IDAAS 25th Anniversary: Healing, Fighting and Futurities

The Intercollegiate Department of Asian American Studies (IDAAS) at the Claremont Colleges is celebrating 25 years on Friday, February 9, 2024 at the Benton Museum of Art, Pavilion & Courtyard, Pomona College. Please RSVP just so we know about how many people will be in attendance.

Tentative Schedule: (subject to change)
12:30pm Lunch
1:00-2:30pm Alumni panel (with lunch continuing)
2:45-3:30pm Performance by Gingee
3:45-4:30pm Mingle

Prior to the February 9th celebration, we are offering two workshops. One is the Music Production for Liberation workshop with Gingee PZ ’06 on Thursday, January 25, 2024 from 4:30-5:30pm at the Grove House, Pitzer College. Dinner to follow. Please RSVP to the dinner separately at For more information, refer to the flyer.

There will also be a Grieve/Resist/Live poetry workshop with Sara Farooqi PZ ’08 on Thursday, February 8 from 7:00-9:00pm at the Grove House, Pitzer College. RSVP if you would like to participate in an intimate gathering in support of our community members currently engaged in the movement for Palestinian liberation. Together we will “tend to our tenderness” using poetry as a tool to explore and transmute grief. This 90 minute workshop will include an exploration of poetry by three Palestinian poets around the following themes:

GRIEF: How are we experiencing this grief? What is it demanding of us?
RESISTANCE: What does it mean to uplift justice and liberation? What truths need to be witnessed?
LIFE: How can we reconnect with and remind ourselves of what it is we are fighting for? What makes life so incredibly sacred and worth protecting? 

Prompts will be provided for participants to respond to in their preferred medium (written word, doodles, quiet contemplation, etc.). A large portion of this workshop will be non-verbal, providing space for folks to process and contemplate silently. 

Following the workshop, we will have an optional open mike for anyone who would like to share aloud. Participants will receive a free 26 page workbook which we will also be using in our gathering. This event is designed as a supportive space to process together, not a forum for in-depth political dialogue.
7:00-8:30pm Workshop 
8:30-9:00pm Optional open-mike 

Short bios for our panelists and performers:

Malaya Caligtan-Tran

Malaya Caligtan-Tran currently works as a sexual health educator and runs a teen peer-led sex-ed program. They were a 2022 Fulbright research grantee to the Philippines where they researched the impacts of large-scale mining in the Cordillera region. Malaya graduated from Pitzer College with a self-designed degree in Indigenous Public Health and a minor in Environmental Analysis.

Sheena Iwamoto (she/they) is an educator who believes that classrooms and schools can become powerful spaces of personal transformation and empowerment. They grew up in Kaua’i, HI. She’s currently a Dean of Culture and Instruction at a high school in San Jose, CA.

Stephanie Lin is a Senior Attorney with Neighborhood Legal Services of Los Angeles County, a legal aid organization that provides free legal assistance to more than 160,000 individuals and families throughout Los Angeles County annually.  She assists people who have been impacted by the criminal legal system with removing barriers caused by criminal records.  Prior to Neighborhood Legal Services, Stephanie was a re-entry attorney with A New Way of Life Re-entry Project and the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles.  Stephanie has a J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center and graduated from Pomona College with a minor in Asian American Studies in 2007.

Christen T. Sasaki

Christen T. Sasaki is an associate professor in the Ethnic Studies Department at the University of California San Diego. She received her BA from Claremont McKenna College and PhD in History from UCLA. Her research and published works focus on the politics of race and empire in the Pacific Island world. Her first book, Pacific Confluence: Fighting over the Nation in Nineteenth Century Hawai‘i , published with the University of California Press,  considers how the battle to create a US-backed white settler state in the islands sparked a debate over jurisdiction and sovereignty that was fought on the global stage.

Dom Aiu Taber

Dom Aiu Taber graduated from Harvey Mudd College in 2021 with a degree in General Engineering with a focus in Environmental Analysis. While in college he worked at the Asian American Resource Center, Office of Institutional Diversity, and as an APISPAM Head sponsor. Born and raised in Wailua, Hawai’i on the island of Kaua’i, Dom returned to Honolulu Hawai’i to work at Mechanical Engineers of Hawai’i Corporation as a Mechanical Engineer.

Gingee Marjorie Light

Gingee is a musician and producer with a passion for percussion. Inspired by her Filipino roots and the cultural soundscapes of her native Los Angeles, she combines the rhythms of kulintang gongs and percussion with electronic music and conscious lyrics. She has partnered with several communities to curate arts programming uplifting marginalized communities as well as playing at festivals like Coachella and Burning Man. She graduated from Pitzer College in 2006 with a self-designed double major in Women of Color Art and Activism and World Performance Traditions. 

Sara A. Farooqi is a mama, community builder, poet, facilitator, and friend. She is also the founder of the Interdependence Lab, a learning and unlearning community supporting Global Majority leaders uplift a collectivist ethos and an ancestral lens in their work and community lives. Sara holds a BA in Sociology and Islamic Cultural Studies from Pitzer College and an MBA from Mills College.