Amy Lieu Presents: A Journalist Journey of Empowerment
Amy Lieu is a journalist that has found her calling and wants to share her story as well as the stories of her ancestors. She is making strides with her YouTube channel #AmyLieuPresents and based on her vivacious 2017 goals, she’ll be making this year an even better year than the last.
We recently talked with Amy Lieu about her YouTube Channel and the stories she is passionate about telling.
Amy, as a journalist you spend so much time telling everyone else’s story; so who is Amy Lieu?
I was born and raised in Southern California. I grew up in the San Gabriel Valley, where there is a large population of Asians, mostly Chinese.
I did not understand what diversity was or meant until I attended college at UCLA. There, I was exposed to people of different backgrounds. I also began to learn about the history of Asian Americans in the U.S. It was then that I started to form the idea of diversity in my head.
I developed compassion for marginalized communities. I knew then that it was going to be big part of my life and work, so I majored in Communication Studies and minored in Asian American Studies.
I speak three dialects of Chinese: Mandarin, Cantonese, and Teo-Chew (a unique Chinese dialect from Guangdong province in China), as well as conversational Spanish.
I lived in Hong Kong for four months in a study abroad program at Hong Kong University. I also lived with a host family who only spoke Spanish for one summer in Salamanca, Spain for an immersive Spanish Language Program.
I love learning and speaking different languages. I feel like it enables me to connect to people that I otherwise would not be able to.
I have a younger sister (also a UCLA Bruin), who has been really supportive in my journey. I am thankful for her.
What was the catalyst behind starting your YouTube channel “Amy Lieu Presents”?
Through working as a journalist and being a voracious consumer of news and media, I saw a void. There is a gross lack of representation of Asian Americans in the mainstream media.
For example, the Asian American vote is rarely talked about, even though the population is growing at a fast rate. Stories on some Asian American communities just do not get covered because of the language barrier.
In movies and television, Asian Americans are almost always seen as kung fu fighters, foreigners, prostitutes, or nerds good at math. Women are oftentimes relegated to sexual objects or side characters.
I want to change that. I would like to see more positive, normalized characters for Asian Americans and stronger female roles. That’s why I created the #AmyLieuPresents Talk Show.
What has been your favorite interview on “Amy Lieu Presents”?
My favorite interview has been with my mother about her experience as a refugee of the Vietnam War. The interview was in Chinese, and I translated it with English subtitles. My mom recounts how she endured a treacherous boat ride to a refugee camp in Bidong Island, Malaysia.
On shore, her boat was attacked by Thai pirates--pirates of the Thailand Gulf (not the Caribbean). Conditions on Bidong Island were grueling. Despite her hardships, she finally made it to the U.S. Here is the link to her first-person story: bit.ly/momrefugee.
Concurrently, my mom's interview was in the Chinese dialect, Teo-Chew or Chiu-Chow, which originated from Guangdong, a province in Southern China. (I translated the video with English subtitles.)
Since there is a diaspora of people all over the world who speak this dialect, her interview had an outpour of positive feedback from the Teo-Chew community. I plan to create more content and videos in Teo-Chew with her.
Not that many people know that this dialect exists, so I want to represent this part of my heritage and help preserve the dialect. I also want to be a voice for this community.
Is there a particular audience you are speaking to and creating a voice for with your YouTube channel?
Yes. Although my show is for all genders and ethnicities, I want to especially create a voice for women of all ages and the Asian American community. I feel very passionate about empowering these two groups of people. I want to create a positive community and safe space where people are proud to be who they are.
I want to inspire others to believe that their gender or ethnicity should not stop them from reaching for the stars and achieving their dreams.
What’s next for Amy Lieu? What goals have you set for 2017?
I am planning to have a live stream show of #AmyLieuPresents on various social media platforms, so stay tuned about that.
I will also be producing and shooting more interviews and episodes of my talk show. I see myself collaborating with various content creators for women empowerment and Asian American-related content.
I will be reaching out to various organizations that share similar objectives with my show for possibilities to collaborate. I will have a talk show screening at a local library and am looking to screen my talk show in other venues as well.
I will be doing various online, print, radio, podcast, and television interviews about my talk show, so I am excited about that. I will be expanding my career as an actress, growing as an entrepreneur, and honing my craft as a host and journalist.
I want to take this time to note something, I am also very passionate about advocating and spreading awareness for the Nanjing Massacre in World War II, which happened on December 13, 1937. The reign of terror lasted until January 1938. The Japanese Imperial Army slaughtered, buried alive, and killed approximately 300,000 Chinese civilians and unarmed soldiers in the fallen city of Nanjing, China. Thousands of women were brutally sexually assaulted. I know this is going to be my long-term goal for 2017 and beyond to continue to let people know of this forgotten holocaust.
Related to this historical tragedy are the comfort women of World War II. The Japanese Imperial Army forced nearly 200,000 young Korean, Chinese, and other occupied Asian regions' women and girls into sexual slavery during WWII. I have reported on comfort women for NBC News Asian America, KCET, and my talk show, #AmyLieuPresents. I also interviewed comfort women survivors who have touched me. This is another issue that I want to spread awareness about in 2017 and beyond.
Watch 7 episodes of #AmyLieuPresents on her channel: www.youtube.com/amylieumedia.
You can also visit her website for more information about Amy and sign up for her newsletter for exclusive content: www.amylieu.com.