Chen was studying Fa Lun Gong book in her dormitory. ”I think I am different from other people. I do get in touch with Chinese culture. That’s because I practice Fa Lun Gong.”

Students deal with stereotypes while celebrating their Asian cultures

At Michigan State University, 5.8 percent students at the university are of an Asian heritage, according to the Office for Inclusion and Intercultural Initiatives 2015-16 annual report on diversity. That’s about 2,500 students. To understand what it’s like to be from an Asian racial background at Michigan State University, we interviewed three Asian American students — Sho Nakashima, Annie Chen, and Sarah Vang — and a student from China, Lei Xu. “For me, the most personally upsetting has been the stereotype that Asian immigrant families are privileged and wealthy,” said Nakashima, an MSU graduate who studied social relations and policy and neuroscience. He is a first-generation American.

Hmong American Pa Vang and sibling.

What it’s like to be a young Hmong in America?

The Hmong are one of the most recent Asian immigrant groups to come to the United States. Although there are Hmong people living in Thailand, Vietnam and China, nearly all of the Hmong who settled in the U.S. are from Laos. Hmong and other immigrants were assisted by the passage of the Indochina Migration and Refugee Assistance Act of 1975 in their efforts to relocate after the Vietnam War. Data from the 2010 census shows that the U.S. Hmong population rose from 45,443 in 2000 to 66,181 in 2010, an increase of 46 percent. U.S. Census data estimates that there are more than 250,000 Hmong living in the United States with more than 5,000 living in Michigan.

Black Lives Matter activist Jalen Ewing of Olivet College in Michigan.

5 years into #BlackLivesMatter, advocates say challenges remain

It’s already been five years since the death of Trayvon Martin, whose killing helped ignite the Black Lives Matter movement. Martin, an unarmed 17-year-old black male from Sanford, Florida, was shot by neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman. Zimmerman claimed self-defense and was acquitted of a second-degree murder charge. What started as a hashtag has drawn national and worldwide attention to African-American rights. According to a 2016 Pew Research Center survey, general awareness of Black Lives Matter is common among black and white U.S. adults, but attitudes about the movement vary greatly.

Trump deportation policy hits close to home

MSU freshman Pamela Quintana descibes her mother as hardworking, kind and community-oriented. “Everyone who knows her loves her,” said Quintana. “She’s known throughout the community…she’s a very hands-on mom, always taking care of her kids.” Every day, she wakes up at 5 a.m. She cleans as many as five homes a day to make ends meet. And she tries to return home at 5 p.m to see the kids she works hard to support.

Names matter: Minorities unhappy with the way they are described in the media

“I think people should be more conscience and more sensitive to the fact that all people aren’t just black because they have dark skin,” said Kenny Lacy, an African-American student athlete at the University of California – Los Angeles. “ People need to learn that race is more than just colors.”  

Over the years, our perception of how we define race has been generally described by a color instead of ethnicity. Being African-American is being “black” while being Caucasian is being “white”. Racial identification is often viewed as a sensitive topic due to inappropriate or incorrect categorization of one’s ethnicity. Listen to the full interview with Lacy below:

Media portrayals of different groups also has an impact on how society views them and at times people will alert journalists of the way they prefer to be called, said Scott Pohl, a reporter and host of WKAR’s Current State.