James’ passion for service has led to a rewarding career in youth and community development, non-profit management, and social justice advocacy. He is currently the Director of Operations at the Vietnamese Friendship Association, a Seattle-based non-profit, and a board member for the Friends of Little Saigon. As a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer, his background includes local, national, and international service and leadership.
Due to his youthful appearance and childish antics — and the fact that he can’t grow facial hair — people often mistake James for a student or volunteer. He has a strong belief that life and work should be about having fun while getting stuff done. His experiences have taught him that social justice should not be able blame or guilt, but about increasing happiness for everyone. Of course, his straight-talkin’ approach has occasionally landed him into trouble, especially with his mother. “Mom, I don’t want to be a doctor, engineer, businessman, or any other profession that makes a lot of money!” She didn’t think he was serious, but he sure showed her.
Growing up James was an expert in American culture – he mastered English, ate at McDonalds, and joined Earth club – but had little interest or patience for his Asian heritage. His current blog, The Asian Slant (formerly Playing Asian) explores the Asian-American experience through his personal lens. The title describes the multifaceted, and complex, ways Asian Americans have been perceived.
His goal is to publish a new post every Tuesday morning. You can follow his blog by subscribing or becoming a fan on Facebook. If you like what you read, please leave a comment! He appreciates getting feedback, especially when they don’t sound like passive-aggressive encouragement from his father. “Your sister makes a lot of money working for Amazon. She never blogged…” Ugh, he hates it when his parents are right.
Author’s note: James’ parents occasionally read his blog, so when he doesn’t want them to know he is making fun of them, he uses culturally nuanced pronouns like the matriarch and my old man; then they’ll think he’s talking about someone else. Hi mom and dad! Love you!