transform communities around the world through

THE POWER OF ART

100% of your donations will support art and activism.

 
 
 

The Slants Foundation

We are a volunteer-driven organization that provides resources, scholarships and mentorship to Asian Americans looking to incorporate activism into their art. We’re building a network of musicians, filmmakers, playwrights, performers, and visual artists to build a community that is dedicated to providing unique perspectives to social issues – their own “slant” on the world. 

 
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Our Mission

Our mission is to advance the arts and to promote the development and empowerment of ethnic minorities.

 
 

Our Core Values include:

 

Amplify

Amplify underrepresented voices, especially those within the Asian American community

substantive

Substantive programs for the community we serve

focus

Focus on controversial and timely issues through a social justice lens

participation

Participation from people of all ages and walks of life

Challenge

Challenge conventional thinking for creating social change

highlight

Highlight the intersection of arts and activism

 
 

Meet Our Board

 
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Simon Tam
Founder, board chair

Simon Tam is an author, musician, activist, and self-proclaimed troublemaker.

He is best known as the founder and bassist of The Slants, the world’s first and only all-Asian American dance rock band. His work has been highlighted in over 3,000 media features across 150 countries including The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, NPR, New York Times, and Rolling Stone.

Simon has been a keynote speaker, performer, and presenter at TEDx, SXSW, Comic-Con, The Department of Defense, Stanford University, and over 1,200 events across four continents. He has set a world record by appearing on the TEDx stage 13 times.

He was named a champion of diverse issues by the White House and worked with President Barack Obama's campaign to fight bullying. He recently helped expand freedom of speech through winning a unanimous victory at the Supreme Court of the United States for a landmark case in constitutional and trademark law (Matal v. Tam).

He designed one of the first college-accredited social media and digital marketing certificates in the United States. His approach to diversity & inclusion and marketing has been taught to hundreds of Fortune 500 companies. Bloomberg Businessweek called him a "Social Media Rockstar." Forbes says his resume is a "paragon of completeness."

Simon has received a number of accolades for his work, including: Milestone Case of the Year from Managing IP Magazine, the Mark T. Banner award from the American Bar Association, the Hugh M Hefner First Amendment Award, and Distinguished Alum Award from Marylhurst University. In addition, he was named a Freedom Fighter by the Roosevelt Freedom Fighters, Citizen of the Year by the Chinese American Citizens Alliance, and Portland Rising Star from the Light a Fire Awards.

 
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SueAnn Shiah
Secretary

Born and raised in Metro Detroit, SueAnn Shiah is a Taiwanese American musician, filmmaker, and emerging theologian specializing in identity formation, racial justice, gender, and sexuality. Her first feature length documentary HuanDao premiered in Fall 2016 in Nashville, TN. Her debut solo album, a queer reclaimed hymns worship record-- “A Liturgy for the Perseverance of the Saints” came out June 22, 2018.

In addition to her own creative and theological works, she collaborates with other artists, musicians, and filmmakers in a variety of capacities as an artist manager, writer, producer, audio engineer, songwriter, and creator of liturgy. She’s a regular speaker and workshop presenter at festivals and conferences on issues of faith, race, sexuality, art, theology, and identity, most recently--Allied Media Conference, Christian Community Development Association National Conference, the Reformation Project National Conference, Q Christian Fellowship (formerly Gay Christian Network), the Progressive Asian American Christian Conference, and Wild Goose Festival.  

She has a B.B.A. in Music Business with a Production emphasis and a Chinese minor from Belmont University and is set to attend National Taiwan University in Fall 2018 to pursue a Masters of Arts in Musicology.

 
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Luann Algoso

Luann Algoso is a Portland, Oregon-based writer, creative activator, cultural worker, and strategic communications specialist. Her work in organizing both in AAPI (Asian American & Pacific Islander) and women-identified spaces melds at the intersection where the arts meets activism. As a cultural worker, Luann is in service to using her art in movement building practices. She utilizes creative strategies and tactics to center the voices of communities that are directly impacted by injustice and oppression and supports the leadership development of those impacted to create those messages.

Luann is activated by many manifestations of the written word, whether used in prose, poetry, storytelling, academic research, and performing her stories with various media-based practices.  She immerses herself in the different methods words can be used to shift harmful narratives and to envision alternatives.

Luann is originally from Anaheim, California and moved to Portland in 2010. In 2015, she received her Master of Arts degree in Conflict Resolution at Portland State University with the thesis titled, “Comedy as a Platform for Marginalized Voices: Asian American Women and the Disoriented Comedy Showcase”. She is a 2017 recipient of the Golden Spot Award Residency, a curated artist in residency program with Caldera Arts.

 
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Joe Jiang

Joe X. Jiang is a filmmaker and musician who has called Portland home for nearly ten years. His movies, which range from intimate documentaries to artistic narratives, have been featured at film and art festivals around the world. His most recent project, The Cutting Shadow, was screened at the 2017 San Diego Asian Film Festival, and is slated for multiple festivals in 2018. As a musician, Joe tours nationally and internationally in several bands and is a producer at Track Town Records in Eugene, OR.

 
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Bao Vo

Bao Vo is a musician, designer, and branding consultant based in Los Angeles. Bao's professional life has mainly existed between art and technology. His art and activism revolve around themes of personal and cultural identity, interpersonal relationships, and mental health.

After dropping out of art school, he founded the pioneering Asian-American synthpop band Ming & Ping in 2002. The band's music and multi-media stage shows have received critical acclaim and landed placements in adverts for global brands such as Burton, Oakley, CrossFit, among others. Ming  & Ping was one of the first acts to employ mobile apps in its music-making process and, in 2009, became the one of the first to release a mobile game as part of its marketing campaign. 

In 2017 he released his first solo recording under the name BAO. He continues to work with other artists as a writer and producer.

Bao is a first generation immigrant from Vietnam and a beneficiary of public schools and the Gifted and Talented Education (GATE) program in Southern California. He is also a graduate of the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts (HSPVA) in Houston, TX and the ArtCenter College of Design in Pasadena, CA. After over a decade in leadership roles at digital design agencies, Bao continues to consult with tech companies as a branding expert.

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Eric Hsu
vice chair

Eric Hsu is a rocker. He started his first garage band in the spring of ‘92, took first place at his high school talent show, and has never looked back. During the nineties, Eric played a big part in the Austin music scene and performed hundreds of shows with his bands throughout the Southwest. In 1999, Eric decided it was time to play in the big pond and moved to New York City where he founded Johnny HiFi. For nearly two decades, Johnny HiFi would take him all over the globe to China, Taiwan, Japan, Hong Kong, Canada and to more than 50 cities in the U.S. The band also made many appearances on TV, newspaper and radio stations all over the world including MTV, Billboard Magazine, and The World Journal. Eric has released 10 albums/EPs with Johnny HiFi, and has also written songs for major-label recording artists such as Taiwanese pop star Richie Ren.

 
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Roy Matsunaga
Treasurer

Roy is a senior manager in the Portland office with over 8 years of experience serving a variety of public SEC registrants and private companies. Roy has managed multiple external audit engagements in various industries such as utilities, retail, manufacturing, and health plans. His responsibilities have focused on managing project profitability, delivering value-add client service, oversight of financial statement audits and testing of design, implementation and operating effectiveness of internal controls.

Roy strives to serve his clients in an approachable and collaborative manner and focuses on the development of his team members. His extensive experiences have resulted in a robust understanding of financial statement audits, internal control considerations, and financial analysis.

Roy is a member of the Deloitte National Audit Faculty and has presented on several accounting, auditing, and internal control topics at local and national trainings. He is also a leader in Deloitte’s Audit Analytics Group, helping to design big data visualizations and analytics to support audit engagement teams, overseeing other managers in the Audit Analytics Group, and establishing policies, procedures, and standards within the group.

 
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Ariel Bui

Ariel Bui is a musical artist, activist and educator. Her music career as a guitarist singer-songwriter began in her teens, leading to a degree in Music and Piano at Rollins College in 2009. There she worked in community radio at WPRK 91.5 FM as Station Manager, Director, and DJ while doing activist work organizing with Food Not Bombs.  After graduation, Ariel worked in environmental justice for Earthship Biotecture, constructing and educating the public about radically self-sustainable architecture based out of Taos, NM. In 2011, her skills in organizing, in-kind donations and partnerships nearly took her to Haiti to work with disaster relief NGOs, but a desire to pursue music again landed her in Nashville, TN. She has since become Founder of Melodia Studio, teaching piano to many students of all ages. In 2016, her self-titled album, recorded at The Bomb Shelter with Grammy-nominated producer Andrija, Tokic received local and international acclaim. She continues to work with many local non-profits, including YEAH! (Youth Empowerment Through the Arts & Humanities), Nashville B-Cycle, NAPAWF (National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum), 101.5 WXNA LP-FM, and Jessi Zazu, Inc. promoting the advancement of Arts & Activism.

 
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Ken Shima

Ken Shima has been singing since he was 13. He joined a choir and never stopped singing. He honed his craft in Los Angeles at the American Musical And Dramatic Academy. Directly after graduating, Ken booked a theater contract at a theater in Southern California. He booked 16 musical roles in 2 years. After his time in musical theater, Ken dove head first into making music, releasing an album called Distance and Daydreams in 2014. Shortly after the release of Distance and Daydreams, Ken auditioned and ultimately was chosen as the lead singer of The Slants.

He has performed all over the US at events such as The NYC bubble tea festival, SacAnime and The Jade Night Market Festival. Internationally, Ken has toured in Canada and Taiwan.

He has shared the stage with acts such as Alien Ant Farm, Shonen Knife and Loudness as well as many others.
Ken had also appeared with The Slants on CBS This Morning, NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt, HBO Vice and the Daily Show with Trevor Noah.

Ken can be heard on The Slants albums Something Slanted This Way Comes and their most recent EP The Band Who Must Not Be Named.

 
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How You Can Help

 

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