Steven Tonthat is an arts and culture journalist for Oregon Public Broadcasting. He grew up on Maui and moved to Portland to work at OPB. In addition to specializing in arts and culture, Tonthat has a passion for uplifting BIPOC and AAPI voices and stories.
He begins the interview by comparing life as an AAPI person in Hawaii and Oregon: Hawaii has a larger AAPI population so there is more representation and blending in, meanwhile Oregon is less diverse. But he found BIPOC and AAPI circles in the Portland area and has discovered the Vietnamese community to be very tight knit and supportive of each other.
As a journalist, he wants to bring awareness to AAPI hate in the Portland area, but he also wants people to know that there is so much to celebrate as well through cultural events and remarkable individuals. He concludes the interview by recognizing the difference between older and younger generations, and how the younger generation are forging their own paths while appreciating the values of the older generations.