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Learn about filmmaker Yi Chen’s journey in making the film FIRST VOTE as she explores themes of immigration and identity with Asian American voters throughout our country’s most coveted districts in Ohio and North Carolina. In this panel, she invites some participants in the documentary to engage in honest and revealing conversations about their experience at the polls.


Jenny Yang (Moderator)

Jenny Yang is a former labor organizer turned standup comedian, writer and actor. She’s the co-host of Freeform television’s flagship talk show podcast A Little Forward. She is currently a writer for season 8 of Fox’s hit sitcom LAST MAN STANDING, and was a staff writer and performer for the premiere season of the late-night talk show BUSY TONIGHT on E! with Busy Philipps. Jenny produces the Disoriented Comedy tour and The Comedy Comedy Festival. In 2016, President Obama honored her as a White House Champion of Change for her leadership in Asian American and Pacific Islander Art and Storytelling.

Yi Chen

Yi Chen is a documentary filmmaker based in Washington, DC. Her work explores the intersection of racial justice, immigration, and democracy. She is a 2019 Open SocietyFoundations Soros Equality Fellow and 2020 DC Arts and Humanities Fellow. Her first feature length documentary FIRST VOTE received grants from the Ford Foundation JustFilms, CAAM,ITVS, DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, Kartemquin Films and SouthernDocumentary Fund. Her previous film CHINATOWN, about the activism of long-time residents to keep Wah Luck House affordable for low-income seniors to stay in DC Chinatown, won IndieCapitol Awards Best DocumentaryShort and aired on PBS station WHUT. The film was featured by the Washington Post, NPR andNBC4. Yi holds an MFA in Film and Media Arts from American University.

Kaiser Kuo

Kaiser Kuo is the host of the Sinica Podcast, a weekly current affairs podcast that has run since 2010. A native of Upstate New York, Kaiser spent his teens in Tucson, Arizona, and graduated from UC Berkeley in political science before spending a year in China. After coming back to the U.S. for graduate school, he returned to China in 1996 and lived there until 2016, where he played in the Chinese heavy metal band Tang Dynasty, which he co-founded in his student days, then went on to a career in journalism before joining China's leading search engine, Baidu, where he served as Director of International Communications. He returned to the U.S. in 2016 and lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, with his wife and two children. 

Jennifer Ho

Jennifer Ho is the daughter of a refugee father from China and an immigrant mother from Jamaica. She is the Director of the Center for the Humanities and the Arts at the University of Colorado Boulder, where she also holds an appointment as Professor in the Ethnic Studies department. She is also the President of the Association for Asian American Studies and the author of three scholarly monographs, including Racial Ambiguity in Asian American Culture (Rutgers University Press 2015), which won the South Atlantic Modern Language Association award for best monograph. In addition to her academic work, Ho is active in community engagement around issues of race and intersectionality, leading workshops on anti-racism and how to talk about race in our current political climate. 

Christopher Hastings

Christopher Hastings is the Executive-in-Charge and serves as Executive Producer and Editorial Manager of WORLD Channel and WORLDChannel.org at PBS’s flagship producing Station WGBH Boston. Hastings’ responsibilities include broadcast and digital content development, acquisition, and production; he also oversees the day-to-day operations of the channel in collaboration with WGBH’s general manager for television. As Executive Producer, he is co-curator of the award-winning documentary series AMERICA REFRAMED, LOCAL, USA, and DOC WORLD, and has provided editorial oversight to most other original series on WORLD.