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Past Event

Fighting the Stigma: Mental Health Among AAPIs, Presented by Ascend Foundation and The Commonwealth Club

While the COVID-19 global pandemic gave rise to anti-Asian hate crimes, we must not forget that the AAPIs have been discriminated against and have been the victims of unprovoked violence long before the pandemic. This reality is evident as demonstrated in the Ascend Foundation’s thought leadership paper entitled "Model Minority Myth & The Doubled-Edged Sword," and numerous Global #AscendTogether Forums to #StopAsianHate, where members from all walks of life shared their lived experiences of being marginalized, scapegoated and feeling like they don’t belong in the workplace and the society. These experiences have far reaching implications on AAPI physical health and—equally important—mental health.

In recognition of Mental Health Awareness Month and as we conclude the Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage month, join Ascend and The Commonwealth Club on May 31 as we bring together leaders from a cross-section of industries for a dialogue on "Fighting the Stigma: Mental Health Among AAPIs" and explore: the impact of stoicism, the model minority myth and "perpetual foreigner" on AAPI mental health; practical solutions for empowering the AAPIs to find and amplify their voices on mental health matters; and how companies and communities can together fight the stigma and create a culture of inclusiveness and belonging for AAPIs by destigmatizing mental health.

About the Speakers

Maneet Ahuja is senior editor at Forbes covering everything from Wall Street and billionaires to the intrepid world of entrepreneurs, startups and Silicon Valley. A former Forbes “Under 30” lister herself, she is author of The Alpha Masters and host of Spotify’s “Megatrends” podcast. Before joining Forbes, she was a Knight-Bagehot fellow at Columbia Journalism School and had more than a decade-long tenure at CNBC, most recently as senior editor and co-founder of Delivering Alpha, the network’s flagship annual Wall Street summit. Formerly, as CNBC’s hedge fund specialist, she broke news on various activist campaigns like Herbalife and covered investigations such as Lehman Brothers’ insolvency during the financial crisis. Ahuja got her start in journalism as a part of The Wall Street Journal’s Money & Investing team and began her career at Citigroup at the age of 17—which is where she earned the nickname “Wall Street Maneet.”

Dr. Clayton McClintock is a neuroscience researcher and clinical psychologist, whose current interests include cultivating group mindfulness and body awareness practices to support resilience and post-traumatic recovery and growth. He graduated with honors from Dartmouth College with an A.B. in English, received an M.T.S. from Harvard University in religion and the social sciences, and recently completed a Ph.D. in clinical psychology at Columbia University, with a focus on the neural circuitry of spiritual and stressful experiences. In his leisure, he enjoys hiking, qigong, and watching playoff baseball.

Irene Tu is a Los Angeles-based stand-up comedian, actor and writer who honed her chops in San Francisco. Her first comedy album We're Done Now debuted in March of this year at #1 on the iTunes comedy charts. Paste magazine praised Tu’s “quick wit, relaxed stage presence, and hilariously off-the-wall observations” in this album that “ticks all the boxes of a winning introduction, and then some.” She was named one of Vulture’s “Comedians You Should and Will Know” and singled out in the San Francisco Chronicle as an “artist on the brink of fame.” Irene’s recent "Stand-up Featuring" set is the most-watched reel on Comedy Central Stand-Up’s Instagram page, with more than 2.7 million views. She’s a regular at festivals and clubs around the country and opens for comics such as Taylor Tomlinson and Patton Oswalt.


This program is presented in partnership with Ascend Foundation.


See more  Michelle Meow Show programs at The Commonwealth Club of California.

Gandhi photo by Bret Hartman.

June 16, 2022

The Commonwealth Club of California
United States

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Introduction by Anna Mok

President, Executive Chairperson and Co-founder, Ascend; Former Chair, Commonwealth Club Board of Governors

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Maneet Ahuja

Senior Editor, Forbes

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Clayton McClintock

Neuroscience Researcher; Clinical Psychologist

Image - Irene Tu

Irene Tu

Stand-up Comedian; Actor; Writer

Image - Michelle Meow

Michelle Meow

Producer and Host, "The Michelle Meow Show," KBCW TV and Podcast; Member, Commonwealth Club Board of Governors—Host


12:30–1:30 p.m. program
(all times PDT)