to this state, Theda has held executive level marketing and sales positions with direct selling companies such as Beachbody, Xango and JM Ocean Avenue. Currently a Consultant in marketing and strategy, she is proud to have worked with companies like 7.2, eBay and PayPal.
Theda holds a BA in English and Psychology, an MA in Organizational Psychology, and an MBA in Finance and Marketing from Columbia University in New York City.
Tricia Sugiyama is a fourth-generation Utahn and is passionate about working with students. Prior to working as the Director for the Center for Ethnic Student Affairs, she has been the First Year Experience Program Director, Academic Advisor and Asian American Programs Coordinator! In addition, she spent 5 years at the State Office of Asian Affairs, started her own business, loves all things geek and is a dedicated fur parent.
Harjit Kaur immigrated from Punjab to Utah with her two sisters and parents when she was three years old. She was raised in West Valley City and believes her communities allowed her to gain the knowledge and strength that sustained her through her education. As a first-generation student she graduated with BS in Bioengineering and completed Medical School at the University of Utah. She is the co-creator of the podcast, Bundle of Hers, a podcast about topics underrepresented in Medicine. She is currently being trained to be a Psychiatrist with University of Utah Health. She is passionate about Health Equity & Justice, building communities and listening and learning from stories.
Brian Shiozawa is the Associate Vice President for Health Policy and Associate Professor of Surgery at University of Utah Health Sciences.
From 2017-2019, Dr. Shiozawa served as the Regional Director of the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Dr. Shiozawa is a board Certified Emergency physician. He practiced at St. Mark’s Hospital Emergency Department in Salt Lake City, where he served as Department Chairman, President of Medical staff, and on the Board of Trustees.
Dr. Shiozawa served as President of the Utah Chapter of the American College of Emergency Physicians, President of the Utah Medical Association, and as Utah state delegate to the American Medical Association.
Dr. Shiozawa served two terms in the Utah State Senate, where he sponsored or co-sponsored over 50 bills.
Dr. Shiozawa attended Stanford University, received his medical degree from the University of Washington, and completed residency at the University of Utah. He and wife Joye have been married for 37 years and have four children and six grandchildren.