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Our 2023 favorites: The long history of Chinese American exclusion and resistance

Two photos side by side. On the left is author and professor Ava Chin wearing a white top, and on the right is professor and Stop AAPI Hate co-founder Russell Jeung wearing a white button-down shirt with a suit jacket.
Credit to Tommy Kha for the photo on the left. Photo on the right courtesy of Russell Jeung.
Professor Ava Chin (left) is the author of Mott Street: A Chinese American Family’s Story of Exclusion and Homecoming. Professor Russell Jeung (right) is one of the co-founders of Stop AAPI Hate, which tracks acts of hate against members of the AAPI community.

The Disrupted team has been welcoming the new year by choosing a few of the episodes we loved from 2023. We have so many favorites that we couldn't reair all of them, but these are a few that we wanted to listen back to.

This week is the last of our "2023 favorites" episodes. Producer Kevin Chang Barnum chose our episode on Chinese American exclusion and resistance not only because of how it highlights the discrimination that Chinese Americans face, but also because it shows something that isn't covered enough in the media— the way Chinese Americans have fought against that discrimination.

This hour, Ava Chin discusses how the Chinese Exclusion Act continues to impact people today as we interview her about her book 'Mott Street: A Chinese American Family's Story of Exclusion and Homecoming.' And Russell Jeung, one of the co-founders of Stop AAPI Hate, talks about the historical precedent for the current wave of anti-Asian racism and how people who oppose it can take action.


  • Ava Chin: Professor of Creative Nonfiction and Journalism at the City University of New York Graduate Center and College of Staten Island. Her most recent book is Mott Street: A Chinese American Family’s Story of Exclusion and Homecoming
  • Russell Jeung: Professor of Asian American Studies at San Francisco State University and a Co-Founder of Stop AAPI Hate. In 2021, he was named one of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World along with his fellow Stop AAPI Hate co-founders

This episode originally aired on September 13, 2023.

Disrupted is available as a podcast on Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music, Spotify, Google Podcasts, TuneIn, Listen Notes, or wherever you get your podcasts. Subscribe and never miss an episode.

Kevin Chang Barnum is a producer for Connecticut Public Radio’s weekly show Disrupted. Kevin grew up in Connecticut and started his radio work at his graduate university’s radio station, KUCI. He has also worked for HRN, a network of food and beverage podcasts.
Wayne Edwards is a freelance producer at Connecticut Public contributing to multi-platform productions, including ‘Disrupted’, ‘Where Art Thou?’, and ‘Cutline in the Community’.

Dr. Khalilah L. Brown-Dean is an award-winning scholar at Wesleyan University, author, and host of 'Disrupted' on Connecticut Public.
Meg Dalton is the director of audio storytelling and talk shows for Connecticut Public where she oversees the station’s talk shows and podcasts, including the limited series 'In Absentia'.
Catie Talarski is Senior Director of Storytelling and Radio Programming at Connecticut Public.